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  1. 3D CAD Modelling Heading The development of 3D modelling software enables architects and design engineers to create realistic 3D models of their designs. Previously they would have been built from clay, card or polystyrene blocks. A 3D computer model is a virtual object which can be rotated on screen and viewed from any angle.

  2. 3 Types of 3D Computer Models Wireframe Surface Model Solid Model

  3. Wireframe The wireframe model is built up using a series of connected lines to produce a 3D object.

  4. Surface Model The surface model is built up by drawing the surfaces of an object. Like adding the canvass onto the frame of a tent.

  5. Solid Model The solid model is built up by using simple geometric forms or extrusions - such as cuboids, cylinders & prisms. These can be added or subtracted to produce complex 3D models.

  6. Advantages of 3D Computer Modelling over Traditional Built Models Can be produced very quickly. Can be modified very easily. Easily add colour & surface texture. Test structural designs before building eg bridges & skyscrapers. Easily sent by email to remote locations throughout the world. Less storage space required than a ‘real’ model. Used to create realistic simulations. Clients can explore virtual ‘walk through’ of 3D model designs.

  7. Disadvantages of 3D Computer Modelling Computer generated models are virtual and can lack the feel of a traditional model which can be picked up and handled. Purchase cost of computers and software. Training of staff in use of software. Maintenance of IT systems & network servers.

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