3D Design Software
There are a multitude of free programs for making 3D models. These are some of the most common & supported free 3D modeling applications. Try one out today!
Tinkercad (free) [Difficulty: Low]
Tinkercad is a basic online modeling program. It has a wealth of tutorials that get the user accustomed to the 3D environment. The user creates their model using built-in basic shapes, letters, and objects. Your models can be exported and/or saved as
.stl files, which 3D printers support.
Tin (free) [Difficulty: Low]
3DTin is another online modeling program that also utilizes shapes to build models. It includes tutorials that get the user oriented to the 3D environment. Your models can be exported & saved for 3D printing.
SketchUp (free) [Difficulty: Low]
SketchUp is a 3D modeling program for a broad range of applications such as architectural, civil, mechanical, film as well as video game design — and available in free as well as 'professional' versions.
OpenSCAD (free) [Difficulty: Medium]
OpenSCAD is a software for creating solid 3D CAD models. It is free software and available for Linux/UNIX, Windows and Mac OS X. Unlike most free software for creating 3D models (such as Blender), it does not focus on the artistic aspects of 3D modeling but instead on the CAD (or math & number based) aspects. This would be most useful for creating 3D models of machine parts.
Blender (free) [Difficulty: High]
Blender is a free and open-source 3D computer graphics software product used for creating animated films, visual effects, interactive 3D applications, and video games. Blender includes professional 3D modeling tools and its export feature is capable of producing 3D printable file types.