The type of 3D modeling one needs to create a 3D model depends on the 3D object in question. This 3D object could be a car, a jet, nuts and bolts, and even characters from a movie.
1. Parametric modeling
As the name suggests, this type of 3D product modeling relies heavily on the object parameters (width, height, breadth, length). It is used to make/ design objects such as a cube, amount for a motor in a robot or even a car, or a jet, all of which need to be made as per certain size / parametric specifications.
Image Source: Google
Here the exact measurements take priority in the design process and quick design alterations are possible. This means that parametric modeling is great for design tasks that involve exacting requirements and manufacturing criteria. Hence, it is used in product design and manufacturing and is typically used by industrial designers.
The advantages of parametric modeling also include the ability to easily interpret the design intent when a certain element is a changed and smooth integration with manufacturing processes, which in turn results in shorter production time. One downside to this method of 3D modeling is that parametric models require more time to update when unexpected design changes occur.
2. Polygonal/ Direct modeling
This technique of 3D modeling is concept-driven rather than measurement-driven. It’s akin to making something out of clay, where the object depends more on artistic vision than set dimensions.
It prioritizes conceptual thinking and feels like sculpting “digital clay”. It is typically used today in animation and video game industries to create/ design 3D objects such as CGI (computer-generated imagery) movie characters and video game characters.