This page is an archive of iMAL's wiki that operated between 2012 and 2022. It documented projects, residencies and workshops mostly taking place at iMAL's Fablab.

Older & newer Fablab projects are now found at

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 (thanks to RealizeBxl)

Easy/accessible softwares

  • 123D
    • By Autodesk. It's supposed to be easy, and I suppose it is for newcomers. If you've ever used a 3D modeling software you might find it.. weird in some way. But it's free and fabbing-oriented
  • SketchUp :
    • is VERY easy but therefore rather limited
    • There's a plugin for exporting in STL (Working fine!) or you can export to DAE (Collada) and convert it to STL with Meshlab or Netfabb
    • There is a plugin for exporting faces to SVG 
  • 3DTin
    • Online, basic modeler, easy for 3D pixelart

Less easy


3D scanning

Models processing/fixing

  • NetFabb Studio Basic   
    • Ideal for processing dirty 3D scan files, fixing holes and stuff
  • Meshlab :   
    • 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

Commercial / Professional 3D tools 


Difficulty: ●○○○○

Last updated: January 2017