3D PRINTING INFO

Popular Web-based Free 3D Modelling Software

3D Modelling Software
3D Modelling Software
Above: Web-based 3D modelling software offer ease of use yet powerful user interface to create models for all levels of users/Image Credit Vectary

As 3D printing grows, more and more people are using 3D modelling software for their printing needs. With companies developing application-based software, users are spoilt-for-choice to use different software for creating different models. This is a tedious job and moreover, the software suites are pretty heavy on the overall system. They can use up a large chunk of the RAM and can, literally, suck up the soul of the computer. Even free CAD software can put a load on the computer.

But there is an option of avoiding downloads of such software as well. We believe with the availability of easy, and at the same time, powerful online web-based 3D modelling software, users are provided with an easy option of using the software without actually downloading the suite.

We list six of the most popular online web-based 3D modelling software for users to try out. The list of software is useful for simple-to-complex-to-professional model making and is used by experienced professionals as well. So, read on to know more about these web-based software solutions for all levels of users.

TinkerCAD

3D Modelling Software
Above: TinkerCAD 3D Modelling Software/Image Credit: TinkerCAD

A list of online web-based 3D modelling software cannot ever start without TinkerCAD. TinkerCAD, a software from Autodesk, is the simplest and one of the best free 3D modelling software for 3D printing. It has a great interactive interface that is catchy and hooks up new users to the software. The software has a polished look and feel to it.

Tinkercad also features a lot of basic tutorials to get new users started with 3D modelling. The tutorials are easy to understand and helps in using the software to its most advanced level.

This tool can easily attract all new learners, enthusiasts, students, and even kids for that matter.

Advantages:

No Download needed

Easy to Use

Great 3D Modelling software for beginners

Attractive user interface

Limitations:

Too basic for experienced/advanced users

Creation of complex models is difficult to impossible

SculptGL 

3D Modelling Software
Above: UI of SculptGL 3D Modelling Software/Image Credit: SculptGL

SculptGL is a free web-based 3D modelling software program. It allows users to use the software without the hassle of downloads, set-up, create account or log in. The software directly opens up with a sphere to work with and can be sculpted to design a 3D printable model.

It also has a number of features to allow ease of sculpting like applying symmetry, importing models and other relevant sculpting tools. The models can also be automatically shared on portfolio sites like Sketchfab.

While SculptGL removes the hassles concerning downloads, systems compatibility and account creation and gives a simple UI, it also has a number of limitations which is quite expected.

Upon creation of a model in SculptGL, the model has to be imported into a second software to actually make it 3D printable. The model has to be cleaned up and optimised for 3D printing by hollowing it, adding escape holes or repair any broken topology. 

Advantages:

No hassle of downloads, set-up, create account or login

Easy to get started with sculpting

Works smoothly

Limitations:

Too basic for experienced/advanced users

Requires support for other 3D modelling software for making models 3D printable

3D Slash

3D Modelling Software
Above: Workspace of 3D Slash/Image Credit: 3D Slash

3D Slash is one of the top web-based online 3D modelling software available for new learners. The easy to use software lets users create models using a simple block building technique. It is as simple as adding and deleting elements.

The software also has a teacher’s dashboard that helps teachers keep track of a whole class and the projects they work on. 

Advantages:

Easy to learn and use

Simple yet powerful

Great tool for teaching modelling to kids in schools

Excellent tutorial database

Fun and interactive

Limitations:

Creation of complex models is difficult to impossible

Teacher’s dashboard is quite limited

Creates low-resolution 3D models



Sketchup Free

3D Modelling Software
Above: A furniture model made in SketchUp Free/Image Credit: Sketchup Free

SketchUp Free is one of the products in the series of other SketchUp range. This offering is a free web-based software for users like Engineers, Architects, Designers, etc. to eliminate the hassle of downloading the software suite and also to give them a glimpse of the capabilities of the more premium software solutions like SketchUp Pro.

SketchUp Free is a great tool because the basic functional mode is to create a 3D model from a 2D base. This is easy to understand even to relatively new users and thus easy to learn as well. Users can also learn the basics of software through a huge database of tutorials.

Additionally, the Sketchup library, called 3D Warehouse, enables users to load user-generated and manufacturer-produced models directly into the existing design.

Advantages:

Easy to learn and use

Vast 3D Warehouse repository

Up to 10GB of Cloud storage of files

Also allows mobile model viewing through the SketchUp Viewer app

Limitations:

SketchUp Free is not licensed for commercial use

It does not save custom materials

It doesn’t allow users to edit materials/textures

Vectary 

3D Modelling Software
Above: Models showcasing the capabilities of Vectary 3D modeling software/Image Credit: Vectary

Vectary is a web-based 3D modelling software with a wide range of features. Being completely online, the software need not be downloaded and works instantly with internet connectivity. The browser interface also allows users to access their projects from anywhere in the world and thus provides easy access to files through cloud storage.

Vectary is for intermediate to advanced users with very powerful features to create even complex models. Vectary is a great online 3D modelling software for experienced users who want to move on to web-based software and still be able to create complex models.

Advantages:

It is an online tool

Easy to learn and use

Easy to sharing projects

All projects are saved in the cloud

Good for intermediate to advanced users

Limitations:

All tools are not available for basic-level users

Only 10 projects for free members

No commercial usage for Basic-level users

Autodesk Fusion360

3D Modelling Software
Above: Fusion360 CAD interface/Image Credit: Fusion360

Fusion360 is a revolutionary next-generation software by software giant Autodesk, which combines the CAD/CAM/CAE tools for complete collaborative product innovation and development platform. It integrates the complete design to manufacturing process in one complete package. It simply is the best free CAD software for 3D printing.

Fusion360 takes a cloud-based which lets you use the software irrespective of the OS and you can access your work from anywhere in the world.

It is available freely for a period of 3 years for students and Startups.

Advantages:

Freely available for all users

Fairly easy to learn

Great for advanced users

Can be used to create complex 3D models, assemblies, and simulation

Great features like designing, assembly, simulation, CAM, product innovation platform, etc.

Limitations:

Too complex for new users

Operations depend on internet connectivity

Long learning curve

These are just six of the widely used web-based 3D modelling software used by users ranging from first-time users to experienced advanced users. All the above mentioned software is mostly used by hobbyists, students, designers, engineers, and professionals to design models for 3D printing. The online solutions give ease of access and a respite from the heavy professional software to its users. Depending on the skill level, the user can work on relevant software for his modelling needs.


About Manufactur3D Magazine: Manufactur3D is an online magazine on 3D printing which publishes the latest 3D printing news, insights and analysis from all around the world. Read more such informative articles on our 3D Printing Info page. To stay up-to-date about the latest happenings in the 3D printing world, like us on Facebook or follow us on LinkedIn.

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