Paper mockup


I’ve been trying to do some paper/cardboard mockup with the help of software the old fashion way Illustrator, or unroll shape with Rhino and unfortunately with the soft as 123D make.
But unfortunately, 123D make has been discontinued instead it has been integrated and replace by slicer for Fusion 360.
The problem is with this latest one It’s not working properly on MacBook pro (maybe it’s just me, don’t know!).
I was wondering if anyone of you knows a soft that help to get this kind of facetting like result (cf pics)?

Thanks for your help

[ Deleted ]

Y’all need pepakura! Google it!

Thanks so much guys!
I haven’t properly tried it but I think Pepakura will be the one go for me.
Considering having a quick result on not only simple volume but hopefully curved shape (like a bowl shape ‘what I’m trying to get for now’)
Now it’s a matter of time to make it work btw Rhino and Pepakura! :slight_smile:

Thanks again

Are there any ways to do these really crisp paper models by hand? Any special techniques? I’ve been fascinated by the paper prototypes developed by Visibility. They use a similar technique to get these crisp lines.


I have no idea what specific software they use, but I’m pretty sure they might use some (illustrator, rhino, slicer, …).
Also, their formal aesthetics is pretty basic in terms of assembled volume so it’s easier to break into geometric volume
But for sure they do it by hand, folding, scalpel, glue, paper and cardboard!
But ti’s very nice mockups and end product, for sure!
Maybe you could ask them?

I understand the sentiment for cardboard prototypes, they have a great quality to them and clearly are intended as prototypes which elicits playful responses when testing these. However I do most of this work now using my 3D printer, it frees up many hours and construction time is comparable. For geometric shapes like you show it is not that hard to create them by hand - the challenge is to craft them professionally. First rule: no glue on the fingers, ever.

The best teacher of this is probably Joep Frens -

I agree with you Idzone about using 3D printing.
But for different reasons (space, cost, pollution, speed) Cardboard/paper model are really cheap and quick to do and they have this touch simplicity that is unbeatable I think.
Cool, thanks for the link, I didn’t know about Joep Frens. → high level mock up!

The visibility guys went to RISD. They have us do a lot of hand done paper and cardboard work there, especially freshman year (I’ve got the exacto scars to prove it :slight_smile:, note, don’t build your cardboard model while sitting on the floor cross-legged at 3am unless you want to nearly slice a toe off as I did). I wouldn’t be surprised if their wasn’t all hand done or some minimum illustrator layouts. They could be using a sheetmetal plug in for a CAD platform (most have them and I know a lot of people who use sheetmetal features for paper prototyping).

AHAH good story Michael :rofl:
luckily you still have all of your digits (fingers and toes!) despite the 3 am eyes crossed by tiredness.
Humm I didn’t think about sheet metal as an option for that, good idea!
Do you know what type of soft (I know Solidworks is good for that) and plugin they might use for that?

Fusion 360 has good sheetmetal tools.

I just sent this to Joseph and Sina at Visibility, so maybe they will pop in with some answers.

OHH Fantastic!
Thanks a lot, Michael!
Hope they will find time to explain and share a bit how they do it, that will be so great!

Good to know :slight_smile:. Thanks Michael

Shame that these guys from VISIBILITY are not showing up here!
While waiting for their possible/impossible answer I would like to show other results in paper as an inexpensive but very efficient way to express volume and material.
Si in the high skilled paper mockup world, I would like to present one of my favourite designers Jörg Boner.
Apart from his amazing products, he as certainly a very efficient way to develop them.
He very certainly uses the computer, but always relies on the physical end product and a lot of time (maybe some intern) to evaluate, push and select each idea.

Very inspiring!
Screenshot 2018-12-19 at 00.21.56.png

We did a ton of paper and cardboard models at Pratt in the early 2000’s and many of them were mind blowing in quality and detail. Most of that work was done with just pencil, ruler, xacto and white glue with the occasional illustrator file to layout some lines.

I try to do paper sketch models as a short workshop with my students but they always resist and want to 3d model and print everything… maybe it’s my age showing but when you’re in early explorations of form, volume and proportion there is nothing faster than getting your hands dirty and manipulating cheap pliable materials. i know the future is here and technology is cool but the value of feeling a form is huge and when it comes to handheld objects i can bang out 100 paper sketch models in the time it takes to 3d model, 3d print and review just 1 object.

Totally, RR. There is something about those early photos being hacking and quick that sometimes help people be a bit more forgiving. Last month we were working on a piece of wearable tech. To get a quick size study going the ME I brought in on the project wanted to CAD up and 3D print a bunch of studies. I had already done a bunch of quick illustrator top views. Instead of CADing up a bunch of throw aways I printed out the illustrator renderings, cut up a block of foam core that was representative of the module thickness, double sticked it to the back and tapes the thing to a bunch of people’s wrists. It wasn’t that the ME was wrong (we’ve worked together for a decade, he is almost never wrong) but this took 10 minutes instead of 2 days and there was something more tactile and quaint about it… when the project comes out I’ll post the pics :slight_smile: … now that we are further down the process and refining we are doing those 3D models, but it is more constrained to figuring it out vs divergently exploring.

Can’t stress how important this skill is either… I’ve worked on large, room-sized equipment and have built early mock-ups out of foamcore. It’s amazing how fast you can start to get a sense of scale and volume with some foamcore and hot-glue. Where I used to work, we would almost instinctively build early mockups this way and share with project teams / customer feedback. Because of the low-fidelity, you can play Mr. Potato Head and add or subtract on the spot.

I always encourage these paper mockups to be loose. I know you were attracted to the artful quality of the Visibility mockups, I love them too. Sometimes though you want to intentionally turn down the fidelity to make sure everyone knows this is just a rough idea. I always like to ask what is the lowest possible fidelity we can show to effectively discuss the idea :slight_smile:

Here are some examples. These were built by Jeremy Savage (posts here on the boards as Savage). He was working on a second version of the Definitive Cylinder that I had designed. We wanted to improve on the clamping mechanism UX and also see if we could make it disappear so I asked him to build some crude feeling mockups to demonstrate the mechanical concepts.

I need to dig further in my files, but my original mockup for the first production model was a binger clip with a bit of rubber jammed into the clip that I then hot glued to a cardboard paper towel roll. For the presentation to the client I hung it to a wall and clamped an iPad in it to show that it could reliably work. It proved the point to the engineers who were worried.