They’re often referred to as , 3D models, 3D CAD, 3D CAD models or 3d CAD files. They’re often confused with 3D visuals, images, or renders:
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:
It contains alot more information, which is why it is larger. They’re made in 3d modelling software packages such as Sketchup, 3Ds max, revit, solidworks, Archicad 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.