CADreams-surface while you sleep?

While driving to check out how some CNC work was going with an engineering student I mentioned that I had been working on the CAD model we were machining from late and as often happens I dreamt in Rhino that night. He said that when he first began surface modeling that he often found himself problem solving the model in his sleep. I find this very interesting because I have had these dreams occcassionally since the first time I used rhino (a little over two years ago). It is particuarly interesting now as my thesis somewhat pertains to sleep and dreams, and I will most-likely be modeling something as a result.

Anybody else dream in mesh, NURBS, curves, vectors, polygons?

I often find that solving a design related problem occurs in my sleep. I work in a corporate setting, designing products from concept all the way through manufacturing. Though my degree was in industrial design (product design major), I “engineer” the product as well, detailing all of the parts and designing all of the fits and assemblies. Often an engineering challenge will come up, so instead of getting bogged down on that particular issue, I do the following:

I sit down and write quickly what the problem is, or sketch out the problem area, and then “fish bone” diagram as many of the inter-related parameters that affect the solution. This fish bone detail is often a solution in sketch form. This graphic exercise helps me grasp the total problem.

I set this diagram by the bed along with a sketch pad & pen. I review the diagram before I go to sleep. Usually, it’ll take three to four nights for the solution to come to me, but when it does, I usually wake up, sketch or write the “dream solution”, then review it in the morning.

I’ve been a designer for almost 25 years, and I am amazed at how well this works for me. My wife thinks it’s amazing and a bit weird, but it works.

I do this process to help me maximize my output. Because there are so many details that need to be addressed, getting “designer block” is a killer. This subliminal tasking seems to really help.

it’s quite possible. i write music like that. i have even heard music played on another instrument i don’t play so vividly. i just remember the notes. but most of what i do happens when i’m awake.inspirational dreams are rare.
sometimes when i’m tired and have to put down ideas on paper but i don’t feel like it i just go to bed and leave the pen and paper out . then the ideas start coming. have to put them down fast so i get out of bed turn the lights on and do some sketches. but usually they’re not as good as the ones in bed. i have to figure it out. someday perhaps!

I talked to another Engineer, big Pro-E guy, he also talked about having CADreams.

I’m still working on the problem solving dreams. Started keeping a dream journal, not sure how long that will last.

it’ll last till you run outta paper.


Sometimes my dreams are pixellated after heavy Photoshop work and sometimes I dream in motion tweens. Every once and a while I try the “undo” command… never seems to work outside the computer… go figure.

Any software that I spend too much time with, especially into the evening, finds its way into my dreams.

At various points in my life it’s been Tetris, Director, and even Windows.

Especially with the last two, it was not fun, or productive, it was seemingly the result of too little downtime/mental refreshment.