I need to design the look and feel of a plastic enclosure for a electronic device. It should be in 3D. I tried with 3D software packages like Blender, but that is too complex for my purpose.

I am totally new to graphics and would like to know a simple software that can be used for this purpose.

  • 1
    3d is considerably harder than people think. Any sketches on what you are going for might help.
    – joojaa
    Oct 4, 2014 at 6:17
  • Unless you are thinking of pimping that box, is this a graphic design question?
    – Jongware
    Nov 3, 2014 at 9:21

4 Answers 4


I would say you actually want a 3d CAD application like (alphabetical order):

  • Catia
  • Creo
  • Inventor
  • Solidedge
  • Solidworks
  • ...

The reason is that these are especially suited to do instructions for manufacturing. Because that's whet the manufacturing crew use. Their base primitive is not a polygons, and thus they are suited to do Boolean operations. Modern CAD applications are both easy to use and intuitive, if you spent a day contemplating one the philosophical idea behind them. These programs often include modes for the manufacturing process so if you want sheetmetal structures they allow you to bend your shape together etc.

Animation of creo usage

Image 1: Demo on how to make a rounded box with side profile in creo.


There's also https://www.protocasedesigner.com/ it's specifically made to do enclosure design, you can start with a premade template based on the material you want to work with and can adjust the dimensions.

When working with the model, you can pick a surface of the enclosure which then it goes into 2D mode and you can place the holes.

You can also import models of your internal components to see how they fit etc...

The only thing is it's associated to protocase.com not sure you if you can export to use a 3rd party manufacturer maybe you can but not sure


Think of it kinda like this: Blender, 3DMax, and Maya are all in similar realms.

Then there's architectural ones like AutoCAD, Rhino, and Modo.

Then there's SketchUp

I'd say if you don't like Blender to try SketchUp or one of the more architectural ones that I named. SketchUp might be sufficient for your needs and its certainly beginner friendly. It might not get detailed and specific enough for you though in which case you might prefer the others.

  • Rhino is a surface modeller, along with alias studio tools, auto cad is a drafting app and modo belongs to the DCC crowd above.
    – joojaa
    Oct 4, 2014 at 13:01

SketchUp is the simplest in terms of starting out with 3D, but will likely not produce the quality you are looking for if photo-realism is important.

Cinema4D is probably the easiest to learn of the professional-grade 3D programs on the market but is rather expensive and still has a learning curve.

If you are not willing to or don't have time to sit down and learn a professional level 3D program, you will be better off contracting the digital work out and focusing on designing the product with sketches or physical sculpting (in foam, clay or some other soft material.)

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