3D Modeling and 3D Printing

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Example of a 3D model.

3D modeling is the process of using computer-aided design (CAD) software to develop an easier-to-visualize representation of any three-dimensional object, and therefore creating a 3D model[1]. The foundation of 3D modeling can be visualized by a wireframe cube. Characteristics of designed objects can be specified, estimated, and analyzed using CAD software easing the process for product designers. There are several 3D modeling programs available that range from being free to paying a certain amount such as Bonzai, AutoCAD, Google SketchUp, Autodesk 3ds Max, Rhino, and many more. As of now, the most widely used 3D modeling program that is free of charge is Google SketchUp. There are two types of 3D models: solid and shell.


3D Modeling

Solid 3D Modeling

Example of solid 3D modeling.

Solid 3D modeling is used to show the volume of a 3D model, and the name itself is quite self-explanatory. A 3D model is represented as if it was moulded or sculpted in real life, and hence, the model is “solid”. Solid 3D modeling is more realistic than 3D shell modeling in terms of the designer needing to consider the interior of the object as well, which illustrates its solid characteristic. It also allows for the calculation of the overall weight of the object being built as well as many other factors such as the distribution of weight, flexibility, production cost, and material durability. However, the downside is that it is more difficult to construct than shell 3D modeling[2].

This type of modeling is used for non-visual simulation, such as engineering and medical simulations[3]. In this day and age, companies must remain competitive to survive and many face challenges that drive them to improve its product design and development processes. One example of where 3D modeling is used would be the landscape industry. A 3D model illustrates to the client how the finished product will look directly after installation. If the client is dissatisfied, changes can be made before starting the job. The beauty of 3D modeling is that it creates fancy presentations for the clients and they are able to view different perspectives of the project. This is why 3D solid modeling plays an essential role in maintaining a company’s competitiveness. By using 3D solid modeling, companies benefit from the improved visualization of designs, which in turn increases the designer’s creativity and confidence, resulting in a positive outcome[2].

Shell 3D Modeling

Example of shell 3D modeling.

Unlike 3D solid modeling where it shows the volume of an object, shell modeling (also known as boundary modeling[4]) represents the surface of an object. Shell modeling tends to associate with the entertainment industry, such as for games and films, given that we only need to see the surface of these animations. These models are easy to create because only the exterior of the object needs to be designed, whereas both the exterior and interior need to be designed for 3D solid modeling[5].

History (Computer Animation)

3D modeling has penetrated and evolved in many industries throughout different times, with computer animation, engineering, medical, and advertising just being a few of them. With that being said, each and every industry has its own history but it all started with animation on a computer, and therefore, is the main focus.

Computer animation may also be referred to as computer-generated imagery or computer-generated imaging (CGI), usually used in the case of films[6]. Although there are many contributors to computer animation, William Fetter, a Boeing employee, is most attributed for 3D animation[7]. During the 1960s, he began animating and designing things for Boeing and coined the term “computer graphics”[8].

Other animations caught on in commercial use when a movie, titled “Futureworld”, first incorporated 3D animation for human hands and faces in 1976. This introduction into the film industry altered our standards in entertainment industries such as film, television, and video games. Not long after “Futureworld” was released, “Star Wars” came along in 1977 bringing in a whole new level by producing the entire movie with 3D computer animation. Nonetheless, these movies did not spark the popularity of 3D computer animation until “Toy Story” first came into the picture in 1995. Since “Toy Story”, 3D computer animation has advanced tremendously and has become a significant part of the North American lifestyle[7]. Everyone is surrounded by 3D animation ranging from video games to Internet advertisements, and CAD software makes it easy to create.

3D Modeling and Domestic Use

As time progressed, 3D modeling is no longer used solely by educated individuals who specialize in 3D modeling but has expanded to ordinary individuals. The transformation of CAD software now allows normal day-to-day people to create 3D models of whatever they desire in a very simple manner, with, of course, the knowledge of basic underlying concepts. Though tools and functions in software have become transparent reducing the need to use technical jargon, a learning curve for software use still exists. Examples of simple or easy-to-use CAD software include Google SketchUp and Solid Works. With the invention of 3D printing, more and more consumers are designing 3D models bringing their designs to life.

Advantages and Disadvantages over 2D Methods


In comparison with 2D modeling, the main advantage of 3D is that it can convey complex interrelationships that can sometimes be difficult to visualize, such as the construction of a high rise building. It makes the design process faster and more efficient compared to hand drawings. Changes can also be made rather easily, and it allows the client to see the final product. With 3D modeling, concepts and ideas which cannot be easily represented as illustrations can be created and viewed from different angles. In addition, 3D models have been shown to capture people’s attention and retain their interest for a longer period of time when compared to 2D renderings[9]. Furthermore, the use of 3D design tools also provide more flexibility for designers during the conceptualization process in that the designer himself can have more control and a better understanding of the dimensions and other aspects of his product.

Some real-life examples to further illustrate the main advantages of 3D software over 2D methods are in the entertainment, medical, and interior design industries. Today, 3D modeling is responsible for a lot of the more advanced graphics and computer generated images seen in today’s video games and movies. In the medical field, computer programs generate graphic models of patients so that doctors have a better understanding of where they need to operate, as opposed to just looking at a simple x-ray[10]. Lastly, 3D modeling has also been very beneficial to interior designers, because with the programs they use they can now visualize a space from different angles and play with different formations and layouts before it is actually created.


There are several limitations to 3D modeling. Users may realize that proficiency with the programs can take a lot of time as some of the features involved can be very complex. Staying current with the technology can prove to be difficult. As a result, users may experience a steep learning curve to familiarize themselves with a program's tools and functions [11]. Cost can be another disadvantage as advanced programs can be very expensive, seeing as how free programs tend to have limited capabilities.

Six Industries Using 3D Modeling

3D modeling is a growing field that is becoming more lucrative, with more jobs becoming available in the field. Here are six industries that use 3D modeling software:


Entertainment field is one of the most obvious place that 3D modeling is growing. A 3D film or S3D (stereoscopic 3D) film is a motion picture that enhances the illusion of depth perception. "Derived from stereoscopic photography, a regular motion picture camera system is used to record the images as seen from two perspectives (or CGI generates the two perspectives in post-production), and special projection hardware and/or eyewear are used to provide the illusion of depth when viewing the film."[12] 3D film features apply to film theatrical releases, television broadcasts and direct-to-video films, especially since 3D television and Blu-ray 3D[13].

3D Movie Examples

Cameron pioneered a specially designed camera built into a 6-inch boom that allowed the facial expressions of the actors to be captured and digitally recorded for the animators to use later.

Avatar is a 2009 American science fiction film written and directed by James Cameron. "The film made extensive use of cutting edge motion capture filming techniques, and was released for traditional and 3D viewing (using the RealD 3D, Dolby 3D, XpanD 3D, and IMAX 3D formats)". It also applies in "4D" experiences in some theatres in South Korean[14]. Avatar is considered as a breakthrough in stereoscopic filming field with cinematic technology[15].

The 3D technology is at the heart of Avatar. The live action was shot with Cameron and Vince's modified version of the proprietary digital 3D Fusion Camera System. "Ideally at the end of the day the audience has no idea which they're looking at," Cameron said. The director indicated that he had already worked four months on nonprincipal scenes for the film.[16] In January 2007, Fox had announced that Avatar would be 3D filmed at 24 frames per second, although Cameron strongly recommended a higher frame rate to enhance the 3D viewing quality. According to Cameron, "the film is composed of 60 percent computer-generated elements and 40 percent live action, as well as traditional miniatures"[17].

The Amazing Spider-Man is a 2012 American superhero film directed by Marc Webb, and it is the first Hollywood production shot in 3D at 5K resolution the with the Red Digital Cinema Camera Company's RED Epic camera[18]. Cinematographer John Schwartzman felt that the 3D performance would have been impossible without the camera. He said, "I can tell you without these cameras it would be impossible to move a 3D rig in the ways that THIS story demands, if Jim and the crew hadn't made these cameras available to us I don't think we could have shot this movie the way our director envisioned it in 3D."[18] Webb wanted cameras small enough to fit on the rigs and swing around very fast, saying that the "RED Epic cameras were the right cameras to do that." Webb continued that "you need to shoot it with a level of velocity and 3D cameras can be very large...and so we need those cameras to mount on rigs that could fly to the air and run to the streets in a certain pace. That allowed us to do it."[19]

The Avengers is a 2012 American superhero film produced by Marvel Studios and distributed by Walt Disney Pictures. In December 2011, Disney announced that "The Avengers would be developed to 3D"[20]. "I'm not a big fan of extreme long lens, talky movies — I like to see the space I'm in and relate to it, so 3D kinda fits my aesthetic anyway. And the technology has advanced so far in the past couple years." Said Whedon,"there definitely are movies that shouldn't be in 3D" but "The Avengers isn't obnoxiously 3D. There's no, 'Oh look, we're going to spend 20 minutes going through this tunnel because it's in 3D!' And no one is pointing at the screen the entire time. But it's an action movie. Things tend to hurtle toward the screen anyway".[21] In January 2012, The Avengers is decided to be digitally reverted to IMAX 3D and released in IMAX theaters on May 4, 2012, as well as in the regular theaters[22].


Gaming is another area where 3D modeling software is largely used in. Video games are becoming more realistic thanks to 3D technology. The scenes, the props and even the people are becoming much the same as the actual scenes, props and people. Also, it is evident that there is an increasing number of universities are starting offering courses in 3D modeling for video gaming[13].

NVIDIA 3D Vision® is able to automatically transform hundreds of PC games into full 3D viewing and feeling, without the need for special game patches. NVIDIA makes it possible for gamers to play with an amazing 3D gaming experience[23]. What you need for 3D video games is a 3D vision kit, a 3D vision-ready display, a compatible NVIDIA GeForce Card, and a PC with Microsoft Windows Vista or Win7.


Advertising and Marketing

3D modeling helps advertisers and marketers promote their products and services in a more realistic state. It allows companies to render new cars, new product packaging and prototypes at huge savings. The users can fix any problems by merely changing the computer coding or model instead of make change on the entire production line. In addition to the benifit on designing process, 3D modeling also contributes to production. Once the advertisers have developed the right model, they can start to use that to sell the item before the actual manufacture.[13]

Augmented Reality

Augmented Reality (AR) is "a live, direct or indirect, view of a physical, real-world environment whose elements are augmented by computer-generated sensory input such as sound, video, graphics or GPS data."

LEGO With the application of augmented reality app, as well as a Sandy Bridge PC and an ITX motherboard, LEGO has achieved a new way of marketing with 3D animation. When using a simple webcam to scan the code on the lego box, it would automatically match the product to its appropriate 3D image, which would actually float on top of the packaging. The following video is an example that shows how this amazing technology applies to LEGO marketing.[24]

How Augmented Reality applies to LEGO

3D Shopping

3D Shopping is one of the most effective ways to shop online. "3DInternet dedicated years of research and development and has developed the world's first fully functional, interactive and collaborative shopping mall where online users can use our 3DInternet's Hyper-Reality technology to navigate and immerse themselves in a virtual shopping environment."[1]

3DInternet 3D Shopping

VirtualEshopping.com is an online shopping website that incorporates social media features into 3D shopping. New users can create a persona that reflects the personalities with the account, and then load the 3D malls into the computer. In the 3D malls, users can "walk around" the mall and visit different online shops in a 3D vision, feeling like shopping in a real mall. Users can also chat with other users in the mall, add them to the friend list, or invite other friends to join in. Users can post pictures and links of the things that they want or have bought to share with friends. They also can share their favourite stores and post special dates with friends.[1]

Zugara's Webcam Social Shopper Coupling the functionality of both Augmented Reality and Motion Capture, The Webcam Social Shopper will allow anyone with a webcam to shop online in Zugara right from within their video feed.[2]

Zugara's Augmented Reality & Motion Capture Shopping App

IKEA Planner

IKEA 3D Kitchen Planner

IKEA 3D Kitchen Planner is a 3D planning software, customers can choose cabinets, doors, and appliances to fit the exact measurements of the kitchen. The planner enables 360 degree 3D view of the kitchen. Users can rotate the kitchen as well as the appliance to see how everything is going to match.


1. Set the dimension of a kitchen,

2. Choose floors, ceilings, and walls from the provided options, including different materials and colours,

3. Add windows, doors, cabinets, and applications to match your preference,

4. Add decorations, such as table plants and paintings.


About 20 years back, without any professional software such as AutoCAD, architects and designers needed to draw their plans and build small models by hand. Nowadays, these professionals usually sketch out their design concept without any digital device first. Second, they will complete the plan, elevation, section, may be perspective view in 2D with computer technology. Then they can do renderings on a computer in a small scale as well as add motion and depth. Once the 3D model has been built, it would be presented to clients and even constructors in any angles of illustration. With the development of 3D printers, designers can now print out models to scale and save a great deal of time and money. After giving the go-ahead signal, construction of the actual building begins.

HP Designjet 3D Printer - Exceptional model quality you can rely on

Real World Projects

Example of a 3D model.

Examples of real world project including: Shanghai Tower [1] and San Francisco Bay Bridge [1]


xvivo 3D-printed 10,000,000:1 rendering of DNA-RNA transcription

3D modeling is also employed by geological scientists where they are able to simulate natural disasters such as earthquakes. By modeling the Earth's subsurface can help us understand the relationship between geology and the environment[2].

Additionally, with the emergence of 3D printing technology, human tissues can be printed via the 3D Bioprinter. This will quickly eliminate high organ donation rates and prevent organ rejection as the printer will take the patient's own cells. To date, several companies have created many tissue types that include lung and blood vessels. There have been successful cases where people have survived though this Bioprinter.


3D modeling is more and more being used in publishing field. It enables users to convert PDF, blog and RSS to Digital Magazines, or convert PDF to .epub and .mobi formats. 3D modeling is also useful to make the presentation fantastical, and it can help show an artist’s version of something that mankind has never seen, like historic events or visions of the future.[2]

3D Issue is one of the applications used to create page-turning online 3D e-books with the traditional 2D text and pictures. It is also an example showing how 3D modeling links with social media. This technology can transform the printed brochures or magazines to digital editions, for viewing on any device, such as PC, Mac, Netbooks, Tablets, iPads, iPhones, Kindles and other e-readers. 3D Issue Version 5 can create .epub and .mobi versions of PDFs so that users can sell them to other readers via the Kindle store or iBook store. Also, customers can read the e-documents as soon as they are published.[3]

3D Modeling Software

Wacom Cintiq24HD

There exist lots of softwares in the market that can be used for 3d modeling. Different software has different functions and interfaces, may be used in different industrials.

3ds Maxis the world's most famous 3D modeling software, which developed by Autodesk and based on the PC 3D animation rendering and production software. Its predecessor is 3D Studio series software which is based on the DOS operating system. The latest version of 3Ds Max is 2013. It fully meets the requirements of users such as making high-quality renderings, doing animation and creating game characters. New users can download free trial version on the Autodesk websites. students who are studying architecture related can also download educational version for free.

SketchUp is a popular and easy to use 3D modeling software. Its main advantage is simple to use and everyone can be quickly started. And users can create 3d models using and output directly to Google Earth. It was originally developed by @Last Software in March 15, 2006 and then was brought by Google. In April 26, 2012, Google sold SketchUp to Trimble Navigation. Now SketchUp has a free version which is offered to public. It also has a Pro (Professional Edition) version, the price is $495. The Pro version has some additional function that the free version doesn’t have.

Another software called CATIA V6, can catch nature drawing of human and turn it into 3D version directly. It can be used with Cintiq 24HD touch which is the latest product of Wacom.

Video show how CATIA V6 work with Cintiq:


3D modeling software: Maya, cinema4d, rhino, Blender, …

Small Hotel Design Project

This project is using different software such as AutoCAD, SketchUp, 3Ds Max and Photoshop to express the idea of the designer and then present rendering pictures to clients.

These are plans and brief function area divisions. Different color represent different functional areas.

Plans in 2D:


Area divisions in 3D (created by SketchUp):


3D model of dinning room created in 3Ds Max and Final pictures of dinning room from different angles (edited by PhotoShop):

3d dinning room

dinning room picture2 dinning room picture2

3D Printing

Example of a 3D printed product.

3D printing is the process of using a machine to physically produce a three-dimensional object created by a CAD software or a 3D scanner and using material, such as melted plastic, to form the shape of the object layer by layer[1]. 3D printing has found its use in many industries ranging from jewelry to aerospace.


3D printing first came about in 1984 when a man named Charles Hull founded 3D Systems[2]. Two years later, he obtained a patent for what he had called the “Stereolithography” technique and developed a Stereolithography Apparatus, or now known as a 3D printer. The first version of the Stereolithography Apparatus was only released to a few customers to test and receive feedback, and the improved version was released to the general public in 1988. In the same year, a similar technology was produced by Scott Crump, founder of Stratasys, called Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM). Another product competitor includes the Selective Laser Sintering (SLS)[3].

In 1993, Massachusetts Institute of Technology obtained a patent for its “3 Dimensional Printing techniques”. It is similar to 2D printer technology but has been modified to print 3D objects. This patent was licensed to Z Corporation where they used this technology to develop its 3D printers using 3DP technology in 1995. 3D printers became more popular in 1996 with the release of three major 3D printers developed by 3D Systems, Stratasys, and Z Corporation[4].

The first high definition 3D printer, Spectrum Z510, came about in 2005 which was created by Z Corporation. Not long after, in 2006, an open source printing project called Reprap was produced, and in 2008, Darwin, the first version of Reprap, was introduced. It was capable of producing approximately 50 percent of itself using plastic. The second version, the Mendel, was released with much better features such as increased efficiency[4], and Reprap continued to manufacture improved 3D printers as time went on.

3D printers are now seen as somewhat common household products and are manufactured with the average household income in mind. 3D printers can be bought at a more affordable cost than before, and 3D printing services are available for those who do not own or cannot afford to own a 3D printer.

3D Printing and Domestic Use

Seeing as how 3D printers have become an affordable technological device for the average household income, hobbyists and enthusiasts purchase it for their own pleasure in printing self-designed 3D models, for practical or non-practical use. Some things may never need to be purchased again and can even be customized to our own liking instead with the help of 3D printers. Toys for children, gears for parts of a machine, and even backscratchers for ourselves can be produced and are just a few examples of the countless number of objects that can be created with 3D printers.

Real Star Trek Replicator?

Positions in the Hype Cycle

3D modeling and 3D printing as shown in Gartner's 2011 Hype Cycle.

Gartner’s hype cycle provides a representation of how a technology will evolve overtime in terms of maturity, adoption, and social application[1].

The hype cycle consists of five phases:

  1. Technology trigger
  2. Peak of inflated expectations
  3. Trough of disillusionment
  4. Slope of enlightenment
  5. Plateau of productivity

3D modeling can be categorized as being towards the end of the hype cycle in the plateau of productivity, due to the fact that it has already been embraced by many industries and is still constantly being improved in ways that allow for various tasks and procedures to become more efficient.

As for 3D printing, Gartner has placed this technology in the peak of expectations near the beginning half of the curve, where the early adopters are still playing around with the technology and when the mass media hype is just starting to begin. 3D printing is already being used in many industries for processes such as manufacturing and mass prototyping, and we are now starting to see this technology become available to the general public for domestic and personal use.

The Use of 3D in Commercial Products


3D televisions were first officially launched for sale by many industry giants such as Sony in 2010, however the hype and predicted success that was present during this technology's initial release has since failed to materialize[2]. One of the reasons was because special glasses were required to watch these TVs, and people commented that this trait felt unnatural and created an awkward environment when watching television with friends and family[3]. Viewers also later discovered that these devices would give them headaches or make them dizzy after watching for a few hours[4].


Industry analysts are discovering that while the 3D movie genre was quick to be embraced by the major studios, and was even praised for its use in films like Avatar, ticket sales for 3D films have been declining over the last year in comparison to regular 2D films[5]. Possible explanations are that studios are taking movies that they have already completed and turning them into 3D as opposed to shooting films in a way where they would be optimized for 3D design, which leaves the film quality to be perceived as unimpressive. Furthermore, there is the possibility that people are starting to view 3D films a gimmick that does not add any additional value to their movie-going experience[6].

Video Games

Video game companies have started to incorporate the use of 3D into their gameplay, with one of the first being Nintendo in the form of its Nintendo 3DS. This console has been met with mixed reception, with some users praising it saying that the glasses-free design and the relatively friendly interface are a step in the right direction, while others are offering criticism by saying that the battery life is horrible, that it gives them a headache, and that it does not add anything valuable to their experience[7].

The Future

3D Modeling in Mainstream Business and Personal Use

We see 3D modeling as becoming more powerful in the future, and expect it to be a field that continues to grow as new discoveries arise that begin to link the technology with other applications. Microsoft’s Kinect, for example, and its move towards open source drivers has set off a chain of remarkable inventions as developers continue to discover new uses for the platform [8]. In the area of 3D modeling, one project led by Israeli technology company PrimeSense uses the Kinect to virtually reconstruct a gamer’s surroundings in real time, leading many to wonder if this is could potentially change the direction of application design and at-home gaming [9]. We envision this particular technology as potentially leading the way into the next generation of augmented reality, in that more and more commercial games will be designed so as to incorporate a player’s real-life surroundings. We also foresee a shift in 3D modeling design itself towards the form of digital holograms, with inventions such as Zebra Imaging Motion Displays allowing businesses and their clients to view a scalable and interactive 3D design on a 2D surface in the form of a hologram, thus eliminating the time and waste required to create physical 3D models. In terms of future outlook, holographic images have also been discussed as a means of conducting meetings and presentations to represent an individual who is physically unable to attend [10]. While this concept could reduce travel expenditures in the long run and give its users more time and freedom to focus on other things, we believe that the public is not yet ready to dissociate themselves with the importance or emotional feeling of human presence and interaction. Although we are impartial to the thought that holographic images could very well be a representation of how businesses and even classrooms are conducted in the future, we believe that this will be a technology more readily adopted and explored by the next generation as this concept will likely be difficult for the general public to accept.

3D Televisions and Other Consumer Products

While customer response to 3D televisions has so far been underwhelming, continual support from big name manufacturers suggests this technology will continue to evolve and could potentially become mainstream in the years to come. Panasonic, Samsung, and Sony have recently reached an agreement to create one industry standard for 3D glasses, and are investing heavily in research and development to allow a user’s 3D viewing experience to be as comfortable and natural as possible[11]. With these developments underway, it is likely that broadcasters will begin airing more content in 3D, thus mitigating the issue that arose years ago when consumers discovered that there really was not much they could watch in terms of regular programming on their newly purchased 3D TVs. Despite the forecasted improvements, however, it remains to be seen if users will be more accepting and welcoming of 3D televisions in the future. Many 3D televisions are being designed so as to allow the switch between 2D and 3D modes, and we believe that if improvements are made to the extent that the headaches, discomfort, and awkwardness currently associated with watching 3D TVs are eliminated, that these devices will have the potential to venture into the area of future mainstream adoption.

With the intended focus on improving 3D television technology by the larger corporations, it is likely that we will see the expansion of 3D capabilities into areas such as video games and smartphones as well. However, although we made the case that 3D TVs could potentially see a future surge in popularity, we view the use of 3D capabilities in smaller-screen devices like smartphones as unnecessary in that no real value is added to the usefulness and enjoyment of these devices. Furthermore, we find it unlikely that consumers will be willing to pay extra for a device offering 3D capabilities on such a small surface.

3D Printing and its shift towards 3D Bioprinting

Similar to 3D televisions, 3D printing is another technology likely to receive further attention in the future. The cost of 3D printers targeted at consumer use is dropping dramatically, and companies are currently aiming to price 3D printers at under $1,000 with this figure expected to decline in the years to come[12]. In addition, the number and variety of designs and prototypes available online to be printed at home can be expected to steadily increase. 3D printers are also likely to be accepted by a wider range of businesses as well, who could use it in aspects involving both mass production and the creation of final consumer products. It is predicted that 3D printing will become more heavily embraced by the dental field, who could use this technology to create crowns, bridges, temporaries, and other moldings[12]. Furthermore, a research team at Loughborough University is currently working on a 3D concrete printing project that would allow large building components to be printed on-site to any structure, suggesting the potential use of 3D printing in the construction industry as well.

There has been a breakthrough technology that is set to take off in the world of medicine, and this is 3D bioprinting. Just imagine to be able to print a kidney. There have been a couple of research companies who have been exploring this regenerative medicine. Most bioprinting is done using modified inkjet printers. These modified printers can move the cartridges not only side to side, but also up, down, forwards, and backwards. In the cartridges are living cells and gelatin like substances. The bioprinter “prints” out thin layers of the cells and gelatin substance until the desired part is done. This also could eliminate the need for organ donation since they can be created. Every year, the number of people on the waiting list for an organ transplant increases, yet the amount of donors and available organs remains at a low. Printing and growing a heart for someone using their own cells is something normally seen in science fiction, but with 3D bioprinting it could become a reality in the near future.

Links for more detailed information for 3D Bioprinting: Bioprinting Infographic 25 Things You Need to Know About the Future Organovo Develops First Commercial 3D Bio-Printer for Manufacturing Human Tissue and Organs

Anthony Atala: Printing a human kidney

Link to other emerging technologies

3D modeling can be easily connected with the world of augmented reality in the areas of gaming and business, in that augmented reality aims to heighten a user’s current perceptions of reality. One example of this is the website Augmented Reality Designs, where through the use of the company’s mobile app users are able to see a supposed 2D product design come to life in the form of a 3D animation. 3D is also likely to be explored in the areas of online and virtual shopping, as these industries attempt to bring a more realistic experience to users in place of the traditional in-person shopping malls. Combining these two fields together, it is possible that most online stores will begin to shift to more heavily incorporating augmented reality into a shopper’s experience by allowing users the option to virtually try on items that have been adapted for this purpose through the use of 3D modeling software. Users can expect to become exposed to an increased 3D presence in other areas as well, as Google Maps recently announced its intention to create a 3-dimensional digitally accurate map of the world[1]. Furthermore, it is interesting to note that the popular crowd-funding website Kickstarter has also seen its share of 3D-related startup projects, including the 3D-printed Crania Anatomica Filigre design which has since become the website’s 3rd most funded art project to date.


  1. http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/07/google-sends-fleet-of-planes-to-create-3d-map-of-earth/
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