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Best 5 Free 2D and 3D Animation Software | Free to Download

Here are the best 5 free 2D and 3D animation programs that are completely free to download and use. These include Blender, Sweet Home 3D, BRL-CAD, FreeCAD and SketchUp. All but SketchUp are completely free for personal and commercial use. They’re open source software and they’re cross-platform so they will run on Windows, Macintosh and Linux.

Blender is a 3D animation and design program. You can draw and manipulate objects in 3D space. They’ve done entire animated movies similar to what Pixar would make. Check out Sintel and Tears of Steel for instance.

You can do animations, games, or 3D objects with Blender. You can make some very realistic-looking objects with Blender. There is also a really great community online with repositories, where you can actually find different 3D art that you can use in your own animations or your own rendering using open licensing.

Sweet Home 3D is a program for designing a house or building layout and arranging furniture in it. You just draw it up in a 2D space and it will create a 3D model of that 2D layout that you draw. Then you can just drag furniture into it. It’s great if you’re going to redesign your house or if you’re planning an addition.

This next two BRL-CAD and FreeCAD are very similar to Autodesk AutoCAD and they have a lot of the same features as AutoCAD has. BRL-CAD  has been extensively used by the military for several decades and it has lots of the models associated with it. There are military vehicles and weapon systems included. With BRL-CAD and you render actual parts. Like an axle and rim for a landing gear assembly for an aircraft. You can actually create blueprints from these parts and build these just like you would with any AutoCAD or any CAD design program.

FreeCAD is 2D and 3D. You can do a lot of the same things you can do with BRL-CAD or with AutoCAD. Keep in mind there’s a learning curve involved with all of the software. If you want to invest the time in learning these CAD programs, then you can create some very, very useful things with them.

SketchUp by Google is not an open source program, but it is still free for personal use. It’s really easy to just draw things and it’s kind of fun to use to – you can create houses, vehicles or any kind of 3D object. It’s used a lot in architectural applications. SketchUp  works on Windows and Macintosh. All of the models you see on Google Earth and Google Maps were drawn in Google SketchUp.  Check out the video for some cool examples.

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