Quick 3d sketch?

Suppose you guys have an idea of an more complex object … and suppose you don’t have the time/patience to create all the parts. What do you do? Use a different 3d environment? Use the same software, but in a different way? (and here I mean SolidWorks or Autodesk’s counter-app.)

Pencils, pens, paper.

I often find myself in a situation where I’m just beyond ideation sketches, but I realize that I don’t have a full understanding of the form that’s buried in my head. This is when I ABSOLUTELY LOVE Rhino. It is better than any program I’ve used to quickly sketch out 3d surfaces and forms. Rhino let’s me work in much the same way I would in Illustrator (i.e. building a base object and altering copy after copy of that object until I figure out where I need to go.)

Try to develop some sketches…additional few top, front & side views…
If you are planning to use some 3D software…
Just make outline surface curves & readjust CVs/them through different views…
followed by cutlines curves resulting into wireframe will give quick visualization without surface.
It is much easier modify few CVs in different views to achieve desired form.

Good question. As others have mentioned, sketch, sketch and more sketch. At the same time, there is a huge benefit to joining sketching and 3D CAD. I use Solidworks and sketching together a lot. If you get to the point where you need to investigate a complicated form more…do a quick surface build test in SW. Do not worry about details, just knock out some surfaces to get the major look and feel. The good thing is, now that you have built the CAD, you now know in your head how the complex form works. Next time, you will be able to sketch that shape. The more you do this, the better you get at Sketching. Also, by building complex shapes in CAD (quickly) your CAD skills improve.

I also like to use CAD models as underlays. If you are adjusting a shape or testing proportions. I go back and forth between sketch and CAD frequently. Sometimes this is sketching on paper…but Sketchbook pro is a great tool as well.