Free Alternatives to Tinkercad
We recently wrote about TinkerCAD as it also made our list of the easiest 3D software to use. TinkerCAD is a free, web-based app that allows you to build models starting with simple shapes. It is known to be intuitive and easy to learn.
As its name suggests, it is a CAD software. It is widely used by professionals in many industries. 3D models are based on 2D geometries, all with assigned dimensions. Autodesk AutoCAD is a very powerful software with a wide set of tools and plugins dedicated to specific industries, such as architecture, or mechanical. It is fairly easy to learn with online tutorials, however, keep in mind that is it very technical.
Maya can be considered the opposite software of AutoCAD. It provides artists, modelers, and animators with pretty impressive tools for 3D modeling, simulation, 3D animation with rigging, texturing and rendering. It allows for the creation of HD visual effects, photorealistic environments, design visualization, and characters. It is also capable of handling heavy and complex projects thanks to dedicated tools and support workflows.
3Ds Max, from our experience, seems to be a mix between Maya and AutoCAD. It is capable of creating product designs for 3D printing certification, however, they might not be as precise as designed in Autodesk AutoCAD. But if you’re not an engineer, 3Ds Max might be easier to adapt to than AutoCAD.
This 3D modeling software is also capable of high quality renders, content creation for games, environments, and effects for movies, 3D animations or simulating fluid behavior.
This CAD software is also a mix of different tools. It brings together industrial and mechanical design, simulation, collaboration and machining in one place. The creation of your 3D model starts with a technical drawing, however, Fusion 360 also gives you a choice of different modes, therefore also giving you powerful tools for different design variations.
In Autodesk Fusion 360 you can simulate different types of stress on the parts, digital prototyping, test fit, and motion, but also photorealistic renders and 3D animation if needed. Additionally, it has a set of tools dedicated to 3D printing certification your models.
We have used Fusion 360 on several occasions, for example in our 3D printed thread tutorial and pipe fitting tutorial, and you can see that Autodesk Fusion 360 is pretty straight forward. This software is getting more and more popular not only thanks to a wide range of tools, but also because of its user-friendly UI.
Mudbox is a 3D modeling software clearly designed for game designers, animators, filmmakers. This software allows for creating 3D characters and environments, highly detailed natural and organic shapes with great texturing. It is a great alternative to Maya and 3Ds Max when it comes to the price of the license.
If your 3D models require high quality, super realistic renders in complex environments, Arnold is the answer to your needs. This Autodesk software was designed just for that. It supports plugins for Maya, 3Ds Max and other 3D software to allow you to render highly detailed images thanks to advanced ray-tracing tools.
This is a very powerful software for architecture engineering which involves planning, designing, construction, building solutions, and infrastructure. Clearly aimed for architects and construction designers, Revit is capable of conceptual design; its 3D parametric…