What is 3D Sculptor? Conceptual Modeling Made Simple

  • : February 24, 2020
You can quickly create 3D models that are organically and ergonomically-shaped with 3D Sculptor, a browser-based 3D subdivision (sub-D) modeling solution built on the 3DEXPERIENCE® platform.

3D Sculptor is a lot like clay modeling but on a computer. Most designers typically start with either a sketch, imported image, or actual 3D models as a reference in the background and then design around those shapes.  Of course, with 3D Sculptor, you can also create shapes using no reference on the screen – just freehand design.

3D Sculptor is easy to use and fast to learn.  You start with a 3D shape or a 2D surface and simply push, pull, scale, crease, and bend your sub-D model to get the shape you desire.

Sub-D Modeling that Complements SOLIDWORKS

Subdivision modeling found in 3D Sculptor is different from traditional parametric surface modeling.  Using traditional parametric surface modeling tools for conceptual design can be difficult and time-consuming. Just one surface might require creating dozens of control curves. Even small topology changes, such as adding a sharp crease or flattening an area, can be extremely painful and may require starting the design over from scratch.

Designs that take hours to create with traditional parametric surface modeling may take only a few minutes to create with 3D Sculptor. And changes that often require a designer to start the whole design over with a parametric surface modeler may take seconds in 3D Sculptor.

3D Sculptor complements the SOLIDWORKS® comprehensive suite of design-through-manufacturing tools by providing subdivision conceptual modeling capabilities that are easy to learn and use.  And if you make a change in 3D Sculptor that change is propagated to SOLIDWORKS automatically.


Conceptual Design Through Direct Manipulation of the Surface

If it takes you all day just to create one concept model and another one to modify it—and you’re still on that first concept—you are not working very fast.

Conceptual design works best when you can experiment with several ideas. Think about ergonomic designs such as game controllers, sports equipment, medical devices, or other products that need to fit comfortably and feel secure in the hand.

With 3D Sculptor, you can dramatically speed up the conceptual stage of design because you don’t have to set up all the sub-structure and features necessary in parametric surface modeling such as curves, datums, and other features needed to construct complex surface geometry.

In 3D Sculptor, you directly manipulate the surface of the model.  Push, pull, crease, and manipulate the model by working directly on the surface. You don’t need to edit the underlying curves to get the shape you want.

Got Internet?

All you need to use 3D Sculptor is a device with an internet connection and a web browser. No specialized hardware is required. If you get a wild new product idea in the middle of the night or when on the road, open 3D Sculptor and flesh out those ideas instantaneously.  And since 3D Sculptor is subscription-based, there is no need for a significant, upfront investment: you can sign up for only a few months or a year at a time.

If you’re a SOLIDWORKS user looking to create smooth, organic shapes quickly, 3D Sculptor may be a good fit for you. 3D Sculptor makes quick work of smoothing out surfaces whether you are starting from a 3D CAD file or by using mesh data produced from generative design, topology optimization, or 3D scans. Smooth and blended surfaces are a snap and continuous curvature between the surfaces is built in.