October 22nd, 2013
September and the first half of October was a tough time for all of our designers, who are keen gamers. They were invited to put away controllers of their game consoles and work hard on game models instead. And they did! We can just guess what inspired them. Whatever it was - it made great impact. This one was really challenging for us - designers made a great stack of incredible models. However, some of them were better than the others. And here they are.
Last month was a busy one: we announced the winners of 3D Character Challenge, started Staples 3D Printing Challenge and got 3D Game Model Challenge going on. We expected to have some innovative models which could make an impact on design for computer games. The results surpassed our expectations.
409 models were uploaded for this challenge by 96 designers. A lot of them were really amazing. I said it before, but believe me - it was a hard task for all of our team to decide who were the best this time. It is nice that the participants made very diverse items: there were some models of the surface and buildings, made for games. The majority of models, however, was vehicles and characters.
July 4th, 2013
Social media enhances everyone to communicate, interact, share and talk. Even those, who are not really talkative turn into chatterboxes. There are billions of topics to discuss, myriads of ideas to express and enormous need to be heard. Social mainstream channels, thousands of distinct forums and discussion rooms try to serve this global need. There were even a few revolutions organized using Facebook and Twitter. CGTrader does not intend to start a revolution, but launches a discussion room for the community to ask, to talk, to answer and to be heard. And facilitates your involvement into artists' community by collecting all social news in the personal feed!
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 28th, 2013
The past month was full of new experiences and challenges for all of us. While April was shocking with cardinal temperatural changes, popularity of "make offer" feature at CGTrader's marketplace has overcome any boundaries of the our greatest expectations. In the middle of May 3D Printing Competition has been launched and we cannot wait the winners to take the prizes - two breath-taking 3D printers by Ultimaker. So, until we count the last days for the summer and model slippers to be 3D printed, we represent a bit different top of The Best 3D Models of April.
Why is it different? It happens that some 3D designers complain all around the forums that they run out of ideas or that everything what could be 3D designed - already is. I would not agree to this. Sometimes it is even enough to look around. So, for this top list only highly distinct and extremely catching 3D models have been selected. It was done in order to reflect the broad variety of possible forms and content in 3D. Obviously, they do strongly vary in terms of particular technique, chosen topic, representation, level of realism and rationalism and the fact that some 3D models require more imagination and accuracy than others.
Here it comes, still fresh and inspiring top of the Best 3D Models of April.
May 3rd, 2013
Watches. Heat. Melting. Awry forms. Devastated settings. Torsos of the dreams. It coalesces. Then it detaches. Surreal visual art reminds us of something. Actually, it awakens the most latent parts of ourselves.
Surrealism is like a potion, made in the 1920s for the first time. But it still flourishes and inspires contemporary artists. Surrealism is being used as kind of therapeutics, enabling the artists to analyse the depth of human nature by mixing the most distinct feelings and experiences together.
"Surrealist manifesto" was written in 1924. There surrealism was defined as philosophy, based on the belief in superior reality of certain forms of previously neglected associations, in the omnipotence of dream, in the disinterested play of thought. Salvador Dali is considered to be the Duke of surrealism. People, who do not know about surrealism, definitely know about Dali. When he was formally expelled from the Surrealist group, the artist only replied I myself am surrealism. S. Dalis early work The Persistence of Memory, a painting set in some kind of existential desert, depicts melting pocket watches and stands as one of the best surreal painting examples ever made.
Surrealism surprises and will never be played out. It invaded the whole art of 3D and reality just fades away. Surrealism stimulates to write ones dreams down every morning, to free the mind and indulge into a process of automatic creativity. 3D artists impart their inner state of mind into each artwork. Some of them seek for the meditation and others share their dark sides of the moons.
Self-examination, alienation, loneliness, madness, sadness, euphoria, mania, suspicion of a gone dream and all the possible human feelings create a particular and peculiar atmosphere of every work of a 3D designer. Tree-dimensional art makes surrealism to thrive: while providing precise level of photorealism, it includes the most unreal objects, forms and design decisions. I am wondering, if Salvador Dali had such tools, how would his most prominent painting look like?
Grab your inspiration for the mind-blowing masterpiece, while exploring this gallery of surreal 3D artwork.