Maya: definition, operation and scope

In the field of 3D visualization and animation, there is hardly a more well-known program than Maya from Autodesk. The application is widely used in the film and television industry. At the same time, even as a home user, you can accomplish true marvels in 3D modeling with the software. Everything you need to know about the popular program is described below.

The most important facts in brief:

  • Maya was already developed in 1998 and today it is one of the most used applications in the field of 3D modeling and computer animation
  • The 3D software can be used to create both realistic characters and impressive effects
  • Maya is compatible with all major operating systems (Windows, Linux, macOS).
  • The full license comes with a cost, but you can also use a free trial version

Maya: definition, operation and scope

Maya is a professional 3D software distributed by the Autodesk company. The application was originally developed by Alias, which was acquired by Autodesk in 2006. To this day, Maya is one of the most popular applications when it comes to creating realistic characters or objects. Furthermore, the software allows you to implement various effects such as explosions.

Use of Maya in the 3D printing process

In the 3D printing process, you can take advantage of Maya's many modeling objects. You can create objects and people in high quality and model them down to the smallest detail. Autodesk provides you with a variety of intuitive tools that make it easy to edit 3D objects.

File formats with Maya

  • BVH
  • MB
  • MCFI
  • MCFP
  • MEL
  • MLL
  • MP
  • SGT
  • GE2
  • RTG

Maya: costs, trial version and operating systems

As commercial software, Maya is particularly interesting for industrial customers. However, you can use a free full version under certain circumstances.

Cost & trial version

If you want to test Maya first, Autodesk provides you with a free trial version. The range of functions corresponds to the full version. If you want to purchase them, you can choose from two different models. On the one hand, the subscription is available to you. A monthly payment will incur a cost of 274€. In the case of an annual payment, it is 2,208€. Alternatively, you can pay €6,623 every three years.

You can also opt for the Flex variant. Here you only pay for the pure use of Maya via a token system. Six tokens are due for the program per day. You can buy 100 tokens for a price of 316€.

Version for students, educational institutions

As a student or trainee, you can use Autodesk programs free of charge. You have to present your authorization and you can use Maya for free for at least one year. You can extend this use if you can continue to provide proof of it.

Supported operating systems

Maya supports all major operating systems. You can use the CAD program with macOS, Windows and Linux.

Advantages and disadvantages of Maya in 3D printing

Maya brings you both advantages and disadvantages in 3D printing. We have listed them clearly for you below:


  • Compatible with Windows, MacOS, Linux
  • Precise modeling of 3D objects and people
  • Simulations and animations possible
  • Flexible subscription or flex model
  • Free trial version available


  • Subscription associated with comparatively high costs
  • Software language is English


With Maya you use a real high-end program for modeling your 3D objects. The application is used in the film industry, among others, and stands for an enormously high standard. For private 3D printing, the possibilities are extensive to the maximum, but the subscription in particular is not affordable for everyone. However, the trial version will already help you, plus you can opt for the Flex subscription and possibly save money in the long run.

FAQ: Frequently asked questions & answers about Maya

Meshmixer is aimed specifically at beginners in the field of 3D modeling. However, the software is not available in German, so some knowledge of English is required.

Meshmixer offers several options for modeling your own 3D models. Thus, several shapes and models can be combined with each other. This is done enormously simply by means of the drag & drop principle.

As a rule, successful entry into Meshmixer does not take too long. The software is intuitively designed and allows even novices a short learning phase.

For students and teaching institutions, Maya is available in a free version. This can be obtained with the appropriate authorization and can be used for at least one year.

All users can test Maya free of charge and without risk. Autodesk offers the program in a free trial version with all the features of the full version.