3D modeler / CAD softwares
Let's start a list of useful softwares for 3D modelling / CAD, particularly free ones.
You can also refer to more specific approachs details in other howtos.
Which software to chose
http://www.gliffy.com/go/publish/5271448 (thanks to RealizeBxl)
- 123D : http://www.123dapp.com/
- SketchUp : http://sketchup.google.com/
- 3DTin : http://www.3dtin.com/
- 3D Slash https://www.3dslash.net Net, tablet, googlecardboard
- MakersEmpire https://www.makersempire.com/
- Tinkercad : https://tinkercad.com/
- Online, now Autodesk-owned, and has a free version!
- I find it a bit... dry. Not really inviting. Maybe I'm missing out.
- the famous free modeller. Full of features and plugins, but you have to get used to its absurdly counter-intuitive interface. Tip: use the "Maya" preset to avoid unnecessary frustration.
- It looks interesting, relatively easy, and powerful enough, but obviously the development is somewhat halted
- The developer recommends...
- FreeCAD : http://sourceforge.net/apps/mediawiki/free-cad/index.php?title=Main_Page (10.7 only)
- Another online 3D modeler
- Desing spark Mechanical : completly free modeler http://www.designspark.com/eng/page/mechanical
- NaroCAD http://narocad.com/
OpenSCAD : http://www.openscad.org/
- Script-based CAD software, allows for parametric models
- See : http://www.thingiverse.com/tag:openscad for parametric objects on Thingsiverse
- See: http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:167899/ to add autocomplete in notepad++ (a must have !)
- CoffeScad : Openscad in your browser. http://kaosat-dev.github.com/CoffeeSCad/
- Sculptris http://www.pixologic.com/sculptris
- A free digital sculpting software by the makers of ZBrush
Processing + Modelbuilder : http://workshop.evolutionzone.com/tag/modelbuilder/ & https://github.com/mariuswatz/modelbuilder
- A library by Marius Watz that helps building things in 3D with Processing (it's a terrible summary of what it does but you get the idea)
- See also : http://www.imal.org/wikimal/tagged/modelbuilder
Processing + HE_Mesh : http://hemesh.wblut.com/
- "HE_Mesh is an implementation of a half-edge datastructure for manipulating 3D meshes in Processing"
- See also : http://www.imal.org/wikimal/howto/how-create-slices-hemesh-mesh-processing
ReconstructMe : http://reconstructme.net
- Allows to 3D scan objects using a Kinect
- See also: http://www.imal.org/wikimal/howto/3d-portrait
123Catch : http://www.123dapp.com/catch
- Can reconstruct 3D models from a series of pictures
Cubify Capture : http://www.cubify.com/products/capture/
- Can reconstruct 3D models from a series of pictures or a video
Agisoft Photoscan : http://agisoft.ru/products/photoscan/standard/
- Can reconstruct 3D models from a series of pictures (a bit more complex but said to be more precise)
- Strata Foto 3D CX : http://www.strata.com/products/strata_3d_cx_suite/strata_foto_3d_cx/
- NetFabb Studio Basic
- Ideal for processing dirty 3D scan files, fixing holes and stuff
- Meshlab : http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/
- Another mesh-processing software... seems very powerful, but I've had a lot of crashes with it.
- Can import and export MANY formats
Other 3D tools
VTk : http://www.vtk.org/
- VTK is a very nice framework for 3D operations/visualization. You can use it as a pipeline of filter apply to input data to generate 3D meshes.
- Allows among other things to process 3D models with Python scripts.
- See for example : http://www.imal.org/wikimal/howto/simplifymeshblackbox
- Lithophane : images (greyscale) to 3d print or CNC mill as low relief ("bas-relief") or lithophane : http://3dp.rocks/lithophane/ (free, online software)
- HGT2STL, convert a picture (greyscale) to a 3d file. http://www.thingiverse.com/thing:110904
- a floss viewer and resizer of stl files and of the generated gcode files
- Pakura Designer helps you easily create a paper craft model from your 3D data. Please create original works and respect others' copyrights and trademark. You can download and freely try the shareware version. (to be tested :-))
Commercial / Professional 3D tools
- Anything by Autodesk?
- AutoCAD of course
- Solidworks http://www.solidworks.com/
- Sculpting software like Mudbox & ZBrush? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_sculpting#Sculpting_Programs
- This might be useful : How to export STL from major cad softwares (including Autocad) http://www.protocam.com/html/stl.html