(title edited to:) 3D Modeling Applications other than Blender


Blender is such a bear.

Here is a list of 24 other free 3D modeling tools that some may want to try out.

I don’t know much about any of them, but imagine there is some value to be found in this tyranny of options! :smile:

25 (Free) 3D Modeling Applications You Should Not Miss


I just went through the entire list. Unfortunately I have bad news:
Alot of the oones of the list are either Dead, CAD, obsolote, software, or Feature Gated or Trial Software:

Out of these, Sketchup is probably only one that Id actually suggest trying out, other than blender.
Some of these I haven’t heard of eons or I have not heard at all.

Infact the UI on the site list is approximately 6 years old for Blender… so the list it self is very dated.

As a long answer, here is the summary of all the apps listed on that page and their purposes / last updated.:

  • K-3D hasnt seen an update for 5 years,
  • Art of Illusion is headed by a single man. lacks alot of features like UV mapping and skinning.
  • SoftImage XSI mod tool is what the name implies: a mod tool for models instead of modeling - its been taken over by Autodesk and nowdays implemented into Maya LT. Trial.
  • Zmodeler(3)… Err I barely even heard of it and it doesnt seem to be free. Its missing alot of features. Last update was last year.
  • Topmod3d site is dead. Nowdays found at https://sites.google.com/site/topmod3d/, but not much use as topologies made in it are not really supported by game engines. Also made by a single man. Last updated 2007.
  • Google Sketchup has have been updated in strives. Excelent for making house, interiors and architecture, but I have yet to find any other use for it. CAD. No animation tools. Featured Gated.
  • The Autoq3d link on the article is dead. You can find Autoq3d from here instead http://www.autoq3d.com/ Not so free anymore, but looks sound for mainly just furniture and machining. CAD. No idea on animation tools or FBX support
  • Anim8or seems to be still around. at http://www.anim8or.com/ , but as the namesake is seems to be focused on animations, and interface looks awfully basic. Havent tried this one, but it got no native support for fbx.
  • Seamless3D has no FBX support natively. but you can check it at http://www.seamless3d.com/ (it even has its own VR Chat ) Last updated 2014 November.
  • BRL-CAD : CAD software instead of just a 3D suite. Looks complex. Last updated 2014 November.
  • 3DPlus - looks more like a Photoshop 3D feature than a 3D suite. seems to have also been renamed to DrawPlus (or bought by Serif). Trial.
  • 3DCanvas renamed 3DCrafter - looked interesting concept. No FBX support, Feature gated behind paygates, not truely free
  • eDrawings - looks more like a specialized CAD for electronic and gadgets. not really meant for game modeling.
  • **Blink 3D **- Link is dead: new link is at http://www.3dxo.com/software/7914_blink_3d . Trial…
  • Minos - CAD based not really meant for game modeling. Looks ancient.
    -** freeCAD**- CAD based… last updated probably 8 years ago since doesnt even mention windows Vista on their pages.
  • Bishop 3D - Link was going to blender, actual is http://www.bishop3d.com/ nice renderer, but not much info on modeling for games. Went GPL just last year, but being a paid product earlier seems like a desperate attempt to keep the software afloat
  • K3DSurf - Fractals - Mathematics Model based 3D visualizer. not really a modeling software per say. Facinating, but not really suitable for our purpose.
  • DesignWorkshop Lite - Trial version of some software: last updated 2009.
  • GDesign - Fractals - Mathematics Model based 3D /2D visualizer.
  • Sweet Home 3D- looks more like an house interior planner than a modeling tool.
  • trueSpace - Dead.
  • Alibre Design Xpress - renamed Geomagic Design. Trial-
  • 3DVia - looks more like an house interior planner than a modeling tool.

So Instead of the above you can try the following:

  • Wings 3D: http://www.wings3d.com/ - Decent modeling tool, not really for animation but some prefer using this over blender. Its a bit dated.
  • Sculptris: Excelent replacement for Zbrush. Makes really good sculpted models, mainly retopoed over after done with the model and applied as a normal map to the retopoed model. Nowdays acquired by Zbrush, but still available for free.
  • Clara.io : HTML5, and Gated, but workable interface http://clara.io

From experience, I tried to find Free 3D suite for a really long time after dropping Maya, before I ended just going over the Blender. and to be honest, alot of the free software out there are simply just excrement compared to the paid software. Blender is the closest, if not equal to those paid packages. Its just that its interface take a while to learn and the concept of “mold the ui with the flow " / " hotkeys behind hotkeys behind combinations” concept can be really foreign especially someone new to 3D, or transferring over from another app.
Clara seems to be close second, if it wasnt for the fact that it runs on the browser (not a fan of having to have net connection).

Has anyone tried this sculpting too?

Thank you for doing that, @Menithal Menithal.

Too bad that none looked good to you. For some things that need to be done quickly and simply, I thought something in there might be an easier stand-in for Blender…

Isn’t Micah working on an asset converter to re-format things as an FBX? Or have I misunderstood that thread? That is what I understood, which is why I was not concerned about no native FBX support with some.


There is already an existing FBX converted too from Autodesk, but that also has issues.

The main issue with converting instead of doing it in app natively is that it will always have some issue. Even if in app its going to have issues (looking at you Blender!).

However, in app, implementation usually is the better way to go as its closer to the actual data. And in anyway, Micah has still along way to go before its feature complete too. Lots of things on the plate including everything from Vertex Colors, to weights, to skeleton (and their orientations which is currently the big issue), multiple materials, animations, and shapekeys. Its -alot- of work to do.

Anyway, Do check the ones I did suggest, sketchup, clara or wings. Not sure if clara and wings have fbx export the exporter can handle basic models. Its still always a downside when it cannot be done in app.


I also found an updated, Jan 2015, list catering to filmmakers. Again, I have not gone through these to check for FBX support or what is truly free and what not, but here is that list:



i use DAZ Studio and Zbrush. i would like to use modo but Zbrush and Modo costs. DAZ cost too because of all the objects that you HAVE to have.


To be fair on Bishop_3D*, Blender was also once “a desperate attempt to keep the software afloat”

.* I have never heard of Bishop_3D before this post. Just pointing out that commercial software going GPL as an alternative to going away is nothing new :smile:


@LaeMing True; Blender has been so long ( over 12 years ) in that license that it easy to forget that for that brief year it was released as shareware the company went bankrupt (originally was inhouse only). But they managed to succeed mainly due to having already so many features out of box and raising a community of makers around it over the many years and projects they’ve codeveloped with the application.


Bishop however even according to the creators is mostly a POV-Ray renderer first and not a modeling tool or animation studio and its probably going to stay that way after hitting gpl


1999 - I was using Maxon Cinema4D

2006 - I was using Maya

2014 - I installed Blender and never looked back.

Good advice isn’t always easy to hear. I’m not a supreme modeler by ANY stretch of the imagination, but for those interested persons, I recommend biting the bullet and learning Blender. It ISN’T going to happen overnight. But the simple fact that it is a free program makes my heart explode everytime I open the application.

Stop reading and go get it! - https://www.blender.org/


It is a very powerful tool, no doubt. It’s good.
UX…ermm…maybe not so much. Although the hot-key cheat-sheets make all the difference in the world. Get em if you don’t have em.