Looking to start creating my own 3D objects to turn into mockups. Also interested in industrial design product development. Both require 3D models any first steps? Recommendations? Books?


  • Any 3D model can be considered as a mockup of a physical object if it's used to present the properties of an object. Then there's those customizable mockups (often Photoshop files) that can be purchased to construct final mockup of cloths, books or other stuff which have common established geometries but become unique after colors, textures, logos, texts, images and light conditions are added. Can you give some information of the wanted geometric forms and are you going to sell customizable mockups.
    – user287001
    Jun 1 '20 at 6:55

First you really need to decide wether you want product design or mockup. Simply because there are two separate technology bases in 3D.

  1. Document Content Creation (DCC) applications are designed for animation and visualisation only. And while you could use these for 3D printing or sculpture carvings, they are not suitable for generic product design. But they have more flexibilities in look and feel development.

    Software in this category include: Maya, Blender, Modo, Cinema3D...

  2. Boundary Representation aka Solid modeling software aka CAD applications. These come in 2 flavors direct modeling and indirect modeling. They work wildly differently from DCC applications and have different base concepts and are way better suited for designing physical goods.

    Software in this category: Solidworks, Creo, Catia, NX, Rhino, Fusion 360...

Then there is a oddball light CAD category that uses DCC technology lika a CAD. But is not really suited for either work category, but they have a reputation of being easy to use. Although this is not true, ease of use argument in these applications was only waranted back when they didnt have so many features.


My answer to this is one which @joojaa alluded to already - but I'll add more detail:

For this kind of thing I use modo, and it's also commonly used in the product design and development industry too - and quite broadly in shoes as well.

Here's a previous question I put my answer in on which should give you a general flavour:

How to mockup a logo in a realistic environment?

And there's some relevant info here too:

3D vape bottle renders and other 3D elements

I'll also add to Joojaa's list that you should look into OnShape if you decide you want the CADD route - it's a direct equivalent to SolidWorks, but open-source, freeware, online, multi-platform.

For me though, I'm very happy with modo - here's what I'm working on in terms of product / mechanical design ATM - it's for a dynamic architectural façade system I'm working up - playing with two very different overall geometries and thus two very different actuators / drivers needed to make them work:

enter image description here enter image description here

And as to direct mockups - here's a render I did in 2014 of a then-current Samsung phone:

enter image description here

So yeh - mockups not an issue.

Good luck - hope some of this helps and that you head a direction you enjoy and grow in!

PS - since I answered this, I completed a lot more of the design of the devices I showed WIP images of - and in this case I also rigged and animated them - if you want to see how that turned out, feel free to take a look.

That by the way is one of the advantages of a full DCC package versus mid or lower end CADD - animation and output.

Mini-Portfolio on my site of Dynamic Façade System in active development

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.