How important is modeling for portfolio?

How important is it to have actual models that you build by hand in your portfolio?

If you model it on the computer is it better to leave it as a 3d rendering instead of going through the process of “growing” or printing it?

Experience with prototypes in one form or another is certainly a good thing to have in a portfolio whether it’s foamcor, clay, foam, rapid prototypes, or whatever. Prototypes shown in a designer’s portfolio shows evidence that the designer can successfully translate from the page or computer to a physical object.

Photos of these models are just fine, but try to shoot them as professionally as you can even if they’re rough concept mock-ups.

sure they’re important…they are evidence of the process you went though. perhaps get pictures of them all and cover a single page with them in the order in which they were made…like a big storyboard.

Hand made models are extremely important for the design process, especially when factors like ergonomics are a part of the equation. So, for displaying your thought and work process, they are great. For showing “money shot” images of you product, though, I have found that a photo-real computer rendering is often the better option. Spending the time and money on a physical model only to take an average picture (that is, if you’re not a trained photographer) usually doesn’t seen worth it to me when you have much faster, cheaper and often higher quality control over a rendering, especially since your work must end up in a 2D format anyway.

In the end, many of us design products that will be manufactured. I personally believe in making prototypes, we gain a lot from the experience.

I think there is HUGE value showing study models - 3D form exploration, foam prototypes for studying ergonomics, are all extremely important. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen portfolios where someones designed a handheld product or tool and never actually built it!

I think there is little to no value in appearance models. Spending 2 weeks bondoing and sanding and painting shows that you have patience and craftsmanship, but doesn’t necessarily means you couldn’t have spent that 2 weeks better refining your design or putting the effort somewhere in a more useful fashion.

In the professional world most designers will pay a model house to do their full blown appearance models, and use rapid prototyping for evaluating things along the way. But the low fidelity - quick to build study models are very valuable - they show your ability to iterate in 3D, the same way sketching shows your ability to iterate in 2d.

no models no job if your job is in ID, graphic arts are of course a different matter.

As a student whose weakness is appearance models, models in general are important but i tend to agree with Cyberdemon and engelhjs.