From 3D Model to Concept Car

Eleanor Hanson

Before products are introduced to the public, the product developers often make a 3D model so that they can see how the concept will appear when finished. These cell phone manufacturers, toy makers, and vehicle designers use these small-scale replicas of the concept to study before the actual object goes into production.

There are many ways to create a 3D model. These include using mathematical equations, pen and pencil, or through the use of a computer. Game creators started using these images to develop their products before computers started recording and using real time to create these new images. These early designers called their images “sprites”.

Not only are 3D models used in the video game industry, but also in industrial fields for research. These models include the body part models for the medical industry, the science community’s chemical compound models, and building, landscape, and automobile models for architects and engineers. There has also been a recent introduction of a 3D model with geographical features to the science community.

The 3D model is usually created in two different forms, the solid model and the boundary model. If you are creating a solid model you are trying to show the actual size and shape of the object. These are the types that are used mostly in the medical and engineering fields; therefore, the hardest to make. If you are making a boundary model you are trying to show the surface of the object only. These are easier to construct and are usually done by using computer graphics. The media and art fields usually use these kinds of 3D models.

In the United States one of the most common ways that the 3D model is used is in the making of an automobile. Each new car concept starts with a sketch and later becomes hard drawings. These drawings get colored in all the right places and tweaked so that the engineers can then create the design. These designs are later made into a small-scale 3D model so that all the important parts can be pieced together to form the new vehicle.

When the vehicle designers use 3D models they can insert all the different trim package and color options. Then they take the concept vehicle on a virtual “test drive” to see how it works in all possible driving situations. After it has been tested, the vehicle is ready to go to production on the assembly line, then to the dealership where potential owners can buy their new dream car. Because of the many roles that 3D models play, their development plays a major factor in our lives from day to day.

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