Design Modelling Workshop: Prototype in Card/Foam/Plastic

Workshop pic 1There are loads of sketching classes out there, you can work in pencil, charcoal and all manner of media… Whether you want to create artistic pictures or great looking graphics – there is great tuition. However, there are few (if any) classes for ‘Sketch Modelling’. After 4 years of professionally working with cheap materials to create all manner of prototypes for anyone from San Francisco Fire Dept to Glasgow NHS, I wanted to share a few tricks of the trade… This website is a good resource, but at the workshops you can get experienced advice – not just on the techniques, but also to discuss how best to tailor this to your own level of working and how you want to develop professional and creatively.


It seem that designers (or any creative people working in 3 dimensions) often need to explore and communicate their ideas quickly. Of course 2D Renderings are great for producing emotive pictures, but we’ve probably all designed some CAD/3D Print – which when we handle it, there is something we’ve overlooked or it does feel quite right! Perhaps the ergonomics are wrong, or the aesthetics aren’t quite what we expected, when placed in their final environment. Perhaps it is too complex for the user to operate – even dangerous in a way we did not imagine.


Time and money can be saved by testing our ideas with a quick ‘sketch model’. Or perhaps working with a new material might stimulate our creativity and take us in new directions – often playful experiments also get out out of a rut/creative block!


The value of Sketch Modelling is not to shun or replace with any of the remarkable 3D printing technologies out there – but rather to complement them, in the way a chef would be grateful to know when to employ different techniques, ingredients or styles for the their next creation (and you can bet they test the flavours and cooking routine many times with their staff before they serve it to the public, so that it is flawless ever time). The closer you look, you’ll see this in numerous professions, as a part of the creative process.



Equipped with cardboard, foam and plastic sheet, this workshop helped a range of user experience designers, web designers, animators and all manner of creatives, who wanted to enhance their creativity in the 3rd Dimension.


Design Modelling Workshops have been useful for people in a wide range of backgrounds, for example:

- You are in working on your design-related degree and need prototypes to communicate effectively with your users.
- You’d like to work for a consultancy or in-house design firm and your folio needs a little more examples of 3D work.
- You’ve just started work with people who great at modelling. You’d like to join in, but it’s difficult to ask for help in a hectic environment.
- You have worked in some 3D media, such as clay or wood, but would like to learn new techniques.
- You are entrepreneurial and have many ideas – but can’t afford to recruit a designer to help you, but would like to design, build and test some of your early ideas yourself.


For the info on the next class, Follow me on Twitter [@Jude_Pullen] and give me a tweet/direct message so I can keep you updated.


If you are interested in running a Design Modelling workshop – please get in touch by email.


Example of the workshop agenda. (PDF)