3 Tactics for Faster 3D Design

    Posted by 3DxBlog Team on Jan 3, 2014 9:14:00 AM

    95250650 def7372978 bOriginal 3Dconnexion research based on a survey of nearly 2,000 CAD workers indicates that the top three challenges CAD professionals face are all productivity related.

    (Sign up to receive an advance copy of our upcoming CAD Usage Report here.)

    That means working faster in 3D is a must. Here are three ways you can do just that—and free up more time for professional work, side projects or maybe just a little R&R.


    1. Streamline Your Work Processes

    Designing more efficiently starts before you even fire up your CAD software.

    Excessive email. Meetings. Non-essential web browsing. Social media. These are all distractions that seriously impact productivity.

    You might be surprised to find out just how much time these activities cost: it takes the average worker 25 minutes to refocus on a task after an interruption, according to The New York Times.

    Staying distraction-free starts with smart work processes. Try the following to get started:

    Block Out Productivity and Email Time

    Carve out one- to two-hour blocks of time to focus on your to-do list. Treat these blocks as sacred: no email, web browsing or other interruptions allowed. Securing these blocks of time isn’t always easy, but it’s always worth it. 

    The same strategy can be used for email: Schedule two to three 15-minute blocks throughout the day to process, delete and respond to emails, instead of allowing them to interrupt you constantly.

    Beware Meetings—and Justify the Ones You Attend

    Without an agenda, time constraints or proper preparation, meetings waste valuable time and produce few results.

    Request meeting agendas in advance, if possible. It’ll force everyone involved to clarify the meeting’s purpose. This will also help you determine whether or not to attend. If you can, say “No” to meetings that aren’t mission-critical, send someone in your place or read a colleague’s notes after the fact.

    Take Full Advantage of Productivity Tools

    Try out some of these software tools to defeat procrastination and distraction.

    Time Trackers like RescueTime and TimeFox tell you exactly where your time is going and how you can start streamlining your schedule immediately.

    Website Blockers, such as StayFocusd for Chrome, block time-wasting websites (think social media) for a certain period of time, making it impossible for you to stray from your appointed task.

    Internet Blockers like Freedom completely cut you off from the internet. They’re radical, but effective, options—especially if you’re strapping in for a long design session.

    Looking for more tool recommendations? Check out our free productivity ebook.


    2. Master Software Shortcuts and Hotkeys

    Tricks, shortcuts and hotkeys for your preferred CAD software are your best friends when it comes to working faster and more efficiently. Here are resources to speed up your work in five different CAD software packages: SolidWorks, SketchUp, Inventor, 3ds Max and AutoCAD.




    3ds Max


    What other software resources have helped you speed up your work? Let us know in the comments!


    3. Use a 3D Mouse

    A 3D mouse is the one hardware peripheral built to speed up design sessions. Used by top designers at companies like Boeing, BMW and Airbus, a 3D mouse works in tandem with a standard mouse to navigate 3D content smoothly and intuitively. This two-handed work style reduces mouse clicks, movements and overall design time.

    Some 3D mice such as the SpaceMouse® Pro include programmable buttons which you can easily assign your favorite hotkeys to, speeding up your workflow even more. In fact, an independent study confirmed that professionals who use a 3D mouse see average productivity gains of 21%

    You can find out more here.

    Improve Your Creativity Starting Today

    Creativity isn’t a gift. It’s a skill. And you can improve it—beginning today. The Creativity Handbook for 3D Professionals is a manual packed with habits, tools and hacks that will make you more creative, more often.

    This handbook has 25+ pages of information that will help you boost your design creativity and improve your career. Get started today.

    3D design productivity guide 

    Image Credit: LoopZilla via Flickr.

    Tags: Engineering, Design, Architecture, Productivity