3D modelling (in alias, rhino, solidworks, Pro-E etc) &

Hi guys,

Just need some general feedback on 3D modelling.

Say you have to model up a product (e.g. handphone, household appliance etc). Its gotta be as detailed as possible its for the engineers in the factory to create the moulding (i.e. model must be shelled etc)

In addition to this, you gotta do up some renderings for the client.

How long would you usually give yourself to complete the model if your skil level was around the basic to intermediate level?

2 days? 3 days? a week?

All wise counsel will be greatly appreciated.


Depends on the complexity of the product and how much the 'enginners i nthe factory; are going to do for you. dometimes you can just create the outer ‘a’ surface and the inside details ‘b’ surface will be detailed up by someone else.

If they are just doing the tooling…yes you would need to fully detail up the part/s… including all the suffecnt details such as draft angles, appropriate rads & wall thickness, consideration of split lines and shut-offs, material/colour/surface fnish choices,…not forgeting communicating the tolerances that the part & certain feature have to meet…normally via a 2D drawing.

yes after you have done the ‘A’ surface you can normally pump out a few renderings or screen dumps…again it edpend what the renderings are being used for which impacts on the time/quality the renderings need to be.

re: how long…agin it depends on the complexity of the part and if you have to do the enitire assmebly.

so i nthe end you have asked quite a vauge set of quesitions…are you still in high school doing a project?


yeah…i forgot to mention the complexity…sorry about that.

i’m actually a designer for a manufacturing company…just gotta produce the surfaces without the ribs and draft angles. those will be handled by the engineers.

thing is…i am hired as a product designer. however my time is mainly taken up with other non-ID related tasks). because of that, i can’t really give myself a good estimate of how long i should take to model up a product as i haven’t really been doing much 3D so far.

say we go with just creating the outer surface…what do you reckon if the modelling involves creating something like a handphone?

two cases:

  1. for purely visualisation purposes.
  2. something for the engineers to work with.

I use solidworks and am learning studiotools (which boggles my brain).


First advice: Use what you are comfortable with. There is nothing like being 95% done on a model, running into a problem and having no clue how to work around it!

Second thought: time. Really, you will have to judge this yourself based on comparing what you’ve done before versus the project in front of you. I suggest that you take the time needed, and add 15% or so. This gives you a margin of error, and makes you look like a hero if you finish ahead of time;) You never want to put yourself in the position of being late.

One more thing to consider…

Are you “designing” the phone or modeling a completed design? They are two different processes.

Modeling a completed design doesn’t involve much change. It’s a CAD monkey project. Depending on the complexity of the design and your skill level I would guess this would take about 1 week to complete the outer model & 2-D drawings.

If you’re developing new forms for phones that will take much longer and will involve iterations as changes are made. If you end up in an endless design loop it could take months. I wouldn’t give a time period for this until you understand the scope of the project and the team you are working with (on the marketing side).

Good luck!

hi…“designing” or modeling…good question. I have to do both i guess. even with designing, i’ll be working off at least SOME existing dimensions. Depending on the situation, I will be doing either.

“I suggest that you take the time needed, and add 15% or so. This gives you a margin of error, and makes you look like a hero if you finish ahead of time;)”

haha! awesome! i’ll do just that!

thanks for all this advice guys! kinda new to the “REAL WORLD” so i’m trying to find out as much as i can…

I would add 30% to your estimates and break down the project in to individual tasks and milestones…i.e. define your breif, concept design, visulisation…etc add up all the tasks and you should be left with a suitable estimate.