The world of 3D modeling is more exciting and accessible than ever before. Today's software is intuitive and portable and allows almost anyone, regardless of experience level, to dive into the craft quickly and easily. To keep you motivated, Master Extruder is able to take your designs and turn them into real world objects quickly and without breaking the bank.
Here are some of your options for 3D Modeling software. This is nowhere near an exhaustive list, so if you find something you like, don't let our list stop you from learning it. Our list is broken up by experience level, as well as your end goals with the software. While some of the intermediate and high-end software can be very complex, learning it is far from an impossible task. The internet is filled with tutorials aimed at people of all skill levels, and with diligence, one can expect to reach a good level of competence within about 6 months of steady learning, although your first part could be complete within an hour.
Beginner / Basic Needs
for beginners, or if you only need basic functionality
- Sketchup is a 3D modeling program for applications such as interior design and civil engineering. Its powerful yet easy to use interface make it perfect for beginners to 3D modeling. A plugin might be needed to export .STL files.
- TinkerCAD is completely browser-based, which means you don't have to download or install anything. It is free and has an interface and set of features perfect for beginners. Its community allows you to save your designs online, as well as share them with others.
Intermediate / Full Functionality
for somewhat experienced users, or if you need a more diverse set of tools.
- Blender is a free and open source suite of 3D modeling and animation tools. This means its capable of rigging and animation, physics simulation and high-quality rendering.
Professional / High-End
for professionals and those who need physical simulations and advanced tools.
- ZBrush is an extremely powerful digital sculpting tool, it allows you to create organic 3D models as if you were working with clay. It has features for "painting" and texturing.
- 3D Studio Max is the old standard, and provides a comprehensive array of modeling, animation, simulation, and rendering solutions.
- SolidWorks is a mechanical 3d CAD Design program, targeted at designers and engineers. It is Master Extruder's preferred software. It features a very powerful list of physical simulation options for design validation and testing. It is very powerful and efficient, with a surprisingly intuitive workflow and interface.
- Inventor is SolidWorks' closest equivalent and a viable alternative. It is very powerful and provides features targeted at engineers and designers.
Some of the software here is available for free, other is paid. Learning resources are available everywhere, with YouTube alone hosting many thousands of video tutorials. You can learn this, so if you're interested, get started now!