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Fast 3D modelling

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Posted by Dr Andus
Feb 18, 2012 at 01:47 AM


Does anyone have experience here with using a 3D modelling software for quick concept mapping? So far I’ve been using 2D software for this such as VUE or SmartDraw but I feel my imagination is being restricted by 2D. I’d like to map the relationships between the various entities (organisations, places, people) that I’ve studied for my project and be able to examine the overall creation from various perspectives. I see that there are loads of free tools for 3D modelling out there:

I don’t need anything fancy, the simpler the better. The analogue alternatives are play dough or Lego blocks…


Posted by Alexander Deliyannis
Feb 18, 2012 at 11:13 AM


This sounds like a job for Personal Brain http://www.thebrain.com/

I can’t think of anything faster in 3D.


Posted by Zman
Feb 18, 2012 at 09:17 PM


Topicscape Pro (http://www.topicscape.com/) is the best I’ve found for this - better in some ways than theBrain - though not updated very frequently. I’m sure there will be debate over what 3D concept mapping actually is though.

Axon also has a 3D view - not sure if you would find that view useful.


Posted by Zman
Feb 18, 2012 at 09:31 PM


Also - if you want to get more in depth there are several good academic packages that are more technical - ORA comes to mind - it will take some more work to set up your data, but if you want to visualize your information network its great (there are others, but this one is best from a user interface standpoint:



Posted by CRC
Feb 18, 2012 at 09:35 PM


Dr Andus:

  You may find this suggestion a bit crazy but I used a tool when I needed to express the relationships between particular concepts and documents. The tool I used was Biolayout Express 3d: http://www.biolayout.org . It is free. It can import files from yEd (yEd GraphML files (.graphml file extension))—A superb 2D graphics editor, and many other formats. I had written some code to prepare input to Biolayout but perhaps with the yEd input you could get a start.

  The point is that it produces 3D models that you can rotate and view. Since it was designed for representing biological / chemical models it is very capable. It can handle things like the strength of connection between the items you are expressing, which can expose clusters of concepts.

  You may find it to be fun in exploring your data.



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