They’re often referred to as , 3D models, 3D CAD3D CAD models or 3d CAD files. They’re often confused with 3D visuals, images, or renders:

3d visual - a static image

3d visual – a static image.

The difference is the use and application. The above 3D image, is a final 3d perspective or render, typically a jpeg or pdf. It’s great for putting in a powerpoint, or sharing by email, but you cant change it, or view from a different angle – hence its a static image.

A 3D CAD model on the other hand, is much larger in size, and when opened allows the user to interactively spin round the model and view it from any angle:

tgrg-hd-3-3m-x-2-5m-pod-v2

 It contains alot more information, which is why it is larger. They’re made in 3d modelling software packages such as Sketchup3Ds maxrevitsolidworksArchicad etc. They’re constructed in much the same way a construction worker would build a house, but instead their made within a virtual environment by a 3D artist or CAD technician. Both use various tools and components to but one is real and one is virtual.