What Role Does 3D Modeling Play in Engineering Sectors?

Mar 28, 2023

Product 3D Design

7 minute read

As much as 3D modeling is a technology, it is also a better-advanced expansion of 2D sketching, drawing, or drafting. Since the turn of the millennium (2000s), 3D modeling and computer-aided design (CAD) technologies have evolved for the better. The three-dimension added to the developmental sketches gave better and more transparent information to develop the final model.

what role does 3D Modeling Play in Engineering Sectors
3D modeling play in engineering sectors

If you have just begun with the concept and want to solidify your career in 3D designs, it is vital to know how the technology has benefited modern engineering. As well as what benefits engineering operations and production can reap from 3D designs and visualization.

Give this article a read until the end and get to know everything about the significance of 3D modeling technology for engineers.

How does 3D modeling impact modern-day engineering?

With further advancements in the domain, 3D has been adopted by more and more mainstream business sectors. One of them to name is the engineering industry, which has widespread usage of three-dimensional designs. Right from the ideation and developmental stages to the final visualization, 3D modeling and rendering are integral for any engineering operation. Production engineers develop detailed 3D models that help the stakeholders involved get a clear idea of the final outcome.

Simply put, 3D designs have proved to be a blessing for new-age engineers and production designers. Let’s discuss in detail why it is so and the reason behind this widespread adoption.

In the initial days, for any kind of model creation, the designer had to conceptualize the wireframe and then create the prototype for real for further speculations. Besides, any design draft that was created was done in 2D format. Both methods started losing their relevance with time due to the limitations they had. Industrial product designs were heavily constrained by the then standards that relied only on flat 2D drawings. Thus, 3D graphics subsequently entered the scene.

This transition was imminent. After all, engineers need to visualize complicated designs’ final looks and how they appear in reality without any ambiguity. However, the boundaries set by flat 2D drafts made it impossible. Creating initial prototypes was an unattainable and super-expensive job. All this was made easy with 3D models that were easy to ideate, conceptualize, and develop through 3D and CAD software applications.

Another aspect is 3D laser scanning technology, which is crucial in reducing the need for manual deconstruction of any components. This reverse engineering technology is usually required to examine the various visible components of a machinery to see the actual fabrication of it.

The process is done on all the sub-components instead of making the component from scratch. This not only simplifies thorough checking but also substantially lowers the production time, costs, and effort.

The best advantage of three-dimensional modeling for the engineering community that is still relevant is tha they can present their ideas visually to seek approval on any project or concept. From designing to visually presenting the idea in front of the stakeholders and upgrading their skills, 3D graphics help them tremendously.

So basically, what started as an experiment has fully evolved and become a revolutionary shift in the new-age engineering realm. The 3D technology that was once in its nascent stage has now been an essential tool for modern engineers. With much better experience and expertise, they are now leading the entire system towards transformation. One example of this transformation is the 3D printing technology and additive manufacturing. This is how 3D models and artwork have impacted the engineering sector.

Interested to know about the other advantages engineers and production designers can get from 3D modeling? The following section gives all the details you need. Keep scrolling.

What benefits does 3D modeling have for the various engineering sectors?

Usually, engineering teams work in silos within their respective disciplines; however, when digital modeling gets involved, it becomes a multi-disciplinary model. Structural engineers start with the basic structure of the model, while the mechanical engineering team adds the technicalities.

Finally, the model design gets passed on to a 3D specialist who creates the model in a 3D space using special software. 3D adds depth, size, and dimension to a model. Moreover, with specialized CAD/CAM (Computer-aided Manufacturing) tools, the designing process and team collaboration become more simplified.

Check out the following benefits of 3D modeling in further detail.

  • Super-fast delivery

    With 3D models, successful project delivery within a short time span is a fact. Engineers can save a significant amount of time that was previously difficult to achieve. Many of the manual prototyping tasks get automated with 3D designs. There’s no need to create elaborated pencil drawings for complex projects and machinery models.

    With specialized 3D modeling software used by professional 3D artists, the designing part becomes super-fast, saving a lot of production time and automatically making the delivery faster.

  • More efficient process

    With advanced 3D modeling, data sharing becomes much more easier and clearer. Nothing is left for guesswork or assumption. Quantity calculation, section views, elevation of the components, functionalities, everything is data-driven. This makes the process highly efficient and productive.

  • Increased accuracy

    With 3D technology, certain processes become auto-generated and automated; meaning there is no human intervention or chance of human error. Moreover, when engineers visualize the prototypes in real from multiple angles, it is extremely easy for them to make each structural component 100% accurate. This ultimately makes the industrial design deliverables all the more accurate and flawless.

  • Easy and quick error fixing

    One of the biggest advantages of using 3D models for any engineering project is the quick and easy alteration. Engineers can quickly fix any changes, even in complex shapes. For example, civil engineering professionals can reinforce certain shapes by specifying the number of bars required. This data is put in the software program used to create the model. BIM (Building Information Modeling) tools are utilized for such precise architectural modeling projects.

    This design optimization process not only makes reinforcement simple and fast but also makes the final outcome flawless. Moreover, the tweaks can be made in real-time.

  • Better presentation

    Using 3D also ensures a fantastic vantage point for the stakeholders, including clients, end-users, board members, and so on. All of these decision-makers get a realistic view of the 3D model. They are able to play around with the design, rotate it, see the cross-sections, zoom out and zoom in, see underneath the model, and more. They can even change and check different variations of the same model by giving various inputs.

    This multi-angle viewing option, accompanied by configuration flexibility, makes the decision-making process faster and more convenient.

  • detection of potential design flow

    Engineering parts and components are massive; besides, they are used for high-level projects involving millions. Be it civil, mechanical, electrical, or architectural design, any overlooked flaw in the design stage can turn into a fatality in the future that can cost a lot. Faulty designs can sometimes even take a toll on human lives. So, engineers cannot afford to be wrong in any of the designs or machinery items they create.

    Thankfully, 3D design has made this extremely precise. 3D scan data correctly identifies any potential flaw in the design and development stage, alerting the developers. With such in-depth engineering analysis, they can rectify the errors right away and check the outcome in real-time, thus avoiding any future hazards. This is the most significant role 3D modeling plays in the construction industry.

  • Versatile usage

    The beauty of artwork designed in three-dimensions is that they can be used for diverse purposes. Such is the versatility of 3D computer graphics. After the model is designed, it can be rendered in different styles, like against a neutral or white background or within a lifestyle “in-context” environment. This clearly conveys the functionality of the product and how it will look in the real world, as well as highlights its best features.

    Experienced 3D renderers can create stunning photorealistic 2D renders of 3D product modeling using the latest 3D rendering software and tools. These high-quality rendered visuals can be further used in marketing and promotional materials, for virtual testing purposes, for social media marketing, on websites or eCommerce stores, and on listing sites for better customer engagement.

  • Easy file sharing process

    Lastly, 3D CGIs are highly shareable. This is the best kind of benefit that engineering teams require as they need to present the files to several departments before the final approval. Actual physical prototypes are not only difficult to carry around but also call for exorbitant logistics expenses. Even paper-based sketches and drafts are burdensome to distribute among multiple people.

    Since 3D projects are software-generated, the files can be easily shared with multiple individuals or teams, and also can be uploaded to a cloud or FTP.

Final words

If you come across any engineer who has worked on both the 2D-oriented operation process and the modern 3D-centric workflow, you’ll find them leaning on the latter. To sum up, from civil, mechanical, aviation, and agriculture, to healthcare, marine, manufacturing, automotive, and architecture - 3D modeling now has immense application in all these sectors. With fascinating visuals, hyper-realistic versatility, and flexibility, 3D technology and a modern CAD system touch every aspect of the developmental lifecycle.

The future years might see more AI-driven 3D innovations in the engineering sector. Already, AR-VR have become a known name in several industries, offering real-world simulation effects in a virtual environment. Several global 3d modeling companies are adopting virtual modeling for their project workflows and utilizing rapid prototyping and 3D scan clean-up services.

So, if you are an engineering professional or a beginner 3D artist, collaborate with an expert agency offering high-end 3D modeling solutions. Start integrating the emerging technologies within your working model and be a part of the tech revolution!

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Sushmita Roy

A seasoned 3D professional with a creative focused, and a knack for diverse 3D designs, software and the technology. She's associated with ThePro3DStudio for long enough to prove her mettle and make every 3D projects successful. When she’s not busy working for a new project, she shares valuable insights from her own experience.