1. What is a 3D model?

A 3D model is a three-dimensional object produced in a digitally controlled process. 3D models are often referred to as prints, even though they can be made using other techniques, such as CNC milling or turning. The surface of the 3D model can also be painted and by other means processed for special effects.

The digital information used to create a 3D model can either be based on measurements from a physical object, or be created entirely digitally. 3D models can be created in almost any shape or geometry, and even if different plastics are the most common material, 3D models can also be made from other materials such as metals, glass, or ceramics. A 3D model can also be used as a mould for other materials, such as concrete, wax, synthetic resin, or chocolate.

Plastic and composite 3D prints of the Alunda moose – a Neolithic ceremonial axe. Foto: (CC BY)