Today, most businesses prefer 3D visualization for their products. But how are these visuals developed? Of course, the brain behind these would be the expert 3D artists who work dedicatedly to bring the best out of it.

You might be confused between 3D modeling and sculpting thinking that sculpting is a kind of modeling. But actually, there is a difference between the two in terms of their utilization.

Let’s dive in to better understand.

How Do You Define 3D Modeling and 3D Sculpting?

3D modeling is an excellent way of making three-dimensional objects with the help of computer software and is a major way of creating CGI assets. It is used to build a 3D object by adding polygons. Different types of 3D modeling are available and some of them are below :

  • Primitive Modeling - mainly uses spheres, cubes, and variations to get the desired shape.
  • Polygonal Modeling - mainly uses X, Y and Z coordinates to define the desired shapes.
  • Rational B-Spline Modeling - mainly uses geometry forms and is easy to learn

On the other hand, 3D sculpting is the complete process performed by the 3D artists to manipulate a polygon mesh of an item like a sculpt. It is all about shaping, sculpting, carving an object using digital tools to get a quality output.

How is 3D Modeling Different From 3D Sculpting?

The major difference between modeling and sculpting lies in the 3D model that is generated as a result of the process. To make it clear, the objects created by 3D modeling can be modified by manipulating edges, vertices, and all. But, the sculpted model is a completed one and cannot be modified easily.

Another difference between the two is the expert skillset required to make the 3D models. Simple geometrical and precise calculative skills are required for 3D modeling. But the sculpting demands more of an artistic approach and is more sensitive to getting messed up, hence requiring more care and consciousness.

What Are Some of the Pros and Cons?

The first question that would come up would be - which one is better? 3D modeling or 3D Sculpting!

One major drawback of 3D modeling is that it is a time-consuming process when creating organic shapes - which would require a lot of curves and asymmetric elements to form the shape.

3D sculpting is well-suited for the most complex designs and is the right option for all manufacturers who prefer organic shapes. (Of course, expertise in 3D sculpting is a must and it may incur more costs based on the experience of the artist!)

What are some of the uses?

Yes, even though both modeling and sculpting are equally useful, many spheres define their unique uses of it. For example, making hard objects is done by polygon modeling while the making of soft objects is done by 3D sculpting especially for video games.

The next use is 3D printing - a good choice for manufacturers. The 3D model fulfills the simple object but 3D sculpting is preferred for the newly evolving printing techniques that include replication of every minute detail.

Hardware and Software Specifications

Both modeling and sculpting require a handful of tools and techniques - especially the 3D modeling software. Some of the major tools used for standard 3D models include 3Ds Max and Blender. But for sculpting, there are standalone programs like Zbrush and other toolsets that make the process seamless.

When it comes to hardware, 3D modeling involves powerful processing and rendering and mouse and keyboard would be sufficient. A little more complicated setup is required for Sculpting as they would depend on digital art.


Even though 3D modeling and sculpting would seem similar and would be used in common situations, both techniques are a little tough to learn and master. To keep it simple, regular 3D models are built by using polygons whereas 3D sculpts are carved with the specific toolset. If you are looking to create objects with rigid shapes, then 3D modeling would be perfect and for organic and smooth shapes, sculpting would be the right fit. Try to outsource 3D modeling services or 3D sculpting services to professionals to get the high-quailty and accurate results.

Not sure to choose between 3D visualization techniques?

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Sushmita Roy   linkedin   instagram   twitter

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.