It seems like yesterday when finding a decent 3D authoring tool was a real pain for independent hobbyists or students. Not to mention the beefy machines needed to run anything worthwhile.
Fast forward to 2015 and we have projects like WebGL Studio, which is a full-fledged 3D scene-editing platform, right inside the browser!
You can edit the scene visually, code behaviours, create shaders, and all directly from within the browser. The interface feels very snappy and fluid. This just blows my mind! Do check out the videos on their home page, and the source on GitHub. Note that you can't create 3D models using WebGL Studio; you must import objects into the scene.
Goo Engine is open source and contains a vast array of features allowing you to create anything from simple banners to complex 3D games or interactive experiences. All this on the cloud and in your browser!
It is used by several companies in pretty large productions (including games, ads, educational projects, etc) both for desktop and mobile devices. Check out the awesome work by people using Goo Create.
Claiming to have been built by people behind SolidWorks, OnShape is a full-featured CAD software.
Onshape is the first and only full-cloud 3D CAD system that lets everyone on a design team simultaneously work together using a web browser, phone or tablet.
It is built using AngularJS and WebGL, but has not been open-sourced.
The THREE.js editor is more of a proof of concept than a polished product. The feature-set is limited and doing anything non-trivial would be an uphill task, if possible at all.
Look where we are now!
I marvel at how powerful the web has grown as a platform! Of course, advances in hardware has a role to play in making stuff like this possible. I bet products like these are going to surprise a lot of people who dismiss the web at best as an interactive document display system.
Agreed, you may not be churning out the next Assassin's Creed or Avatar using these apps. But these are good tool to design prototypes, create indie games, advertisements or demo reels. Above all, bear in mind that you can access it anywhere - for free!