8 Best Free Open Source 3D CAD Software For Windows
Here is a list of best free open source 3D CAD software for Windows. As these are open source 3D CAD software, thus you can download and make changes to their source codes without any restriction. Through these software, you can create both three-dimensional as well as two-dimensional CAD models. In most of these software, you can also import and edit existing 3D models.
In order to create and edit an existing 3D model, these software offer various designing tools like building objects, wall objects, extrude, crease, flatten, intersect, transform tools, and a lot more. Apart from designing tools, you can also find various viewing tools (isometric view, top view, orthographic views, set camera, pan, zoom, etc.) in these software which help you view and analyze a 3D model. Using some of the viewing tools, you can also view both the internal and external structure of a 3D CAD model.
After designing and viewing a model, you can render your model to give it a realistic view, in some software. Once a 3D model gets completed, you can export it in various 3D file formats like STL, OBJ, DAE, DXF, PLY, etc. Apart from important designing and viewing tools, you can also find various additional tools in these 3D CAD software which can come in handy. Some of the useful tools which you get in these software are Measure Distance, Unit Calculator, Scene Inspector, Color Palette, etc. Go through the list to know more about these open source 3D CAD software.
My Favorite Open Source 3D CAD Software For Windows:
FreeCAD is my favorite software because it lets you create various different types of 3D designs like parts, ships, mesh, robots, etc. Plus, it offers a wide variety of editing and viewing tools. I also like its ability to support multiple CAD file formats like STL, OBJ, DXF, DWG, 3DS, and more.
FreeCAD is a free open source 3D CAD software for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Through this software, you can create and edit both 2D and 3D CAD models. To work with different types of 3D models, it offers various different workbenches like Part, Drawing, Mesh Design, Raytracing, Robot, etc. In each workbench, you will get a specific set of tools to create a specific type of 3D model. Besides workbench specific tools, it also offers various viewing tools which help you view a 3D model from every direction.
However, the main advantage of this software is its ability to support multiple 2D and 3D CAD file formats such as STL, OBJ, DWG, DXF, PLY, STEP, VRML, and more. You can also perform conversions between the supported file formats.
- Workbenches: As mentioned earlier, this software offers multiple workbenches with different sets of tools to work on different types of CAD projects. Some of the important tools offered by different workbenches are wall object, building object, split wire, join object, extrude, create ruled surface, render raytracing, etc.
- Macro: It allows you to record the 3D CAD creation or editing process, which you can later repeat using the recorded macro.
- View Tools: Viewing a 3D object from all directions is another important aspect of 3D model designing. To do that, this software provides various viewing tools like Isometric view, Top view, Right view, Orientation (to move a 3D model using mouse), Zoom, Draw Styles, etc.
- Measure Distance: Using it, you can easily measure the distance between any two points of a model.
- Units Calculator: It is another handy feature through which you can calculate values of different units like Length, Mass, Angle, Area, Volume, etc.
- Save Picture: It lets you take and save snapshots of a 3D or 2D model in BMP, ICO, JPG, and other image formats.
- Export PDF: It lets you save the designed model in PDF format.
It is one of the best free open source 3D CAD software as it can be used to create and edit a wide variety of 3D CAD models. Plus, it is comparatively easy to use.
LeoCAD is another free open source 3D CAD software for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is one of the simplest software to create 3D CAD designs. In it, you get a lot of prebuilt lego style structures which you can join with one another to make a 3D CAD structure. After creating a 3D CAD model, you can export it in various formats such as 3D Studio, COLLADA, POV-Ray, BrinkLink, etc.
- Parts: To make different types of 3D models, this feature offers 3D parts of various categories like Antenna, Animal, Bar, Arc, Round, Support, and more. In each category, you get multiple 3D parts which you can easily drag and drop over the main interface and connect them to create a model.
- Properties: Using it, you can manually adjust properties of any selected part namely position, rotation, visibility, and appearance (color and dimensions).
- Timeline: In the timeline, you can view every step taken by you during the model creation process. It also lets you jump back to any previous step.
- View: Using it, you can adjust camera position, zoom-in on parts, change projection, and adjust shading to change the viewing experience as you want.
- Colors Palette: A dedicated color palette is present on the interface of this software that you can use to assign colors to different parts of a 3D model.
- Piece: Using it, you can create duplicate parts, reset pivot points, remove keyframes, etc., of individual parts of your model.
It is another nice open source 3D design software that anyone can easily operate and create beautiful 3D CAD models in various file formats.
Wings3D is yet another free open source 3D CAD software for Windows, macOS, and Linux. Through this software, you can create realistic looking 3D models. Not just creating, but the editing of existing models of 3DS, DAE, GLB, OBJ, PLY, and other formats is also possible. To perform editing, this software offers tools like sculpt, tweak, boundary box, ambient occlusion, magnet mask, and more.
In this software, you can also view and analyze both the internal and external structure of a 3D model using various available viewing tools. After completing a 3D CAD structure, you can export it in formats like 3DS, DAE, OBJ, WRL, etc.
- 3D Shapes: In this software, you can find various 3D models and shapes (Cube, Cylinder, Sphere, Cone, Octahedron, etc.) which you can use as a base to create a new 3D model.
- Sculpting Tools: Sculpting tools allow you to give any shape that you want to a base model to create a desired 3D design. Some of the important sculpting tools of this software are extrude, crease, flatten, intersect, loop cut, and cornet. You can access sculpting tools from the right-click menu.
- Advanced Selection Options: In this software, you can find a variety of selection options such as select similar material, select similar areas, select by (hard edges, isolated vertices, material edges, UV mapped faces, etc.), and some more.
- View: It offers various viewing tools through which you can view a model in different modes like wireframe, work mode, shade, etc. In addition to that, it also lets you adjust the lighting to observe your 3D model in different lighting conditions.
- Screenshot: Through this feature, you can take snapshots of your 3D models.
- Plugin Support: For this software, you can find various plugins which help you add more features to this software.
This free open source 3D CAD software allows you to create beautiful and realistic looking 3D structures. Plus, it has a clean and intuitive GUI, so you won’t face any difficulty in creating 3D designs using it.
SALOME is the next free open source 3D CAD software for Windows and Linux. It is a feature-rich CAD software in which you get many predefined 3D shapes, meshes, fields, etc., which you can use to create 3D models. In order to reshape predefined 3D models, it also offers various shaping or sculpting tools. According to your needs, it also lets you assign a specific color to every part of your model to create separation between different elements of your model during the 3D mode designing process.
In it, you can work on multiple models at a time because of its multi-tab interface. Another good thing about this software is its ability to support multiple input and output 3D CAD formats like STEP, IGES, STL, BREP, etc.
- Modules: This software offers multiple modules (Geometry, Shape, HexaBlock, etc.) which offers module-specific predefined shapes and tools to edit or create a particular type of 3D model.
- Operations: It is a menu that offers many editing and transformation tools such as partition, fuse, cut, scale, offset, propagate, etc.
- Repair: It contains various model repair tools to make finer changes like suppress faces, close contour, glue faces, glue edges, remove internal faces, etc.
- Viewing Tools: On the top of the main editing section of this software, you can find many model viewing tools such as orthographic projection, perspective projection, stereo projection, top view, side view, memorize view, and more.
- Inspection: Using it, you can analyze various aspects of your model like center of mass, inertia, tolerance, angle, bounding box, etc.
- Material Library: It is another handy feature of this software as it lets you adjust the properties of various materials (plaster, plastic, neon, steel, satin, stone, etc.) which you can apply over your models. It lets you adjust material properties like color, shininess, ambient, diffuse level, etc.
It is a really good software for both editing existing 3D models and creating new ones from scratch. Plus, it is also quite simple to use despite having a lot of tools and features.
K-3D is one more free open source 3D CAD software for Windows, Linux, and macOS. Through this software, you cannot only create and 3D CAD models but also create animations. In it, you can also import predefined models of K3D, DAE, and XTC formats.
To create and edit 3D CAD models, it offers a lot of CAD model editing tools. Along with modeling tools, it also offers various viewing tools which let you properly view 3D models. Let’s take a look at some of the main features of this software.
- Create: In it, you get dedicated tools through which you can build every aspect of a 3D model like Material, Model Mesh, Lighting, LUXrender, Nurbsgrid, NurbsCircle, etc. It even gives you the option to change the rendering engine according to your requirements.
- Modify: Using it, you can make various changes to a model by using matrix scale, frozen matrix, transform points, matrix look, and other model transformation tools.
- Render: After creating or editing a 3D model, you can use this feature to Render the model to give it a more refined and realistic view. After rendering, you can export the model in DAE and K3D formats.
- View: With its help, you can select and view a specific part of your 3D model or view the entire model from all directions.
It is another decent open source 3D CAD software that can be used for the creation and editing of 3D CAD models.
BRL-CAD is another free open source 3D CAD software for Windows, BSD, macOS, Solaris, and Linux. It is a powerful solid modeling software that offers one of the best ray tracing rendering feature to create realistic looking 3D models. Its raytracing rendering also adds shadows across a model to make it look more realistic. In it, you can also create a 3D structure entirely using wireframe that means you can also design and edit the internal structure of your model. After rendering a 3D model, you can export it in STL and OBJ formats.
- Pattern Tool: It offers various fields in which you need to fill the appropriate values to adjust the depth of your model, direction of model (on both X, Y, and Z-axis), orientation of model, radius of model, etc.
- Object Edit Mode: It allows you to adjust various internal and external properties of your model like inner diameter, outer layer thickness, elevation, height, etc.
- Raytrace: After creating the inner structure of your model, you can use it to render your model and give it a realistic look.
- Display: It lets you view your model from different directions (front, rear, starboard, etc.) and to adjust the background color of your model.
It is a good open source 3D CAD software that allows you to create and edit realistic looking 3D models.
RapCAD is another one of free open source 3D CAD software for Windows, Ubuntu, and macOS. It is a coding-based CAD software through which you can create both 2D and 3D CAD models. In this software, you can directly enter the designing code on its interface or edit existing 3D model codes to create the desired 3D model. After creating a 3D model, you can export it in formats like STL, AMF, OFF, etc. Besides this, you can also generate a GCODE of a model that you can directly feed to a 3D printer to create a physical 3D model.
An example of how the modeling code should be can be seen here.
- Code Editing Area: In this area, you can write completely new code or edit existing code to create a 3D model according to your requirements.
- Compile and Render: After completing the design code, you can use this feature to start the compilation and rendering of the 3D model code. After successful compilation and rendering, you will get a 3D model on the right side of its interface.
- View: It is a tab that offers various viewing tools through which you can view both the internal and external structure of your model. In addition to that, it lets you add axes, ruler, base, etc., to your model.
This software is entirely based on code, thus, only the users who are familiar with the programming language of this software can use it to make a 3D model.
This open source 3D CAD software is not as simple to use as other software, but it can still be used to create both the simple as well as complex 3D models.
OpenSCAD is yet another free open source 3D CAD software for Windows, Linux, and macOS. It is another coding based software in which you need to write codes to edit existing or create a new 3D CAD model. If you already have a code of a 3D model, then you can also import and edit it in this software.
On its main interface, you get an editor section on which you can directly write designing code and use its Preview option to view the respective 3D model design. After completing a 3D CAD model, you can export it in various CAD file formats like STL, OFF, AMF, 3MF, DXF, etc.
- Editor: It is the primary designing section of this software on which you need to write codes according to the type of 3D CAD model you want to create. Besides this, it also provides tools to preview the output 3D model along with a Render tool to give your design a realistic look.
- View: It offers various viewing tools through which you can view your 3D model in wireframe mode, surfaces mode, orthogonal mode, and perspective mode. Besides this, you can also use it to view your model from Top, Bottom, Front, Top, etc., directions.
- Check validity: If your code shows any type of error, then you can use it to check the validity of your code and find out possible errors.
- 3D Print: Using it, you can generate a 3D print file which you can directly import in a 3D printer to print a physical 3D CAD model.
It is a dedicated 3D CAD model for programmers who want to create 3D models using codes. However, it is not an ideal software for novice users.
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