3D Design Courses

By Mariza Halliday - Last update

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What is 3D Design?

3D Design is a growing technology in the design industry, in particular for product design, and allows 3D Modelling and 3D printing to become a part of the design process.

3D modeling allows us to create interactive designs of a surface or object that will exactly display what the real-life item will look like. The form and function of a product, part of the structure can be 3D modeled and any designer flaws or inconsistencies can be rectified before the creation of a physical prototype or plan.

The 3D product designers can highlight the key functions, attractive features, and unique capabilities of the product before manufacturing with the help of 3D product renderings which allows customers and clients to witness and analyze the functioning of the product before signing off or purchasing.

3D Design is widely used in engineering, architecture, and entertainment industries for things like building and structure design, new parts or modified parts design, and special effects and character design.

What courses are available?

Universities and colleges in Ireland are offering courses in the following subject areas:

  • 3D Design, Model-Making, and Digital Art – the study of the techniques and practices needed to thrive in the model-making industry.
  • 3D Design – the study of three-dimensional design for fields such as product or industrial design, furniture design, interior design, architecture, or similar.
  • Furniture Design and Manufacture – the study of practical design skills and work environment for the building industry for furniture and cabinetmakers.
  • Furniture Design and Making – learn essential skills for furniture design and furniture making.
  • 3D Modelling, Animation, and Game Design – the study of 3D design and modeling for Animation and Game Design.

Studying 3D Design in college

Most Design courses and modules run for a year either in a classroom or online for theory work and lectures and can be either part-time or full time, but this will depend on the course you select.

You will learn how to design and create 3D and digital representations of ideas and concepts and learn the techniques of model making for a variety of industries. Gain the professional competence to master specific skills such as design and presentation, sculpting, modeling, casting, CNC cutting, laser cutting, 3D Printing, technical fabrication, and digital modeling and animation.

For some courses, there may be opportunities for field trips and even international visits to world-class design institutes and chances to work with different aspects of real 3D Design practices. Assessment is very practical with showcases and projects such as physical and digital prototypes, alongside theoretical work and assessment such as a written thesis.

It is recommended that you have a good quality digital camera, portable hard drive, and laptop to work with.

Career options

3D Design courses provide a solid foundation and allow for careers in several exciting industries that make use of 3D designs and prints such as props and interactive displays and exhibits.

Successful graduates may find work as model makers for feature films or television productions or work within other events such as fashion shows and music events. You may find work as an Art Director or teacher, a character animator for digital games, or a digital FX supervisor. You could work in museums or the toy manufacturing industry.

So many industries heavily depend on 3D design technologies and all have very specific and demanding workflows with specific tools and software; it is a good idea to figure out which industry draws your attention the most and brings out your passion so that you know where to focus for your choice of course and career.

Related jobs include:

  • Game Designer
  • Advertising
  • Graphic Designer
  • Web Designer
  • Architect
  • Product Designer
  • Manufacturing
  • Model Maker
  • Fabricator
  • Art Director
  • Art Teacher
  • Animator
  • Digital Artist
  • Digital FX Supervisor
  • Film & Video Producer
  • Furniture Designer
  • Carpenter
  • Interior Designer
  • Construction Design

Further study

A third-level degree is the first step to go on to further postgraduate study often involving specialization in particular fields and areas of Design such as Architecture, Product Design, Technology, and Manufacturing.


Is 3D design a good career?

With its wide range of uses in so many industries, 3D Designers are always in demand. It is an extremely competitive career field with a lot of talented artists out there. Honing your craft and specializing in skills like modeling, texturing and animation can give you an edge over the competition.

What are the most commonly used programs for 3D Design?

Maya, Houdini, Cinema4D, Autodesk 3Ds Max, Modo, Lightwave 3D, ZBrush, Blender, Mudbox, and Rhinoceros are all popular choices and widely used amongst 3D Designers.

Where can I study 3D Design?

Explore your options here

Did You Know?

  • 3D Printing Started in the ‘80s, in 1984 a man named Chuck Hull developed a method called “stereolithography” that made use of UV lasers to solidify photopolymer to create 3D objects part by part.
  • 3D printers print a model in layers and can now print in almost every material.
  • A lot of Hollywood movies make use of 3D printing to create props and costume pieces that actors and actresses wear during filming.
  • 3D Printing will play a huge role during the colonization of Mars!



Mariza Halliday

Animal Science
Farming Technology Courses


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