The best 3D collaboration tools in 2024 to improve your design workflows

New to the world of 3D collaboration tools? Not sure which 3D collaboration platform is the best solution for your 3D design and management needs? Desktop or cloud-based? In this detailed guide, you will find all the answers to your questions, with in-depth reviews of the best 3D collaboration tools on the market.
3d collaboration

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In our hyper-connected age, it’s no longer enough for 3D design tools to simply provide creation capabilities. Collaboration is paramount, and online design collaboration tools are transforming the way multiple teams work together on a design project, even in the cloud.

The ability for teams to work together seamlessly on a 3D model, whether for the next architectural marvel, an innovative product, or an animated masterpiece, is vital.

Let’s dive into the world of 3D collaboration tools, cloud design collab, and explore the technology that is reshaping how 3D projects are accomplished.

What is 3D collaboration?

3D design collaboration is the practice of multiple teams working together on a design project using cloud design collab tools. This can involve designers, engineers, project managers, clients, or other stakeholders. Various digital tools facilitate the process, enabling real-time cooperation, effective communication, and version control, which is essential for successful design collaboration.

Design collaboration modules in online design collaboration tools are crucial because it enhances communication and understanding among all involved. A shared 3D model allows for a more intuitive grasp of the design, reducing misinterpretations and minimizing errors.

What is 3D collaboration

This improved communication is particularly beneficial in a project’s review and approval stages. Clients and stakeholders can provide immediate feedback on the design, accelerating these often time-consuming stages. In fact, this collaborative designing tools approach has been shown to cut 3D project lead times by up to 30%.

Additionally, 3D design collaboration fosters innovation and efficiency. Teams can work concurrently on a design, speeding up the development process and stimulating creative problem-solving.

What is a 3D collaboration tool?

A 3D design collaboration tool is a software application that facilitates the cooperative process in 3D design projects. These tools allow multiple users to simultaneously access, visualize, and modify a 3D model, regardless of their physical location.

They also often provide communication, version control, and task management features, streamlining the collaborative process and enhancing team productivity.

These tools can be either desktop software or cloud-based services.

Desktop software is installed locally on each user’s computer. It often provides more robust and advanced features, making it suitable for complex or detailed designs. However, it usually requires powerful hardware, and sharing files or changes with other team members can be more involved, often requiring an external server or software for effective collaboration.

On the other hand, cloud-based services run directly in the browser and store data on the provider’s servers. This approach offers several advantages, particularly for collaboration. As the data is stored in the cloud, team members can access and work on the design from any device with an internet connection.

Changes are synced in real-time, ensuring everyone is always working on the latest version of the design. Moreover, cloud-based services often come with built-in collaboration features, such as chat or comment functions, further facilitating communication and teamwork.

However, cloud-based tools may depend on internet connectivity, and their performance might not match desktop software for very complex models or computations.

In conclusion, desktop and cloud-based 3D collaboration tools offer unique advantages and cater to different needs and workflows.

The choice between the two will depend on various factors, including the complexity of the design, the team’s hardware resources, and their collaboration requirements.

The best 3D collaboration tools

To help you navigate through the various 3D collaboration options available, we have curated a list of the top best design collaboration tools, each with its distinct capabilities, including desktop software, project management tools, cloud collaboration, platformsbrowser-based SaaS services, collaboration software major 3D modeling platforms’ add-ons.

There’s something for teams of any size and for all collaboration needs, so let’s cut to the chase and let’s take a closer look at them.



We must start with the 3D collaboration platform that, for several reasons, should be the most obvious choice in the majority of cases: RealityMAX.

RealityMAX is a leading cloud design collab platform that seamlessly integrates a plethora of functions for design collaboration, project management, and document management. It allows multiple teams to compose scenes with multiple models, edit materials and textures, and collaborate effectively on 3D projects using cloud design collab features.

All of this is achievable in a highly accessible web environment, supporting major 3D and 2D file formats, including .glb, .gltf, .fbx, .3dm, .obj, .stl, .3ds, .jpg, and .png.

RealityMAX’s innovative drag-and-drop feature stands out, allowing users to apply materials or textures to objects with unprecedented ease. This smart feature facilitates a more streamlined workflow, minimizing the learning curve and enabling users to focus on their creative process.

The platform excels in fostering real-time collaboration. Users can invite teammates, clients, or stakeholders to work together on the same scene, offering varying levels of access through a simple link.

This link can be password-protected, ensuring the security and privacy of the project. This ease of access and real-time collaboration capability can dramatically enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of design and review processes.

A remarkable feature of RealityMAX is its capability to transform 3D scenes into interactive Web 3D objects and immersive AR or VR experiences. These can be accessed immediately with just a click or a tap on a link or by scanning a QR Code, with no additional software required.

This feature is particularly beneficial for product visualization in e-commerce, where RealityMAX’s SEO-friendly, interactive 3D views can significantly enhance customer engagement and conversion rates.

Furthermore, RealityMAX offers valuable insights through its analytics feature. Users can track visits to their shared scenes, gaining a better understanding of their audience’s behavior and preferences. This data can be instrumental in refining designs or marketing strategies, further adding to the platform’s value.

In terms of performance, RealityMAX doesn’t disappoint. It boasts impressive rendering and upload speeds, making it a reliable platform even for larger or more complex projects. Furthermore, the platform offers robust security measures to store and manage 3D assets safely.

Currently, RealityMAX offers its suite of features for free, making it a highly accessible tool for anyone looking to explore 3D design and collaboration.

Whether you’re a professional designer, a student, an educator, or an entrepreneur, RealityMAX provides a comprehensive and user-friendly platform to bring your 3D visions to life and share them with the world.

Deployment: Cloud-based (SaaS)
Pricing: Free



SketchUp, renowned for its balance of simplicity and power, is an intuitive tool that has captured the hearts of architects, interior designers, and urban planners worldwide. It’s not just a 3D design tool; it’s a spatial planner, a visual storyteller, and a bridge between creativity and reality.

SketchUp’s strength lies in its user-centric approach. The software’s interactive interface invites a direct manipulation of 3D objects, ensuring a smooth learning curve for beginners while still providing the detailed precision professionals need. From creating a simple chair to planning an entire city, SketchUp offers a spectrum of possibilities.

Where SketchUp truly stands out is in its collaborative extension, Trimble Connect. Seamlessly integrated into the platform, this feature is not merely an add-on but a vital part of the software’s ecosystem. It brings teams together, providing a shared space to access, review, and update 3D models in real-time.

This feature enhances communication and coordination, ensuring everyone is on the same page, reducing errors, and improving project efficiency.

However, with its focus on accessibility and ease of use, SketchUp’s rendering capabilities may not be as robust as other more specialized tools.

The software leans more towards conceptual design, making it less suitable for highly detailed photorealistic renderings. But for those in architecture and design, especially in the early stages of design, SketchUp’s friendly learning curve and powerful collaboration features make it an excellent tool for bringing ideas to life.

​​Deployment: Desktop and cloud-based (SaaS)
Pricing: SketchUp Pro starts at $299/year

Autodesk Fusion 360

Autodesk Fusion 360

Fusion 360 is more than a 3D design tool; it’s a symphony of product development. By merging CAD, CAM, and CAE in a single, unified platform, it offers a comprehensive solution for product designers and engineers. From conceptual design to engineering simulation, from toolpaths to cloud rendering, Fusion 360 covers every aspect of product development.

The software’s cloud-based deployment means that all these features are accessible anytime, anywhere. This flexibility fosters a collaborative environment where team members can easily co-edit, leave comments, and manage versions of designs. The design process is no longer confined to a single location or device; it’s as fluid and dynamic as the minds behind the designs.

However, being cloud-based, Fusion 360’s performance could be influenced by internet speed and reliability. For users with limited internet access, this might pose some difficulties. But for teams looking to innovate in the product design and engineering spaces, Fusion 360’s real-time collaborative features, coupled with its comprehensive suite of tools, make it an unrivaled platform for bringing products from concept to reality.

Deployment: Cloud-based (SaaS)
Pricing: Fusion 360 starts at $545/year



Onshape challenges the traditional boundaries of 3D design tools. As a cloud-native product development platform, it offers a full spectrum of tools for 3D CAD, data management, and collaboration. Onshape’s vision is not just about creating designs but also about managing them effectively.

The platform’s real-time design collaboration is a standout feature. Multiple users can work on the same 3D model simultaneously, viewing each other’s changes as they happen. This real-time interaction breaks down the barriers between team members, fostering a more interactive and efficient design process.

Onshape also offers robust version control and data management features. It keeps track of all changes, allowing users to revisit previous design iterations, compare versions, and even branch off from any point in the design history. This feature ensures that no idea is lost, no matter how many iterations the design goes through.

While Onshape’s feature set is impressive, its pricing might be steep for small businesses or freelancers. The comprehensive nature of its tools and the advanced capabilities it provides come with a cost.

Deployment: Cloud-based (SaaS)
Pricing: Onshape Professional starts at $2,500/user/year

Unity Reflect Review

Unity Reflect Review

The Unity Reflect software family caters to the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry. Traditionally known for its game engine, Unity has applied its real-time 3D capabilities to create a tool that drives seamless collaboration and visualization within the AEC sector.

In particular, Unity Reflect Review allows users to sync and view their 3D models in real-time, enabling immediate visualization of design changes. This feature is particularly powerful during design review sessions where stakeholders can interact with the 3D model in a shared space, exploring design alternatives and making informed decisions.

Reflect’s integration with popular design tools like Revit, SketchUp, and Rhino provides users with a smooth transition between the creation and collaboration stages of design. The tool converts complex BIM (Building Information Modeling) data into user-friendly 3D visuals that are easy to navigate, fostering better understanding and communication among team members.

However, Reflect’s specialized nature might make it less suitable for tasks outside the AEC realm. Its features are tailored to the needs of AEC professionals, and users from other industries might find the tool lacking in certain aspects.

Deployment: Desktop and cloud-based (SaaS)
Pricing: Unity Reflect Review starts at $690/user/year



CATIA by Dassault Systèmes (the house of the engineering powerhouse SOLIDWORKS) is a force to be reckoned with in the world of 3D design. Known for its advanced capabilities, it supports complex modeling and simulation tasks, making it popular for surface modeling, especially in the aerospace and automotive design industries.

CATIA, which is based on Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform, brings these complex tasks to the cloud, providing a collaborative platform where teams can co-design securely and efficiently. The platform enables users to create, share project team and modify 3D models in a shared digital workspace, fostering innovation and teamwork.

One of the platform’s standout features is its social and collaborative tools, allowing users to connect and collaborate beyond just design. Users can create communities, share ideas, and manage projects, making the design process a more interactive and engaging experience.

The downside? CATIA’s advanced features come with a steep learning curve. The platform is packed with specialized tools and functionalities, which can be overwhelming for newcomers.

The software’s pricing is also on the higher end, making it more suitable for larger companies and professional design teams.

Deployment: Cloud-based (SaaS)
Pricing: CATIA prices are based on modules. Contact Dassault Systèmes for pricing details

Rhinoceros 3D (Rhino)

Rhinoceros 3D

When it comes to versatility in 3D modeling, Rhinoceros 3D, or Rhino, stands tall. Known for its precision and flexibility, Rhino is used by designers and engineers across various industries, from architecture and industrial design to jewelry and shipbuilding.

Rhino’s NURBS modeling allows users to manipulate curves and surfaces freely, offering high precision and control. Its open architecture further supports a wide range of plugins, extending the software’s capabilities according to user needs.

Where Rhino shines in the collaborative aspect is through its Worksession feature. While not enabling real-time collaboration in the same workspace, this feature allows multiple users to collaborate on different parts of a project without conflict. It’s a powerful tool for large or complex projects where different team members work on separate components.

Rhino’s flexibility and range of capabilities might be difficult to master, particularly for those new to 3D design or visual programming. The cost of the software, while reasonable considering its capabilities, might also be a consideration for freelancers or small businesses.

Deployment: Desktop
Pricing: Rhino 7 for Windows and Mac starts at $995 for a single-user perpetual license



Vectary takes a unique approach to 3D design and collaboration. As a fully browser-based tool, it offers a level of accessibility that no desktop 3D design software can match. From simple mockups to detailed 3D models, Vectary 3D editor provides a wide range of design possibilities without the need for powerful hardware or software installations.

Vectary’s collaboration feature is as seamless as its design capabilities. Teams can work together on the same 3D model in real-time, directly in their browsers. This feature and the software’s user-friendly interface make the design process more interactive and efficient.

Vectary also integrates with various third-party tools, including Sketchfab, Google Drive, and Figma, allowing users to import and export models easily. This flexibility extends the collaborative capabilities of Vectary, enabling teams to integrate the tool into their existing workflows.

Vectary’s performance could be influenced by connection speed and reliability, and while impressive for a browser tool, its capabilities might also not match the advanced features of desktop-based software.

Deployment: Cloud-based (SaaS)
Pricing: Vectary Pro starts at $180/year is a versatile, cloud-based 3D modeling, animation, and rendering software. Its accessibility and user-friendly interface have made it popular with a broad audience, from hobbyists and educators to professional designers and animators.

A standout feature of is its real-time collaborative capabilities. Team members can simultaneously work on the same 3D scene, viewing and editing each other’s changes in real-time. This collaborative approach, coupled with’s comprehensive suite of 3D modeling and animation tools, makes it a powerful platform for creative teamwork.

The software also includes a built-in version control system. This feature ensures that every change is tracked, and previous versions can be restored at any point. This level of control over the design process reduces the risk of errors and enhances overall project management.

One possible drawback to is its dependence on internet connectivity, as with any other cloud-based software. A stable and fast internet connection is essential to ensure smooth operation. Also, while the software is quite robust for a web-based tool, it may not offer the same level of advanced features as some desktop applications.

Deployment: Cloud-based (SaaS)
Pricing: Advanced starts at $1,000/year



Prospect by IrisVR takes collaboration to the next level by integrating virtual reality (VR) into the design process. It’s a cutting-edge tool that’s changing the way architects, engineers, and construction professionals collaborate and visualize their designs.

Users can turn their 3D models into immersive VR experiences with a single click, making exploring, understanding, and presenting designs easier. In the collaborative mode, multiple users can join the same VR session, discussing the design and making real-time annotations.

This immersive form of collaboration can dramatically improve communication, understanding, and decision-making processes in a project.

IrisVR integrates with a variety of 3D modeling tools, including SketchUp, Revit, Rhino, and more, making it a versatile addition to the existing design workflow. It also supports desktop and standalone VR headsets, providing team collaboration flexibility.

However, the use of VR technology might present a barrier to some, as it requires additional hardware and can take some time to get used to. Prospect currently supports a range of headsets, including Oculus Rift, Meta Quest 2, HTC Vive, and Windows MR.

The software’s cost and the required VR equipment may also be a consideration for smaller teams or individual users.

Deployment: Cloud-based (SaaS)
Pricing: Prospect Workstation starts at $4,200/year


3D collaboration is revolutionizing how designers, engineers, architects, and 3D creators at large – but also UX designers, educators, and marketers – work and get things done.

But how to implement collaboration for your team or company and which tool to adopt to speed up your processes and workflows and make them more efficient strongly depends on your actual goals and innovation needs.

All things considered, our top pick is RealityMAX, which combines the flexibility of a cloud-based 3D collaboration platform with high performance and airtight safety, providing a plethora of advanced 3D management features such as material drag-and-drop and one-click Web 3D and AR export.

Not forgetting the price tag that makes it an absolute winner: RealityMAX is free to use at the moment! It’s definitely worth trying, even if you already use another service that comes with your favorite 3D modeling software.