What is a voxel?
A voxel is a unit of graphic information that defines a point in three-dimensional space. A voxel model is often used in games like Minecraft, Minetest, and Veloren.
Voxel also stands for 3D pixel which is the smallest element of a 3D printed object, and it represents a certain grid value.
As Minecraft (The game) took the internet in a storm, as it is played by all generators from young kids to adults, voxel became popular than ever to create minecraft models.
And as the heat became intense especially with the NFT market rising, and the demand for gaming industries, the demand for voxel editor increased.
Many kids and teens find voxel models fun, which we believe is it a great entry for 3D design, 3D printing, and game development.
Here in this article, we present you a collection of voxel creation tools and voxel editors which are totally free and open-source.
Goxel is my favorite app in this list, not just because it works on Windows, Linux, and macOS, but it also because it is easy to use even for my 5 years old son. That's why we recommend it in our collection of design apps for kids.
Goxel allows you to create amazing 3D voxel models and use them in your work as easy if you are creating 2D pixel art.
Goxel supports layers, and allows you to export your models in many formats: Magica Voxel, Qublicle, glTF2, obj, ply, and build engine.
The developers created a port for iPad which support touch, panning, zoom, and stylus.
2- Magica Voxel
MagicaVoxel is a lightweight GPU-based 3D voxel editor for professionals to aid them create a pro artistic 3D models.
MagicaVoxel is available for Windows only, but Linux users can run it using Wine which allows running Windows software on Linux systems.
Vengi is a collection of 3D voxel tools that include Voxel editor which support many voxel formats.
Vengi editor supports layers, object trees, scripts, animations and model modifiers. However, it is intended for serious designers, and it is still under heavy development.
Voxenko is a free open-source Voxel editor made with the Godot Game engine. It comes with rich color library, drag-and drop support, save and load model in JSON format, advanced mouse control and more.
Voxenko is available for Windows, Linux, and macOS.
Vuxel is a simple lightweight 3D voxel editor written in Node.js that works directly from your browser. It is released as an open-source project under the MIT License.
The PhotoVoxel app is a powerful 3D voxel editor aiming for game developers and designers. It is compatible with Unreal Engine 4 and the Unity game engine.
PhotoVoxel offers a customizable user-interface, multi-viewport and supports many export formats.
Grid is an experimental simple voxel editor written by Martin Slachta, and released as an open-source project under GPL-3.0 License.
9- StoneVox 3D
StoneVox 3D focuses on a simple to look at but tool rich environment for creating 3D voxel based models.
StoneVox 3D is distributed under NPOSL-3.0. Which basically means you can use it for commercial works. You may also, modify and create derivative works, as long as you don't sell it and release source code.
10- DelphiDoom Voxel Editor
DelphiDoom Voxel Editor is an open-source plugin for the DelphiDoom game engine.
DelphiDoom is a port of the Linux Doom code to the Delphi programming language by Jim Valavanis (Jval). It features an advanced software renderer and also supports Chex Quest, Heretic, Hexen, and Strife. DelphiDoom is licensed under the terms of the GNU General Public License.
11- Voxel Plugin for Unreal Engine
Voxel Plugin allow you to create fully volumetric, entirely destructible, infinite worlds in Unreal Engine. It is compatible with 4.24, 4.25, 4.26, 4.27 and Unreal 5.
12- Bones3; Voxel Plugin for Unity Game Engine
Bones³ (pronounced "Bones Cubed") is an advanced voxel block editor designed for the Unity engine. The framework is designed to allow users to create voxel structures and worlds both in-editor and in-game, as well as exposing a flexible API for writing custom world manipulation scripts.
If you know of any other open-source 3D Voxel editor that we did not mention here, let us know, and we will gladly add it.