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3D modellers develop a mathematical representation of a three-dimensional object, either inanimate or living, via specialized software. The product is called a 3D model (also known as a mesh). It can be displayed as a two-dimensional image through a process called 3D rendering or used in a computer simulation of physical phenomena. The model can also be physically created using 3D printing devices.
Models may be created automatically or manually. The manual modelling process of preparing geometric data for 3D computer graphics is similar to plastic arts such as sculpting.
Today, 3D models are used in a wide variety of fields. The medical industry uses detailed models of organs. The movie industry uses them as characters and objects for animated and real-life motion pictures. The video game industry uses them as assets for computer and video games. The science sector uses them as highly detailed models of chemical compounds. The architecture industry uses them to demonstrate proposed buildings and landscapes. The engineering community uses them as designs of new devices, vehicles and structures as well as a host of other uses. In recent decades the earth science community has started to construct 3D geological models as a standard practice.