I'm not quite sure if this question fits in with worldbuilding but I have honestly no idea where else I would ask it.

I've recently stumbled upon a 'ship designer' tool that allows you to build and design rather neat looking starships by selecting various parts and placing them, then eventually exporting the model. I've been using this in a multiplayer roleplaying game in Aurora4x to bring some life to my ship designs.

I'm wondering if there are any more tools like this out there? I haven't been able to find any with some google searches. 2D or 3D, doesn't really matter. I'm sorry if this question doesn't fit in this stackexchange.

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ I think you'll maybe have better chances of success in graphicdesign.stackexchange.com $\endgroup$ – miep Mar 1 at 17:05
  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to the site Nick, this question is fine here, though as @miep mentioned you may want to check on the gd site as well. Your question does need to give us some parameters, meaning, what functions would the ideal software have for your use case. If there are multiple options out there your requirements allow us to pick a "best" answer. Please edit and update. $\endgroup$ – James Mar 1 at 17:59
  • $\begingroup$ download.blender.org/release/Blender2.76 this might be useful $\endgroup$ – Elias Rowan Albatross Mar 1 at 18:28

http://aero.go.usu.edu/mu5/ a program with many premade parts to choose from and assemble them as you wish.

https://freecadweb.org/ a 3D design software that allows you to build from scratch, there are several, far better programs for this but this is the best free one i can find. other than inventor pro which you could look into here: https://www.autodesk.com/education/free-software/inventor-professional

http://ship.shapewright.com/ a simple, online, random ship generator

https://github.com/a1studmuffin/SpaceshipGenerator/ a complex, downloadable random ship generator

some of these are harder to use than others and some are way simple, in my opinion the last one is the best option so try it first

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This answer would probably be better if you Edit to explain a little bit about each. As it stands, should the content on the linked pages change for any reason, this answer will be meaningless. $\endgroup$ – a CVn Mar 6 at 8:10
  • $\begingroup$ I'll edit in the morning, I'm just heading to bed. Thanks for the advice! $\endgroup$ – Elias Rowan Albatross Mar 6 at 8:28

I'm a 3D Generalist, and I'll give my quick thoughts:

Any decent 3D DCC (Digital Content Creation) tool will handle this task well, whether it's Modo, Blender, Maya, 3DS, Lightwave or Cinema 4D: Blender's free, Modo is super-artist friendly, Maya & 3DS are the 800-lb gorillas as they're Autodesk.

All of 'em would work - for me, I'd choose to do this in Modo - but that's just my personal preference based on workflow and skillset.

Made by me, with Modo:



  • 1
    $\begingroup$ These are all great tools, though I personally am accustomed to Autocad or Rhino. but both of these cost. still an idea though. $\endgroup$ – Elias Rowan Albatross Mar 2 at 2:42

Not a tool-software, but a game: Space Engineers
It is sadly not open source or free2play, but you can build starships to your liking, and the attached Steam workshop features thousands of different designs.


Kerbal Space Program with the Realism Overhaul and Procedural Everything mods. There are also thousands of free mods for various parts.

  • $\begingroup$ +1 for Kerbals! To the mon, Alice! $\endgroup$ – nijineko Mar 6 at 18:27
  • $\begingroup$ @nijineko mun not mon $\endgroup$ – qazwsx Mar 6 at 18:55
  • $\begingroup$ Thanks! Appreciate the reminder. $\endgroup$ – nijineko Mar 7 at 17:47


Blender is a free, open source 3D application. If you're not looking to model a spaceship from scratch, you could find some models online and arrange them to create your ship.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ It should be noted, however, that Blender has a bit of a steep learning curve. It's incredibly powerful, but not the easiest thing to learn. $\endgroup$ – Andon Mar 2 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ @Andon, look at BforArtists, it is Blender with a friendlier gui $\endgroup$ – wetcircuit Mar 2 at 4:32
  • $\begingroup$ @Andon This is true, that is why I suggested a randomised ship creator that uses the blender image, I didn't want to require the inquirer to take the time to learn a new art, for say. $\endgroup$ – Elias Rowan Albatross Mar 6 at 16:25

Fractal generator.

If you want Apollo-looking or Battlestar Galactica type ships, other answers have those covered.

If you want semi-organic looking things that might have been discovered in a nebula and turned into a spaceship, or grown from crystals in the atmosphere of a gas giant, you could start with fractals.


nova fractal

This is the Nova fractal. You can imagine its magnetic meteor shield there on the right. I am hanging out in the bar, back on that tail part.


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