Which online 3D modeling software is the best for you? (2021 Update)
Posted By Kat Plewa on Oct 30, 2019 |
Would you like to learn or either carry on the 3D modeling path without overloading your computer with heavy software? We propose you to try online 3D modeling software. There is a fair amount of options for beginners, but also for teams of professionals working online. Start 3D modeling anywhere you want!
What are your options?
Let’s take a closer look at what’s available on the market of online 3D modeling software. We will introduce you to them based on your knowledge. We will start with software for beginners, then move on to the intermediate level and finish off with professional-grade 3D programs.
If you’re just starting your adventure with 3D modeling, don’t be scared, we all had to go through it. Creating 3D models can be a piece of cake! Check out our list of the best 3D modeling software for beginners. If you have any problems, you can always contact Sculpteo and our 3D printing experts will assist you from there. Now, let’s talk now about 3D design software for beginners.
This online 3D modeling software was designed by Autodesk and it is one of the most popular. It is very intuitive, and colorful. It is also well-known for a friendly User Interface and easy learning curve.
It works with drag-and-drop primitive shapes. It is not the most sophisticated tool but will be suitable for amateurs, but also professionals looking for a very quick way to design a simple object. TinkerCAD was created with 3D printing in mind, so exporting an STL file for 3D printing is not a problem.
Do you know Minecraft? This is exactly how 3D Slash works! Discover the ability to add or remove blocks to build your 3D models! It’s that easy. This 3D modeling software is definitely one of a kind.
It is a great choice for first-timers and with practice, you will be able to achieve more complex models. 3D Slash is also connected to online 3D printing services and is available in both desktop and browser versions.
Yet another interesting option in the field of 3D modeling. You should especially pay attention if you know how to code. BlocksCAD is a friendly introduction to advanced programs such as OpenSCAD.
Here again, you also work with blocks, similar to LEGO bricks. You don’t have to actually write the code, you use blocks to command the code on what to do. When you think your piece of code is ready, you render it to preview if the commands worked. This is a good way to start simple 3D modeling or to get familiar with this type of software before learning OpenSCAD.
SculptGL takes an alternative take on 3D modeling and instead of creating 3D models with mesh, it allows you to create characters from a basic shape. This online 3D modeling software was designed to help you bring to life animals or people.
This innovative approach is called 3D sculpting and the main principles are the same as in traditional clay sculpting. In the virtual reality of your web browser, you will use sculpting tools. Different sizes of brushes will allow you to work from the biggest parts of the character, such as legs, arms, etc, to work your way down to the details.
Maybe your workshop is a little rusty or you’re just tired of laggy and heavy software that makes your computer sound like a tractor. You might want to consider online 3D modeling then, even though you already have some knowledge of 3D modeling. Let’s have a look at your options.
This software, despite the fact that it’s free and online, is quite powerful. It provides you with tools for polygon modeling, texture mapping, UV mapping, but also V-Ray engine that will allow you to produce photorealistic renders.
Other than an impressive set of tools, Clara.io also allows for full collaboration. You can share your 3D models and others can edit them with live updated changes. On top of all of that, this 3D design software is also capable of creating animations! Pretty neat, isn’t it?
SelfCAD is fully ready to 3D print online CAD software. It is user-friendly and easy to learn, but will also provide you with more advanced tools allowing you to produce complex 3D models within your web browser.
Compared to Clara.io or SculptGL, SelfCAD, as the name suggests, is much more technical. You wouldn’t use it or make an animation or a video game character. It is a very good software for mechanical or industrial design applications. Your 3D models can be even prepared and sliced for 3D printing. SelfCAD gives you the full package to design and produce your parts thanks to Additive Manufacturing.
This online 3D modeling software is very well known in the industry thanks to the simplicity and many extensions for premium versions. It is especially used in the architecture field, but not only.
SketchUp has intuitive tools to produce accurate and precise 3D models. This CAD software has drawing layout functionality and many options for beautiful, photorealistic renders. 3D models can also be easily saved for 3D printing.
Vectary is another popular 3D modeling software. It offers a lot of advanced tools such as parametric modeling, mesh editing thanks to sliders, and selections, which normally is only available in high-grade engineering software.
However, keep in mind that Vectary is more for designers than mechanical engineers. It won’t produce very precise 3D models, but you can still create very complex models. It is a very interesting 3D program for 3D artists. It also allows for multiple people to work on a project.
If you’re working in a large team or as a freelance 3D designer, making your project online might be especially interesting for you. There are a few options for professionals and engineers to use online 3D modeling software for their work.
Fusion 360 is making its way up to the top of many 3D modeling software rankings. This product from Autodesk has numerous design tools for CAD design. From industrial design to mechanical engineering, Fusion 360 will handle your project.
This 3D design software will allow you to prepare necessary documentation of the project, make technical sketches, design highly complex 3D models and even test them for the stress they will have to withstand.
As you can see, Fusion 360 is the whole package. And obviously, it fully supports 3D printing by providing you with Autodesk 3D printing Studio, where you will be guided through the preparation of your 3D files.
Lastly, another high-grade CAD software. OnShape comes in different shapes: for your desktop, tablet, and smartphone, which allows you to be fully mobile and take your 3D project to any meeting or presentation.
It offers similar toolsets to Fusion 360. You design your models from sketch, using the different options to turn them from 2D into 3D objects. You can then run simulations and multi-part assembly tests to ensure they will work together.
OnShape also allows you to use FeatureScripts, new open-source programming language to create your own, customized CAD tools.
Which software do you choose?
As you can see, there are plenty of options for different skill levels. From first-timers to professional engineers, you can enjoy the freedom of working online, with multiple people and being able to access the projects anywhere in the world.
And once your 3D model is ready, you can easily 3D print it using an online 3D printing service. All you have to do is to upload your file and we will deliver it straight to your door! And in case of any questions, feel free to contact us.