An introduction to 3D modelling and its applications

3D modelling is used in computer design software to turn an object from 2D to 3D on the screen. 3D models are used in video games, computer animated films, architectural drawings, illustrations and engineering to help bring an object to life.

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For anyone working in engineering, graphic design, architecture, construction, film production and any other industry that involves creating things from scratch, 3D modelling forms an integral part of their lives. BIM technology (Building Information Modelling) uses 3D modelling techniques to enable the viewer to see what an object truly looks like. In the world of construction and architecture, this involves producing a model of a building or object on a computer screen.

How does 3D modelling work?

A design artist will use specialist 3D design software and take a simple object like a cube or a sphere and sculpt it to give it the desired form. The artist will work in a layered manner, increasing the complexity as they go, in much the same way as a real-life artist or sculptor would.

Professional engineers such as those at are skilled at knowing precisely which colours and effects should be used to make an object look and move as realistically as possible. Years of skill, practise and testing go into perfecting the final model.

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The future of 3D modelling

According to the Guardian newspaper, 3D modelling is actually good for the planet. According to the article, BIM allows users to run computer simulations when they are building nearly anything – whether it is roads, bridges, skyscrapers or hospitals – well before construction gets underway.

Modelling technology enables architects, designers and engineers to mock up a real object or building based on its design spec and then subject it to rigorous tests and scenarios prior to construction. These 3D models enable the design teams to see any potential pitfalls before construction work actually begins to avoid running into problems that are expensive and time-consuming to correct. In the past, engineers and constructors may have come across issues whilst working on a project or after it had been completed. The use of 3D modelling effectively reduces waste and unnecessary energy consumption, and this can only improve over time with the new tech-savvy generation, who are also very aware of the environment.

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