Why is 3D Modeling Important for Industrial Manufacturing?


The day after the first cave dwellers discovered they could write on stone tablets, Ivan Sutherland created CAD, and just years later, it was developed by a French dinosaur tamer, and the first wheel was created. The year after that, it was 3D printed, and now we have wheels everywhere from Ferris wheels to the wheel of fortune.

Long story short, CAD has been around forever, and even though 3D modeling has only been around since the Mongol Empire invaded the Kievan Rus’ Federation, CAD design and 3D modeling go hand in hand like an improperly manufactured glove.

It is the Lifeblood of the Industry

Going back to CAD design, it has been around for years. Kids learn it in college, and for the longest time, people used CAD designs and sketches to sell their product designs. Nowadays, instead of drawing and poorly textured CAD plans, we can see the highly specific and mechanical CAD plans, and a 3D rendered version of the finished product, along with photo-realistic images and models you can free-move around the screen. Modern 3D rendering and modeling is important because it is the natural progression of industrial manufacturing and design.

It would be like if we just went from writing designs on stone tablets to creating designs with paper and feather quills. Somebody would have written a similar article about how feather quills and paper are important for industrial manufacturing.

Plus, this isn’t a passing phase. Design colleges are including CAD and associated rendering/modeling software in their courses. In truth, there are some colleges that are adopting this technology faster than others, including all facets of future technology (machine learning, 3D printing, etc.). Yet, even the most liberal of design colleges, ones that have so many safe spaces that even their toilet roll has big sloppy kisses on it, even they are adding an introduction to 3D modeling and animation into their courses.

Today’s Emerging Tech is Yesterday’s Future-Tech

We are now entering the stage of AR (Augmented Reality), VR (Virtual Reality) and AI (Artificial Intelligence/Machine Learning). Modern 3D modeling and rendering plays a “Massive” part in how these technologies are integrated into our design futures.

Let’s say you create a body part for a motorcycle. You can create your 3D render on your computer and you can do it with millimeter perfect measurements. You may manipulate it on the screen, looking at all angles and such, but you may then add it into a VR program and walk around your design. Using a VR headset, you can place the rendered design into a walking simulator, a game, or a suitable environment.

Alternatively, you can use AR (augmented Reality) on your Smartphone, you can send the design to your phone, and then look at your bike through your phone camera and the software will add your designed body piece to the bike. Now, imagine you integrate AI into the same AR or VR software, except the AI allows you to snap your design to the bike, or to different parts of the bike, or to different bikes, and then switch up the color, tint, and even the dimensions of the bike part with just a click of a button.

Not Just a Trend

As mentioned, 3D modeling and rendering are already a part of design and technology learning, but if you want real proof that this technology is not fad/phase, then follow the money. There are rendering farms RebusFarm that are making massive numbers, and many of their cloud computing customers are from the industrial design and manufacturing industry. Investors, customers and remote working groups have come to expect their designs to be rendered out, often with photo-realistic visuals. It is therefore no surprise that data centers offering cloud computing services are doing so well and are growing so quickly.