In the last few decades, wide technological advancements have been implemented in the field of pedagogy, a widely used teaching methodology is lecturing. 3D models are used to represent the accurate physical object in a more detailed manner.
To enhance the learning process several standard methods are used which include text, images, audio, video, and so on. A 3D model is one such method that incorporates more novel features which are implemented in many companies like Tooliqa.
Further, this undergoes improvements to come up with an improved version called lecture-cum-demonstration method. In which the learning process is enhanced through experimentation. A physical object is described in the form of photographs or sketches to provide a better learning process.
Features of a 3D Model
A 3D model is nothing but a virtual copy of a physical object. The two aspects of a 3D model are the polygon labyrinth and structure. A polygon labyrinth is a framework that holds a different style of the 3D object in different structures.
A framework is made of vertices, lines, and faces. This polygon labyrinth is most similar to geometry which has several inbuilt technical expressions which ease the usage without learning.
Moreover, structures provide the mapping process to the polygon labyrinth. This structure defines the pattern when bundled together with the polygon labyrinth simple from a color to a complex image.
These structures use certain instructions to define the pattern called UVs. These structures pass through light to produce results like transparency, reflection, and so on.
Additionally, the 3D models are quite complicated to create and undergo long working principles. But it is not complicated to work with the results and benefit more from a final version of a 3D model.
Origin and uses of a 3D model
In the 1960s the first 3D model was developed, mostly used by the experts to develop the 3D models. A pioneer in a 3D model is a program called sketchpad. Initially, this 3D model was widely used in television and advertisements but today you can almost see a 3D model everywhere.
A 3D model was priorly used in industrial applications to generate the machine models accurately and 3D printers to generate the machining.
But today, 3D models have revolutionized almost every industry with their applications. Several industries benefit from 3D models which include advertisement, web design, market analysis, interior design, architecture, real estate, science and technology, entertainment, medicine, and so on.
Moreover, due to technical advancements, these graphics from 3D models are now in all hands in the form of a smartphone. These 3D models create a unique world using virtual and augmented reality.
Benefits of a 3D Model to educators
A 3D model is more effective and interactive compared to 2D images. Students can view all the physical objects in a 3D model which helps to learn more about the object in a different dimension. Some common techniques are used by educators to enhance the learning process. They are:
1. 3D models are more convenient
A most common advantage in using a 3D model is that it can be accessed from anywhere. Also, it does not damage any fragile or expensive physical samples. It can be easily examined by the students to explore many features in different dimensions without causing any damage. Also, it helps in remote learning to have a better understanding of the physical sample as similar to the examination in a physical class.
2. Unlimited time
Students can examine the 3D models at any time and at anywhere. In the case of the physical object, each student needs to wait for their turn to examine it. But in the case of the 3D model, any student can access the model without interrupting other student examinations.
3. 3D model supports sharing
A 3D model can be easily shared in this current digital environment. A 3D model which is created by any larger institution can be shared easily with any smaller institution. Hence a 3D model with exclusive content can be accessed when it is shared by anyone worldwide.
4. 3D models are highly interactive
One of the impressive features of a 3D model is its accessibility. The functions of the 3D models can be accessed, manipulated, or even animated. Furthermore, a 3D model represents the physical object with all its inbuilt properties. This is more effective than a picture where these simulations enhance the students' learning to a great extent.
5. Explore more with a 3D model
An impressive aspect of a 3D model is its exploration. Several analysis techniques can be implemented to the 3D models to obtain a different dimension of a physical object.
Building a 3D model
Two pillars widely used in building the 3D model are scanning and modelling. Scanning digitally captures the structure of a physical object using laser light. Scanning provides the fine details of the physical object, but it is an expensive approach. Higher-end scanners give a high-quality product.
A more cost-effective technique commonly used is photogrammetry, a software that allows the taking of a series of photographs at a lower cost. A typical example of photogrammetry software is Photoscan, COLMAP, and so on.
Furthermore, modelling is defined as the process of developing a mathematical coordinate-based representation of a physical object in 3D using various specialized software.
More precise details are needed for creating an industrial or architectural model. Hence software like 360, AutoCAD is widely used for such applications. On the other hand, for creative applications software like Maya, Blender is a perfect choice.
3D models in the classrooms
A 3D model can be used incorporating several techniques in the classrooms. Moreover, the simpler version is by linking the physical object with the official website and hence the students can view and explore those physical objects from anywhere. Additionally, these 3D models are even mobile-friendly and cross-platform compatible. Some of the open-source 3D model software are:
Tinkercad specializes in direct modelling and OpenSCAD is used mainly for education and can be implemented through browsers.
Vectary supports mesh modelling, parametric modelling used for product design, graphic design, animation and can be implemented through browsers.
Meshmixer is mainly used for direct modelling, sculpting, and optimization through windows or macOS.
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