3D Modeling Software: The Most Complete List

What are the commonly used 3D modeling software?

I would like to share with you an article focusing on 3D technology and showing various 3D modeling software and tools.

1. General full function 3D design software

1.3DS Max

3D Studio MAX, referred to as 3DS MAX, is the largest selling 3D modeling, animation and rendering software in the world.

It can be said that 3DS MAX is the easiest 3D software to use.

It was first used in the animation production of computer games, and later began to participate in the special effects production of film and television films, such as X-Men and the last warrior.


Maya is the world’s top 3D animation software, and its application objects are professional film and television advertisements, character animation, film stunts, etc.

Maya has perfect functions, flexible work, easy to learn and use, high production efficiency and strong rendering realism.

It is a high-end production software in film production.

Maya is expensive and famous, and it is the production tool that manufacturers dream of.

Mastering Maya will greatly improve the production efficiency and quality, adjust the simulated character animation, and render the real effect of movies.

To become the world’s top animator.

3. Rhino

Rhinocero, also known as rhinoceros, is a 3D modeling tool.

However, don’t underestimate it. Its basic operation is similar to that of AutoCAD.

Beginners with AutoCAD foundation are easier to master rhinoceros.

At present, it is widely used in industrial design, architecture, furniture, shoe mold design, and is good at product appearance modeling.


ZBrush is a digital engraving and painting software, which is famous for its powerful functions and intuitive workflow.

The interface is simple and the operation is smooth.

The functional combination developed with practical ideas stimulates the creative power of artists and allows them to create freely.

Its appearance completely subverts the working mode of traditional 3D design tools in the past, liberates the hands and minds of artists, bids farewell to the clumsy creation mode relying on mouse and parameters in the past, and fully respects the creative inspiration and traditional working habits of designers.

5.Google Sketchup

SketchUp is a set of design tools directly facing the design scheme creation process.

Its creation process can not only fully express the designer’s ideas but also fully meet the needs of real-time communication with customers.

It enables the designer to directly conceive on the computer.

It is an excellent tool for 3D architectural design scheme creation.

SketchUp is a very popular and easy-to-use 3D design software.

The official website compares it to the “pencil” in electronic design.

Its main selling point is that it is easy to use and everyone can get started quickly.

And the user can directly output the 3D model created by SketchUp to Google Earth, which is very cool!


Poser is an excellent software for 3D animal, human modeling and 3D human animation produced by metacreations.

Poser can add hairstyles, clothes, accessories and other decorations to your three-dimensional body shape, so that people’s design and creativity can be easily displayed.


Blender is an open-source cross platform all-round 3D animation production software, providing a series of animation short film production solutions from modeling, animation, material, rendering, audio processing, video editing and so on.

Blender is designed for media workers and artists all over the world.

It can be used for 3D visualization, and can also create broadcast and movie quality videos.

In addition, the built-in real-time 3D game engine makes it possible to create independent 3D interactive content.

With blender, players who like 3D drawing can make their favorite 3D models without spending a lot of money.

It not only supports various polygon modeling, but also can make animation!


FormZ is a highly appreciated multi-purpose solid and plane modeling software with many extensive and unique 2D / 3D shape processing and molding functions.

It is an efficient design tool for professionals (such as architects, landscape architects, urban planners, engineers, animators and illustrators, industrial and interior designers) who need to deal with 3D space and shape frequently.

9. LightWave 3D

Lightwave3D developed by newtek is a cost-effective 3D animation production software.

It has very powerful functions and is one of the few heavyweight 3D animation software in the industry.

It is widely used in film, television, games, web pages, advertising, printing, animation and other fields.

It is easy to operate, easy to learn and easy to use, and has extremely powerful functions in biological modeling and character animation;

The rendering module based on ray tracing, radiosity and other technologies makes its rendering quality almost perfect.



The full name of C4D is Cinema 4D, a 3D animation software produced by Maxon in Germany.

Cinema4D is an old 3D software.

3D toolkit capable of top-level modeling, animation and rendering.

C4D is a 3D production software that is easy to learn, easy to use, very efficient, and enjoys movie level visual expression ability.

C4D has become the preferred 3D software for visual designers due to its excellent visual expression ability.

This software, which started in Germany in 1989, has lasted for 30 years, and now its functions are more and more powerful and perfect.

C4D is a popular online designer in the design field.

C4D technology is now popular in e-commerce design.

It is also widely used in graphic design, UI design, industrial design and film and television production.

Many movie blockbuster character modeling is also completed with C4D.

2. Industrial 3D design software


AutoCAD is the leading product of Autodesk, which is used for two-dimensional drawing, detailed drawing, design documents and basic three-dimensional design.

Now it has become a popular drawing tool in the world.

AutoCAD has a good user interface, and various operations can be performed through interactive menu or command line.

Its multi document design environment enables non computer professionals to learn to use it quickly.


CATIA belongs to Dassault systems S.A. and is a high-end CAD / CAE / CAM integrated software.

In the 1970s, the first user of CATIA was Dassault aviation, a world-famous aerospace enterprise.

At present, CATIA’s powerful functions have been recognized by various industries, and its users include Boeing, BMW, Mercedes Benz and other well-known enterprises.


UG (Unigraphics NX) is a high-end software produced by Siemens company.

It provides digital modeling and verification means for users’ product design and processing process.

UG was first applied in McDonnell Douglas Aircraft Company, and has become one of the mainstream applications of 3D design in the mold industry.


SolidWorks belongs to Dassault systems S.A, which is specialized in developing and selling windows products of mechanical design software.

SolidWorks helps designers reduce design time, increase accuracy, improve design innovation, and promote products to the market faster.

SolidWords is the first 3D CAD system based on windows in the world.

This software has powerful functions and many components, making SolidWorks a leading and mainstream 3D CAD solution.


Pro / Engineer (referred to as Pro / E) is a set of mechanical automation software from design to production developed by American PTC company, which is widely used in automobile, aerospace, consumer electronics, mold, toy, industrial design and machinery manufacturing industries.


Cimatron is the software developed by Israel Cimatron company (now acquired by American 3Dsystems).

The system provides a flexible user interface, which is mainly used for mold design and model processing.

It is very popular in the mold manufacturing industry in the world.

Cimatron’s team developed metal 3D printing soft 3Dxpert based on Cimatron Software.

This is the world’s first metal 3D printing software that covers the entire design process.

From design to final printing, even in the post-processing CNC processing stage, 3Dxpert software can play its role.

3. 3D engraving modeling software: brush type high-precision modeling software


ZBrush software developed by pixologic is the first 3D design tool in the world that allows artists to feel free and create freely.

ZBrush can carve up to 1 billion polygon models, so the limit only depends on the artist’s own imagination.


Mudbox is the 3D sculpting modeling software of Autodesk, which has its own advantages and disadvantages compared with ZBrush.

In the eyes of some people, Mudbox’s function even exceeds ZBrush, and it can be called ZBrush’s super killer.


Autodesk has also developed a brush type 3D modeling tool meshmixer, which allows users to create 3D models by integrating existing models through brush type interaction (it seems to be similar to the technology of Poisson fusion or Laplacian fusion), such as mixed 3D models similar to “bull’s head and horse’s face”.

It is worth noting that the latest version of meshmixer also adds a new algorithm for 3D printing support optimization.


3D coat is a digital sculpture software developed by Ukraine.

We can take a look at the official introduction first: 3D coat is a software specially designed for game artists.

It focuses on the detailed design of game models and integrates the real-time texture rendering and detail carving functions of 3D models.

It can accelerate the detailed design process and create more content in a shorter time.

Just import a low-precision model, 3D coat can automatically create UVs for it, and draw normal map, displacement map, color map, transparency map and highlight map at one time.


Sculptris is a virtual modeling software, the core of which is the concept of modeling clay.

If the user wants to create a figurine, this software is very suitable for use.


Modo is a comprehensive 3D software for advanced polygon subdivision surface, modeling, sculpture, 3D painting, animation and rendering.

Designed and maintained by luxology, LLC. the software has many advanced technologies, such as N-gons (allowing polygons with more than 4 sides), multi-level 3D painting and edge weighting tools, and can run on Apple’s Mac OS X and Microsoft’s Microsoft Windows operating platforms.

4. Photo based 3D modeling software

1.Autodesk 123D

Autodesk 123D catch is the focus of modeling software.

Users use cameras or mobile phones to take pictures of objects, people or scenes from different angles, and then upload them to the cloud.

Then the software uses the powerful computing power of cloud computing to convert digital photos into 3D models within a few minutes, and also automatically bring texture information.

We have tried it several times and feel it is very convenient to use.

However, the details of the 3D geometry generated by it are not much, and the realism is mainly expressed by texture information.

Sometimes the software fails, and the generated geometry is incorrect.

2. 3DSOM Pro

3DOM Pro is a software that generates 3D modeling from high-quality photos.

It can conduct 3D modeling through a photo of a real object, and the produced model can be presented interactively on the network.

3. PhotoSynth

Microsoft has developed a product called Photosynth, which can process a large number of photos in 3D.

However, it does not really create a 3D model, but constructs a virtual 3D scene according to the camera parameters and spatial correspondence between photos, so that users can view the scene from different angles and positions.

The displayed scene image is composed of the given photos.

5. 3D modeling software based on scanning (reverse design)


Geomagic (commonly known as “Jiemo”) includes a series of software Geomagic studio, Geomagic qualify and Geomagic piano.

Geomagic studio is a widely used reverse engineering software with all the following characteristics:

Ensure that the production efficiency of perfect polygon and NURBS models is several times higher than that of traditional CAD software when dealing with complex shapes or free-form surfaces;

It can be integrated with main 3D scanning equipment and CAD / CAM software;

It can be used as an independent application in rapid manufacturing or as a supplement to CAD software.

It is one of the necessary software for our scientific research.


Imageware was produced by EDS company of the United States and later acquired by Siemens PLM Software of Germany.

Now it is incorporated into its NX product line and is the most famous reverse engineering software.

Imageware is widely used in the design and manufacturing fields of automobile, aviation, aerospace, consumer appliances, molds, computer parts and other fields because of its strong point cloud processing ability, surface editing ability and class a surface construction ability.

3. RapidForm

Rapidform is a reverse engineering software produced by South Korea’s inus company.

It provides a new generation of operation mode, which can calculate point cloud data into jointless polygon surfaces in real time, making it an optimized interface for 3D scanning data.

It is the OEM software of many 3D scanners.

The laser scanner range 7 of Konica Minolta that we purchased is reverse designed with rapidform.


Reconstructme developed by profactor is a powerful and easy-to-use 3D reconstruction software. It can scan real-time 3D scenes using Microsoft Kinect or ASUS xtion (the core algorithm is Kinect fusion).

A full-color 3D scene can be completed in a few minutes.

We tried it, and the effect was OK.

Reconstructmeqt provides a graphical user interface for real-time 3D reconstruction using reconstructme SDK (open source).

Note: skanect developed by France’s manctl company is the first 3D scanning software on the Mac platform, and also supports real-time 3D scanning by asus’s xtion or Microsoft’s Kinect.

5.Artec Studio

ARTec EVA, ARTec spider and other hand-held structured light 3D scanners produced by ARTec company are light and easy to use, and have become the preferred products for scanning objects in many 3D experience halls.

After trying ARTec EVA, I feel that it still needs more skills to scan the objects, and in the later stage, I need to use software for more processing, such as data denoising, repair, smoothing, hole filling, etc.

At the same time, ARTec has also developed a software ARTec studio, which can be used with Microsoft Kinect, ASUS xton and other manufacturers’ somatosensory peripheral devices to make it a 3D scanner.

Kinect can complete model scanning through ARTec studio, and then conduct post-processing to fill the loopholes, clean up the data, measure and export the data.

It is not sure whether it also uses Kinect fusion algorithm.


PolyWorks is a point cloud processing software developed by innovmetric, Canada.

It provides 3D measurement solutions for engineering and manufacturing industries, including point cloud scanning, dimensional analysis and comparison, CAD and reverse engineering.

7. CopyCAD

CopyCAD is a powerful reverse engineering system software produced by Delcam company in Britain.

It can generate 3D CAD models from existing parts or solid models.

The software provides a complex tool for the generation of CAD surfaces from digitized data.

CopyCAD can accept data from coordinate measuring machine tools and track machine tools and laser scanners at the same time.

6. 3D modeling software based on sketch


SketchUp is an easy-to-use 3D modeling software for ordinary users.

Using SketchUp to create a 3D model is like drawing on a drawing with a pencil.

The software can automatically recognize the lines you draw and automatically capture them.

Its modeling process is simple and clear, i.e. drawing lines into faces and then stretching into bodies.

This is also the most commonly used method for building or indoor scene modeling.


Teddy is a sketch based 3D modeling software that can create interesting 3D models by drawing free-form strokes.

Teddy needs to install Java on your machine, mainly designed for windows.


Easytoy is a 3D modeling software.

It uses a sketch based modeling method and a 3D drawing method.

The user interface is very friendly and the operation is very simple.

By combining several simple operations, you can quickly create complex 3D models.

Compared with existing 3D systems, easytoy is easy to learn and easy to use.

Easytoy has a wide range of applications, including toy design, graphics, animation and education.

4.Magic Canvas

Magic canvas is a software that can interactively design 3D scene prototypes from hand drawn sketches.

It takes simple 2D sketches of models in the scene as inputs for 3D scene construction.

Then, the system automatically recognizes that the corresponding model in the database matches the sketch input by the user.


Fibermesh is a special mesh generation tool. It can dynamically create real geometry, or it can be added to an existing model as a new subtool.

The settings in the Fibermesh sub palette can generate completely different shapes for fibers, hair, hair and even vegetation.

7. Other 3D modeling software

1. Human modeling software

Regarding the construction of mannequins and animations, the poser software of metacreations (commonly known as “character modeling master”) and the open-source makehuman software are the first ones.

These two software are based on a large number of anthropological morphological feature data, which can quickly form facial and limb models of men and women at different ages, and adjust local body shapes.

It can easily and quickly design human body modeling, action and animation.

I used poser to build mannequins for morphing during my PhD, which is quite convenient.

2. Urban modeling software

Cityengine of ESRI company in Canada is the preferred software for 3D urban modeling.

It can quickly create 3D scenes using 2D data and can efficiently carry out planning and design.

It is applied in Digital City, urban planning, rail transit, pipeline, architecture, game development and film production.

In addition, cityengine’s perfect support for ArcGIS enables many existing basic GIS data to quickly realize 3D modeling without conversion, thus shortening the construction cycle of 3D GIS system.

The software was originally developed by procedural company founded by Pascal Mueller research group of ETH Zurich University, and later acquired by ESRI company.

3. Web 3D modeling tool

Some 3D model design software developed based on Web, i.e. tools based on WebGL, which can complete 3D modeling in the browser.

For example, 3DTin and TinkerCAD (acquired by Autodesk) have simple and intuitive interfaces. They have browser plug-ins such as chrome, which can generate 3D models online, store them directly in the cloud, and share them in the community.

4. Other compact 3D modeling software

Most of these software are very small, open source and completely free.

Many multimedia workers and artists use these small software to create 3D works, among which blender, K-3D, art of illumination, seamless 3D, wings3d and other software are widely used.

  • Blender
  • K-3D
  • Art of Illusion
  • Zmodeler
  • TopMod3d
  • Google SketchUp 6
  • AutoQ3D Community – 3D Editor
  • Anim8or
  • Seamless3d
  • 3DPlus
  • 3D Canvas
  • eDrawings
  • link 3D
  • Minos
  • freeCAD
  • Bishop3D
  • K3DSurf
  • DesignWorkshop Lite
  • GDesign 2.0
  • Sweet Home 3D
  • trueSpace
  • Alibre Design Xpress
  • 3DVia Shape

8. Virtual reality software and platform

In essence, virtual reality software is not used for 3D modeling, but is used to provide virtual simulation on vision, hearing, tactile sense, etc. for the generated 3D model and scene, so that the user can experience the environment.

There are many related software, only a few common ones are mentioned.

1. Virtools and Quest3D

Virtools of Virtools of France and Quest3D of Act-3D of the United States are veteran virtual reality production software.

In short, it is a real-time graphics rendering engine for industry or games, and an integrated tool for 3D virtual and interactive technology.

It can enable artists without program foundation to use the built-in behavior module to quickly produce many 3D products for different purposes, such as Internet, computer games, multimedia, architectural design, interactive TV, education and training, simulation and product display. There are many online learning materials.

2.Unity3D (U3D)

Unity3d (U3D) developed by unity technologies is a rookie emerging in recent years.

It is a fully integrated professional virtual 3D and game engine.

It is very easy to get started in the production of virtual reality and 3D games, with simple operation, good interaction and powerful terrain renderer.

Students can quickly make a 3D game using U3D, so we strongly recommend you to learn to use it.


Vega is a development engine for real-time visual simulation and virtual reality applications developed by MultiGen paradigm.

It provides a lot of C / C + + language application program interface APIs.

Combined with its application program graphical user interface software lynx, it can quickly create various real-time interactive 3D environments.

It is very convenient for developing 3D games and 3D scene roaming projects.

4. OSG (Open Scene Graph)

OSG (open scene graph) is an open source application program interface API based on C + + platform, which enables developers to quickly and conveniently create high-performance, cross platform interactive graphics programs.

It defines the 3D scene as a series of continuous objects in space and can effectively manage the 3D scene.

Because OSG is open source and completely free, many 3D application software uses OSG as the infrastructure.

A few years ago, the denture software we developed with a company selected OSG as the framework for managing 3D data, which made development very convenient.

It’s not easy for a friend without a design foundation.

Here are some simple three-dimensional software for school education and personal lovers.


Tinkercad is a web-based 3D modeling tool. The design interface is bright and lovely.

It is as simple and easy to use as building blocks. It is suitable for teenagers and children to use and model.

A foreign 3D printing enthusiast named Emily used tinkercad to model and print out the winery.

It can be seen from the figure that using tinkercad can also complete beautiful details and high-quality appearance.

2.123D Design

123d design generates complex shapes by stacking and editing simple graphics.

Even if you are not a CAD modeling engineer, you can model in 123D design as you like.

3. 123D Sculpt

123D sculpt is an application running on the iPad. It allows everyone who likes to create their own sculpture models easily.

4.123D Creature

123D creation can create various biological models according to the user’s imagination.

Whatever exists in real life or only exists in imagination can be created.

5.123D Make

123D make converts the three-dimensional model into a two-dimensional pattern and reproduces the model with cardboard and wood.

It can create art, furniture, sculpture or other simple objects.

6.123D Catch

With the powerful ability of cloud computing, digital photos can be quickly converted into realistic 3D models.

As long as you use a point and shoot camera, mobile phone or advanced digital SLR camera to capture objects, people or scenes, everyone can use 123D catch to convert photos into vivid 3D models.

In addition to PC, mobile phone apps have been launched, and mobile phones can also be used as 3D scanners.

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