3D printing

3 Practical Uses (Beyond Animation) for 3D Modeling, Sculpting, and Surfacing

The use of 3D modeling, sculpting, and surfacing applications within digital media is both a marvel and old news. Software packages like Zbrush, Maya, and Mudbox have become standard in companies that create content within the animation, video game, and production realms across the world, but what other ways are there to utilize these programs for the individual?


While it is true that 3D applications take some time and effort to grasp, gaining a skillset with such an ever-growing range of uses is a worthy endeavor to undertake. For the more polished user with access to a 3D printer, the floodgates have been opened to endless possibilities of creations that will not only have you impressing yourself, but impressing your peers.


1. Figurines and Collectibles – In today’s demanding market, action figures, collectibles, and game pieces large and small are more often than not being created with 3D sculpting applications, as opposed to the more traditional “clay and molding” approach. The flexibility to add quick changes, and the ability to zoom in and add depth and detail to the tiniest of crevasses not only saves time, but sanity as well.


2. Costume Design and Cosplay – If you have ever been to a fan-culture convention of any kind, specifically anime and comic conventions, you’ve undoubtedly marveled at the amount of time and effort that many will devote to replicating and adorning their favorite character’s costume. Rather than arduously sawing away at layers and layers of foam to create armor, why not create it in 3D? While 3D modeling and surfacing may require the same amount of patience as traditional costume creation, it absolutely requires less cleanup, and that’s a win for everyone.


3. DIY Home Decor and Jewelry – Items like home decor and jewelry can speak volumes toward an individual’s personality, even more so when the item is handmade because it has that personal touch. Taking up an apprenticeship with a potter or a blacksmith might sound romantic, but if you’re anything like me, the risk of damaging raw material is too high for comfort at a beginner level. Another option, one filled with less risk due to the wonder that is the “undo button” is to create decorative tchotchkes and charms in a 3D modeling application. Now, you’ll have something to brag about to your friends that doesn’t revolve around a retail space, but the skill of your own two hands.


3D Printers are rapidly becoming accessible on a consumer level, so much so that hobbyists like myself are considering having one in the home. 3D modeling, sculpting, and surfacing applications open the door to an endless array of practical possibilities when used in tandem with 3D Printing, and it is only going to keep growing.


Have you created something using a 3D modeling, sculpting, or surfacing application and would like to show it off? Shoot us a comment (and better yet, a picture!)



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