Tutorials > Applications reviews > 16 Free 3D modeling software to create your own 3D models at no cost

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Are you looking for a 3D Modeling software at no cost ?

There are many professionnal oriented and totally free softs to help you If you want to create a 3D model of a modern space-craft, an animated monster, an entiere world or a tiny bunny ! Look at this picture above ! Everything has been done with an easy to use 100% free soft !

Here is a list of the 16 most usefull FREE 3D modelers softwares you can find on the web.

All of them are totally free, some are also open source. We have compil a list of modeling softwares combined with complete 3D applications suite, because most of them aren't just good modelers but also combine possibilities with full animations functionalities and great rendering capacities.

Some are dedicated to specific task, like, Terragen 2 or Picogen (terrain creation) SketchUp, (building - architecture oriented), Sculptris (clay modeler) , MakeHuman (human character designer)  and others are multi-purpose free softwares like the well know Blender or the easy to use DAZ Studio All of them give you the ability to become a professionnal 3D modeler and export your creations in many various 3D objects formats.

One of the most amazing modeler of this list is the free ZBrush inspired : Sculptris provided for free by Pixologic. It's specific approach to modeling techniques based on "clay sculpting" let you become a modeler with ease. No need to learn maths or a complicated software to create your own realistic human face ! push, spine, erase, torn the 3D clay with the tools provided and discover how easy 3D modeling is with this software !

You've already understand : it's our favorite !

Read the complete listing after the link, test them if you don't have already done it.
Don't hesitate to comment or give your opinion on these softwares, and if you find one app we've missed, please tell us and it will be added to the listing !





Blender is a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software product used for creating animated films, visual effects, interactive 3D applications or video games. The current stable release version is 2.61, and was released on December 14, 2011.
Blender's features include 3D modeling, UV unwrapping, texturing, rigging and skinning, fluid and smoke simulation, particle simulation, animating, rendering, video editing and compositing.
Blender has a relatively small installation size and runs on several popular computing platforms. Though it is often distributed without extensive example scenes found in some other programs,he software contains features that are characteristic of high-end 3D software.
Many free stuff is available from the official website.

Homepage: http://www.blender.org/
type : 3D suite
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
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daz studio

Available free of charge (registration required) it is a specialized tool for adjusting parameters of preexisting models, posing and rendering them. Similar to Poser, but more limited in functionality. DAZ Studio is designed to allow users to manipulate "ready to use" models and figures. It is aimed at users who are interested in posing human and non-human figures for illustrations and animation.
DAZ Studio is bundled with a hard-linked (non-standalone) version of the 3Delight renderer. This is a RenderMan-compliant renderer. The renderer is able to render higher order surfaces like true subdivision surfaces  and supports true 3D motion blur and depth of field. DAZ Studio has been updated to exploit more features of the 3Delight render engine. Some advanced features may still require use of an exported scene file and the stand-alone version of the tool.
DAZ makes its money on the figures, props, clothing and accessories for use within DAZ Studio. A commercial version extends functionality for creating rigging of characters and shaders for rendering.

Homepage: http://www.daz3d.com/i/products/daz_studio
type : 3D suite
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X,

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For more than 20 years, BRL-CAD has been the primary tri-service solid modeling CAD system used by the U.S. military to model weapons systems for vulnerability and lethality analyses. The solid modeling system is frequently used in a wide range of military, academic, and industrial applications including in the design and analysis of vehicles, mechanical parts, and architecture. The package has also been used in radiation dose planning, medical visualization, computer graphics education, CSG concepts and modeling education, and system performance benchmark testing among other purposes.
BRL-CAD supports a great variety of geometric representations including an extensive set of traditional CSG primitive implicit solids such as boxes, ellipsoids, cones, and tori, as well as explicit solids made from closed collections of Uniform B-Spline Surfaces, Non-Uniform Rational B-Spline (NURBS) surfaces, n-Manifold Geometry (NMG), and purely faceted mesh geometry. All geometric objects may be combined using boolean set-theoretic CSG operations including union, intersection, and difference.
The package is intentionally designed to be extensively cross-platform and is actively developed on and maintained for many common operating system environments including for BSD, Linux, Solaris, Mac OS X, and Windows among others. BRL-CAD is distributed in binary and source code form as free open source software (FOSS), provided under Open Source Initiative (OSI) approved license terms.

Homepage: http://brlcad.org/
type : 3D modeler - CAD
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X, Linux, Unix
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3DCrafter is a real-time 3D modeling and animation tool that incorporates an intuitive drag-and-drop approach to 3D modeling.
Complex models can be constructed from simple 3D primitives, or created using 3DCrafter's Shape Building Tools. Modeling tools are provided to deform, sculpt, and paint 3D shapes.
Creating an animated scene is as simple as positioning the shapes within your scene for each point in time in your animation. 3DCrafter will ensure that the resulting animation runs smoothly. Your animation can be stepped through a frame at a time, viewed in real-time, or recorded to a Video (AVI) file so that you can distribute your creation.
Tool roll-up groups allow you to customize the 3DCrafter interface so that only those items you use most frequently are visible. And if you need access to a less frequently used feature, the tool roll-up is always one click away.
The standard version of 3DCrafter is a fully functional product provided as freeware. Upgrades are available for those who require additional features either for game development or for rendering photo-realistic images.

Homepage: http://www.amabilis.com/products.htm
type : 3D modeler
plateform : Windows
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3DVIA Shape


3DVIA Shape is a free, online 3D modeling application that allows any user to create 3D models. Users can share their models with their communities on 3DVIA.com. 3DVIA Shape is a very easy-to-use application. Anyone can use it to start modeling in just a few clicks.
In the current version of 3DVIA Shape you can create simple to more complex objects (houses, buildings, furniture), as well as paint them with color, photorealistic or custom textures. You can also create an entire scene without modeling at all by using the new "Remix" feature to search and import models created by other users from the 3DVIA content library. After you have completed your model or scene, you can publish it online to your 3DVIA account.
Note : You cant save your models to disk. 3DVIA Shape can only be use online.

3DVIA Studio allows you to build interactive 3D quickly by using Building Blocks: encapsulated segments of programming code that can be connected like your favorite plastic blocks to each other in a visual interface.
3DVIA Studio is a new 3D development environment for programmers and artists who want to create complex, interactive games, simulations, serious games and Web-based applications. 3DVIA Studio is downloadable software that allows skilled users to create virtually any online 3D experience they envision through a flexible programming interface, an open architecture and a 3D hosting platform located at www.3DVIA.com.

Other software provided :

3DVIA Player:
Download the 3DVIA Player to play games created with the 3DVIA Virtools platform or to view and inspect models uploaded to 3DVIA.com

Homepage: http://www.3dvia.com/products/3dvia-shape/
type : 3D modeler
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
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MakeHuman(TM) is an open source, innovative and professional software for the modelling of 3-Dimensional humanoid characters. Features that make this software unique include a new, highly intuitive GUI and a high quality mesh, optimized to work in subdivision surface mode (for example, Zbrush). Using MakeHuman, a photorealistic character can be modeled in less than 2 minutes; MakeHuman is released under an Open Source Licence (GPL3.0) , and is available for Windows, Mac OS X and Linux.
The new GUI incorporates modelling controls based upon Ethnicity, Gender, Age, Muscle Tone and Body Mass. The full release will also provide features to enable you to model individual anatomical features using controls that are more standardised

Homepage: http://www.makehuman.org/
type : 3D modeler
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
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MeshLab, is an advanced 3D mesh processing software system which is well-known in the more technical fields of 3D development and data handling. As free software it is used both as a complete package, and also as libraries powering other software.

MeshLab is an open source, portable, and extensible system for the processing and editing of unstructured 3D triangular meshes.
The system is aimed to help the processing of the typical not-so-small unstructured models arising in 3D scanning, providing a set of tools for editing, cleaning, healing, inspecting, rendering and converting this kind of meshes.
The system is heavily based on the VCG library developed at the Visual Computing Lab of ISTI - CNR, for all the core mesh processing tasks and it is available for Windows, MacOSX, and Linux

Homepage: http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/
type : 3D modeler and renderer
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
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Misfit Model 3D


Misfit Model 3D is an OpenGL-based 3D model editor that works with triangle-based models. It supports multi-level undo, skeletal animations, simple texturing, command-line batch processing, and a plugin system for adding new model and image filters. Complete online help is included. The primary design goal is to be easy to use.
Misfit Model 3D was written and tested on Linux (2.4 and 2.6 kernels) and has been compiled and tested on most major Linux distributions. It is also known to run on FreeBSD, Windows XP/2000, and Mac OS X (experimental).
Misfit Model 3D is no longer under active development.

Homepage: http://www.misfitcode.com/misfitmodel3d/
type : 3D modeler and animation
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
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OpenFX is an Open-Source 3D modeling, animation and rendering suite .The OpenFX featureset includes a full renderer and raytracing engine, NURBS support, kinematics-based animation, morphing, and an extensive plugin API. Plugin capabilities include image post processor effects such as lens flare, fog and depth of field. Animation effects such as explosions, waves and dissolves add to the flexibility of the program. Version 2.0 also features support for modern graphics cards with hardware GPU acceleration.

Homepage: http://www.openfx.org/
type : 3D modeler animation and renderer
plateform : Windows,

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Picogen is a A free Terrain Synthesizer and Renderer. While the primary purpose of picogen is to display realistic 3d terrain, both in terms of terrain formation and image plausibility, it also is a heightmap-creation tool, in which heightmaps are programmed in a syntax reminiscent of LISP there is a frontend to picogen, called picogen-wx (based on wxWidgets). It is encapsulated from picogen and thus communicates with it on command-line level. Picogen-wx provides several panels to design the different aspects of a landscape, e.g. the Sun/Sky- or the Terrain-Texture-Panel. Each panel has its own preview window, though each preview window can be reached from any other panel.
Landscapes can be loaded and saved through an own, simple Xml-based file format, and images of arbitrary size (including antialiasing) can be saved

Homepage: http://picogen.org
type : 3D modeler and renderer
plateform : Windows, Linux
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Metasequoia is 3D polygon modeling software for 3D computer graphics and video game development. Though less capable than other, more professional 3D programs, the interface is less complex than that of similar programs and has proven a good intro for people new to 3D editing. Mainly written for the Japanese market, it is also available in English. This is accomplished through external text language files.
Metasequoia is available both as freeware and a paid for version. The paid version is generally not available outside of Japan and mainly has additional export options.

Homepage: www.metaseq.net
type : 3D modeler and renderer
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
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Terragen™ 2 is a powerful solution for rendering and animating realistic natural environments. Create entire worlds from your imagination, or import real world terrain datasets and use Terragen 2 to create the most realistic visualisations possible. You control the weather, landscape, rivers, lakes and oceans, suns, moons and stars. With Terragen 2 you have complete control over the shader networks used for terrains, textures, micropolyon displacements, clouds and object distributions.
Terragen is not a game engine; it has a sophisticated film- and broadcast-quality renderer and procedural modelling tools designed so that you can create the most realistic images possible without taking a photograph. Nor is it a general-purpose 3D program designed to render everything.
The free version may only be used for non-commercial purposes and is limited in the following ways:
Render Size Maximum: 800x600
Render Detail Maximum: 1.0
Antialiasing Maximum: 3
Maximum Number of Rendered Populations: 3
Maximum Render Detail for Micropolygon Export: 0.1

Homepage: http://www.planetside.co.uk/content/view/15/27/
type : 3D modeler and renderer
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X

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It's the Free child of Zbrush ! : Sculptris is an elegant, powerful and yet easy to use 3D sculpting software, allowing the artist in you to simply focus on creating amazing 3D artwork. Gone are the technical and often tedious constraints typically associated with digital art. Start with a sphere of virtual clay and shape it into whatever you want it to be. This is made possible in Sculptris by its amazing ability to locally redefine the internal structure of the model.
As you model, Sculptris is constantly analyzing the surface to ensure that there are enough triangles to display the details that you're creating.Sculptris is hardware rendered. More powerful graphics cards will yield a more fluid sculpting experience..

For my own point of vue, one of the most stunning modeling software i have ever used ! If you know how to draw you know how to model !

Homepage: http://www.pixologic.com/sculptris/
type : 3D modeler
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X
star star star star star



Seamless3d is a fast efficient 3D Modeller/Animator. Its ideal for making high quality animated movies, optimizing models for real time graphics and lets you log into the Seamless3d chat server to chat and show your work to fellow Seamless3d modellers.
The models for the virtual reality world, Techuelife Island were created using Seamless3d technology.Seamless3d can be used as a mesh editor and an animator, however its key feature is its build node technology.
Build nodes allow the user to perform a sequence of complex operations in real time whenever a control point in the 3d window is dragged.NSPE allows the user to hand edit the polygons on NURBS surfaces. This includes being able to drag the vertices anywhere along the NURBS surface as well as join the vertices together, break the vertices apart and color them. NSPE has a significant advantage over simply converting a NURBS surface to a polygon mesh for editing because NSPE lets the user be able continue to modify the NURBS surface for the hand edited polygon structure.

Homepage: http://www.seamless3d.com
type : 3D modeler and animation
plateform : Windows
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Google SketchUp 8


SketchUp is a 3D modeling program marketed by Google and designed for architectural, civil, and mechanical engineers as well as filmmakers, game developers, and related professions. The program, which is designed for ease of use, allows placement of models within Google Earth.
The program interface allows a few simple steps to create three-dimensional drawings of any object. There is also a wide range of tools and working environment in WYSIWYG style keeps images with effects very similar to reality.
GThe free version is missing some functionality of SketchUp Pro, but includes integrated tools for uploading content to Google Earth and to the Google 3D Warehouse, a repository of models created in SketchUp. A new toolbox enables a viewer to walk, see things from a person's point of view, labels for models, a look around tool, and an "any polygon" shape tool.

Homepage: http://sketchup.google.com/
type : 3D modeler and rendering
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
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Wings 3D


Wings 3D can be used to model and texture low to mid-range polygon models. Modeling is done using the mouse and keyboard to select and modify different aspects of a model's geometry in four different selection modes: Vertex, Edge, Face and Body. Wings does not support animations and has only basic OpenGL rendering facilities, although it can export to external rendering software such as POV-Ray and YafRay. Still, Wings is often used in combination with other software, whereby models made in Wings are exported to applications more specialized in rendering and animation such as Blender.
Wings 3D is an advanced subdivision modeler that is both powerful and easy to use
Wings 3D offers a wide range of modeling tools, a customizable interface, support for lights and materials, and a built-in AutoUV mapping facility.
it is open source and completely free for use in both personal and commercial projects.

Homepage: http://www.wings3d.com/
type : 3D modeler
plateform : Windows, Mac OS X, Linux
star star star star-half star-empty

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