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!
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.
02. 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.
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.
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...
If downloading a load of 3D models one by one is a bit of an effort then this should be welcome: it's a free pack of 90 models by Shaun Keenan, a freelance rigging, modelling and texture artist, it's packed with handy resources for creating a city scene including cars, buildings, houses, fire hydrants and other miscellaneous items.
For everything space related, head over to the NASA website where you'll find an extensive library of free 3D models. There's astronauts, lunar modules, satellites and more. Most models are in the common .3ds format but there are also .lwo, .fbx, or .obj formats available in some cases. Usage guidelines apply.
This cool house is offered by ShareCG, the site that hosts the web's largest collection of free computer graphics resources including thousands of free 3D CG Models. The house is offered as an untextured .obj file but the download includes separate material files for easy texturing. Note: registration to the site is required to download models.
Help yourself to 130 free plant and tree models from Xfrog, the vegetation-generation application. Choose from a list of 30 species, then click the 'Try before you buy' button for a free model. Download formats include .obj as well as files for use in Maya, 3ds Max, Cinema 4D, Vue, Terragen 2, modo and Lighwave.
This brilliant collection of free Cinema 4D models from the Greyscalegorilla community are copyright free and ready to be used in your project. The pack includes everything from a VW camper to a Lego man from various 3D artists, including Rob Redman of Pariah Studios. There is also an accompanying demo video and details on how to install the pack.
Not the most exciting of models, we know, but one of those items that will always come in handy. This wall lamp is provided by online store 3D Export, where you can buy and sell models, as well as find a library of other useful free items. This lamp, offered as a .obj file, was created using 3ds Max 2010 and rendered in V-Ray 1.5.
Digital media supply company Turbosquid has literally thousands of 3D models available to purchase. But they also offer a percentage of them absolutely free of charge, although you do have to register with the site to take advantage of this service. This brilliant truck model comes in available in .c4d, .xml, .fbx, .ma, .mb and .obj formats. Photoshop textures are also available for this model. Available on a standard royalty free license.
This cool character is available at 3D asset supplier The Free 3D Models. There site has a huge selection of products, organised into categories, with everything from furniture and plants to food and animals. One of our favourites is this little robot model, which is available as a .obj file.
This awesome model is another from digital media supply company Turbosquid. Registration is required to download and it should be noted that this asset is only available for versions of Lightwave 7.5 and above (formats .lwo, .lw and .lws).
Oyonale is a site about computer graphics and digital art and has a section dedicated to free 3D models. Included in this section is this brilliant Mini model, which is available either in .obj format or .c4d, the latter of which includes textures and UV templates.
26. Female head
From the over 300 free models offered by Turbosquid, included is this female head, which acts a great starting point for any 3D character or sculpting work. Available as a .max file, the site also has a male head available.
This gorgeous little retro tricycle was created by 3D artist Ivan Málek, who then shared it on Flying Architecture - a CG site, which provides 3D models, materials and textures. This particular model is available for use with Rhino and Modo and there is also a .obj file for download.
28. Eames chair
Add a bit of designer class to your 3D creations with this iconic Eames chair, courtesy of Pariah Studios. Founder Rob Redman has generously offered this iconic post-war chair free of charge. File formats available are .3ds, .c4d and .fbx. Textures are also included.
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.
Additional contributions from Jim McCauley.