3D Software Professional
The modern day architect has taken 3D design and documentation in his method. The software used for this is referred to as BIM software, which stands for Building Information Modelling. Traditional loose 2D drawings are not made with the aid of lines, and shading, but are generated from a central 3D model which can be influenced by means of parameters. This ensures consistency in the documentation as deviations between plans and sections belong to the past, the parameters offer a high degree of adaptability of the design.
On top of these benefits, this model-based method provides a range of other benefits. It is better to exchange with other disciplines that are also model-based and work the same, so that there is always a clear 3D representation available for the project. For 3D printing, these models are always available and so do not need to be added as extra practice to the work.
The most frequently used BIM software in the Netherlands are Graphisoft ArchiCAD and Autodesk Revit. Both software packages are able to supply to 3D printing files (STL). In the case of Revit this happens through a plugin, Graphisoft ArchiCAD can create these files directly.
This technique of 3D modeling is often used for the more complex forms, such as, for example, the characters in an animation movie or design of jewelry and clothing.
Advantages of surface modeling is that they work with surfaces and that offer a high degree of design freedom. Through various functions these programs can generate simple natural double-curved surfaces. The disadvantage of these techniques is that the determination of arcs and lines which are not entirely accurate may be an obstacle for the production of objects. Another disadvantage is that the objects can often not be changed parametrical, which can get in the way for quick adjustments to the model. Examples of programs include: Maxon Cinema4D, 3D studio and MAYA Autodesk, Rhino, SketchUp and Blender.
This technique of 3D modelling is used particularly in product development. We work with parametric forms and all operations can be accurately recorded and changed. A disadvantage of this technique is that natural forms can be created less simple than for surface modelling. Some examples of such programs are: SolidWorks Dassault Systèmes SA and Autodesk Inventor.
A somewhat less well-known technique of 3D modelling, but with specific advantages. With this technique, no use is made with levels or a parametric form, but with an object or volume pixel (voxel). This 3D pixel can be painted in 3D and can be easily added or removed from an object.
This technique can accommodate a high degree of design freedom and control. An example of such a program is Geomagic Freeform.