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I really like icons like those created by SoftFacade.com:

enter image description here

I read the interview from one of their founders, where he mentions that they use "3d tools" without going into specifics.

Now I am looking for the 3D tools to do such icons. Has anyone an idea of the tools they might be using, or a recommendation to do this kind of job?

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Some of the big names in 3d modeling are Blender (Free, OSS), Maya, and 3ds Max.

Sorry for only posting a couple of links, it won't let me post more! I'll add some if I get enough rep to post more than 2 links.

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    Cinema 4D is another one. A lite version of C4D will also be included in Adobe Creative cloud starting in June (2013) – John May 20 '13 at 17:52
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A document with recommendations:

You can check this comprehensive MSDN article on icon creation. IMHO it is one of most valuable all-basics-in-one-place sources around. It focuses on creation of 3D icons for Microsoft Windows, but the principles are universal.

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