Concepting in Cardboard: Unlock your Prototyping Powers!

Overview It’s been said that cardboard is the "gateway drug to making”. For me, it’s the secret superpower behind nearly every build project! Somewhere between sketching your idea and setting out to construct it, there’s an uncertain step where you’re tasked with imagining how an object will feel in space. Does the scale seem right? How does the shape look from all angles? Will it fit? It’s hard to guess about these design elements and spatial relationships without seeing the thing in front of you, or holding it in your hands.  The good news is, you don’t need advanced modeling skills, virtual reality simulations, or even a big budget for prototyping. Using materials you probably already have at home, you can rough out models in cardboard, foam core, or other scrap to quickly “sketch” your idea out in three dimensions! What You’ll Do In this workshop, we’ll discuss the thought process behind low-tech prototyping and scale models. We will cover the basics of working with a variety of materials: where to find them, how to cut and shape them, as well as different types of joints and attaching methods, and how best to use them in your models. Next, I’ll show you some techniques for taking your prototypes to the next level - methods for measuring and patterning off your mockups to make your final designs. Finally, we’ll send you off with a design challenge to apply these skills and put your new mockup chops to the test! You’ll leave with a fresh look at design thinking, some useful modeling techniques, and a new relationship with the contents of your recycling bin!