3D modeling is an essential part of a variety of businesses. A 3D model of a future product can give your advertising team a head start, show investors where the company is headed, and help get a product ready to be manufactured.
In some cases, 3D modeling is essential for safety or other big projects. You wouldn’t consider constructing an entire building just to see if you liked how it looks. A design will let you do just that. Find out how to hire a designer for your project.
Whether you want a building designed or a microchip, 3D modeling is the profession that will help visualize it. Freelance 3D modeling designers come in a variety of prices, skill levels, and professionalism. When you’re on the hunt for a 3D designer, finding one that delivers a quality product in a timely fashion can seem impossible.
This is especially the case if you need a specific type of designer. A 3D modeler specializing in interior design isn’t a great choice when you need someone to create a model of a product for a manufacturer, and a person who can handle that type of model probably won’t be able to make a great character for a game.
3D modeling is a huge field, and the designers in it have varying levels of talent, as well as a fairly narrow focus. A great designer is worth waiting for, but if you’re sick of hunting through online portfolios and being disappointed with the results, here are a few tips on finding a freelance 3D designer that has the skills you’re looking for.
This article will take you through different ways to find freelance 3D character modelers, as well as what to look for, pricing, and other important factors. If you have already exhausted several different avenues, you can skip ahead using the table of contents below or read straight through for more information.
Before You Begin
If you haven’t already started your search, or if you have and can’t find what you’re looking for, going back to the basics is a good way to start. It’s helpful to know what you’re looking for in a freelancer, and that means knowing your project inside and out.
Even if a freelancer has the same level of experience as another, they may not have experience in the same fields. One freelancer may be more familiar with 3D printed parts while another works on characters for a game or realistic models for a photo shoot.
Take a look at your project and list what you need out of the model. Does it need to be visually appealing? Does it need to show a manufacturer how all the parts go together? Does it need to be 3D printable?
When you have a clear picture of what your project is, you can ask yourself questions about what sort of person you need to hire in order to get the project completed. Questions you might want to ask yourself includes things like:
- Is this time-sensitive? Can I wait for a popular freelancer to schedule me in or do I need to look for someone with a more open schedule?
- How much can I afford to pay for the 3D rendering on this project?
- What sort of experience and skills are needed to handle this type of work?
- Of all the skills needed for this project, what is most important to me?
Once you know what your project does (and doesn’t) need, you can narrow your search down by looking for a designer with strengths in those areas.
If your project requires a little of everything (a manufacturer version as well as how the finished product will look, as an example) you may need to hire multiple freelancers or a design team in order to get the best quality.
If cost is the most important factor for you, you may have better luck finding a 3D product modeling freelancer that will work for you by looking at new modelers who are trying to get their foot in the door. If time is of the essence and the project can afford it, you may need to sacrifice a low price for express service.
Knowing what your project needs before starting out will also help you avoid expensive surprises later. If you don’t have a clear idea of your project yourself, a freelancer may give you an estimate that doesn’t properly take into account the cost or time involved.
Hiring Off the Web
The easiest way to hire a freelance 3D modeler is through the web. Although you might put an advertisement out in a newspaper or look for companies in the area, you’ll be missing out on many of the benefits of hiring a freelancer in the first place.
Freelancers are ideal not just because you don’t have to go to the expense of keeping an employee on staff when you only need them for a project or two, but because you can pick and choose from a global field.
When searching for a freelance 3D designer of machine parts, looking at the full selection of freelancers available will help you find the best possible choice for your work.
When you’re looking for a freelancer for your 3D modeling needs, what better place to start your search than a website that specializes in connecting you with freelancers looking for work? There are a number of great platforms out there for this purpose.
Of all the freelancing websites, Cad Crowd is the best place to start your search. Most of the other platforms we talk about are designed to connect you with any sort of freelancer, but Cad Crowd is specifically for 3D modeling.
With Cad Crowd, you won’t have to sift through every writer, editor, and coder in order to find the 3D designer you need.
Cad Crowd also takes your data protection seriously and screens its designers for quality. You’ll never have to test a dozen different designers to see if their skills match up with what they say they can do.
If you’re looking for a quality freelancer without the fuss, this should be your first stop.
CG Trader both sells ready-made 3D objects as well as connecting people with the right 3D design service. In this case, you post your project and people apply. You can review the applicants and pick which one you think is right for you.
CG Trader is specific to CG, which means you won’t have to sift through applicants who have nothing to do with 3D design in order to connect with the right person. It does not filter who applies, however, so buyer beware.
A website once again dedicated to 3D artists and consumer product designers, but this one works similarly to CG Trader. You upload your project and wait for people to send you offers. The recommended duration is about 48 hours to get a decent amount of offers.
Once you’ve received the offers, you can compare them and decide who you like. Don’t like any of them? No problem, you can delete the job and it will cost you nothing.
A more general website for finding freelancers, Upwork has you post your project and then matches you with freelancers who best meet the criteria. You’ll be able to choose from a selection of designers, review their skills and portfolio, and choose your favorite of the group. Their pricing is also laid out openly so you can quickly figure out who is the most economical for your project.
Upwork strives to screen candidates to make sure that the skills they type into their profile are real, such as having the candidates take basic skills tests, but these aren’t always accurate. You’ll need to review their skills personally to make sure the freelancer you hire can do the job.
Freelancer works similarly to Upwork in that you post a project and the 3D modeler applies to you. You can compare proposals from different freelance industrial design services, browse talent outside of the application process, and pay only when you’re satisfied with the results.
On top of this, they also offer improved security for payments and the ability to pay via milestone instead of in one lump sum at the end.
You can speak with your freelancer at any time through Freelancer’s messaging system, and there’s no limit to the size or scope of a project
If you’d rather look for the designer of your choice instead of posting your project publicly, Fiverr may be an option for you. Fiverr allows you to look through dozens of 3D designers, review their skills, and chat with the designer of your choice.
There is a large selection of architectural 3D model making freelancers on Fiverr but little in the way of skill verification. You may need to look over portfolios carefully and test with smaller projects to confirm that the skills the 3D designer are advertising match their ability.
Reaching Out to the Community
If you don’t find what you’re looking for on freelancing platforms, you may have better luck reaching out to the community directly. Some 3D artists don’t advertise themselves on freelancing platforms but may find your project interesting enough to take on.
A community is also a great place where you can meet fresh new talent, including 3D designers with great skill that perhaps don’t have enough experience yet to consider starting a freelancing business. By reaching out to the market, you can tap into this fresh blood. There are quite a few communities out there, many of which are connected to the platforms we spoke about earlier. Here are just a few of them:
Cad Crowd Forum
Cad Crowd doesn’t just have a freelancing platform you can browse through. It also features a forum where 3D designers gather to share knowledge and discuss the industry. Some people post their projects in the hopes of meeting someone with the talent they need, while others simply show off their work or make suggestions. This could be a good place for you to try.
Another lively community is CG Trader. They also have a forum with a vibrant community. The forums give you a chance to look at work 3D designers are showing off, ask questions, or test the 3D designers with contests that prove their ability.
You may be able to find the perfect person simply by talking with them one-on-one.
Do you need your project to be 3D printable? PinShape is a community of people who specifically design for 3D printing. You can advertise your project on one of the subforums specifically or browse around and see what it’s all about. You may find the perfect person just by seeing a post that dazzles you.
Possibly one of the most popular 3D communities, Thingiverse has their community divided into groups that will make finding the type of people you are looking for easier. While some of these groups probably have nothing to do with your group, some of them are divided in really useful ways, such as by type of software or by 3D printer use.
You can also find a freelancer by simply browsing through the many random objects posted on the website and connecting with the designer in hopes that they’ll be interested in your project.
Some of these platforms also offer matchmaking services. Cad Crowd automatically matches you up with the perfect freelancer, while other websites may offer this for an additional fee.
With matchmaking services, the platform does the work of interviewing quality freelancers for you. They search through their databases until they find a freelancer that best matches your needs in terms of skills and pricing.
You may still need to do a little refinement after the initial search, but matchmaking services can save a lot of time during the hunt for an appropriate designer.
Setting Up a Contest
You may have noticed that some of these communities offer subforums that allow you to post contests. In a contest, you can give people a sample object you want to be designed, perhaps similar to the needs of your project, and offer a cash reward to your favorite 3D architectural modeling service.
A contest is great for finding a designer in many different ways. Although you can look at portfolios, review skills, and speak with the freelancer, a contest will tell you a lot that you can’t get from these things.
Unfortunately, some people exaggerate their skills or even steal work from other people in order to try and get jobs. You may find that you’ve found someone who is perfect for your job, only to discover as they try to deliver the work that their skill level does not match up to your expectations.
A contest proves the working ability of the 3D designer who enters. Since the object you have them build is unique, it will be difficult or impossible for someone to simply rip the design off the internet and claim it as their own. You’ll also be able to see how pet product designers handle a deadline and what their skill level actually looks like.
Since the object is also hopefully similar to the type of work you want to be done, you’ll also know that the skills they are showing are transferable to your project. You won’t hire someone with spectacular visual design skills who doesn’t have the capability to do the manufacturing design you really needed.
Although a contest does come with an investment in the form of a prize for the winner, it may save you a lot of money in the long run. By finding the right person right away, you won’t waste money and time on an endless procession of freelancers who don’t meet your needs.
If you think a contest is the right choice for you, look no farther than the communities we just talked about. In particular, Cad Crowd and CG Trader have fabulous contest options for you.
Other Online Sources
These websites make up the bulk of available choices, but there are a few additional ways you can find a freelancer to help you. If you’re looking for a freelance team, LinkedIn may be a good place to try. You can look up 3D designers looking for employment, or even whole teams of them. There’s no guarantee the people who you’re looking at will be interested in your project, but it may be worth a try.
You can also try doing a Google search for a 3D designer’s personal website, but these are uncommon and difficult to find. It’s usually faster, more effective, and more secure to use a platform such as Cad Crowd to find your designer.
The Hiring Process: How to Get a Great Freelancer on the First Try
As you’ve probably discovered during your search for a freelancer, it isn’t enough to simply find someone to do the work for you. Once you’ve got a few candidates to choose from, you need to select the one who will get the job done skillfully and on time.
We have talked about how deceptive some freelancers can be when it comes down to their skill level and how contests can help avoid that. If you don’t want to go the contest route, here are some other ways you can check your candidate to make sure they are the right fit for you.
Check Their Portfolio
The portfolio is the lifeblood of a packaging design services ability. It’s a sampling of their best efforts and can give you a clear picture not only of their skill level but also what sort of projects they like to do. When browsing a portfolio, compare the work you see to the project you want to be completed. Is it similar in a technical sense, such as quality of visuals, level of detail on parts, or complexity? Do any of the pieces you see dazzle you?
If the portfolio impresses you, chances are they’ll be able to handle the project you hope to have completed.
Look at Their Skills
Their level of education, previous experience, and familiarity with various kinds of software will have an impact on your project. In general, more experience and more skills are great to have, as long as they are the right skills and in the field your project needs.
Look at their listed skills and see if they match up with what your project needs. This could include knowledge of 3D printers if your design is something that needs to be printed out, experience in creating 3D buildings if your need falls under architecture, and so on.
It’s okay if you don’t know every program or certification available, but it may be useful to look up what will be most important to your project.
Talk with Them
Even if everything checks out with a potential candidate, there are a few nameless qualities you may not be able to pick up without actually communicating with your freelance 3D product animation service. A great freelancer should be self-motivated and enjoy their work.
Even if they possess these things, clear communication skills and a pleasant demeanor are also important considerations. A moody or dramatic modeler could cause disruptions and unexpected delays if they don’t like changes you need to be made. Even if they handle these things professionally, who wants to work with a grump?
Great questions to assess their talent and drive include things like, “what made you decide to become a 3D modeler?” “would you consider yourself flexible about your work?” “have you worked on anything like this before?” “what was your best and worst experience as a designer?”
By speaking with them one on one, you’ll have the opportunity to see if their personality meshes with your team and company culture, essentials that are just as important as skill level and education.
What do you do to confirm someone is the real deal if you’re not testing their work yourself? Ask other customers what they thought of their experience. Ask your candidates for references and follow up on them.
When you are speaking with the reference, ask them if they were happy with the results, but also ask about skills that may not be listed on their profile. Did they get the project done on time? Were they polite and professional? Did they communicate clearly? Did any problems come up?
Learning about how they handled a difficult situation, such as an unexpected delay, can be of particular use. Sometimes unforeseen circumstances happen, or you need to make an unexpected change order. Knowing how a candidate handles these things can be very useful information.
Run a Test Project
If you really like a candidate, asking them to do a smaller project first is a great way to verify how well they work with you. A smaller project will cost you a little money upfront, but it will help you avoid a crisis if the designer doesn’t have the skills needed or can’t finish a project in a timely manner.
During the testing process, it might be useful to ask your freelancer to make a change during the process. By asking them for a change, you can see how well they handle change orders and also if they perceive changes as criticism.
It’s inevitable that at some point, your work will need changes done, so knowing how well they can handle it when something needs to be redone is very useful information to have before you’re elbow deep in a major project.
Don’t Choose the Lowest Offer
It may be tempting to just go with the cheapest person out there, but that can come with problems all of their own. It takes a certain amount of time and effort to make a 3D model. If they’re asking for an amount that is much lower than average, they may still complete the model for you, but they’re not going to put in the time and effort of another person.
A quality freelance aerospace engineering service knows their value and knows how long it will take them to complete your project. If they can’t make a living with the price of your model, something is going to be sacrificed—probably quality.
The only exception of this might be a new freelancer just trying to get their foot in the door. This comes with problems all their own. They may very well be talented but have no understanding of how to work with you or what is expected of them.
A new freelancer may be worth taking risks on, but this is one area you’ll definitely want to test with a sample project first.
How do you know whether the bids you are receiving are too low or excessively high? Knowing the pricing is key to picking out a quality freelancer.
3D designers are skilled professionals that need many hours of training and education in order to get the skills that they have. A high level of skill means you can expect a high price tag. In general, 3D designers command between $30 and $70 per hour. When the designer looks at your project specs, they’ll base their pricing on how many hours they think it will take for them to complete the work.
Most designers are relatively good at judging how long it will take them to do a project, and if they depend on freelancing as their only source of income, they will likely reject any requests to lower the pricing. Most quality 3D designers won’t undersell themselves and are often too busy with full paying customers to take discounted work as well.
The exception to this might be a person who does design on the side for fun, or a new designer trying to land their first client. These people may offer lower pricing because they either can or because they need to in order to get a reference for their resume.
If you’re serious about a freelancer, don’t be shy about asking them how they handle finances. Most freelance designers will be glad to explain the process and what they expect from you. It’s normal for designers to ask for the money to be divided up into milestones, usually 50% upfront and 50% when the project is completed.
It might seem a little pushy to ask for money right away, but this is commonplace. It only takes a customer cutting all communications halfway through a project, or canceling it with the majority of the work done, and leaving the prototype design service with no pay to make this rule a hard and fast one.
If you’re on a tight budget and know what you can afford, be honest when putting out an advertisement. By being forthcoming about how much you can afford to pay (especially if that is nothing or a token payment), you can avoid hard feelings and sort out the people willing to take on your project a little easier.
Pricing is a delicate subject. It can be a little shocking to see the numbers on a big project that takes many hours of work to complete, and you may see a lot of variation if one person takes longer, or another person charges more.
If you’re concerned about pricing, have a conversation with the freelancer you are interested in and see if they are still willing to help you. The project will go a lot smoother if there is a clear understanding of finances before the project begins.
Common Terms and Conditions
Once you’ve finally picked the right freelance product development service for you and are ready to start on the paperwork, the final thing to take into consideration are what terms and conditions to expect. A contract is an important part of the project because it helps both you and your designer understand what’s needed from each other in clear terms.
You’ll need a lawyer to give you legal advice, or to purchase a template contract if you don’t want the security of a lawyer, but here are some general ideas of what goes into a contract:
Who It Belongs To
You purchased the design, so it is yours, right? This may not always be the case. While you may own the physical instance of the 3D model, the intellectual property is also something you’ll want to spell out. Intellectual properties are ideas and creations of the mind. The idea of your logo versus a printed copy of it.
If you plan to use the design, they come up with for branding purposes, make sure they’ll selling you the idea as well as the 3D model. This is especially important if you plan on selling the brand or logo to someone else down the road.
Who They Can Talk To
Many projects involve product design services, brand new technology, and the latest inventions. If you are getting a concept design done for a product that will shake the industry, what’s going to stop the freelancer from selling on the idea to someone else?
Even if you have a great freelancer who would never do such a thing, he may talk about it with a friend who spreads the idea, and pretty soon you have a leak.
Spelling out that the information you are sharing with the designer is classified and can’t be talked about or leaked in any way will help make your project more secure.
That You’ll Get the Source File
You’ve finished the project with your designer, and his work is stunning. Every detail is perfect, and you can’t wait for him to help you with another similar project—but he’s too busy to take it on.
A source file can be a lifeline here. The source file will allow a different designer to pick up where your last one finished, so you won’t lose valuable time on producing the same model yet again.
The source file also tends to have better quality than the render itself, so you’ll want to preserve this for later use.
These are some of the most common parts of a contract, but with the help of a lawyer, you can alter it in any way you see fit.
Hiring a great freelance electronics design service takes knowledge and patience, but if you know what you want and look for the signs, you’ll find the perfect freelancer for your needs.
Cad Crowd’s 3D Rendering Services Can Help
At Cad Crowd, we have a network of individuals waiting to work for you. Our professionals have worked on all sorts of projects for companies like Tupperware. If you’d like our help, get a free quote.