Architecture & Interior Design

How Do You Sculpt 3D Models for Printing?

By
Fiverr Team
|
July 5, 2022
3d printing

Digital model sculpting for 3D printing has become increasingly popular amongst artists as it offers a powerful way to create fully customizable 3D objects in a virtual environment.

3D objects are used in a variety of mediums such as TV or video games, alongside being 3D printed to create tangible products such as sunglasses or keyrings.

In this article, you’re going to learn what 3D modeling for printing is, the tools you’ll need and how you can begin 3D sculpting yourself.

What is 3D Printing?

3D printing is a manufacturing process that creates a three-dimensional solid object from a digital file. The objects printed by 3D printers are achieved by repeatedly adding layers of the same material on top of each other until a final product is created.

The most popular materials used in 3D printing are resin, plastic, graphite, metal, and carbon fiber.

What is 3D Sculpting?

3D sculpting is the process of creating 3D objects on a computer by using a similar material to digitized clay. There are specialized programs and tools to create 3D sculptures, allowing the artist to sculpt their creation from scratch or using a preset base model.

The 3D objects made by a 3D sculptor can then be used in video games, movies, and even printed in 3D.

Why Would You Want to Print a 3D Sculpture?

It takes years of practice and experience to learn the required skills to sculpt a work of art. 3D printing can help to save time, allowing an artist to use a 3D sculpture, sketch, and even a photograph to create a work of art from a computer.

Another major benefit of 3D printing sculptures is the ability to problem-solve design flaws, should they arise. For example, if you 3D print a sculpture and discover design flaws, you can resolve those issues via a computer and then re-print your design.

Additionally, it can be difficult for an artist to store traditional sculpting materials. Utilizing a 3D printer can help to save storage space because 3D printers and the raw materials they use require minimal space.

What Programs do 3D Sculptors Use?

Even as a beginner, there are multiple options to use when it comes to 3D sculpting. Below, you’ll find some free and paid options to choose from, so you can find the most suitable program for you:

  • Zbrush: As one of the most popular 3D sculpting tools in the industry, Zbrush can help you create highly realistic and detailed models.
  • Zbrush Core Mini: This free version of Zbrush has limited features, but it’s a great way for beginners to become accustomed to the program.
  • Mudbox: This digital 3D sculpting and painting tool allows you to create detailed characters and apply finishing touches to your models to enhance details and create beautiful environments. Mudbox offers a free trial, so you can try it before you buy.
  • Nomad Sculpt: If you’re a beginner to an intermediate 3D sculptor, Nomad Sculpt is a great place to start. Additionally, this app is designed for iPads, so you can create on the go.

How Do You Sculpt in 3D?

If you’re just starting out on your 3D sculpting journey, it’s important to remember that 3D sculpting is a skill that requires the right tools, patience, and practice.

Here are a few helpful insights to consider.

Choose the Right Software

As mentioned above, there are multiple programs that can be used by beginners, all the way up to professionals. It’s important to choose software that suits your current needs and skill level.

Consider The Details

3D sculptures are often quite small in size, which makes the finer details quite difficult to see on the end product. Zooming out of your 3D object to a print scale on your application is a good way of discovering which details will show on the end product.

Reinforce the Thin Areas

Areas such as wrists, ankles, or weapons tend to be thinner and can easily get damaged or broken. It’s important to create these areas thicker than usual or alternatively limit the number of thin areas your sculpture has.

Finding a Professional 3D Modeler

Creating 3D models and sculptures requires years of learning and experience, especially to create detailed sculptures or realistic 3D objects.

To start on your next 3D sculpting project, hire a professional 3D character modeler from the Fiverr marketplace today.

Fiverr Team
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