1. Home

3D modeling

Three dimensional (3D) modeling is the computer process of developing a mathematical coordinate-based representation of a surface of a physical object in three dimensions using CAD software by manipulating edges, vertices and polygons in a 3D simulation space.

What is 3D modeling?

Representing a physical object or body using a collection of points in space, 3D models connect by various geometric entities such as lines, triangles, curved surfaces, etc. A collection of data points, 3D models can be created manually, algorithmically or by using scanning software on their surfaces and may be further defined with texture mapping.

3D modeling describes the use of software tools, such as computer-aided design (CAD) programs, to create 3D digital representations of objects. Professions that use 3D modeling include consumer product development, automotive design, industrial equipment manufacturing, architecture, design, engineering, entertainment and gaming, as well as healthcare.

3D Modeling Software refers to software tools used to create three-dimensional models of objects or scenes. 3D modeling software can be used for various purposes beyond engineering and technical design, including animation, gaming, film, architecture and product design. These tools enable users to create, manipulate, and visualize 3D geometry using a variety of modeling techniques such as polygonal modeling, NURBS modeling, sculpting and procedural modeling.

The foundation of 3D models

Although complex mathematical formulas are at the foundation of 3D modeling software, the programs automate computation for users and have tool-based user interfaces. 3D models are an output of 3D modeling and are based on a variety of digital representations. Boundary representation (B-rep) uses mathematically defined surfaces such as cones, spheres and NURBS (non-uniform rational basis spline) which are connected by topology to accurately represent objects as water-tight volumes. B-rep models are the preferred solution for engineering, and many 3D modeling applications for the design, simulation and manufacture of consumer and industrial products are B-rep based. Facet models approximate surfaces using connected planar polygons and are the preferred solution for less precise, high-speed, shape representations used in gaming, animation, and digital mock-ups.

Virtual 3D modeling

Virtual 3D models can be turned into physical objects through 3D printing or traditional manufacturing processes. Models can also be converted into static images through 3D rendering, commonly used to create photo-realistic representations for sales, marketing, and eCommerce applications. 3D models can be created by the process of reverse engineering, in which 3D scanning technology is used to create digital replicas of real-world objects, including manufactured parts and assemblies, free-form models designed in clay and human anatomy. Modern applications of 3D modeling create and interact with a “digital twin”, which is used to develop, test, simulate and manufacture its real-world counterpart as part of the product lifecycle.

Capabilities within 3D modeling

Visualize your product from any angle before manufacturing, or presentations to customers is by far the largest benefit of 3D modeling! With 3D modeling, you can virtually build and view every component of your product representing style, dimensions, color, and shapes bringing your product to life before manufacturing. 3D modeling aids in customizing and personalizing products for customers.

3D modeling software offers numerous benefits across various industries and applications.

Related products: NX CAD


Understand the benefits

Visualization in 3D modeling software

3D modeling software allows users to create realistic and detailed 3D representations of objects, products, environments and concepts. This enables better visualization of designs, concepts and ideas.

Design exploration and iteration

3D modeling software enables designers and engineers to explore and iterate on designs quickly and efficiently. Users can easily make changes, experiment with different concepts and visualize the results in real-time.

Accuracy and precision in 3D modeling

3D modeling software enables users to create highly accurate and precise models with exact measurements and specifications. This helps ensure that designs meet functional requirements, that can be manufactured or built correctly

Further benefits of 3D modeling software

Cost and time savings with 3D modeling software

By streamlining the design process, reducing errors and facilitating better communication, 3D modeling software can help organizations save time and money. Design changes can be made quickly and easily, reducing the need for costly prototyping and iterations.

Collaboration with 3D modeling software

3D modeling software often includes collaboration tools that allow multiple team members to work on the same project simultaneously, regardless of their location. This fosters collaboration, improves communication and enables teams to work together more efficiently.
Simulation and analysis with 3D modeling software

Many 3D modeling software packages include simulation and analysis tools that allow users to test the performance, behavior and characteristics of designs in virtual environments. This enables engineers to identify potential issues, optimize designs and make informed decisions before manufacturing or construction begins.

Presentation and marketing with 3D modeling software

3D models created with modeling software can be used for presentations, marketing materials and client pitches. These realistic visualizations help stakeholders better understand the proposed design or product, improving communication and increasing engagement.

Customization and personalization with 3D modeling software

3D modeling software allows for the creation of highly customizable and personalized designs to meet specific needs and preferences. This is particularly valuable in industries such as product design, architecture and entertainment, where customization is important.

Digital prototyping with 3D modeling software

3D modeling software facilitates the creation of digital prototypes that can be tested and validated before physical prototypes are produced. This helps reduce the time and cost associated with traditional prototyping methods and allows for more iterations to be explored.

Learn more


MET is a global leader in the production of helmets for professional cyclists. MET has gradually implemented product development processes that largely distinguish the company from many of its competitors.


Seven Tips for Better 3D Rendering. Photorealistic 3D renders of your model can help you communicate your design to both internal and external stakeholders.


Complexity of product in design, along with the deployment processes, is disrupting practically every engineering organization. Complexity is more than just inconvenient, it manifests itself in longer lead times and higher costs.