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2D Modeling vs. 3D Modeling: Which is More Efficient?


2D and 3D are two different dimensions in a computer workspace. 2D is “flat,” and has only two dimensions: horizontal and vertical (X and Y) dimension whereas 3D has three dimensions—it adds the depth (Z) dimension.

We can simply say that 2D shapes contain both length and width while 3D shapes are those objects that have length, width, and height.

We use 2D when we need a broad overview of a thing/place, and we use 3D when we need an accurate representation of a place—like how it will look in real life.

This is the basic difference between 2D and 3D.

Now that you know the basic difference between 2D and 3D, let’s move on to our principal topic—2D modeling vs. 3D modeling.

The use of modeling is increasing day by day in various fields, and we can say that the construction field totally depends on modeling. They use modeling for planning projects, observing the field and ensuring work gets done correctly.

Difference Between 2D Modeling and 3D Modeling

There are lots of differences between 2D and 3D modeling. The major difference between them is their shapes and uses. As their shape changes, the usage of the models also changes.

Basic Difference Between 2D and 3D Shapes

2D modeling involves the creation of those shapes that can be produced on a flat surface such as blueprints and drawings.

We can create such shapes on blank paper or in computer software. Usually, we use 2D shapes for a broad view. They can provide a broader as compared to 3D shapes, but they only include two dimensions. They don’t include the dimension of width.

For example, square, circle, and rectangle are two-dimensional shapes that don’t have the dimension of width (Z-axis) whereas cube, sphere, and cone are three-dimensional shapes because they contain a dimension of width.

The construction process of 2D shapes is so simple that even a school student can create them easily. But the creation of 3D models is quite complex, you need to learn the basics of 3D modeling to be able to create 3D models.

to get started with 3D modeling, you can have a look at the basics of 3D modeling provided in this article.

So, these are some of the major differences between 2D and 3D shapes that you should know about before starting 3D or 2D modeling because we should know the basics of 3D modeling before moving to the advanced level.

Now, you should know about the up and down side to 2D and 3D models. You will understand this better with the help of this table.

2D Modeling3D Modeling
2D modeling is useful in making quick decisions.3D Modeling takes time to create models.
Useful for a broad overviewUseful for an actual overview.
The 2D model provides basic information.3D models provide comprehensive information.
We can’t use 2D models for machine control.We can use 3D models in machine control.
2D models make communication more complex.The communication process is straightforward.
Don’t get updated with the latest technology.Updates to the latest technology.

Benefits of Going from 2D to 3D Design

Many companies are going from 2D to 3D designs. They use 3D models in almost every project and they are ready to pay a considerable amount of money to 3D designers.

But why are they doing this, why are they spending a lot of money on 3D models?

They can just use 2D models, which will help them cut costs, but they don’t do this for many reasons.

2D models only save money but 3D models save time, automate your design process, increase communication with suppliers / customers, and much more.

That’s why almost every company is moving from 2D to 3D design, and are effectively taking advantage of 3D modeling.

Architecture engineers use 2D and 3D models to both create site models and for land surveying.

They use 2D and 3D models for different perspectives. They use 2D models when they need a broad view of any project, and use 3D models when they want detailed information of any site.

Although 2D models don’t include detailed information, they are useful for comparing large-scale changes and providing a quick overview of the site.

By getting a quick overview, architecture engineers get a pace in their work because now they have an overview of the site and they can work accordingly.

But 2D models can’t represent a site in its true format like how it will look in real life. 3D models can do this work properly, they represent sites the way they look in real life.

Whenever an architecture engineer or a freelancer works on any project or site, their first task is to provide a 3D representation of the site to the owner, and that’s why learning 3D modeling is really important.

When we get the 3D model of the site, everyone understands the plan easily. Every stakeholder, from engineer to machine operators, can understand what the outcome of the project will look like.

3D models have other benefits as well. You can show the site to the owner from different angles so that he/she can understand it properly, and you can also create different 3D models for different areas of the site to provide clarity.

Major Advantage of 3D Modeling:

  • Provides visual scenario of the design process
  • 3D modeling can create renderings and animations
  • Saves a lot of time
  • It increases the accuracy of the output
  • By using 3D modeling, we can create more effective internal designs
  • You can test your design in the real-world before moving to production
  • 3D modeling helps to standardize detailing and drafting practices

These are some of the significant advantages of 3D modeling over 2D modeling. They are why most of the designers and companies are using 3D models instead of 2D models.

Also, focus on learning 2D modeling because you will need the skill in some of the work. So learning 2D modeling is important as well.

As we have discussed earlier, 2D modeling is important when we need a broad overview of any site because 3D models can only get the actual view of the site but not the broad overview.

Although 3D modeling is more efficient, we shouldn’t forget 2D modeling because 2D models are the base of any project, and without knowing the basics, we can’t complete any work with full efficiency and productivity.

Areas of Application of 2D and 3D Modeling

As you know, 2D and 3D Models have a variety of uses in different industries. Whenever company owners want to have an idea about the project, employees show them using 3D models.

We can see the application of these models in every industry, from gaming and movies to 3D printing. It’s even used in the architecture industry. Engineers use 3D and 2D models to provide an idea of the work.

Nowadays we can see what our house will look like at the completion of work and if we don’t like any part of the house, we can make changes to it using 3D models and engineers will make those changes in real life.

Let’s talk about the areas of application of 2D and 3D modeling separately so that you can understand it more clearly.

Applications of 3D Modeling

Interior Design

Applications of 3D Modeling

A wide range of users ranging from engineers to architects and even house owners use 3D models for interior designing.They use 3D designing because it provides them a good idea of how the interior of their house will look like after putting the furniture in the house.

So, they create 3D models and decide on lighting and colours according to the furniture used in the house. This saves a lot of time and money because you don’t have to arrange furniture again and again to make it attractive. You simply create 3D models and decide the perfect place for furniture in a single attempt.


In movies, 3D modeling is used to create special effects. It allows them to not only create visual effects, but also to build some special characters that do not even exist.

In almost every film, special characters are created and used to entertain people. We can see the best use of 3D models in the Hollywood movie Kong vs. Godzilla. They are not real characters, but characters created using 3D models and which are provided motion with the help of some VFX. 3D modeling is also used in creating cartoons and cartoon movies. The characters that we see in cartoons are created with the help of 3D models.


We play games for fun and relaxation, but did you know these games are also made using 3D modeling. There are lots of 3D models being used in the gaming industry. The gaming industry gained a lot  as a result of the lockdown,and with the increase in games, the need for 3D modeling has also increased a lot.

They use 3D models to create special creatures in games, like zombies, vehicles, homes, gaming characters and much more.

3D Printing

Businesses have been using 3D printing for a long time, but nowadays, 3D printing uses have increased a lot and almost everyone is using it now, thus resulting in a remarkable increase in the purchases of 3D printers.

But to make use of 3D printing, first we need to create 3D models. There are many uses of 3D printing, but they are only accessible when the product has been modelled on the computer. The more 3D models we will create, the more 3D printing we can get. Without 3D models, 3D printing is not possible.


Advertisers use 3D modeling to create attractive ads for their audience. Many companies are using these 3D models to create 3d ads. They use these 3D ads because they better grab the attention of customers and are more attractive than normal ads.

These 3d ads are not only limited to the streets, these ads are also seen on the web. Advertisers are creating 3D ads for promoting their products online, and they are also receiving massive sympathetic responses from these ads.

Application of 2D Modeling

We know 3D modeling has major use in every industry, but that doesn’t mean 2D modeling is of no use. There are many works done using 2D modeling.

Creating Site Maps

2D modeling is used in creating the maps of any site. Before working on any site, engineers will first observe the site using maps, and those maps are created using 2D models.

2D models are very useful when we need a broad overview of any site/building. We can cover a lot of areas on a single map and can as well observe the site using these maps before even starting work on that site.


Engineers and Architects still use 2D models in construction work. They use these models to get a comprehensive view of buildings and the construction field.

Major Tools Used in 3D Modeling


3D Modeling tool SelfCAD

SelfCAD is a professional 3D modeling computer software. It is a beginner friendly tool with a simple interface which you can use to create 3D models. You can easily create 3D models using this software.

You can start learning 3D modeling with the help of these interactive tutorials available on SelfCAD.

These interactive tutorials are the easiest way for freelance designers, businesses, and students to learn 3d models.

You will get to learn everything there is to learn from scratch, so if you are a beginner who just wants to learn 3D modeling, you can start your journey using SelfCAD software because it is very easy to use, and it’s totally beginner-friendly.

The tool has both a free and paid version.

But, if you want to learn 3D modeling to earn money, then you should go with the pro version because there you get a lot more features.


3D Modeling Tool Blender

Blender is an open source, free 3D computer graphics software application. You can use Blender to create visual effects, animated films, video games, and interactive 3D applications.

Blender also provides lots of features such as modeling, rigging, animation, composting, motion tracking, and 2D animation. You have all these features in a single application. Because of its features, Blender is popular among a lot of 3D designers and game developers.

You can find a lot of videos related to Blender on YouTube and Udemy, and by watching those videos, you can become a professional in using Blender and you’ll be able to create professional 3D models and designs.


3D Modeling Tool SolidWorks

Solidworks software. Image source:

SolidWorks is a solid modeling computer-aided design program that uses numerical or geometric parameters to create models and designs.

To build a model on SolidWorks, you start by creating 2D models and then the SolidWorks program takes geometric features of your sketch like arcs, conics, lines, and points to create the 3D model.

The creation of 3D models becomes easy when you create it using SolidWorks because you only have to create a 2D model and its geometric features will convert it into a 3D model.

Though there are many other programs that you can use, you can use any of the tools mentioned above, each tool has its own unique feature.

Wrapping Up On 2D Modeling vs. 3D Modeling

We have covered a lot of points on 2D modeling vs. 3D modeling. I hope that by reading this article, you have come to know a lot of things related to 2D and 3D modeling.

We have also explained why 3D modeling is better than 2D modeling and how sometimes 2D modeling is also needed. So, try to learn both modeling.

Watch different tutorials related to 3D and 2D modeling so that you can learn this skill quickly.

Tell us in the comment section which modeling you like the most, and why.


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