This is a guest post by Valy at Gambody.com.
Every killer 3D modeler has taken the same demanding path to get to the pedestal of 3D design. What might seem overwhelming for some, can seem like an adventure for others. It all depends on how you’re looking at the matter.
To get fast and good results in 3D modeling you must have passion for everything related to computers, have an eye for, and understanding of, the way objects are placed in space, and be a creative thinker.
3D modeling is a sought after job, and once you get to its core, it opens doors to limitless opportunities. The process is being used in numerous industries, from medicine to architecture, to engineering to entertainment. No matter the direction you choose to follow, 3D modeling will certainly turn out to be a great skill.
Here are 7 tips that will encourage any beginner 3D modelers to keep going, and discover the secrets of this world so that one day you'll be able to model stunning 3d printing designs.
Tip #1: Get to the grips with modeling software
3D modeling software is the tool that you will be using to create your future projects. Therefore, making the most of the software by learning its full functionality is your number one priority. As to what is the best modeling software, there is no right or wrong answer.
Every 3D modeler chooses the software that feels the most comfortable to work with for them, and a software that provides the best features for their projects.
As a beginner, you can start with open-source 3D modeling tools that provide great functionality and an opportunity to learn the basics without emptying your wallet, such as Sketchup, Blender, Netfabb Basic, Tinkercad and many more.
Although each and every option has quality features and functions, the best choice for you is the one you feel at ease working with. Once you feel confident working with this type of software, you can invest in an advanced program.
Tip #2: Don’t rush
Rushing is not your best friend. You will see that 3D modeling is not as simple as it sounds. It requires perseverance. Allow yourself sufficient time to find your path through all the tricks of the process, and don’t give up if you hit a brick wall.
Build valuable skills that will pay off later. Don't expect to produce a complex work quickly as this will result in frustration, and could cause you to give up too soon. Don’t overestimate your powers; take it slow and everything will come at the right time.
Tip #3: Make the most of tutorials
The Internet is full of 3D modeling tutorials for beginners. Videos, guidelines, manuals, forums – all are there to answer your questions, and help you get through any problems. Even the most experienced 3D modeler has, at some point, faced a difficulty, and asked for help or watched a video tutorial to find their way out.
Tip #4: Start with modeling simple objects
This is like learning a new language: you start by learning the alphabet, then different diphthongs, then short words, and then you get to the tough part of putting them all together. The same goes with 3D modeling.
Start modeling simple objects, like cubes, spheres, and pyramids to become comfortable with the basics. If you don’t know the basics, how are you supposed to be successful with more complex shapes? Design simple objects until you feel confident enough to move to more difficult designs. This process will teach you the correct approach, and will build the necessary modeling skills to take your work to the next level.
Tip #5: Know your printer’s build area
You will need to know the size of your printer’s build area to ensure the objects your designing will fit when printing. Also, you'll need to know the size so you can accurately cut a bigger model into separate parts, thus avoiding poor aesthetics and visible seams or lines after assembly.
If you, however, want to model a larger part without the need to cut it, keep in mind that you can make use of the diagonal space. Experiment and find the solutions that will allow you to model and print with more accuracy and precision.
Tip #6: Use support for overhangs
If your model consists of elements with a greater than 45-degree angle, you'll need support. Otherwise, the model risks falling apart and collapsing at printing. While these support pieces are sometimes difficult to remove, it is recommended for models with complicated 3D construction to keep the integrity of your object.
Tip #7: Make sure your 3D files are printable
This is one of the most important steps. There are different 3D printable file formats, the most popular ones being STL and OBJ. Once the model is converted into a file format, check it for errors.
If required, correct the errors and ensure that the output will be what you aimed for. Netfabb is a good tool for error checking. Once you are sure your files are printable (check out these 3 tricks to optimize STL designs for 3D printing), you can share your creation on various specialized sites and forums, and even start making money.
We hope these simple tricks will arm you with the info you need to start your 3D modeling journey, and encourage you to keep going.