Digital 3D Modeling
What is 3D Modeling?
According to Wikipedia, "3D modeling is the process of developing a mathematical, wireframe representation of any three-dimensional object (either inanimate or living) via specialized software. The product is called a 3D model. It can be displayed as a two-dimensional image through a process called 3D rendering or used in a computer simulation of physical phenomena." One of the most user-friendly 3D modeling programs is Google SketchUp. The basic version is free; the pro version is $495 but free for educators.
Google SketchUp can be used for a variety of purposes: interior design, urban planning, architecture, engineering, construction, game design, and storyboarding. In addition to creating 3D models, you can share your models and access models created by others in the Google 3D Warehouse. You can browse the buildings that have been created in Google SketchUp for placement in Google Earth, or try traveling to New York City, for example, in Google Earth, to see 3D models of the city's structures!
Here are some ideas for using 3D modeling in the classroom:
- Create models of your school, community, local landmarks, etc. for placement in Google Earth
- Explore 3D models of authentic locations in Google Earth
- Have students design floor plans to activate specific vocabulary
Where can I get started 3D modeling?
Where can I see 3D models that others have created and hear about how others are using 3D models?
Using Google SketchUp across the disciplines - Read case studies and find out more about how a variety of industries are using Google SketchUp
Google SketchUp gallery - See some example models
K-12 Education Case Studies - Apartment design, construction projects and others created by students