On November 22, 1995, the world as we know it changed forever. No, you haven’t forgotten any natural disasters or major geopolitical crises. This event probably seemed unremarkable at the time, but we’re still feeling its effects: A little movie called Toy Story made its box office debut—and introduced the world to a level of computer animation and 3D modeling that few people had imagined possible.
Toy Story triggered a seismic shift in technology and cultural perceptions. For the past two decades, 3D modeling and animation have been cornerstones of entertainment and industry, shaping the way we think about everyday reality. Today, we experience 3D modeling in everything from television and movies to smartphone apps and websites—even virtual reality applications that become more common day by day.
Despite its growing relevance and popularity, you might think that 3D modeling and related technologies are impractical, expensive, even unnecessary for your business. Nothing could be further from the truth. Evolving technologies are helping companies of all sizes use 3D modeling to win clients and improve their business practices.
Why 3D modeling matters to your business
3D modeling and animation offer much, much more than a flashy new marketing gimmick. Augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) provide effective solutions to everyday business problems—not just in marketing, but for day-to-day operations. Let’s look at some examples.
- Unforgettable demos: Energy, engineering, and technology companies share a common problem. Many high-value products and solutions can be complicated and challenging to explain to uninitiated audiences. VR and AR can use 3D modeling to introduce your customers to complex concepts and ideas, helping them explore the features and benefits of new products in engaging, memorable ways.
- Trade show collateral: Banners and brochures can capture attention and communicate information, but when you really want to make a lasting impression on overwhelmed convention visitors, you need something that stands out. 3D modeling can fire the imagination with a stunning video or immersive VR simulation that can start conversations and boost your visibility far beyond your event space.
- Virtual training: Hands-on training can be risk and costly. Walking a new employee around your worksite is one thing, but effectively simulating a crisis is a different challenge entirely. Energy industry companies in particular have complex training needs that neither written nor practical exercises can satisfy. But fully rendered 3D models can create VR training experiences that are vastly more effective—and cost-effective.
- Remote inspection and diagnostics: Imagine being able to construct and explore a complex structure without ever leaving your desk. Modern 3D modeling technology and “digital twin” simulations allow you to create accurate digital replicas of complex assets, so your engineers and experts can test new ideas and troubleshoot potential problems quickly and efficiently.
Are you sitting on a 3D goldmine?
3D technology is gaining ground. Seventy-five percent of the companies on Forbes’ list of World’s Most Valuable Brands already offer some form of VR or AR experience to their customers or employees, but the benefits aren’t just for big business.
Creating and rendering a 3D model of a physical asset—a digital twin—can be a complex process, but the resources you need to get started could be as close as your hard drive. Engineering plans and operational CAD files can be analyzed and repurposed into fully accurate and interactive 3D models. Whether you’re marketing a small consumer product or a full-size oil rig, your back-office designs can be converted to sophisticated, client-facing collateral that gives your business a boost without having to start from scratch.
An asset you can’t afford to ignore
VR and AR assets aren’t just “cool,” and 3D modeling is much more than a marketing novelty. These are useful, valuable assets for modern businesses, and resources you can’t afford to ignore. Whether you’re trying to communicate the advantages of a new product through VR, or overhauling your safety processes and workflows using a digital twin, your business stands to benefit from 3D modeling. Don’t assume that 3D technology is out of your reach; you could be halfway there already. The starting point you need could be waiting right now in your computer.