Introduction to 3D Modeling in Design

What is 3D Modeling?

CADD/3D Modeling & Graphics
Bliss Hall – University of Rhode Island
3D Model – Produced by Sebago Technics

3D Modeling is an expansion on the concept of two-dimensional drafting that began to rise in popularity in the early 2000’s. By adding a third dimension there is exponentially more information that can be included in the resulting model. Three-dimensional models in AEC design are typically for buildings and building systems, however, they can be utilized for individual components and fixtures for fabrication as the building gets closer to construction. 

Models are created in the early stages of a design project and are used as the foundation for designers to bring designs into reality in the form of detailed construction drawings, images, and renderings.

What are its Benefits?

The benefits of working in three-dimensional space over traditional drafting are that it allows architects and engineers to more clearly understand the conditions of a design. The design of building systems is complex and can be utilized to more clearly represent projects to other designers, builders, and clients.  

Church Window
Peter J. Gomes Chapel – Bates College – Historic Tracery Assembly
3D Model – Produced by Sebago Technics

Models make it is possible to make large changes to design with relative ease as the drawings are based on 3D geometry instead of linework. By making changes easier designers are able to more easily coordinate with trades and consultants after presenting design options. If all members of the design team are working in 3D it is possible to have a complete digital representation of the design and all of its systems. This also opens up other opportunities for coordination such as clash detections and material quantities to be more accurately estimated to help keep project costs low.  

Other information can also be included in a model, such as glazing information for windows, hardware information for doors, pipe flows, mechanical system volumes, and electrical design loads. This information component allows projects to have more information incorporated into the design reducing the potential for coordination errors and miscommunications. Once the project is complete, the design model acts as a record model for the owner and any future maintenance teams.

Critical Role in Design?

Peter J. Gomes Chapel – Bates College – Chapel Archway
Model Rendering – Produced by Sebago Technics

Any AEC design that exists in the built world needs a foundation in three-dimensional reality. Having a model during the design process improves understanding of a project, which is crucial during the design process. The information contained within a 3D model provides designers to accurately coordinate utilities, grading, and system routing information which is what allows a building to function properly. Engineers and trades need to properly size and locate equipment to maintain functionality as well as understand how a building is intended to sit on a building site to put forth a proper site design.  

By having a model, designers are able to put forth a more accurate design to ensure a project functions properly and last for decades. The more accurate the information is at the start of a project the better decisions the solutions that can be designed. These decisions allow projects to meet building codes and requirements for functionality that are critical for both owners and users of a building.

Learn more about our CAD and 3D modeling services today! Our team has the experience to understand the vision of your project, accurately capture and analyze it and then provide a realistic model for your design and presentation requirements.