Whether you are a newbie in the 3D designing field or you are already a pro in the field, you may be in constant search of free 3D model resources that might be useful for your ongoing or upcoming projects. In this article, we would highlight some of the free resources that you can easily access online.
Three dimensional modeling is redefining the success parameters for marketing campaigns, research projects, and educational programs that are getting their modernized makeovers. The introduction of advanced 3D modeling software and the novelty of approaches of modern-day businesses to put forth their messages in unique and creative ways have further bolstered the industry, thereby paving the path for the creation of more sophisticated and realistic three dimensional models.
Let us be very honest- this field calls for detailing, precision, patience, and the use of advanced software. This boils down to the fact that the process may turn out to be a really expensive affair that may call for substantial cash outflow. If you are a freelance designer who’s struggling to gain a foothold in the industry, you may find it challenging to keep a portion of your budget aside for investments in developing detailed three dimensional replicas.
So? What can you do?
Well, there are several websites that allow users to download free 3D models.
Yes, that’s true and we are not joking!
Such websites would have repositories of both low poly and high poly models and would often include a diversified design portfolio that can be used across diverse industries including automobile, research, gaming, furniture, packaging etc. So if you are looking to kickstart your project, but have a limited marketing budget or lack of adequate funds to set up a product demonstration, you may consider downloading free designs from these websites. These are great resources to get started with your project and we bet that you won’t repent.
Here are six broad categories of 3D model resources that you can access online without having to spend even a penny:
What do 3D model formats exactly mean? Well, in simple terms, 3D model formats contain specific data about 3D models in terms of their animations, geometry, scene, and appearance. This data is either stored in binary or textual forms. However, you need to note that all 3D formats do not store all the data. For example, the STL format contains information only about a model’s geometry, but does not include any data about other characteristics. There’s a format called COLLADA that can store information about all the attributes. We may come across hundreds of formats and interestingly, every CAD software-maker will have its own proprietary format. However, such formats restrict interoperability. So users typically look for websites that offer 3D models in diverse formats so that they can be worked on from multiple platforms and by using different software.
Artists looking for free 3D models for printing can check out websites such as CGTrader, Cults, Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, Pinshape etc. Such websites maintain 3D model libraries that contain the best 3D print models. Such websites present the best and the latest creations of top designers. Users can download print-ready versions in the form of STL files or in standard .OBJ, .SCAD, AMF, and VRML formats.
3D designers need to assign appropriate textures to models that they create. Image quality and the quality of the texture are directly proportional to each other, which means higher quality images will have better textures. Use of 3D textures can add a more realistic look and feel to renderings, thereby allowing designers to build models that closely resemble real products. Users can get free access to high-quality 3D textures from websites such as Free PBR, Textures.com, Surface-Level Beauty, and Poliigon. These websites maintain a repository of textures that can be used to upgrade 3D assets or to create 3D gaming models. The textures are mostly available in SBSAR, JPG, TIFF, TGA, PNG, and other formats.
CAD professionals can download rigged and animated models from websites such as GrabCAD, TurboSquid, Free3D etc. These websites come equipped with powerful search and filter options, thereby making it easier for users to find 3D replicas with appropriate textures. And what’s more important is that some of these websites would allow users to download free 3D models without registration.
Artists who regularly use Blender’s open source platform and its 3D assets to design custom 3D models may want to look for free models that are created using Blender’s free 3D software. There are several websites that allow users to download free 3D Blender models, thereby helping 3D designers to save time and resources. Artists may consider checking out the libraries at Turbosquid, CGTrader, BlenderNation, CadNav etc. From electronic equipment to automobile models to free 3D character models, the libraries feature a comprehensive collection that can address the specific needs of diverse projects.
Ideally, users should choose character models that can be used in games and virtual reality-based applications. Surprisingly, users can get access to free 3D character models in diverse textures and meshes and the models can be effectively used for animation, VFX, and game development. Platforms such as CGTrader, Sketchfab, Open3DModel, and Clara offer free models for use in Maya, Max, Blend, C4D, Blend etc.
Not everything that comes for free will lack in terms of quality, but 3D designers must still exercise adequate amount of care to choose realistic, high-quality 3D replicas that would suit their project requirements. If you are looking to craft custom designs, you may consider downloading premium designs that may come at prices ranging from a few dollars to hundreds of dollars. If you already have a committed budget in place and if you need to address a specific project requirement, you may consider contacting companies offering 3d modeling support and getting your custom designs created by their experts.