3D modelling is one of the greatest technological innovations being offered in modern times. It has changed major industries like sales, marketing, real estate, etc. 3D modelling saves billions of dollars each year with its efficiency and effectiveness. 3D modelling has replaced the old hit and trial method that was both costly and time-consuming. However, there’s still a long way to go and it still has got room to improve.
The 3D scanning technology is more like a cherry on a cake in the 3D industry. All products and even buildings can be recreated using 3D scanning as the base. One of the main uses of 3D modelling is reverse-engineering. A 3D replica of any product can be created using 3D scanning in a very efficient way. Although the initial cost of implementing 3D scanning is very high, the benefits outweigh the initial cost by a margin. While the big players have already identified the potential of this technology, other smaller businesses are struggling to get their hands on 3D scanning due to financial limitations.
What Is 3D Modelling?
3D modelling is a technique used to produce a 3D virtual object. 3D modelling has made 3D art possible where an artist uses special software like Blender to manipulate points in virtual space called vertices. These vertices are later manipulated to form shapes and objects. Just like a 2D image is made of pixels, a 3D model is made of polygons, usually triangles. 3D modelling enables artists to unleash their creativity to the fullest. Game designers and VFX artists(animators) heavily rely on 3D modelling to bring their ideas to life. However, 3D modelling requires extensive resources to perform. Animation giants like Disney spend millions of dollars on supercomputers to produce their movies.
There is a variety of 3D modelling software to choose from, some of them are:
- Blender: Blender is a free and open-source software designed for 3D modelling and even animation. Blender is undoubtedly people’s first choice when it comes to digital art. However, learning blender is a quite daunting task to perform, thanks to the robust toolset. Once you master it, there’s no stopping you.
- Maya: Maya is the industry standard in 3D modelling and animation, thanks to the less steep learning curve and a professional-looking UI. If you take any course on designing and animations, this is the software they’ll teach you to learn.
- Cinema 4D: Cinema 4D is the easiest to learn with proper integration with other software like Adobe After Effects, making it ideal for animation purposes.
What Is 3D Scanning?
3D scanning is a modern-world technology used to create highly precise 3D models using a 3D scanner. 3D scanning has eradicated traditional time-consuming methods like clay and drawings. It creates an exact copy of the scanned real-world object which you can view from any side. A 3D scanned image is made of polygons, unlike a 2D raster image which is made of pixels. It works like this: A scanner takes images from all sides of a real-world object, unlike a video camera which takes images of an object, the 3D scanner captures the geometry. This allows the model to be rendered in 3D which can now be viewed from all sides.
Various Applications Of 3D Scanning
3D scanning has proved its worth over time by providing immense value to the market. It made a drastic positive impact on the various industries. There is quite a long list of 3D scanning applications, some of them being the automotive industry, medical industry, reverse engineering, etc. Let’s look at some of these applications extensively.
Reverse engineering is and will remain one of the most useful applications of 3D scanning. Any object can be easily reproduced with maximum precision, it was never this easy and efficient before. A 3D scanner collects the shape of an object which needs to be reproduced, that 3D scan is then used to create a 3D CAD model. This allows the business to produce new parts of the exact same dimensions. On top of that, the object can be directly 3D printed using this method to make things even easier.
Thanks to 3D scanning, the hit and trial method of testing are gone. Manufacturers now have accurate and high-resolution data of the product. This can be used to identify issues in the product before the mass production of that product. Identifying problems in the product beforehand saves both time and money for the company. For that, parts can be virtually assembled in the software before actual assembly begins. This helps in detecting any dimensional issues ahead of time.
Creating a 3D model of a building from scratch can sometimes be hard. Thankfully, 3D scanning is there to make the process smoother than ever. Entire buildings and architectures can be scanned and replicated with some modifications using 3D scanning. This saves a lot of time for both architects and their clients. 3D scanning has the same effectiveness in scanning complete buildings. This ability to scan and analyze buildings has made 3D scanning one of the most useful technologies in the architecture industry. It provides the user accurate information which can be later modified and visualized using CAD.
Product Development and Design
It probably is the most useful application of 3D scanning by far. It allows manufacturers to test the design and working of the product using software like CAD. Just how convenient is that? It allows the manufacturers to know whether their product is going to work in the market or not. The most important part of all is that all this can be done before the actual production or assembly of the product, allowing a vast saving of time and money. Besides that, this gives the analysts and technicians a chance to improve the design even more to achieve maximum efficiency.
3D scanning is one of the most useful technologies in the health industry, with prosthetics being one of the major applications. It allows the production of prosthetics with remarkable accuracy to gain maximum comfort, easy movement, and the least pain possible. Furthermore, 3D scanning can be used to analyze body parts before any surgical process takes place. It allows the doctors to make more informed decisions while effectively decreasing the overall time of surgery. This increases the surgery success rate and allows surgeons to become more efficient in their work. Furthermore, if this is coupled with AR and VR, the effectiveness of this technique increases many folds as surgeons will now be able to virtually perform the surgery before performing the real one.
How Does 3D Scanning Help 3D Modelling?
3D scanning allows the user to create a 3D model of a real-world object. This scanning is certainly simpler than creating a 3D model of that product from scratch. It’s both money and time consuming and also quite daunting for beginners. 3D scanning, on the other hand, is beginner-friendly and can be done in a fraction of the time required in modelling.
Let’s take an example of a product advertisement, for an instance. If a brand has to advertise its product in the most creative way possible, it’ll require 3D modelling. Now, the brand can either decide to create a 3D model from scratch or it can decide to scan the actual product to create a 3D model of it. The latter sounds more convenient and efficient.
3D scanning has changed the 3D modelling industry forever with its effectiveness and accuracy. The 3D models, if created from scratch, have the probability of errors but the scanned model of a product has a very little chance of dimensional errors. However, the technology is still in its infancy stage, making it expensive for most of the users. Only businesses with big budgets can afford to fully implement this technology in their business at current times.
As the technology progresses towards excellence, it produces technological marvels along the way. 3D is one of those marvels. 3D modelling enables users to unleash their creativity to the fullest without spending a lot. Almost any computer can run 3D modelling software like Blender, Maya, Cinema 4D with ease. It requires extensive resources though; you can expect at least 12 hours of rendering time if your machine is low on specifications.
Another thing about 3D modelling is that beginners find it very hard to learn. This is because of the robust toolset that these software packs along with a complicated UI. However, if you do master it anyway, the possibilities are endless for you. 3D scanning complements the 3D modelling in every way, making it completely beginner-friendly while cutting down overall costs. 3D modelling, coupled with 3D scanning, is one of the best things modern technology has to offer. The insane cost and time efficiency that these two packs are truly remarkable. However, no matter how comforting 3D scanning sounds, the initial investment is quite huge. No small businesses can afford such technology even though the benefits of it far outweigh the initial capital investment.