June 26th, 2013
Community is a crucial element of the digital society. Usually marketplaces do care about the customers and the potential wealth they are expected to bring. So, they build want-buy-sell relationship, based on the principle of hierarchy between a seller and buyer. CGTrader.com does not believe in this. We choose to care by having a professional artist community and becoming the most community-friendly platform for 3D designers.
In order to raise our family of artists and to ensure nothing but pleasure for both buyers and sellers we are introducing several new features of a marketplace allowing to express opinion, to like, to share and to build your own reputation. These will help the community members to show off their skills, achievements and to present their 3D models to every visitor of CGTrader.com in the most attractive way.
May 29th, 2013
3D modeling brings you out of space. It loosens your hands and releases your fantasy. You can sculpt, combine, model, shape, form any most ridiculous object that contravenes physics and is far beyond the reality. Since CGTrader.com is holding 3D Printing Competition, there are a few things each 3D designer must definitely know about.
When you design a print-ready model, a process of modeling changes a bit. While modeling 3D printable objects, you must always be aware of the reality. At least, a little. In order to answer all your questions and save your time, we offer to look through these guidelines to make sure that your modeling is going to the right and bright side. Special thanks to our 3D printing competition's sponsor 3DPrintUK for simple, but amazing visuals!
1. Forget Surfaces
Keep in mind that the walls of your 3D model must be thick enough. If you want a model to be 3D printed, a wall must be not less than 0,5 mm, 1mm would be your absolute guarantee. So, as 3DPrintUK reccomends, draw in solid bodies, because they are easier than surfaces. If you are not fully convinced, watch this video:
2. Shut Your Model's Face
Open faces do matter. To make it simple, an open face is where a model is missing a face from the surface of the part. In other words, an object must be so called waterproof. If there are any open faces left after your modeling, close them. If not, it will not be possible to 3D print it.
3. Separate Edges
Be aware that your 3D model must not contain any shared edges. Better replace it with a 0,1mm gap between two bodies or just overlap if parts have to be joined together. Otherwise, it results in a crash of 3D printed object. Damn.
4. Correct Normals
All surfaces of a designing model must have their normals pointing into the right direction. Happens that your 3D model contains inverted normals, so most of 3D printers cannot determine the inside or outside of your mesh.
5. Hollow Your Models
3DPrintUK advices to hollow out large volume objects. Hollowing saves you money, because filling model's inside with expensive material is pointless. Take a look at huge price differences! Only by hollowing a model, this designer has managed to save 80% of the amount!
6. Scale It Down, If You Can
Another way to reduce 3D printing price is to scale your model down. Think twice if you do not want to make it smaller. If you cut the size in half, you will reduce a printing price by eight times. Worth to consider.
7. Stay Within The Limits
3D printers have a particular volume which you cannot build larger than. If your model is larger than the build volume, either break it down into smaller individual components, or cut join lines through the model. Model reasonably.
8. Always Leave A Gap
While designing moving parts of a 3D model, always keep in mind to leave a gap between them. It must be at least 0,5mm in order not to stick and provide an unobstructed movement.
9. Keep It Stable
In the 3D printing's slang there is a so-called 'thin arm syndrome'. You must not leave thin arms with unsupported weight at the end. Especially after scaling a model down, be sure that the arms are strong enough to hold it. Moreover, shapeways reminds that your 3D model will always stand on its' feet, while a real one may keel over. So, consider the size of a character and the shape of contact area. It must not be significantly smaller. Or keep in mind that you always can add an artificial base for stability of a model. This is an example, how the size of contact area properly matches the dimensions of the object:
10. Model Characters Accurately
While modeling a 3D printable character, you must be careful about the details more than ever. Even the smallest part does matter. Make the arms and legs of your model strong enough. Just imagine Shrek, standing on two tiny legs. Do not forget that any surface details must be supported on at least one side of the another surface. Thinness of it should not be less than 0,4mm. Fingers are vulnareble part of a body. So, they are likely to break the first ones. Try to keep them together.
Put your character on two feet better than on one. If you want it to raise a leg, put it on a stone. Furthermore, avoid precisely small details. If you are not sure if you can print it out, better remove it. Do not experiment a lot in character's shape also, keep body parts going across or along X,Y or Z axes.
Yes, it is a lot to remember. But you can always follow these guideliness in order to design a proper 3D print-ready model. Do not think that these are the rules to restrict your creativity. We need it. That is why originality matters that much in our competition.
May 9th, 2013
Imagine that 3D model marketplace is like a huge supermarket with hundreds of showcases...
I doubt if you would be attracted to buy any goods that are scattered all around. Let's say you have walked around the marketplace three times already and you are not able to find, where the milk is. The fact that there is no indicated price in the same shelf, would definitely confuse a you. The same is at the online marketplaces. All you have to do is to make the trading pleasant by providing attractive and buyable products. Simple logic.
There is no golden formula on how to attract the buyers and trade your 3D models online sucessfully. So, it turns out that each seller trusts their inner voice. Let's admit that it lies sometimes. Unfortunately. This blogpost will not reveal any secret to you, but we will try to provide some tips how to catch the eye and recruit the heart of the particular buyer.
February 12th, 2013
Celebrations no matter big or small ones always bring profit for those who know how to use them in a proper way. 3D design marketplace is not an exception. Here few tips on how to make the most of it.
The very first advice for designers is to be aware of even the smallest upcoming events and celebrations of the year. There is a long list of them: New Year, Presidents Day, St. Patricks Day, Easter, Solstice, Mothers Day, Fathers Day, Independence Day, Autumnal and Vernal equinoxes, Halloween, Thanksgiving and many others. Morever, anniversaries, social movements, potical breakthroughs or common public atmosphere can inspire to create a new 3D model and to give what customers are searching for.
It is no surprise that Christmas trees are best sold in December. Everyone loves a scarf or a blanket decorated with Northern reindeers and there is absolutely no point in buying these things in the middle of the summer. The presents and sales make Christmas season highly valuable for all kind of businesses and initiatives. Valentines Day is one of the most commercial holidays of the year as well. Merchants love it. Marketers love it. 3D designers have to fall in love with
February all dyes in red. Heart-shaped objects, chocolate, flowers, plush toys, figurines of cupids, balloons, greeting cards, jewelry, sexy underwear, entertainment for two: everything goes. This is why designers should be ready for the Valentines Day in advance and get their models up to the marketplace.
There is a question. Should you work on a 3D model of chocolate or choose a heart-shaped box of candies? Thankfully, you do not have to do the whole investigation on your own. There is google.com in the modern world. Majority of 3D model buyers are searching for them via Google and you can peek into the trends using a magic tool called GoogleTrends.
For example, a quick look at GoogleTrends shows that the end of January and first part of February mark an increase in the search of such keywords as love in 3D, a heart, sweet, "cupid, romantic, "chocolate". A red line marks a week before Valentine's Day when mentioned keywords spike.
In February a keyword broken heart in a search appears quite rare, comparing with other months. It is magic that February happens to be a month when dozens of people decide to try to believe in love again.
April 8th, 2012
Certainly there are some artists who have created 3D models, but still think whether they should bother to place them on the market at all. They may think it could be time consuming, it could be loss-making business or maybe just too much of the hassle. Whatever it could be, lets leave all these arguments aside, as actually there are great bunch of reasons why its worth giving a shot, too. Lets explore them.
1. Assets that constantly earn you money. 3D models are digital goods, and the beauty of selling digital goods is that they can be sold more than once to different buyers. By placing them on online market you create your own portfolio that will work for you 24/7 and generate constant revenue for you. Just make sure you do the research and see what sells best in the current 3D stock market, put efforts in making your models decent quality and set an attractive price for both, you as a seller and a buyer.