If, like me, you have wished you could add 3D to your design repertoire, but thought the financial expense and, moreover, the investment in learning time was too high to make it worthwhile for the few occasions it would be of use, then may I suggest...
Blender is "open source software for 3D modeling, animation, rendering, post-production, interactive creation and playback. Available for all major operating systems under the GNU General Public License."
I thought I didn't have the time or skills to get involved with 3D, but discovering the impressive Blender gallery by accident, and then seeing the software's relatively small download size, I thought I would take a quick look.
To my surprise, after a little while fiddling about I had created something that wasn't complete crap. Each time I have got stuck on something either a search of Blender's comprehensive wiki, a thread on one of the QA forums or a look at one of the video tutorials has solved the problem. There are lots of resources, objects, materials, textures etc for dowloading too. Obviously, I still have loads to learn, but it's very rewarding and nowhere near as hardgoing as I had first feared.
I'm excited about this potential new string to my bow. If I get good enough to use it for a design job I will definately donate toward further development.
Here's some related links...
Elephants Dream was created mostly with Blender and is the first ever open source movie.
Blender Nation is a blog with Blender news, tutorials and links...
Some easy entry Blender Video Tutorials to get you started. There are many more on other websites.
(Sorry, moderators, if this is not an appropraite post for Typohile, or should have been posted in another location or in the wiki.)