Anyone who practises 3D art knows it can be an incredibly time-consuming process, so help in the form of free textures and ready-made, free 3D models is always welcome. In recent years, a large number of websites have appeared offering just that and, while you have to pay for the majority of them, there are many free 3D models online too. You just have to know where to look.
Here, we scoured the web for resources and found a selection of free 3D models, which will hopefully save you time on your next project. Enjoy!
The famous ancient Egyptian bust of Queen Nefertiti is the subject of an ongoing ownership dispute between Germany and Egypt, and is on display in Berlin's Neues Museum where photography of it is prohibited.
However German artists Nora Al-Badri and Jan Nikolai Nelles managed to scan it clandestinely to create 'The Other Nefertiti', a 3D-printed reproduction of the bust for display in Cairo, and they've made their 3D data available under a Creative Commons licence. It's free for download as 100MB torrent containing a super-detailed .stl file, or as a 20MB .obj file that you can download directly.
3D artist Joren Kandel runs PixelLab, a blog focused on motion graphics. Having worked in the industry for nine years now, he's built up a large collection of 3D assets, many of which he generously offers as a free download.
All you need to do is sign up to his newsletter and wait for an invitation to access his 3D model freebies, in which you'll find everything from Christmas decorations and digital camera lenses to robots and architecture.
03. Cyclos Roadbike
Get your 3D characters out and about on this nifty free road bike model from TurboSquid. It comes in 3ds Max and Mental Ray formats, and it's a perfect starting point for creating your own personal 3D bike design.
Bring your underwater scenes to life with this free goldfish model from Turbosquid. Available in .max and .3ds formats, this asset includes all textures and materials and should be used in accordance with Turbosquid's royalty free license.
05. Orient watch
Need to accesorise your characters? Check out this free orient watch model from Turbosquid. Ready rigged and including all materials and textures, this .max file is available for use under a royalty free license.
06. Destan House
Clearly inspired by the work of iconic architect Frank Lloyd Wright, this eye-catching house from TurboSquid will make a stylish home for your 3D characters. This free model is good for use in 3ds Max and V-Ray 3.
TF3DM offer thousands of 3D models that you can download absolutely for free. And this cool UH-60 Blackhawk helicopter is one of them. The four-bladed, twin-engine, medium-lift utility helicopter is available in .3ds, .obj, .mb, .lwo and .max formats and free for personal use only.
To celebrate the official release of a Daft Punk album, the Greyscalegorilla team decided to give away these professionally modeled Daft Punk helmet models for Cinema 4D. Texture and ready to render, incorporate these free 3D models into your sci-fi designs.
Everyone's favourite droid from Star Wars: The Force Awakens has been recreated and made available for free from TF3DM. This BB-8 model by Steve Lalonde is rigged two different ways for animation purposes and comes complete with high quality textures, and it's available on .obj, .max and .fbx formats.
After some designer furniture for your scene? Then look no further than this Epoca Selva table model, created by 3D designer Evgeny. The free 3D model is available in .fbx, .obj and .3ds formats and comes complete with materials and textures.
11. Wine glasses
Creating realistic looking glass in 3D is both tricky and time-consuming. Here, 3D artist Mihai Panait has done the hard work for you, creating a set of various-shaped wine glasses. Available in .max, .obj and .3ds formats, the models are offered for use under a standard royalty free license.
Based in Barcelona, 3D illustrator Curro Astorza is the man behind this detailed 1953 Cadillac Eldorado. The free 3D model is available to download in both XSI scene and .obj formats. The asset is free for use in both personal and commercial projects.
Created by students at Cogswell College in San Jose, this pair of adorable characters – named after the college's founder and his wife – are fully rigged for animation and designed to be both simple to use and extremely versatile. They're part of Project Avatarah, an ongoing programme to create an assortment of 3D characters for free download.
14. Turbo sonic car
TurboSquid is the largest library of 3D products in the world. You have to pay for the vast majority of its catalogue, but they also offer hundreds of free 3D models for download, this cool turbo sonic car being one of them.
Next page: more great free 3D models