3D modeling is a technique that is used to digitally create a 3D representation of an object. 3D models are used for several different mediums such as movies, games, architectural engineering, concept vehicles, concept phones, and so much more. A good example of this would be when car manufacturers are engineering a new concept car on the computer, or when a person is looking at a 3D blueprint of a home or bridge that is going to be built. However, the biggest thing that is starting to become popular is 3D printing and learning how to model those prints can be convenient rather than paying someone else to do it for you. This way you could make anything your mind can think of and will not need to rely on anyone to help. Most people go to school in order to master and learn 3D modeling however nowadays that is not entirely necessary due to having several free resources available at our disposal like YouTube, and online forums to ask questions.
3D modeling is important because it can save us time and effort by being able to make the mistake virtually before spending time and resources physically producing something and having to throw the prototype away due to a minor flaw or a major one that was not thought of when initially building it. To explain, when a company is building a car, they usually get a 3D model rendered to see if there are any flaws or issues that could arise before sending it to production. Once they identify issues in the 3D model, usually they are able to find a solution and amend it before they send it to production. Because of how advanced our technology has become we are even able to 3D print car parts and several other parts and after properly modeling them. This is great as some auto mechanic shops have been 3D printing parts for repair which significantly reduces cost both for the customer and the shop. Not only that, they are usually able to get the parts faster than ordering it from the manufacturer. Below is an example of an interior of a house before it was set up by the interior designer.
The concept of 3D modeling is relatively simple as the 3D modeler usually starts with a primitive type of object such as a cube, sphere, cylinder, plane, etc. Once that is done depending on what they are trying to do they would start shaping the cube to look a certain way just like if you were making something out of play dough. When it comes to 3D modeling you should always start with a simple concept and work towards a complex result. Below is a 3D modeled heart which started off as a circle and ended up like this.
The example above shows a heart but you can also make things like gears, cars, cups, and so many other things. The 3D example below is a more functional project which is a model of industrial equipment before it actually gets 3D printed or made.
As we mentioned above there are several resources available on the internet as well as in books that can teach you how-to properly 3D model an object. They are several options out there regarding which software to use for the 3D model as well and each person will recommend something that they think is best for them. From our experiences the two software we use to 3D model are SketchUp by Google and Autodesk Fusion 360 which is free as long as you are using it for personal use and not for a business. Below are two images one made using SketchUp while the other made using Autodesk.
As you can see above the are both professional and well-created software, but keep in mind, they are professional-grade softwares and because of that, there is a slight learning curve when starting and patience is a virtue when it comes to learning anything. Other software we have heard highly off and have been recommended to us are Maya, Blender (Open-Source), Rhino, and Cinima4D.
On a personal level, we recommend using SketchUp to start and mess around with that software before using Fusion 360 because it was a little bit harder to get the hang of Fusion 360 due to the learning curve on the software. There are lots of tools and lots of things you can do including animation. Out of the two softwares we would definitely say that Fusion 360 has an upper hand when it comes to modeling due to all of the features it offers. Lastly, don’t forget Google is your best friend.