3D Modelling tools

3D modelling combined with 3D scanning allows you to create any object you can imagine or see. This is very useful if you are required to prototype a model for an assignment, or just want to make your own phone case.

The library has a 3D printing service so that you can then print your 3D design.

Looking for help with your assignment?

3D modelling tools

Tool Useful features In-person training Online tutorial Cost
SketchUp SketchUp is completely free and relatively easy to get started designing and building 3D models. There is no installation required, it loads in your browser. No

Learning resources from Sketchup

SketchUp 2018 Essential Training (Lynda.com, 3h58m)

Free

FreeCAD FreeCAD is an open-source 3D modeller. You can create a 2D layout and turn it into a 3D design or 3D into a 2D layout. No

Get started with FreeCad

Open source

Autodesk Autodesk offers a family of products for every type of 3D design you can think of. Their offerings include products like AutoCAD, Fusion 360, Inventor and Revit. We recommend Meshmixer, an intuitive tool for 3D model sculpting, cleaning and designing. No

3D Scanning with a camera (Lynda.com, 57m25s) -  goes through the process of creating a 3D scan and repairing your scan with Meshmixer

Meshmixer manual

Online tutorials from AutoCAD - from beginning to advanced

Freeware

TinkerCad A browser based 3D modelling tool from Autodesk. No Learning Tinkercad course (Lynda.com, 1h33m)

Freeware

Blender A free, fairly complex 3D modelling program with great functionality. No Blender essential training course (Lynda.com, 9h9m)

Open source

Meshlab Open source 3D model processing, editing and converting software. No Meshlab tutorials

Open source

3D scanning tools

Tool Useful features In-person training Online tutorial Cost
3DF Zephyr 3DF Zephyr allows you to easily construct 3D models from photographs. No

Getting started with 3DF Zephyr

Freeware

VisualSFM VisualSFM is a 3D reconstruction application, that allows you to use photographs to create 3D models. No

VisualSFM documentation

Free

 

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 Free tools are completely free to use with all features.

 Freeware tools include basic functionality for free. Additional features may need to be paid for.

 Open source tools are developed in a collaborative manner and can be used, modified or shared openly. This software can be used for free and often includes a lot of support documentation.

 Paid tools can only be used after purchasing, and agreeing to, a product licence.