3D web-based shape modelling and rendering is becoming an increasingly important research area. Many applications have emerged, both established ones, such as collaborative design and new ones, such as heterogeneous objects modelling along with their subsequent fabrication using 3D printing. In this paper, we explore a crucial issue of the technology, which is building a proper adaptive architecture for an interactive client-server based system with a particular emphasis on rendering aspects. We identify the most probable scenarios of executing modelling and rendering in terms of server-client communications and associated decision making, and then describe a number of casestudies, which allowed us to experiment with different rendering techniques in the context of various task distribution and communications mode of the adaptive interactive client-server based system. Finally, we present and analyse the results and suggest a number of practical recommendations. The main results of the paper are concerned with consideration of rendering.