The Future of 3D Design: Trends, Opportunities and Predictions

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As you probably know, 3D has become a big deal in the world of design. Virtual and augmented reality, for example, are growing in popularity with consumers and businesses alike. As a result, companies that produce design software have been developing new features to cater to their growing user base. Moreover, with more people becoming comfortable with 3D modeling software, we’ve seen the rise of websites like Thingiverse (for virtual objects) and The Digital Design Library (for digital objects). And while you might think this is only beneficial for designers who primarily focus on creating digital files, there are plenty of opportunities for those who prefer working with real-world materials instead. With that in mind, let’s take a look at some of the most important trends impacting 3D design today — as well as their impact on its future.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Virtual and augmented reality is the next frontier for 3D design. Currently, it’s used for everything from games to architecture to business.

There’s no doubt VR and AR are growing in popularity — and for good reason. These technologies enable users to create, edit and view designs in a fully immersive way.

There are different applications for each of these technologies, with VR being primarily used for simulations and AR being great for collaboration. Both VR and AR have changed the way designers approach projects, leading to new opportunities in the industry.

AR, for instance, has introduced a new way of collaboration — allowing multiple people to view and adjust a design at the same time. VR has also changed collaboration in a major way, with some designers using a technology called Remote Collaboration.

This allows designers to meet online and work together in an immersive virtual environment, as if they were in the same room.

Artificial Intelligence in Design



As artificial intelligence becomes more commonplace throughout all aspects of business, it’s also making its way into design software. For example, some CAD software (3D modeling software used to create virtual objects) is now equipped with “intelligent” features that allow it to learn from your past projects. 

This functionality can help designers by recommending new tools for common tasks. This type of functionality can also be found in BIM software (used to create buildings and other large-scale projects). 

However, instead of recommending tools, BIM AI automatically includes the most efficient materials based on your project’s design and budget. These intelligent features are likely to be more widespread in the future as designers become more comfortable with AI. 

The added functionality can help save time by automating portions of the design process. It can also help improve accuracy and consistency in projects, leading to better overall results.

3D Printing for Real-World Objects

While 3D printing is primarily used for producing virtual objects (like toys, models and jewelry), it’s also being used in a growing number of industries to produce real-world objects. 

For example, many businesses are using 3D printing to create high-quality prototypes, lab equipment and even spare parts. And, while 3D printing has been around for decades, recent advancements in technology have improved its reliability, consistency and speed. 

Meanwhile, designers have been creating 3D models for these real-world objects for years. But now, with more advanced software and more powerful machines, the quality of these models is improving significantly. With these advancements, 3D printing has become a more viable and attractive option for designers and businesses. 

Doing away with the need to create blueprints, they can simply send their designs to a 3D printing company and have them create the models.

CAD Software for Real-World Objects

Even though CAD software has been around for decades, it’s largely been limited to virtual objects. However, as hardware and software advancements have made 3D modeling more accessible for real-world designers, more and more CAD software is being used to create physical objects. 

For designers who regularly create parts for machines and other large-scale objects, this is great news. Not only does it eliminate the need to create blueprints, but it also allows you to use the same software you’re used to — meaning there’s no need to learn an entirely new program. 

This shift has made it easier for designers working with real-world objects to collaborate with their peers. Instead of having to send blueprints to other designers, they can simply send them the digital designs. With technological advancements like these, CAD software is becoming more common amongst designers who work primarily with real-world materials.


Real-world design is a growing field that has seen a lot of change over the last few years. This is thanks to an increased focus on 3D modeling and the development of new technologies like VR and BIM AI. 

These advancements have brought virtual and augmented reality into the real world, made collaboration easier and made it possible for designers to create real-world objects using CAD software. 

This is good news for designers who prefer working with real-world materials over creating digital files. It also means there’s more opportunity for designers to find work in a variety of industries.



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