The impact of 3D CAD interfaces on user ideation: A comparative analysis using SketchUp and Silhouette Modeler

Sangwon Lee, Jin Yan

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

15 Citations (Scopus)


It has been known for decades that CAD is unsuitable in conceptual design and many studies on CAD for ideation have focused on comparing design outcomes against those of manual sketching. Based on the notion that different CAD interfaces can have distinctive effects on ideation, novice designers performed sketch-3D modeling-resketch tasks using SketchUp and Silhouette Modeler. We found that the characteristics of 3D shapes are attributable to the geometric operations afforded by mathematical representations, and that participants not only adapted the visual appearance, but also annotated process-related information. To minimize the contraction of creativity, we recommend that CAD use multiple but compatible mathematical representations and be introduced in stages after users understand the relationship between visual forms and design values.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)52-73
Number of pages22
JournalDesign Studies
Publication statusPublished - 2016 May 1


All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Architecture
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Engineering(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Artificial Intelligence

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