Wings 3D is an open source 3D modeling software that has been developed since 2001. Maintained by a committed community, Wings 3D offers a large variety of modeling tools, a fully customizable interface, support for materials and lights, and a built-in AutoUV mapping facility.
Although it prides itself a powerful advanced subdivision modeler, Wings 3D has an easy-to-use interface that makes it simple for beginners with no experience in the 3D modeling space to get started. Many commands are immediately available through right-click menus and are completely context sensitive so a menu only pops up for the part that you clicked. Since the program is targeted at beginners, the menu options also provide a brief description of what each one does by simply hovering over an option. You can also customize your interface by adding hotkeys.
The application provides all of the basic tools like scale, move, rotate, cut, weld, extrude, bevel, and bridge. It also provides advanced tools like plane cut, intersect, inset, bend, sweep, circularize, and sheer. The software comes with a virtual mirror that makes symmetrical modeling a breeze. It also provides tweaking and sculpting capabilities to allow users even more detailed modeling.
The application’s AutoUV facility breaks down your model’s surface to allow you to add paint and texture to every individual part. Once you are done designing your model, you can export to more powerful software like Blender. Most people use Wings 3D in conjunction with more specialized or feature-rich applications.
You can import NDO, 3DS, AI, FBX, LWO, LXO, OBJ, PS, EPS, and STL files. The application allows you to export in NDO, 3DS, AI, BZW, XML, FBX, LWO, LXO, OBJ, POV, EPS, STL, RWX, WRL, and DAE formats.
Overall, it’s not a pretty application but certainly one that’s easier to use than advanced ones like Blender. Using their drop-down menus and hotkeys, even users who have never created a 3D model can learn and adapt quickly. The Wings 3D plugin library also allows users to add more advanced functionalities as they go. As an open source software, it is completely free and supports Windows, Mac OS X, and Linux.