3D modeling is the process of developing a representation of any object in three dimensions with a specialized software.
A 3D modeling software helps you to create sketches, faces and 3D bodies.
Why is it important to learn 3D modeling?
Nowadays more and more companies turn to 3D modeling because it can save resources (time and money) for them. For example, 75% of the IKEA catalog is now done in 3D. These are not pictures of real rooms, but 3D models created by professionals on a computer.
As 3D printing becomes cheap and available everywhere, it also makes sense to develop modeling skills to easily bring ideas to life. With a 3D printer and on-demand manufacturing, you can turn ideas into real, physical objects in just a few hours. These could be toys, fun objects, household items or even replacement parts. The democratization of design allows people to be creative in 3D.
But to create your own 3D models, you need to know 3D modeling.
How to learn 3D modeling?
If you are a type of person who can visualize an object in front of you, make adjustments to it in your mind and know exactly what it will look like, then 3D modeling will probably be a good fit for you.
In 3D modeling, sketches are 2D drawings which can be used to generate 3D bodies from.
What happens if you revolve this sketch (2D drawing) by 360 degrees?
Yes, it will turn into a full bottle.
While 10-20 years ago modeling software were very complicated to use and took years to master, the apps of today (like Shapr3D) offer a fast way to learn 3D modeling.
But how do you know which type of software to use when there are so many? Take a brief look at the available options.
How can Shapr3D help you with 3D modeling?
In CAD (Computer Aided Design), there are 3 common paradigms to create 3D models:
- Freeform surface modeling
- Parametric modeling
- Direct modeling
These methods all have advantages and drawbacks.
In parametric and surface modeling you have to build logical/mathematical relationships between modeling steps. It means that you need initial planning of these relationships, parametric connections. For a beginner, parametric and surface modeling are just too complicated. It takes years to perfect your modeling skills with these.
In contrast, direct modeling offers an easier solution and it is much faster to learn.
Shapr3D is a direct modeling tool.
- you draw sketches (circles, lines, curves, etc) first and
- create the faces, bodies from these sketches.
You don’t need to define any parametric or mathematical relationship. This gives Shapr3D users great freedom and flexibility.
It’s very easy to create objects in Shapr3D. For an extrusion, you can just pull up a closed sketch (highlighted with light blue) with the pencil to turn it into 3D.
In direct modeling, there is no parametric relationship between the sketches and bodies. In practice, it means that no adjustment you make on the sketch will update the model automatically.
Let’s say, you draw a rectangle. And turn that into a cube by pulling it up with the Pencil.
If you modify the rectangle (make it bigger or just move one corner of it), it will not update the cube. The cube remains the same. (Unlike in parametric or surface modeling).
This is very important as this gives direct modeling a huge advantage. Because you don’t need to create complex, mathematical relationships between the sketches and the bodies. You can just freely modify the face, body itself.
If you want to cut the corner of the cube or subtract the side, you can do it by directly working on the body. No need to modify the original sketch.
The advantages of direct modeling
In Shapr3D any body you create will not be dependent on a sketch or any parametric face feature value. It means that you can freely modify any body because you don’t need to know the mathematical relationship between the sketch and the model. This is also very useful when you import a model into Shapr3D that was created somewhere else (or downloaded from the internet). You can instantly start editing these shapes because direct modeling and Shapr3D can handle them. This makes the app very flexible and powerful. You can import pretty much any 3D model and it will be compatible.
That’s why Shapr3D is ideal for exploring and creating rapid ideas, design variations and modifying imported models. Because you don’t have to worry about messing up the mathematical relationship between shapes. You can just work freely with them.
Shapr3D is a great fit for conceptual thinking, concept design and digital prototyping. But it is also robust enough to serve the needs of professionals, CAD experts, designers, manufacturers, and architects.
Related article: Parametric VS Direct Modeling: Which is better?