Free 3D Models

Finding Free 3D Models

The best place to find free 3D models is online. There are many websites dedicated to sharing free 3D models, including Thingiverse, MyMiniFactory, Shapeways, and others.

System Requirements for 3D Models

However you choose to incorporate 3D models, you will have to use some form of computer software to work with, modify, import, upload or manipulate your downloaded models. The best way to find out if your computer will run the software is to first figure out which software you want to use, and then check the manufacturers website. We will discuss some options software options below.

Downloading 3D Models

There are many ways to download 3D models. The most common way is through websites like Thingiverse, which allow users to upload their designs and share them freely. Other sites include Shapeways, where you can print physical objects from your designs; and Sculpteo, where you can design your own sculptures.

Importing 3D Models

The most popular way to import 3D models into software like Blender is through the OBJ format. This file type is supported by many 3D modeling software packages, including SketchUp and Meshmixer.

3D Models for Printing

The best way to acquire 3D models is by downloading them from websites like These sites allow users to upload their designs and share them with others who can download them. Once downloaded, they can be printed out using any 3D printer. If you don’t have access to a 3D printer, there are also online services that you can upload your free 3D file to that will print them and ship them to you. To learn more, check out our article on [3D Models for Printing]{{2}}

3D Models for Game Engines

There are many different ways to acquire 3D models for games. The most common way is through the Unity Asset Store which has thousands of free assets available. ArtStation is also a good community for this purpose. Once you have your model you will need to pick a game engine. Both are hard to beat, as they are basically free until you have made a substantial amount of money from your game. There are other less technically advanced, but often much easier to get started with choices such as GameMaker.

3D Models for 3D Modeling Software

There are many different types of 3D modeling software available today. Some are free, some are paid, and some are both. The most popular free ones include Blender, Sketchup and the now discontinued Autodesk Meshmixer. Other popular paid options include Autodesk Maya, Autodesk 3DS, Maxon Cinema 4D and Houdini. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, so it’s important to choose one based on what you want to accomplish. Try watching YouTube intro tutorials for each, which should give you a good idea of their feature set and complexity.

3D Models for NFTs

There are many different ways to acquire 3D models for your art projects. Some people will build them from scratch, others will scan objects they already own. This method has its downsides though, since it requires some skill and experience to produce high quality scans. But many artists use free models they downloaded online, including the ultra famous Beeple. They make the art their own by incorporating the downloaded models in to larger scenes and making creative rendering choices.

Embedding 3D Models On Your Website

There are many websites that offer this service, but some of them charge a fee for it. Others require you to upload your files first before they will embed them into their website. If you are a bit technically savvy there is a new HTML tag, model-viewer, from Google. It is of course supported in Chrome and derivative browsers, but currently Firefox and Safari are listed as incompatible. In my tests it seems to work fine, however.