The cone and key where made using Rhino. I heard about Rhino from the Shopbot forum and downloaded the free trial software. It is a spline based program so you are basically working with wire frame shapes. By using the trial version I was able to work with it and find out if it fit my kind of work and work habits.
Rhino is great for basic geometry like spheres, cubes, cylinders etc. I also found the functions for revolve, extrude, lofting trimming, etc very easy to use. I also like the command line for quickly calling up functions instead of having to find an icon on the tool bar or going to the file menu every time.
I have also tried the free trial of Silo, this program is a polygon modeler and has a very short learning curve. It does not have as many tools as Rhino for creating shapes but works more like modeling with clay, you can select faces, edges or vertices and just pull them into the shape you want. The program is also a real bargain at around $100 .
I think the real key to a good software program is trying them out and finding one that fits your work style and the type of things you want to create. It’s just another tools and even though you can use a butter knife to drive in a screw, a screwdriver does a better job. It’s just a matter of finding the right tool.