Design: From Sketches to Digital Designs

Sketching is a visual way to work through ideas quickly. These sketches help a designer build on ideas, add, modify, and develop more concrete and defined designs. 

​Sketching and brainstorming are crucial to designing prototypes in the 3D printing process. In this phase ideas are realized as potential and realistic objects or parts to be 3D printed.

​Impactful sketches represent ideas in multiple views and angles. This helps a designer move from hand-drawn designs to digitally 3D modeling their ideas.

Design: 3D Design

3D design (also known as 3D modeling) is the process of creating a digital representation of objects. This development phase allows a designer to shift their ideas from paper and pencil to digital representations. 

3D designs are created in modeling software programs. Tools in 3D modeling software allow designers to animate their designs, digitally see different views of designs, and edit initial sketch prototypes converted from hand-drawn ideas.

Types of 3D Modeling Programs​

Many 3D design programs exist, all with differing strengths and weaknesses.

There are 3 main categories:​

  • Solid Modeling
  • Digital Sculpting
  • Polygonal Modeling