Tech special: 3 amazing 3D modelling apps

Aug 16, 2015, 08:30 IST | Harpreet Kaur Sapra

It's a bird, it's a plane, it's a 3D model. Download these three apps and get cracking on your masterpiece

Imagination and creativity are human traits and 3D printing is not rocket science anymore. Download these three apps and put your hands and mind to build quirky models.


123D Make

123D Make
This app helps you to make things out of cardboard. 123D Make is an application from Autodesk — created by the same people who launched AutoCad. Fire it up on your iPad/iPhone or download and install the application on your PC/Mac. Once installed, either start sketching, load a previous sketch or open predesigned kits, which are great for beginners. Pick a shuttle, donut or even a rhinoceros picture and the app will provide the 3D design. Click on the “make” button and print the shapes on an A4 sheet. Stick them on a cardboard, cut the shapes and join them. You can even draw your own accessories, and print them to decorate your artwork.(Available for Windows PC, Mac OS, and iPad/iPhone)

This browser-based design and modelling tool lets you build 3D models — be it a missingLego piece, flap of your camera or a piece of jewellery. Simply log on to the website and sign up for free. For beginners, TinkerCad has a number of lessons that let you play with 3D Objects, change the dimensions and even add objects. Once you are confident, pick an object from the library, drag and drop it into the workplace. You can even upload your final design to websites such as Sculpteo and Ponoko that will ship you a print within two weeks, at a price of course. Or, download the 3D object and get it printed at your nearest 3D printer vendor.

Thingiverse by MakerBot is a community of 3D printers that encourages users to create and share 3D objects. It is one of the largest repositories of 3D designs in the world. Browse through select categories and download a product design. Go to ThingView, an in-browser viewer, to see the final model of the product. The Made tab also shows the product maker the product being used by the maker of the design using the product. You can upload your designs and videos and share your experiences with other developers or ask for advice in the My First Make group. The Licence tab at the bottom clarifies under which licence the model’s originator is ready to share his creation with the community. This is important if you want to print or even modify the model. The site also asks contributors to share their designs using a Creative Commons Licence.

3D printer

3D Printer
A MakerBot 3D printer lets you use PrintShop on your iPad or you can use the supplied making software. With 123D Catch from Autodesk, you take a picture of a real-life object and turn it into a 3D Object.

Ready to use 3D Printers in India are cheaper kits at a hefty price tag. But if you have the budget, consider MakerBot Replicator Mini @

US$ 1,375 or the Makerbot Replicator (US$ 2,899). You can also invest in a DIY kit starting at Rs 25,000 in India.

Put the kit together, install the software and you’re ready to print your own objects.

The 3D printing industry is growing in leaps and bounds. Soon, you’ll be able to print your own jewellery and clothes.

Birth of 3D printing
In 1984, Chuck Hull, invented a process called stereolithography which used UV lasers to solidify photopolymer that made 3D parts layer by layer

Go to top