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I need to visualize some really simple 3d objects like a box, a cylinder etc. I also have path which I would like to give a certain thickness (which basically would result in a cylinder twisted onto this path). I would also like to be able to apply some effects like a light source and reflections on the surfaces of my objects. I have no experience with such stuff so I would prefer a simple solution and not programs which can do everything but need years of learning. I really do not need total advanced stuff.

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SketchUp is a great source to visualize some really simple 3d objects and be able to apply some effects like a light source and reflections on the surfaces of objects. SketchUp is free and doesn’t require a license.

http://www.sketchup.com/3Dfor/k12-education

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Also, you can try geogebra, which is a multi-platform software that gives a chance to experience extraordinary insight. It provides you better help to learn and visualize simple 3D objects.

http://geogebra.org/

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