The field of 3D computer graphics is a very large and interconnected one. It has its root across several industries like the gaming industry, the movie industry, as well as architecture and engineering industries. The artists make use of some process and techniques such as graphic design, rendering, animation, and visualization to create different 3D objects. This 3D images can be transformed into physical and tangible objects with the use of 3D printing. The process is known and referred to as 3D modelling.
3D modelling requires much more logistics than every other part of 3D design technology. It is so because the output of the 3D modelling is not the final product in itself, it rather is the representation of the 3D object or item. i.e. It is the representation of the object that explains and shows how that object is created and designed. This 3D objects before print are called 3D models and are used in the creation of various tangible objects.
WHAT IS 3D MODELING?
This phenomenon or technology is the equivalent of a combination of geometry, maths and design. 3D modelling, through the specialized and dedicated 3D modelling software, is used to create files that serve as instructions and guides for the 3D printer. Like sculpting, architecture, or building, modelling shows how objects and buildings will be created and made tangible. Simply put, we can say a 2D representation of an object or building is its blueprint, while 3D representation is the model. The model provides a mathematical and solid description of such objects.
3D modelling programs like Blender, ZBrush, SketchUp, among others, are software that 3D designers employ for creating 3D models. The files are a representation of points in space from geometrical figures such as the triangle, curves, polygon that ties the point together into solid three-dimensional items.
These 3D models are divided into two main types, and they are the Computer-Aided Design (CAD) models and the 3D mesh models. Computer-Sided designs (CAD) are more of a set of steps used to create the object. With CAD, the objects can be tweaked and manipulated without the need to rewrite the entire file. The mesh models, however, are more representative of the object's surface. They are called Mesh models because they appear like objects wrapped in mesh.
WHAT IS THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN 3D MODELLING, 3D GRAPHICS AND RENDERING?
A lot of people are confused about these phenomena and what accounts for the difference(s) between them. What really separates these 3D techniques is their end result.in 3D graphics, the output is usually a 2D rendering of 3D animation or images such as the picture of an object. With 3D modelling, the first result is a technical file which serves as instructions to a 3D printer for the production of a physical and tangible object.
3D rendering is then used to show how a 3D model or object will look when it is created and becomes tangible.
WHAT ARE THE USES OF 3D MODELLING?
3D modelling has brought about new innovations and possibilities with its ability to quickly and affordably create prototypes of 3D objects. 3D models can be printed with a 3D printer, you can have a 3D rendering of 2D images and you can make 3D simulations of objects and buildings.
The 3D models are used across various industries in art and entertainment like gaming, animation and movie making, to the engineering industry, manufacturing, medical devices, geology and architectural industries. The use of 3D models and modelling knows no bounds and is rapidly spreading.
Let's take a quick look at the output that is used in the generation of printed 3D objects.
The most common file type used for creating 3D models is the STL files. These files are created with CAD software. The STL files convert the object into polygon geometry composed of vertices, edges, curves, and triangles.
One important thing to consider when creating 3D models is the resolution of the file. The resolution determines the quality of the object, the texture of the surface and other detail of the object at print. The lower the file resolution, the larger and more pixelated the object will turn out. High-resolution STL files are large in size and are more detailed (sometimes can be overwhelming to the printer and needs some crosschecking). To ascertain that the proper resolution and file size is being sent to print, you need to check the printer's guidelines for its resolution limit.
MATERIALIZING 3D MODELS WITH 3D PRINTING
3D printing, as of now, has become more and more available and affordable than it was a few years ago. The technology allows for quick and easy object prototyping at an affordable cost. You can either purchase a 3D printer yourself, rent yourself a printer, or patronise 3D printing service providers. Whatever your choice, there's always a 3D printing option just for you.
3D printers are used by industrial designers to create and test prototypes of their designs. With prototyping and 3D printing, ideas can be quickly transformed into tangible and physical objects that can be tested and used as an innovation point until they arrive at their final product. It makes the production and manufacturing process of companies a whole lot faster. There's no much difference between 3D and 2D printers. They all do the same work of recreating computer files. The point of divergence for these printers is the final creation or output because 3D printers end up with a tangible 3D object, and this is not so with 2D printing. 3D printers use Fused Deposition Modelling (FDM) to turn STL files into tangible objects. In FDM, a spool of material (like plastic filament) melts and transform into tiny ribbon-like pieces. These tiny pieces are then added in layers to create a solid and tangible object. The 3D printer will replicate a model in exact proportions, and require certain guidelines without which the printer will be unable to reproduce the object.
However, the option of different printers, software, and printing materials, makes the creation of 3D objects as diverse as possible. There are a lot of things you will need to consider for your 3D printing like the 3D modelling software you want to use, the printing material and so on. Your decision will be based on many considerations and in the long run, the choice you make will affect some aspects of your final tangible 3D object.