60 years ago when pencil and paper were the only tools that people with manufacturing, engineering, and architectural backgrounds use for their projects. A hard and raw method it was though! Then a great shift was made and Computer-Aided Design CAD was introduced. Years after its invention many evolutions were made. Now it has revolutionized to a great extent and allows engineers to lay out their work on a computer screen. In this roundup, we are going to cover the Best 3D CAD Design Software.
3D CAD Design software is used to create, edit, manage, optimize and test 2D or 3D products. We can instantly edit and iterate models and share them with clients. As a whole, they make a better image to display. We can improve productivity in manufacturing and produce high-quality parts so that we can introduce the best models in the market.
List of the 9 Best 3D CAD Design Software
Here, we have listed some free and paid software. All the programs in this list are top-rated and most popular programs available in the market. Let’s have a look at our honest review of each program with its pros and cons.
You might also like to read: Top 6 Best 3D Analysis Software.
You might be interested to read: 7 Best Benchmarking Software for PC.
1. TinkerCAD – Best 3D CAD for Beginners
Our top-rated software in this list is TinkerCAD which is the simplest software designed for beginners and kids. This free online tool offers many possibilities and useful features for people of all ages so that they can do their desired task by picking up the option that they want to use. Even advanced users might find it a great tool for simplifying their designing models.
Teachers use this tool for teaching kids the basics of engineering. Its simple interface allows you to choose different objects to form a model. You just need to drag and drop the object and modify them till you get the desired model. Moreover, it contains Lego bricks, coding, minicrafe and electronics features
- Easy to use
- Contains electronics and coding features
- Great community support
- Compatible with 3D printers
- Limited rendering options
- Available only as online software
It is mainly designed for beginners while keeping ease of use in mind. If you want an introduction to the CAD program then you must give it a try. As a whole, it is one of the easiest tools for product design.
2. ZBrushCore- Best for 3D Sculptures
ZBrushCore is riched with many brushes to make amazing models, particularly for sculptures. This freeware is a simple program that contains tessellation and automatic UV creation features. You can learn this program even if you don’t have any prior experience using this software.
Overall it is an easy-to-use software that contains a toolbar with easy-to-access features. If you are in hurry then you can design objects by simply selecting them from preselected materials. Moreover, it is highly customizable and enables you to optimize the brush. It is a great tool for optimizing your products.
- Streamline interface
- Contains tessellation and many features
- Customizable brushes
- Free for non-commercial users
- Lacks many advanced features
It contains all the features that you need for digital sculpting and printing. It allows you to explore your imaginations. You can create chainmail, topology, and smooth models.
3. BlocksCAD- Best 3D CAD Design Software
It is one of the best 3D CAD software for educational purposes. It is particularly designed to help students and other people with a background in technology, maths, and science. BlocksCAD encourages computer thinking and learning concepts of coding. Kids too, love this program and spend hours playing with lego. It is a tool that encourages kids to show their talent while using Lego blocks.
It is the browser-based 3D modeling program that is used for teaching. Its database contains many objects including small blocks, animals, and large castles. Using this freeware you can build many virtual models with perfection. Moreover, it is highly compatible with OpenSCAD. With its intuitive interface, you can build simple 3D models and even complex shapes.
- Simple to use
- Intuitive interface
- Database with many objects
- Suitable for beginners and children
- Limited features in a free trial
BlocksCAD is popular software that is based on OpenSCAD. Its powerful language enables you to learn coding before designing complex tasks.
4. FreeCAD- Best Parametric 3D CAD
Whether you are an educationist, a hobbyist, a beginner, an experienced CAD user, and a programmer, this software is designed for all types of users. You might find it perfect for training and also it contains basic features that are designed for beginners. Moreover, you can make real-life objects using this software. It provides access to your model’s history so that you can change them and make them according to your requirement.
It features parametric components that make editing easier. Open Inventor-based 3D viewer is a breeze. You can manage scene graph representation and it renders three-dimensional scenes. Its toolkit qualifies it into the class of CAx, PLM, and MCAD. You can extend its functionality by adding extensions and plugins.
- Cross-platform compatible with Windows, Mac, and Linux
- Free to use
- Lightweight software
- Stable and does not crash easily
- The interface is a bit counter-intuitive
It is a customizable software designed for mechanical engineering and product design. Even if you don’t have prior 3D knowledge you can use this with confidence.
5. AutoCAD- Best for Industrial Use
Autodesk launched the 3-dimensional computer-aided design software called AutoCAD software for engineers and professionals working in the construction units. It allows you to design simple to complex geometries without any hassle. It is a perfect tool for 3D and 2D plans, models, and drawings. Thankfully, it has a feature-rich library that allows you to form the smallest structures to the largest structures. Its library contains small pipes and circuits to complete the building structure.
Moreover, it offers an AutoCAD mobile app that allows you to access 3D CAD software, and also you can share designs easily. It features 2D drafting, 3D modeling, and print studio that allows you to create custom dimensions for drawing, visualizing drawing, and design the 3D printing process.
- Improves user performance for building products
- Create realistic 3D models
- Great for creating floor plans and others
- Features cloud function to work as a team
- Manages complex projects with perfection
- Takes time to learn this program
- A bit expensive software
It is a professional-grade software that is best known for industrial use. It offers a degree of freedom for CAD modeling, building design, and drafting.
6. Fusion 360°- Professional 3D CAD Suite
Fusion 360° is an advanced multi-purpose best 3D CAD software that contains a range of modeling tools. This cloud-based program allows you to collaborate with your team members while working on a complex task. The most interesting thing about this program is that teachers, students, and educational institutions avail this program without spending a single penny. But professionals need to pay a monthly subscription to get its amazing features and offers.
It features mesh molding, solid and freeform. It not only turns 2D designs into 3D models but also tests complex designs and performs the thermal analysis. Furthermore, it stores the entire history of the model and along with the changes made. Lastly, it is easy to use and allows you to accomplish your task quickly.
- Cross-platform software
- Free for educational purposes
- Excellent community support
- User-friendly interface
- Needs internet connection
Fusion 360° is best for professionals who are working in a hybrid environment. Besides collaboration tools, it features management and version control features. As a whole, it is an incredible tool for educational institutions and small to large size businesses.
7. Revit- Best CAD Software for Architecture
Professionals who are looking to build and maintain energy-efficient buildings find it perfect. Since it is a building information modeling (BIM) software, it performs architecture tasks with perfection. Besides architectural designs, it allows mechanical, structural, and electrical engineers to collaborate in the design process and get a comprehensive solution for building team projects.
It allows you to simulate any design so that you can correct any flaws present in it and improve your design before finalizing the model. With its inbuilt Dynamo plugin, you can create parametric designs effectively. Moreover, it provides a detailed structural analysis of each project.
- Versatile software for architecture and engineering companies
- Easy to use software
- Massive multifunction tool
- Draws 2D and 3D models
- A bit complex and costly than others
- Does not support PDF format
If you are looking to design complex buildings then Revit is the right tool for you. It is a Building Information Modelling software and a need for many construction tasks. Therefore, it allows for better and faster construction.
8. Wings 3D- Best 3D CAD for modeling
It is a powerful 3D divisor modeler with a range of materials, textures, and UV coordinates. This 3D CAD software contains advanced tools like bend, plane cut, shear, sweep, and inset. Moreover, it contains many features for symmetrical modeling.
Virtual mirroring, magnet masking, and sculpting are among the top-notch features included in this program that help in symmetrical modeling. Advanced users can choose this program for complex projects. It, however, has support for lights and materials that make it easy for you to perform detailed modeling.
- Customizable interface
- Open-source free software
- A wide range of 3D rendering and modeling features
- Good community support
- Lack of support for animation
- The UV mapping system is not intuitive
This software provides the perfect blend of basic and advanced tools. It allows you to form 3D models and other complex designs effectively with its range of tools. Beginners can use it as a tool that enables them to know the foundation of 3D modeling and advanced users also might find it the perfect program.
9. Creo- Best Software for Product Design
About 3 decades ago, Parametric Technology Corporation introduced CAD software called Creo with multifunctional features. It is an advanced program for complex designs. It is packed with an array of features including motion, thermal, parametric, structural, and freestyle surface generation and direct modeling. Indeed, it makes realistic 3D rendering.
Moreover, it contains Creo Simulates that fixes design errors. Amazingly, it can change 2D designs into 3D models. Lastly, this program is perfect for aerospace and defense systems.
- User-friendly interface
- Offers powerful rendering tools
- Makes complex designs with accuracy
- Makes perfect templates
- Steeper learning curve
It is a perfect tool for high-tech designs and additive manufacturing. You can make complex projects and simulations using this software.
Wrap Up – Best 3D CAD Design Software
3D CAD design programs are high specific software that is used in different fields of life. If you want free 3D scan software then TinkerCAD is the best free software. Professionals might find Fusion 360° as the best professional CAD software. And AutoCAD is another top-notch program for industrial use.