3D Model Vs 3D Mesh


The conventional way to go about any construction design was basically by using pen and paper. But, the 2D models and drawings were limited in many senses and sometimes certain inaccuracies would show up once the construction is underway. Reverting or modifying the design, therefore, was a hideous task.

With advancements in technology, 3D mesh models and 3D models find a commonplace in the domain of architecture. 3D model is the result of a collection of data created and rendered digitally to preview the design of a structure or building. This new technology has paved for newer opportunities for architectural modeling and has burgeoned the scope for more creativity in this field.

But to know the benefits of 3D models, we need to know how it is different from the 3D mesh. Let us first understand what exactly these technologies are by definition.

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3D Mesh

A 3D model is made up of a polygon mesh, which is nothing else but a collection of vertices and polygons that describe the shape of an object. It gets its name mesh because it appears like a tightly fit fishnet over 3D object. The mesh is what constitutes a 3D model. Simply put, a 3D mesh (as in one single mesh) is just data about the structure of a model. The 3D model comprises of textures which define how to render its surfaces. It also contains several variations of the same mesh for animation, normally controlled by bones. So basically, each animation frame could be considered as a mesh on its own.

The 3D mesh is a graph or a collection of vertices, edges and faces. A face is an ordered collection of vertices connected by edges that complete a loop. It is used to describe a flat surface on the mesh.

3D Model

In a simpler sense, a 3D model is a digital illustration of a 3D object, unlike a blueprint which is a 2D representation of the 3D object. Two types of 3D models are 3D CAD and 3D Mesh.

3D CAD model is a series of elementary steps and operations needed to cook the desired 3D model. For say, if we want to create a 3D CAD model of a bathing soap. It will start with creating a plain rectangle with dimensions, say, 130 x 50 x 15mm. Then we will make a slight bend in the middle as the soaps tend to have normally. Then we’d round the edges of the soap (a process known as, “filleting”) for easy gripping. Finally, some lettering would be embossed on its top.

The remarkable feature of a 3D CAD model is that you can usually go back into the sequence and edit the steps. For example, in the process of making the 3D model of the soap, we can alter the dimensions of the rectangle or change the degree of bend keeping all the following steps intact.

There are different types of CAD file formats, some of which are incompatible with each other. Typically, 3D modeling program will have their default file formats for the 3D model, but exports and imports are allowed mostly.

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How 3D model helps?

Harnessing 3D models is a very cost-effective alternative to traditional physical models. That is why the 3D model has become as popular among the architects and designers as MS Word is to writers. The convenience of scrutinizing and correcting all the errors prior to the construction is the catch of working on 3D models.

By using a 3D model of the building on a computer, changes can be manipulated and adjusted as the project progresses. Using 3D model technology, architects and engineers can create photo-realistic representations of any project. There are many tools like MagikTour by Foyr that lets the designers not only make 3D models but work out 3D walkthroughs of their designs. 3D models thus serve a great deal of benefit both to the designers as well as the clients in understanding the execution of the projects.

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Let us look into the benefits of the 3D model in the process of architectural designs:

Project visualization: As per research, it is found that around 90% of transmitted information in the human brain is ocular. As mentioned already, a 3D model helps clients imagine a project and all its nuances. The 3D model lets them get the look and feel of the design and architecture without having built the actual structure physically. This way both the clients and the designers can use a 3D model to analyze the scope of the design. Moving forward, a 3D model lets everyone be sure of the practical and functional aspects of a design by being able to test the potential scenarios. In a 3D model, a designer can plug and play different design options to arrive at the most convincing and suitable design for the clients. While architects or designers get to modify the 3D models digitally, it facilitates in identifying errors and making plausible corrections even before the cornerstone is laid.

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Spiking up the project sales: A 3D model could be a great tool to magnify sales of a project. Even before the construction begins, clients let their potential buyers get a hang of their projects with the help of 3D models. The 3D model helps in bringing everyone on the same page with regards to the projects’ look and feel.

A well-detailed 3D model design is driving the sales as well as the investment from the stakeholders in a project. The 3D model also gives everyone a common vision to move towards. Also, a 3D model helps to keep all the discrepancies under check during the process of construction. That is why 3D models are pivotal for any project.

Improving project speed: Since the 3D model is a digital conception of the real project. There is a myriad of benefits to envision a project in the 3D model. Having a 3D model saves a lot of time and energy that otherwise might be required to work on a 2D drawing. At that, 2D drawings do not allow any scope for corrections as much as is digitally possible with 3D models. Redoing a 2D drawing is also a time-consuming task. Whereas 3D models hardly leave any room for errors. 3D models provide an accurate picture of what is to be constructed. So the designers do not have to spend time and energy in identifying and correcting errors in the 2D models but rather channelize that to other aspects of the construction process. Thus 3D model hastens the completion of projects in a more efficient way.

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Precision and control in 3D models: 3D models gather data to yield the most precise representation of the project. Professionals can use this data from 3D models to create realistic models of the project. These 3D models give a decisive control over accuracy as professionals don’t waste time editing a 2D drawing.

3D models thus prevent expensive blunders from occurring before they can happen on the real site. Designers can notice the mistake in a 3D model and correct it before the construction even begins.

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Obtaining Permit for the site: Another significant benefit of a 3D model is that it helps in obtaining any necessary permits from the authorities. With a well-designed 3D model, that process can be accelerated as regulators for building permits can preview the 3D model to examine probable effects a project will have on its vicinity. Thus, the 3D model offers better visualization. 3D models fasten obtaining permits resulting in saving a lot of time in the overall process of construction.

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