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.
Discover hundreds of thousands of free 3D printable models.
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3D Builder is the best place to create, print and scan in 3D. You can easily personalise 3D models by embossing with text.
Clay modeling 2.0
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.
A brand new, web-based 3D modeling app reminiscent of Minecraft. This app has several tools for creating and printing your designs.
Convert photos, drawings, logos into 3D STL files ready for 3D printing.
Blender is a free and open source 3D design and animation suite. It supports the entirety of the 3D pipeline.
The easiest, fiercest 3D design tool around. Free, easy-to-learn online app anyone can use to create and print 3D models.
The FormZ Edu includes self-guided tutorials which are a great way to get started learning with FormZ Edu.
Start by drawing lines and shapes. Push and pull surfaces to turn them into 3D forms. Stretch, copy, rotate to make anything you like.
3DTin is a pioneer in browser-based 3D Modeling. The simple user interface has made it very accessible for 3D modeling.
The simplest way to get your ideas into 3D models. 123D Design is a free, powerful, yet simple 3D creation and editing tool.
Tinker play allows you to design robots and creatures and then 3D print them to bring them to life.
Turn your photos into realistic 3D models by taking a series of photographs from different angles, then hit 3D print.
Teachers achieve real learning outcomes, engage students in STEM topics and become confident in 3D printing technology.
Openscad is a 3D modeling program in which you type commands to alter objects, rather than interacting with them directly.