Thanks to the 3D printing revolution, there are now a myriad of different applications for creating 3D models. Gone are the days where one would require an engineering degree to create even a basic model. Today there are web applications, tablet and phone apps! We have selected some of the notable applications available that are ideal for schools, students and teachers. Some are dead easy to use (thanks TinkerCAD) with others (looking at you Blender) have a steeper learning curve, but are oh so powerful. Teachers will appreciate that almost every one of these can be used in STEM (Science Technology Engineering Maths) in one way or another.

 

STL_Finder 3D_builder SculptGL

STL Finder

3D Builder

ScupltGL

Discover hundreds of thousands free 3D printable models.
Just download and print.
3D Builder is the best place to create, print and scan in 3D. You can easily personalise 3D models by embossing with text. SculptGL is a powerful web sculpting application, powered by WebGL and JavaScript.
Clay modelling 2.0
stlfinder.com apps.microsoft.com stephaneginier.com
Free Free Free
difficulty_high difficulty_high difficulty_high

 

123_Sculpt Meshmixer Cookie_Caster

123 Sculpt

Meshmixer

Cookie Caster

Create interesting and realistic 3D shapes with Autodesk 123D Sculpt 3D sculpting app, then download STL & 3D Print. Meshmixer is the ultimate tool for 3D mashups and remixes. Mash, mix, sculpt, stamp or paint your own 3D designs. Yum cookies, especially when you can create your own one-of-a-kind cookie cutter by 3d printing it.
123dapp.com/sculptplus 123dapp.com/meshmixer cookiecaster.com
Free + $ Free Free
difficulty_high difficulty_high difficulty_high

 

3D_Slash Treebuild Photo2Mesh

3D Slash

Treebuild

Photo2Mesh

A brand new, web-based 3D modelling app reminiscent of Minecraft. This app has several tools for creating and printing your designs. A Minecraft inspired web 3d design app. Easily create, store, and 3D print your 8-bit designs brick-by-brick with Cube. Convert photos, drawings, logos into 3D STL files ready for 3d printing.
3dslash.net treebuild.com 3dprintingsystems.co.za
Free Free Paid
difficulty_high difficulty_high difficulty_high

 

Blender 3DPonics Zotebook

Blender

3Dponics

Zotebook

Blender is a free and open source 3D design and animation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline. Design, print and then build your own 3D printed hydroponics garden.  A brilliant tablet app that recognises your rough sketches and turns them into precise 3D drawings ready for printing out.
blender.org app.3dponics.com zotebook.io
Free Free Free
difficulty_high difficulty_low difficulty_low

 

TinkerCAD FormZ_Edu Sketchup

Tinkercad

FormZ Edu

Sketchup

The easiest, fiercest 3D design tool around. Free, easy-to-learn online app anyone can use to create and print 3D models. The form·Z Edu includes self guided tutorials which are a great way to get started learning with form•Z Start by drawing lines and shapes. Push and pull surfaces to turn them into 3D forms. Stretch, copy, rotate to make anything you like.
tinkercad.com goo.gl/wXIRmP sketchup.com
Free + $ Free Free
difficulty_low difficulty_medium difficulty_medium

 

FreeCAD 3DTin 123_Design

FreeCAD

3DTin

123 Design

FreeCAD is a parametric 3D modeler, allowing you to easily modify your design by going back into your model history. 3DTin is a pioneer in browser based 3D Modeling. The simple user interface has made it very accessible for 3D modeling. Simplest way to get your ideas into 3D models. 123D Design is a free, powerful, yet simple 3D creation and editing tool.
freecadweb.org www.3dtin.com 123dapp.com/design
Free Free Free
difficulty_high difficulty_high difficulty_high

 

Tinker_Play Robot Factory 123D_Catch

Tinker Play

Robot Factory

123D Catch

Tinkerplay allows you to design robots and creatures and then 3d print them to bring them to life Dr Fluff’s Robot Factory is a revolutionary app that allows anyone to create awesome 3D printed robots Turn your photos into realistic 3D models by taking a series of photographs from different angles, then hit 3D print.
123dapp.com/tinkerplay robotfactory.thinkerthing.com 123dapp.com/catch
Free + $ Free Free + $
difficulty_high difficulty_high difficulty_medium

 

Makers_Empire Openscad Madeup

Makers Empire

Openscad

Madeup

Teachers achieve real learning outcomes, engage students in STEM topics and become confident in 3d printing technology. Openscad is a 3D modelling program in which you type commands to alter objects, rather than interacting with them directly. Madeup is a programming language for teaching computer science. Learners code up shapes and print them.
makersempire.com openscad.org goo.gl/u6Qq4O
Monthly Free Paid
difficulty_high difficulty_medium difficulty_medium