In digital modeling, objects are not modeled manually but instead on the computer. Using 3D scanning, it is also possible to combine manual and digital modeling when an artist e.g. would like to improve or change specific details in the scan data afterward. Computer-aided modeling takes place by means of editing a virtual 3D model in a 3D program. Producers of animated films also use similar programs.  

At the Kunstgiesserei, we use the 3D system Freeform Modeling. Using a haptic system, users can touch and manipulate virtual objects with a pen. This pen is a guided user interface in virtual space that can assume the function of any tool. In contrast to in the real world, in virtual space it is possible to enter objects and manipulate and touch them from the inside, or to edit and structure them from the inside to the outside. It is thus possible to digitally exploit the possibilities that one would experience haptically in the case of a real object.

Freeform is used at the Kunstgiesserei for interaction with semi-finished products from digital 3D scans, among other technologies. For this, a 3D scan is further processed with Freeform; thus, for example, “holes” in the digital surface – uncaptured scan data – can be closed. Afterwards, it is also possible to change, manipulate, bend or deform data from scans.

Freeform is also used in the production of models based on 3D data on the CNC 5-axis milling machine: for the precise cutting of complex geometries, deep concavities, or extreme dimensions. The sections of the form can be supplemented with printer registration marks so that they can later be assembled accurately.

The modeling technique is also used for calculating weight, center of gravity, and surface.