Best 3D Modelling & CAD Software for Freelancers

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If you're a freelancer who does 3D modelling or CAD design work, you'll naturally need software. Choosing the right software will enable you to deliver according to your client's needs and expectations, but the right software can also help you become more profitable. The trick is to find the right design program for your needs that's both quick to learn and easy to use, to help make you a more efficient worker.

Here are some 3D modelling and CAD software applications that you should consider:


Sketchup is the ideal solution if you want a powerful but user-friendly 3D modelling program. You can use the available tools to design from scratch, or use the warehouse to get things moving faster. Plus there is a great selection of extensions that you can get to extend the functionality beyond the core if you need something specific.

TurboCAD Deluxe

TurboCAD Deluxe offers powerful 2D and 3D tools that offers text editing and drag-and-drop functionality. It also allows you to import existing designs, and supports most common file types. Excellent support is available, and on a number of platforms too, including Windows operating systems and Mac.


Blender is a fantastic 3D software application that is open source. In other words, it is created by the Blender community and it is free to use. Despite it being free, its features are impressive, with modelling, rigging, animation, rendering, compositing, and video editing. It runs on Linux, Windows and Mac, and there is an active and helpful community that provides advice, tips and support.

DesignCAD 3D Max

DesignCAD 3D Max is an affordable CAD software application that is also one of the easiest to use. It is versatile and is designed in a way that most people can learn in a relatively short space of time. It doesn't have all the features of other more expensive and more complex applications though. For example, it doesn't support a full range of file formats. But, that is the compromise for having a software application that is easy to use.


AutoCAD is one of the best known and oldest CAD software applications. It is also one of the most widely used, which means that you can easily find a huge amount of resource materials on the Internet, including how to videos, blogs, guides, tips, and more. Used by engineers and graphic designers in all industries and sectors, it should be able to deliver almost all the functionality that you will ever need. The downside is that it is expensive.

SketchUp Pro

So long as you are not an architect, SketchUp Pro is a CAD option that you should consider. Architects should avoid it because it doesn't have some of the common architectural tools, such as a wall tool. If you work in other sectors or industries that don't need these tools, however, SketchUp Pro is fantastic. You get access to thousands of 3D models to speed up your designs, and it is easy to use.

There is an option on this list for all needs and budgets, from applications that cost hundreds to those that cost nothing. Hopefully, you'll find one that's right for you. 

Posted 22 September, 2015


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