Are you ready to bring creative ideas to life?


We have previously discussed ways to empower students’ creativity in the design process. However, just having an idea isn’t enough. It’s the doing that counts.


Design without barriers

When it comes to firing out ideas quickly, the Isosketch tool is great, especially for students who put too much focus making one design look amazing. At the early ideation stage having a beautiful design is not ideal because it hinders exploration. A more productive approach is rapid iteration, which means more ideas, good and bad. But that’s good!



The IsoSketch is available in a class pack of 30 for only £49.99 (find out more about the IsoSketch), meaning schools can save over 50% of the cost of buying individually. Furthermore, it is available as a retail pack too, so students can buy their own online and continue experimenting at home.

But don’t just take our word for it. The Drawing Tool Company is empowering teachers and students across the UK and beyond, here’s what they’re saying on Twitter:

“A great tool to build confidence”

“We just used a set of the iso tools and they were brilliant. The kids found them so easy to use. Good job!”

“The students are buzzing about developing their own sketches using IsoSketch”

Get back to basics and say goodbye to ‘but, I can’t draw’.


Making your design POP

Once a design has been selected, giving a sense of space and feel not only improves aesthetics, but creates context to the product. To us, good quality rendering pens are a must.

We like Copic, because they were created for industrial designers. There are loads of great instructional videos out there to help even the most novice of designer. Discover our range of Copic Markers here.

Here are our three top tips for improving rendering in the classroom.

1. Make each stroke follow the perspective of the drawing



 (Source: Copic)



2. Define the light source




By identifying where the light is coming from, it makes it easier to define shading. Giving your designs a 3D perspective.



3. Learn from the experts

The best way to learn is by copying. And there’s no finer way to learn than by following Spencer Nugent at Sketch-a-Day. There’s loads of handy hints and tips you can pick up, and be blown away by his excellence in the process. Watch this Sketch-a-Day tutorial using Copic Markers





Getting down and dirty

While FDM and SLA prototyping is an amazing advancement in Design and Technology we still feel the best way to truly iterate on design at first is to get hands on.

To iterate means to refine the design, and blue Styrofoam is great. Easy to work and is ideal for creating ‘looks like prototypes’ which give a true sense of use and form.


Source: Pinterest


Technology Supplies supply a range of Styrofoam, from as low as £11.49 a sheet. See our range of Styrofoam blocks. We use only high quality foam that’s easy to work, and produces great results. We make sure our prices are competitive, so that you can make those budgets stretch that little bit further.

Here are some top tips to make things a little smoother (or rougher is you want to create a textured finish):

  1. Don’t have the right thickness Styrofoam? Try double sided sticky tape instead of glue; it holds it good enough for most jobs. Make sure the tape is within the form you’re designing so you don’t need to cut into the tape as you sculpt
  2. Always use a sharp knife. But be careful!
  3. For thick sections, use a saw, a hacksaw blade or a bread knife
  4. Use tape to protect areas you don’t want to sand. It creates a clean edge
  5. For filling, use a medium that’s less hard than the foam. Test on a scrap piece of foam first to avoid disappointment. For our material wood filler works well
  6. It can be difficult to sculpt depressions, instead depress the shape you want to make using homemade tools
  7. When painting, use water based paints. Blue foam reacts to cellulose based sprays
  8. Blue foam easily scratches. Always rest the material on a piece of foam to prevent scratching (pizza tray foam works great!)
  9. Old polypropylene files are excellent for prototyping a live hinge. Cutting a slot into each side of your forms, and then insert the PP into each hole creates a hinge. Score the PP beforehand if you want a hinge, or leave it if you want a spring
  10. When sand keep rotating the sanding tool. Sand forwards only to eliminate unwanted shaping


Source: Product Tank