"Form Study" or "Volume Study" Models
Visualization of size and form
Internal design meetings
This type of model is used primarily during the design phase by the Industrial Designer to help visualize the overall size
and shape of the product. These models can also be used to convey form and styling to the customer during internal
Today, much design work is done utilizing CAD computer software. An inherent drawback of this process is that the
designer no longer has a good reference of scale. In previous decades, scale recognition was inherent, being that all
drawings were "board generated". This is due to the fact that the computer screen does not accurately portray the size
or volume of a product. Even when 2-D layouts are printed, they do not accurately portray true volume.
Often from the designer we hear “Wow, that is larger (or smaller) than I thought” upon seeing a volume study model for
the first time.
These models are commonly fabricated from “foam” polyurethane materials (NOT the soft white polystyrene EPS type
foams used for packaging). This material choice also allows the model to be modified later by “cutting and pasting”,
making such modifications less expensive than other model types. These models are solid, and of uniform material,
without concern toward final production materials.
The finish on this model type, is normally left “raw” (generally a manila-yellow color), without primers or color to facilitate
possible modification. They can be painted if color mass needs to be shown, but the porous texture will certainly be