Like many other fields, 3D modeling is mainly about using the right tool for the task. Are you designing a mechanical component with clearly defined dimensions? Use CAD software such as Fusion360 or TinkerCAD. Do you want to model a car or sci-fi robot according to a template? Traditional 3D modeling with direct vertex adjustment in Maya or Blender is the right choice. But how would you approach modeling your favorite movie character? How about modeling an animal, a monster or a miniature for a board game? Or even something as simple as adding an offended edge to a model, to look worn? It would be almost impossible to model something like this in CAD software and traditional 3D modeling is just a little better. But there is another modeling technique suitable for creating organic shapes. Sculpting, or digital sculpture. Sculpting is a digital parallel to classical sculpture. At the beginning you have a shapeless piece of digital matter, which you can pull, squeeze and smooth in various ways twist and continue to shape. But that sounds pretty complicated, doesn’t it? In addition to creating completely new models, sculpting also has several other practical uses suitable for complete beginners. Even if you have no experience with Sculpting at all, using simple tools you can fix and improve 3D scans! In particular, the smoothing brush works incredibly well. We have two instructions on photogrammetry, where we scan an object by simply photographing it using the phone. Take a look at them if you are interested. And another use case you can try is to modify models created by other techniques. For example, you can into the body of a robot that is supposed to look worn, add scratches or dents. You’re probably wondering what program you’ll find similar Sculpting tools in now. The selection is quite wide and we will go through the most used ones in speed. We must first mention Zbrush. Definitely the most used program among professionals. However, for beginners and less frequent users, this is a fairly expensive and complex program And that’s the way it is – basic tools in all Sculpting applications behave essentially the same. Even keyboard shortcuts and brush names are often the same. So you don’t have to worry about wasting your time learning the wrong software. Whatever Sculpting program you choose, you can easily transfer your knowledge to another application. Having explained this, we must mention Blender. Its free, is open-source, and has a great interface for Sculpting Make sure you are using version 2.8 or later, because among other improvements, the user interface is now much friendlier than previous versions. If you want something really simple, you can try SculptGL. It’s a web application, so you can run it right now without having to install anything. And then there’s Sculptris, which is basically a really simplified Zbrush. It is available free of charge, but its development was terminated a few years ago. And Sculpting can be found in Meshmixer, for example, which we used in some of our previous tutorials. Whatever program you choose, the basics are the same. You have several tools to choose from, such as “Clay” – adds or removes matter, anti-aliasing – removes details and smoothes the surface, displacement – quickly changes the proportions of the model, Or, for example, “Fold”. Which creates sharp edges or scratches and pulls the surrounding vertices together. Press the Ctrl or Alt key you reverse the behavior of the brush. For example in Blender hold down the Ctrl key to remove the material instead of adding it. In addition, several other features simplify your work. allows you to disable editing locally which is especially useful when working nearby several different parts of the model. And dynamic topology or dyntopo adds and removes details (vertices) at runtime. This allows you to create complex objects from simple geometry. Modeling also has a technical side. If your model has too many polygons or a bad topology it will be difficult to use it in a game or animation. But that’s another great thing about Sculpting. it is almost exclusively a creative activity. Once you learn a few basic tools, you can focus only on the model itself and not worry about the technical aspects. If you are mainly interested in 3D printing, you need to remember 2 things when Sculpting. You can minimize the use of supports by cleverly processing the maximum overhang angle. You can see that the pose of this model is chosen that way so that it can be printed completely without supports. Another trick is to keep the parts of the model as separate parts. As a result, you can not only reduce the number of supports, but also print them in different colors. And if you plan to paint the model by hand, will not have to cover parts for a long time, which should have a different color. If you only want to print the model in 3D, you do not need to modify it further after Sculpting. At worst, you will need to reduce the number of polygons using a simple modifier. And if you want to use the model for other purposes as well, for example for the already mentioned animation, you can modify the model using a technique called retopology. Two more brief notes. If you want to model something specific, it is very useful to have a reference photo or sketch. I can’t draw much either. But every minute spent over the sketch, will save you many times more time in Sculpting. The second note is about using a graphics tablet. The mouse will be enough for you to start but even get a small tablet but also a small tablet or laptop with stylus support will give you a new level of control. You will be able to change the intensity of the brush quickly by applying more or less pressure. Hard to describe, Sculpting with a graphics tablet it’s a bit like touching the model on the screen. If you want to learn more about Sculpture, Here are some of our favorite, but unfortunately only English speaking YouTube channels For Blender we recommend Grant Abbitt, channel Yan Sculpts or Flipped Normals. For Zbrush again Flipped Normals and Wekster created several tutorials. If you decide to try Sculpting yourself, you can enter our competition at prusaprinters.org and win an Original Prusa SL1 printer Every month we launch a new competition with various topics. Would you like to see more videos of Sculpting? Have you tried it yet? Or do you have your favorite tutorial or software? Leave us a message in the comments! And as always, print success!