With 3D, AR, and VR advancements, creative designing is progressively moving from flat designs to more realistic ones.
Before now, AR and 3D tools were majorly accessible to only big companies and studios. Currently, any designer can create and manage 3D assets.
Platforms like Sketchfab are instrumental in this proliferation. Sketchfab lets you manage, distribute, and showcase your 3D designs across any device. You can also buy and sell models.
Despite its dependability, Sketchfab doesn’t have it all.
Take, for instance, Sketchfab has a complex 3D modeling process, limited export file formats, an expensive enterprise-based pricing plan, and a steep learning curve. Perhaps the platform lacks some essential features you need.
If so, there are other similar platforms to try. You can check out some of the best Sketchfab alternatives below.
Verge3D is software from Soft8Soft. It’s a web solution for creating 3D animations, presentations, learning content, browser games, and more.
Verge3D doesn’t focus much on AR. Nevertheless, you can still create web-based AR and VR animations with the software.
The platform features a flexible physically-based rendering (PBR) pipeline for creating 3D models. It simplifies the process, making it easy for anyone to create 3D content. You don’t need to be an expert programmer.
You’ll find Verge3D easy to use if you’re familiar with animation platforms like Blender, Maya, and 3ds Max. The interface resembles these platforms, and you’ll find many similar tools.
Both Verge3D and Sketchfab are proprietary and freemium platforms. However, unlike Sketchfab, you don’t pay recurring subscriptions with Verge3D. You simply purchase the software.
Verge3D features three pricing plans, including the Freelance plan, Team plan, and Enterprise plan. They cost $290, $990, $2,990, respectively. While these are one-time payments, you should note that they can change at any time.
If you use Verge3D for free, you can leverage their free 3D hosting service. It lets you host your designs, and you can share the links for others to view or embed them on your website.
Onshape is a relatively advanced platform and an ideal Sketchfab alternative if you are a business user. The platform combines PDM, CAD, analytics, and collaboration tools.
You can do more with the Onshape CAD feature. While Sketchfab focuses more on animations, Onshape is more reliable for creating mechanical and industrial engineering designs. You can still build awesome 3D animations with it. You can also create AR with Onshape.
Onshape lets you access your designs from anywhere. You can access them from your web browser or on your mobile device – Android or iOS.
With its collaboration functionality, you can work seamlessly with your team. It supports real-time collaboration with real-time chat, real-time notifications, and sharing and access permissions.
Conversely, Sketchfab also facilitates team collaboration on its advanced pricing plans like the Premium plan and the Enterprise plan.
Onshape’s pricing starts at $1,500 per user per year with the Standard plan. However, it has a 14-day free trial period.
If you need a 100 percent free Sketchfab alternative, you can go with p3d. It’s a free online 3D modeling solution from Brand3D – a 3D product visualization company.
p3d lets you share your 3D creations online, in simple 3D models or augmented reality. It’s simple to use, and you can share your designs in real-time.
3D models you publish on p3d will run on any web browser. It’ll also work on any device, including desktop, tablet, and mobile.
The platform features a powerful interactive material system, which you can use to showcase your designs professionally.
With a free p3d account, you can showcase your 3D online with free storage.
If you want to brand your models, add annotations, or want to go commercial and you need more storage, you can subscribe to the plus or premium plans.
These plans are far cheaper than what you get on Sketchfab. Pricing starts from $6 per month and $38 per month, respectively.
p3d features a community of 3D artists. It’s a recommended medium for you to share your work with others and similarly get inspiration from them.
The TurboSquid platform is exclusively for professionals. It features a more extensive collection of 3D models than Sketchfab. It’s a good alternative if you want to buy and sell 3D models.
On TurboSquid, you’ll find both premium and free 3D models. The platform features 3D models from vast design apps, including 3DS Max, Maya, Cinema 4D, Blender, FBX, Unity, and Omniverse.
Uploading your designs on TurboSquid is easy. The platform doesn’t have rigorous requirements, and you can rely on the marketplace as it’s been around since 2000.
After uploading your 3D designs to the marketplace, they become available for any customer to view. You can simply share the links with anyone you want to show your work.
Like Sketchfab, TurboSquid only supports sharing 3D models you can create with them. You can upload from third-party apps such as the design apps mentioned previously.
However, TurboSquid seamlessly integrates with its sister platform, PixelSquid.
With PixelSquid, you can create incredible 3D designs using thousands of 2D objects. Afterward, you upload them to your TurboSquid account.
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5. 3D Warehouse
3D Warehouse is a platform by SketchUp for sharing 3D models. As a result, it’s undoubtedly the best Sketchfab alternative if you primarily work with SketchUp.
However, the downside is that you can’t use 3D Warehouse with other 3D designing programs. If you want to share models from other programs, you must import them into SketchUp.
Also, to share your 3D models, you must log in with your SketchUp account. Viewers who want to download your models also need to log in.
Nevertheless, you can sign up for a free SketchUp Basic account.
The basic account allows ten uploads per month with a maximum file upload size of 100 MB. You only need to switch to a paid version if you need to upload more.
3D Warehouse supports AR viewing, and each 3D model page features a “View in AR” button.
When you click on it, you get a QR code which you’ll scan with your mobile device to view the model in 3D. Sketchfab AR viewing works the same way.
Here’s another ideal Sketchfab alternative if you need an advanced solution, especially if you’re a VFX artist. Houdini, created by SideFx, is a platform for any type of 3D production.
Houdini isn’t an online tool like Sketchfab. It’s a desktop software you have to download and install, and it’s available on Windows, Mac, and Linux.
You can create and share 3D and AR designs with Houdini. However, if you’re new to 3D rendering, you may find the platform complex to use.
Houdini works relatively differently as it uses a point cache technique. The platform features a powerful renderer known as the Mantra Renderer.
The renderer supports raytracing, physically-based rendering, and raytracing. With it, you don’t need a third-party platform to showcase your designs.
Nevertheless, Houdini still supports third-party renderers, including RenderMan, V-Ray, Solid Angle’s Arnold, Redshift, and Otoy’s OctaneRender. Interestingly, you can export Houdini FBX files to Sketchfab.
You can use the Houdini apprentice solution for free, but you can only access the FX tools. You need a paid solution to access tools like the VFX, mantra renderer, and others.
TouchDesigner is a tool for real-time 3D composition and rendering. The platform focuses on creating multimedia applications.
With support for VR, you can pre-visualize your 3D models. It supports multi-camera stitching from VR, which lets you showcase your work in significantly high resolutions. After creating your 3D models, you can project them in different formats.
TouchDesigner is another Sketchfab alternative that you can’t use on the web. The platform only works on desktops and supports Windows and macOS computers.
While TouchDesigner is a proprietary tool like Sketchfab, it allows customization and extensibility. You can add more functionality using Python programming to meet your project needs.
TouchDesigner is free for non-commercial use only. You can access all primary features with a free account with a limited resolution.
For advanced features, you either go with the commercial or pro plan. These plans cost $600 and $2,200 per year, respectively.
Notably, the commercial plan is more affordable than Sketchfab’s premium plan.
TouchDesigner also features a cheaper education plan for schools, faculty, and students. It costs $300 per year.
CGTrader is an ideal alternative if you primarily use Sketchfab to purchase 3D models. The website features more than 1.4 million 3D content, including AR and VR.
3D models on CGTrader are available in different formats, including MAX, OBJ, FBX, 3DS, STL, C4D, BLEND, MA, and MB, to name a few. You can search for models using keywords or browse by category.
Furthermore, you can browse models by software, including Blender, Cinema 4D, Sketchup, and ZBrush.
As a 3D artist and designer, you can also sell your work on CGTrader. The website features a freelance platform where you can find 3D designing tasks from different clients.
The freelance platform is free to join. You only have to submit some sample designs and complete a trial task. If you pass the trial, you get approval to start partaking in paid jobs.
You can receive payment for jobs via PayPal, Payoneer, WebMoney, or your bank account.
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Google Blocks is an AR and VR platform for creating and showcasing 3D designs. It’s a part of the Google VR suite, which includes other tools like VR Home, Cardboard, and Earth VR.
Like Sketchfab, you can share your 3D models with others using Google Blocks. The platform lets you share web links for others to view, or you can export your design as a GIF or OBJ file.
However, you can’t create 3D models with Sketchfab. Google Blocks, on the other hand, lets you create 3D designs using six simple tools: Shape, Stroke, Paint, Modify, Grab, and Erase.
Furthermore, you can transform your designs into AR and VR objects. You’ll find a library of 3D creations by other designers from which you can draw inspiration.
No matter your 3D modeling experience, you should find Google Blocks easy to use. However, you must have a virtual reality system to create and view AR and VR objects with Google Blocks.
Unlike Sketchfab, you can’t use the platform online; it only features apps for VR headsets. The platform currently supports Oculus Rift and HTC Vive.
Spline is a 3D designing platform and an ideal alternative if you need a platform that facilitates collaborations.
With Spline, you can create simple to complex 3D objects, scenes, and other materials. The platform features an intuitive interface that makes designing easy, and you can control every aspect of your work.
For 3D modeling, Spline supports polygonal editing, sculpting, and parametric objects. You can also animate objects and make them interactive. These are some of the critical features of Sketchfab.
The collaboration features are where you get the best from Spline. You can collaborate in real-time, assigning different permissions to different team members.
Furthermore, you can organize your team members in groups and create folders for different projects.
Spline is also a recommended tool for sharing your work. You can embed your 3D models and scenes in React JS.
You can also integrate them into any project timeline using simple codes and snippets. Furthermore, you can export your creations as images in PNG and JPG formats.
Unlike Sketchfab, Spline isn’t available via web browsers alone. The platform features desktop apps for Windows, macOS, and Linux computers.
You can start using the platform for free, but paid plans are available.
MediaGoblin is simply a platform for sharing media files. Like Sketchfab, you only have to upload and make your designs available for others to view.
The platform was initially limited to sharing flat designs like 2D and images. With recent improvements, you can now upload and share 3D designs.
However, MediaGoblin doesn’t support AR or VR. Hence, if you’re an AR or VR designer, you should consider a different Sketchfab alternative on this list.
You have three options to share your work with MediaGoblin. You either create your website, upload it on someone else’s website, or share them in the public space.
You can create libraries and galleries to stay organized as you upload your designs. You can also add designs from others to your libraries and galleries.
An advantage of using MediaGoblin over Sketchfab is that the platform is decentralized. As a result, you get more control over your work.
12. Creators 3D
As a 3D designer, Creators 3D is a platform where you can find jobs. You’ll find professional job offers and projects with high rates.
However, Creators 3D is notable for its online 3D viewer tool.
Typically, you’ll want to test your model before submitting it, which is why the platform features a free viewer.
This online 3D viewer tool is easy to use. You can click to select the 3D file on your device or simply drag and drop it in the window. It supports all the major 3D file formats – over 40 different formats – from various design programs.
If it doesn’t natively support your file format, you can still upload it. The tool will automatically convert the file to glTF (GLB) or USDZ format; all it takes is one click.
After uploading, you can interact with your 3D model. You can also generate a direct link to share with others.
Creators 3D is a simple solution if you need a simple Sketchfab alternative for showcasing your 3D models.
Furthermore, the platform is free. You only need to create an account to generate and share links.
Lumion is a solid alternative you can use if you are an architect. It works for fast and easy 3D rendering. You can easily share your work with others after creating, just like Sketchfab.
With Lumion, you get a suite of tools to make life-like visualizations. You can import your designs from third-party 3D and CAD designing software programs; Lumion works with all the major ones.
It comes with native plugins for platforms like Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Formit Pro, SketchUp, AllPlan, AutoCAD, BricsCAD, VectorWorks, and a few others.
The LiveSync feature makes import and model reimport easy. Notably, it allows real-time rendering while importing, so you can be sure a model is compatible before fully importing.
The Lumion platform is all about architecture, but it’s not limited to it. You can still render regular 3D models from programs like Blender and 3DS Max, to name a few.
Lumion isn’t a cloud-based platform like Sketchfab. It’s a desktop application and is only available for Windows.
Lumion is a fully premium software; there are no free plans. You can try the software for 14 days before paying. You can only use Lumion for free if you’re a student.
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14. 3D Vault
3D Vault, by Augment, is a cloud platform for storing 3D models. You can store your model designs from different programs and share them with anyone.
You’ll find 3D Vault a lot easier to use compared to Sketchfab. The drag-and-drop functionality makes uploading easy, and you can easily view your model in AR afterward.
You can upload models in standard 3D formats, including OBJ, Collada, KML, 3ds, PLY, and STL.
After uploading, you can further customize the models before the final upload. You can adjust their orientation and size and set different rendering options.
Sharing is also easy with 3D Vault, as you can group models in folders, letting you share multiple works simultaneously. You can share your models using URLs.
3D Vault is a secure alternative. You can make your upload private so that no one can access or download them. On the contrary, you can make them public.
Furthermore, the platform features an API you can use to connect with third-party ERPs, DAMs, and CRMs.
3D Vault is also more affordable than Sketchfab. The business plan pricing starts at around $9 per month, and the cheaper education plan starts at about $5 per month.
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15. Online 3D Viewer
Online 3D Viewer is a free and overly simple alternative to Sketchfab. The website is exclusively for viewing 3D models.
Simply drag and drop your files into the window or click the folder icon at the top-left to upload them. Alternatively, you can import a model from a URL by clicking the link icon next to the folder icon.
Link upload also works for cloud storage platforms like Dropbox and Google Drive. The website allows multiple URLs if your model includes different files.
You can upload different 3D file formats, including OBJ, 3DS, STL, PLY, GLTF, 3DM, and FBX. Online 3D Viewer supports fourteen 3D file formats in total.
After uploading, you can view and interact with your design, export it, or share it with others.
Sketchfab is one of the best 3D and AR platforms on the web. However, you can always use a different platform if it doesn’t meet your expectations.
You can pick any of these Sketchfab alternatives mentioned above. Ultimately, it depends on the tool that naturally fits your requirements.
Tom loves to write on technology, e-commerce & internet marketing. I started my first e-commerce company in college, designing and selling t-shirts for my campus bar crawl using print-on-demand. Having successfully established multiple 6 & 7-figure e-commerce businesses (in women’s fashion and hiking gear), I think I can share a tip or 2 to help you succeed.