This article was original authored by:  Victor Bradley and Thomas Riddle

In today’s economy, market pressures to respond to ever-changing consumer needs have never been greater. These changes shorten product life cycles and increase the need for customized products.

Companies which can respond to these consumer demands will be more successful than others. The potential benefits to companies moving to 3D CAD technology are extensive and meaningful to the bottom line, more profit for the company. Some of these benefits are:

  1. Concurrent engineering (CE) – Engineering and manufacturing process are enabled simultaneously from shared 3D CAD data.
  2. Higher quality – Due to increased efficiency resulting from the ability to explore a greater number of design iterations during product development.
  3. Lower unit costs – Due to reduced development and prototype expenses.
  4. Rapid prototyping (RP) – 3D CAD models can be used to produce prototypes from Stereolithography and other RP technologies.
  5. Personnel development – 3D CAD technology provides a challenging environment for employees.
  6. Personnel advancement – A variety of positions regarding the management and supervision of 3D CAD become available to advance employee careers.
  7. Identify and eliminate inefficiencies – 3D CAD develops opportunities for the elimination of inherent inefficiencies in existing work flows and/or practices.
  8. Increased workload capacity – Efficient use of 3D CAD allows the production of more work while maintaining current staff levels.
  9. Greater feedback and control of production operations – 3D CAD enables NC tool paths to be generated, updated, and verified automatically with little human intervention.
  10. Improved overall communications – 3D CAD enables a shift from the traditional paper based design and manufacturing system to a electronic paperless one.
  11. Increased accuracy of MRP data – 3D CAD data files can be easily linked and managed by MRP software.
  12. Increased design flexibility – 3D CAD offers a more robust set of tools and methods to modify designs.
  13. Increased design data integrity – With a single 3D CAD model supporting all downstream processes, changes are reflected quickly and accurately.

About the Authors

Victor Bradley and Thomas Riddle are Engineering Consultants and contributors to 3DCADTips.com, a 3D CAD resource site from eDocHelp. eDocHelp provides e-documentation, online help, technical writing and 3D modeling services for the CAD/CAM, manufacturing and other service-oriented industries.

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3D modeling is beneficial for those instances in which we will benefit from seeing a physical object in a solid form. For this reason, 2D models cannot justify the results required from observing the model.

Medical surgery has come a long way, with the use of 3D models. Modern surgical tools have implemented schematics which include a 3D model of the body, showing the surgeon precisely where to create an incision or the exact location of a tumor that is to be excised. An x-ray, which uses 2D features and techniques, will not have this gravity throughout the surgery process, and can yield, at best, an estimation of where to cut.

If we think back to chemistry class, and the models in the textbook and in the classroom of the 3D representations of molecules, this is more than likely one of the most memorable influences that many students have faced when interaction with 3D models. Researcher, students, teachers and professors alike have benefited from the creation of 3D models.

Property development companies require 3D models of developments for planning committees, zoning, architects, and designers and most important, to pre-sell the properties before the buildings have been completed. Customers purchase the property based on the models alone, justifying the importance of creating accurate and concise 3D models, which can be rendered in the form of a tour of the unit.
Without 3D models and the rendering and animation of these models we would not have advanced graphics within video games and animated films. Not only are 3D models beneficial for entertainment purposes, but for teaching and instruction techniques, such as a 3D model rendered, to show the process of digestion within the human body. These 3D models engage the viewer and offer unique interaction that cannot be found in a 2D model.

Of course, there are always going to be objects that have shown better results when they are visualized in a 2D space, these are: the traditional x-ray, and perspective drawings.

The Advantages of 3D Modeling

3D modeling and 3D renderings serve multiple advantages in a variety of fields. Without these renderings, we would have no simplification in the form of animated video for complex processes such as surgery, or the complex journey through the digestive system.

Considering in the avenue of film, or in current events how time and cost consuming it could be to recreate an event such as a fire, or explosion that has occurred. The animation of 3D models allows artists to create these events using models, than rendering the models, which provides life into the structure to create a sequence of events.

The process of 3D modeling allows artists to learn a variety of techniques and forms to create models, animation and even visualizations. As these artists are taught varying techniques, productivity increases as each technique is best for create specific types of the models.

Using 3D models are learning tools are a business all in its own. We are each gifted with different abilities, and with these abilities comes different ways in which we are able to learn new concepts, easily and effectively. Through the use of 3D models and 3D visualizations we are able to create concepts which can easily be learned by visual or tactile learners. That is, those who learn best by visual recognition of an object, and those who learn best by being able to feel, or take part in an object.

We are able to create models that can mimic art through the use of complex lighting, and photo realistic capabilities created with 3D modeling software programs. We are able to create artistic 3D models, which can benefit the arts as providing another media. Sculpture is one of the earliest forms of 3D modeling, and now, we are able to take sculpture to a new level, with the use of 3D modeling software which can create new media.