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!
01. Lego Pirate
Why put up with a boring model of a pirate when you could instead have this swanky nine-part Lego pirate? It's the work of 3dlegobricks on TurboSquid, who has a range of great Lego-based models available to buy, with a few free ones like this for good measure. You can modify all the colours easily, and the model comes in .obj, .dxf and .3ds formats.
Or to give it its full title, Toilet-Lavatory-Loo, covering most of the taxonomic bases. Created by Ieve Lickiene from Lithuania, it's a 12-part model toilet that's guaranteed to enhance your bathroom interior renders. It comes in 3ds Max and VRay flavours, and it's free for non-commercial use only.
It's easy enough to find any number of ropey electric guitar models online, but if your tastes don't run to Flying Vs and knock-off Strats, this glorious acoustic model, based on a Ramirez classical guitar, ought to do nicely. It comes in obj, 3ds and blend format, and even has its own stand.
Sharp-eyed Doctor Who fans will have instantly noted that this high-poly model for 3ds Max and V-Ray is a 2005 Dalek rather than one of the classic models from the original series. It's a good vintage, we reckon; much better than 2010's brightly-coloured New Paradigm models, and plenty threatening.
05. Rigged hand
Hands tend to look okay until you try to manipulate them, and then that's when their deficiencies start to show up. This shouldn't be a problem with this model for Maya; it's fully rigged so that that you can pose it just like a real hand, and even comes with its own muscle system to help you pose it realistically.
Available in every major 3d file format, this low-poly wild animals pack are perfect for use in a variety of real-time environments, such as a mobile games and apps. The pack includes a deer, bear, wolf and boar, with the geometry on all optimised for animation.
07. Male base mesh
Humans are one of the hardest subjects to recreate in 3D, so save yourself some time with this male base mesh, which acts as a great start for sculpting and designing your own male characters. Available as an .obj file, this download is free for personal use only.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
13. 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.
Ok, so it's not the most exciting model ever. But creating convincing looking glass in 3D is no easy task. So, if you fancy completing your character with the Harry Potter look, save yourself some time and hassle and grab this free glasses download instead. Note: only for use in 3ds Max.
Next page: more great free 3D models...