3D Modeling Software

I’ve been trying to create some models, but have been having trouble finding (free) software that is intuitive to use. Right now I’m playing around with Fusion 360, but can’t quite figure it out. And I actually have had some solid experience (although 10 years ago) using a variety of 3D programs including 3DS Max.

So, I’m looking for either recommendations of software OR really good tutorial sites targeted towards 3D printing (and not just modeling).


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Same issues here. I found some pretty good Blender tutorials and have gotten a little bit better using it, but like you said, the tutorials are mostly for modeling and not specific to 3d printing. My background is 2d AutoCAD, and my current license doesn’t support 3d, so I too have been looking for a free alternative that is intuitive. Blender is pretty darn powerful and sounds like it will do everything I need, but it has quite a learning curve.

The tutorial series I was watching was pretty helpful though: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Blender+For+Noobs+-+Modeling+for+beginners+-+Part+1+

This was a pretty helpful video too, it explains the capabilities of blender in regards to 3d printing: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnCf-5G7DYc

Other than that, I’d love to hear other suggestions. Good luck!

I’m learning the software and it recommended by Flux user

I’ve been working with OnShape for my (so far simple) modeling. Web-based, so it is cross platform. Free for a limited number of private models. Unlimited number of public ones.

FreeCAD and Fusion360 are on my list to work with. DesignSpark is out for me as it is Windows only.

I’m not sure about “intuitive” but OpenSCAD makes sense to me and is reasonably easy to use, especially if you’re a good typist. Even easier if you’re familiar with programming in almost any language. Syntax and spelling are important for such programs, including OpenSCAD. It’s free and I’ve been using it for what I’d consider technical modeling. You can write the code to be “brute force” modeling, or with a simple change, make it parametric.

If you don’t like text based creation, blockSCAD gives a GUI that creates the OpenSCAD code for making models. It’s based on Scratch, I think, an easy to teach program interface.

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Ah, forgot about that one. Yeah if you are comfortable with programming then OpenSCAD is pretty good.

I use Sketchup (formally Google’s Sketchup) - its free to use as long as you are not using it commercially. (grey area on using it to make 3d Models commercially). There is a plug in that you have to search for and install that exports to STL. Sketchup is more architectural/mechanical so its not a sculptor program. I have used it for years to design paper models. Very easy to use.

I’m not comfortable with programming. My last formal experience was Fortran, but a few years of ignorantly playing around since then. The great thing about being ignorant is that mistakes are expected, embraced and enjoyed.

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it’s not free but i use Cinema 4D. I think it’s awesome to use. but you can use maya and 3dsmax free today if you sign up for the student version (accepting that you cannot use it for commercial use).