3D MODELING SOFTWARE: HOW TO CHOOSE ONE FOR YOU
3D modeling software is an umbrella term for programs used to create three-dimensional objects. There is a lot to choose from: free and commercial, online and desktop 3D modeling tools, single-feature or having a varied toolset, and everything in between. The question is - how to find the program that suits your needs?
Our 3D modeling company professionals can share tips on what you should ask yourself to clarify your choice. There are a few things to consider before you buy or download 3D modeling software. Specifically, there are 7 factors that you need to account for prior to choosing, which we are glad to share.
#1. What Do You Want To Use It For?
You have probably already decided what do you want to use 3D modeling software for, but think it through carefully. There is a number of ways to use three-dimensional models: game design, furniture catalogs, 3D printing, laser cutting and much more. And if you want to create models for the sake of making models, we have bad news - you’ll end up wasting money and effort.
#2. What Is Your Field Of Activity?
There are several industries where using 3D modeling programs is vital. However, there are more obscure spheres where such programs can ease work and help achieve better results. For example, jewelry production. Did you know that sculpting software like ZBrush can create incredible pieces with near-microscopic details? Think of how you can creatively utilize 3D models in your job.
#3. What Operating System Do You Use?
3D modeling software is made for different operating systems. For example, the majority of Autodesk programs, excluding Maya and AutoCAD, are Windows-only. Some, like Rhinoceros 3D or DAZ Studio, are multi-platform. And options for Linux users are very limited, to say the least. Blender is one of very few such programs. So be careful - it would be a shame if software you choose just so happens to be incompatible with your PC or Mac!
#4. What Is Your Level Of Expertise?
Your experience in using 3D modeling software also matters a lot, obviously. There are several options for beginners, like 123Design or TinkerCAD. If you already know how to make 3D models, consider tapping into medium-grade sculptors akin to Sculptris. And if you are a professional - well, you should already know what software is good for you. But in case you are interested in using a program with monstrous potential, try 3Ds Max, Solidworks or ZBrush. They will provide a challenge, but can be used to create gorgeous photorealistic models.
#5. How User-Friendly You Want Program To Be?
Difficulty aside, some 3D modeling software is hard to use regardless of expertise. Bulky interface, tabs that cover entire screen, pointless notifications that serve no purpose other than annoying you - all that can be quite frustrating. If you want 3D modeling process to be relatively laid-back, consider choosing program with comfortable GUI and steady workflow.
#6. Do You Need CAD Or 3D Modeling Programs?
As was mentioned in the beginning, there is a lot to choose from in terms of toolsets and versatility. The most common distinction is between strictly 3D modeling software and CAD programs. CAD (computer aided drafting) translates 2D drawings into three-dimensional models, and its primary use is functional design. That’s right - every device or furniture that you have was made using this method, with Solidworks or Fusion 360. 3D modeling programs, on the other hand, are used for creating freeform art. Instead of mechanical algorithms, you have direct control of the process, combining or sculpting elements from simple geometrical shapes. Choose wisely.
#7. What Is Your Budget?
Last, but certainly not least, is your budget. If you want to learn or make 3D models as a hobby, perhaps the best option would be to use online apps or freeware - Clara.io is a good example. A small company may consider buying a cheap licensed product, like SelfCAD. Professionals and large businesses should look for the best 3D modeling software the market can provide. Just don’t be a cheapskate when it comes to commercial programs - quality always has to be top notch!
We hope this advice compilation was helpful. Think carefully what 3D modeling software you should use - your time, money and energy are highly important. And if you don’t want to waste any of them, we can help you as well. Get high quality three-dimensional models for all your needs today with our 3D modeling services!