Presently, most design is done using 3d modelling software such as 3ds max . However , In my opinion , nothing beats the experience of being up close with an actual 3d model ie, being able to physically look at the object and hence being able to more easily visualise the scale and depth of the various design features with our stereoscopic vision.
3d modelling software is currently the predominating medium of choice for designing and conceptualising ideas . It is hard to build a physical model from scratch < scratchbuilding as it is called > , designing an object via digital means requires no effort in construction.
Now brings me to this Phenomenal breakthrough that is 3d printing. Having the ability to create
a physical 3d object out of "thin air" and rapidly too would remove the comparative advantage of speed and efficiency that digital design has over physically modelling and hopefully bring back the once obsolete art.
I am not saying that either of the two designing methods should be disregarded , but rather the opposite [ a mixture of both should be used in the design process ] . With the advent of the 3d printer and even a new technology known as the digitizer [[link] ] , the lines between physical and digital means of creation are being increasingly blurred as technology progresses [ just think about it ].
As Austin Kleon highlighted in his new York Times bestseller "Steal Like An Artist or 10 Things Nobody Told You About Being Creative " , ones creative juices only flows when one's physically engaged and not when the subject is glued to a computer screen, eg. one who is glueing greeblies to a 3d spaceship model will be able to come up with more ideas along the way as opposed to a person conducting monotonous addition of greeblies to a similiar model using tessellation software.
[ Seriously, if you haven't bought the book by Austin Kleon yet, GET IT! Its a must grab for all aspiring artists and designers and it offers much insight into the creative process ]
In short, I will be saving up, maybe even starting a kick starter in the near future to raise funds to acquire these new technologies to take my designs to a whole new level !!!