Charlesworth, Chris (2007) Student use of virtual and physical modelling in 3D design development - an experiment in 3D design education. Design journal, 10 (1). pp. 35-45. ISSN 1460-6925

Assumptions about how design students use virtual and physical modelling during design development were tested in this study. The aim of the experiment was to observe what students actually do rather than what it is supposed that they do.

Design undergraduates were briefed on a one-day project. After a morning spent developing ideas on paper, they were assigned to an afternoon of modelling using physical or virtual techniques. Sketches, models and progress diaries kept by the participants were collected for analysis.
The results from the physical groups support conventional notions of the value of sketch models as a medium for evaluating and stimulating ideas. The results from the virtual groups suggest that CAD has little or no value as a stimulus for ideas.

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