Free 3D Modeling Programs

Blender

http://www.blender.org/

Blender is the free open source 3D content creation suite used for  creating animated films, visual effects, interactive 3D applications or video games. Blender’s features include 3D modelingUV unwrapping,texturingrigging and skinning, fluid and smoke simulation,particle simulation, animating,renderingvideo editing andcompositing. It also features a built-in game engine.

 

MeshLab

http://meshlab.sourceforge.net/

Editing & manipulating 3d models and point cloud data   MeshLab is an open source, portable, and extensible system for the processing and editing of unstructured 3D triangular meshes.
The system is aimed to help the processing of the typical not-so-small unstructured models arising in 3D scanning, providing a set of tools for editing, cleaning, healing, inspecting, rendering and converting this kind of meshes.

 

Google Sketchup

http://sketchup.google.com/

Intuitive 3d modeling for ‘everyone’ from coffee pots to skyscrapers

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Premium 3D Graphics Programs

Maya

http://usa.autodesk.com/maya/

Maya, is 3D computer graphics software that runs on Microsoft WindowsMac OS and Linux, originally developed by Alias Systems Corporation (formerly Alias|Wavefront) and currently owned and developed byAutodesk, Inc. It is used to create interactive 3D applications, including video games, animated film, TV series, or visual effects.

Cinema 4D

http://www.maxon.net/

CINEMA 4D is a 3D modeling, animation and rendering application developed by MAXON Computer GmbH of FriedrichsdorfGermany. It is capable of procedural and polygonal/subd modeling, animating, lighting, texturing, rendering, and common features found in 3d modelling applications.


AutoCad

http://usa.autodesk.com/autocad/

AutoCad is a software application for computer-aided design (CAD) and drafting in both 2D and 3D. It is developed and sold byAutodesk, Inc. First released in December 1982 by Autodesk, AutoCAD was one of the first CAD programs to run on personal computers,

3DS Max

http://usa.autodesk.com/3ds-max/

Autodesk 3ds Max, formerly3D Studio Max, is 3D computer graphics software for making 3D animations, models, and images. It was developed and produced by Autodesk Media and Entertainment. It has modeling capabilities, a flexibleplugin architecture and can be used on the Microsoft Windows platform. It is frequently used by video game developers, TV commercial studios and architectural visualization studios. It is also used for movie effects and movie pre-visualization.

Rhino, Grasshopper & Firefly

This is a software + hardware combination that allows for near real time data flow & interactivity between the Arduino and Rhino.

Rhino – 3D NURBS modeling

http://www.rhino3d.com/

Rhino can create, edit, analyze, document,render, animate, and translate NURBS curves, surfaces, and solids with no limits on complexity, degree, or size. Rhino also supports polygonmeshes and point clouds.

Grasshopper – A visual programing language plugin for Rhino 3D to create generative shapes, free plugin but Rhino3D is not

http://www.grasshopper3d.com/

For designers who are exploring new shapes using generative algorithms, Grasshopper® is a graphical algorithm editor tightly integrated with Rhino’s 3-D modeling tools. Unlike RhinoScript, Grasshopper requires no knowledge of programming or scripting, but still allows designers to build form generators from the simple to the awe-inspiring.

Also see Firefly

Firefly offers a set of comprehensive software tools dedicated to bridging the gap between Grasshopper (a free plug-in for Rhino) the Arduino microcontroller and other input/output devices. It allows near real-time data flow between the digital and physical worlds – enabling the possibility to explore virtual and physical prototypes with unprecedented fluidity.

http://www.fireflyexperiments.com/