3D Modeling Program?

I have some ideas for a project I want to build, but I'd let to sketch it out in 3D form and create a model. Are there programs that can do this? I'd prefer free ones, but I guess I can shell out a few bucks if needed. I basically just need somewhere to put my thoughts into a 3D design so I can view what I'm actually building.

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ewoud_VM5 years ago
is you're problem already solved? if not, I like working with solid works and would be happy to make it for you if you're interested, if yes, send me an PM

gr Ewoud
billbillt6 years ago
Please try Google Sketchup. It is free and seems to work very well...
jwilliamsen6 years ago
When you say "I want to build a model of it" does that mean you simply want to do visualization with the software and then build a model, or, you want to have a rapid-prototype of your model made?

If you just want to visualize your model, your model isn't complex, and you want just a basic render of it, then Sketchup is useable (mostly for mechanical and architectural things - what is known as "hard surface modeling"). The learning curve is very easy - especially if you've never done any 3D modeling before (you'll find it annoying if you've modeled in other more dedicated packages). You would not be able to build a model suitable for rapid prototyping with Sketchup, but it is very fast for roughing things out - and is nice because it's easy to build to exact scale and take measurements off your model. The downside is that it is very limited in what it's good at, and can be terribly frustrating to use at times - it builds pretty trashy geometry - but if you're just going to do visualization and "sketch in 3D" it's hard to beat (for hard surfaces, again). I use it fairly often even though I have access to much more expensive tools.

Blender is an extremely capable modeling and animation package with reasonable rendering capability. The UI and workflow are kind of weird - especially if you've used anything else, but it's very fast once you're used to it's workflow. You would also be able to author a model that could be rapid-prototyped if you wanted. Blender is primarily a polygon modeler.

If you need *precise* organic surfaces (for product design-type modeling) you might want to look at "Moment of Inspiration" (http://moi3d.com) which is a surface (NURBS) modeling package that also has some outstanding capabilities, and could be used for rapid-protoyping.

As someone mentioned, Wings3D is capable and free - but lacks rendering ability. It's a polygon modeler and would be suitable to create a rapid prototype model.

Silo is another modeling package with extensive capability for not a lot of money (http://www.nevercenter.com). Very actively developed and improved on a regular basis - it's a polygon modeler with sculpting ability as well. You could build a RP model with it.

The list goes on and prices vary from Free to First Born Child - it really depends on what you want to do, and how much time you're willing to spend learning. Don't fall into the trap that "professional" packages are better - they're not necessarily - they very often require a much heavier commitment to learning them than a "hobbyist" package and can be cluttered with functionality that you'll never need or touch. Additionally, You'll also have to deal with a user community that's much less tolerant of "noob" questions.

Good luck!
Roberisra6 years ago
Depends on what you are doing.

I use Solidworks at work for more mechanical based projects.

For personal, I would recomend Blender.
Its free, easy, and alot of tutorials to help you.

Good Luck
I also use blender and my school has funded solidworks for me an a few other students. But I still prefer blender
I second Blender, it is free, and really easy to learn
Kiteman6 years ago
Have you tried Google Sketchup?
Yes, compared to a proper CAD package its horrible.....
freethetech (author)  Kiteman6 years ago
Thanks, Kiteman. Just downloaded the software and am about to try it out.
If I remember correctly, if you or someone you know has a .ac student email account, you can get autodesk inventor either free or heavily discounted.

If this offer still exists, I would definately reccomend you try it.

Other than that, wings 3D is free and apparently works quite well.
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