It’s hard to get away from sketching if your an industrial designer. It’s at the core of conceptualizing your designs. I love the sketching and if you love it too… heck, if you’re even slightly interested in how new interface technology is changing the idea of working in 2D and 3D you’ll want to see the 3-dimensional curve sketching system called I Love Sketch.

But it’s not just virtual 2D sketching. It’s the introduction of sketching nurb-based geometry in 3D.

Zoom, rotate, pan, tumble, and dolly-zoom your environment. ILoveSketch uses multi-stroke sketch techniques and gesture-based functions via a stylus to create groups of curves.

The system is developed by a team from the Department of Computer Science at the University of Toronto. Currently, this is purely to demonstrate the method they are using to calculate ‘sketchability’ in 3D space and study how designers work within the environment.

There are plans to implement 3D surface creation, multi-touch capabilities, and simpler tools for the less artistic… sounds like a new CAD system to me. Here’s the video that shows the intensely cool methods they are using to capture your ideas.

*Update* – I heard from Seok-Hyung, developer of the program. “ILoveSketch, currently, can export sketched 3D curves in Maya ASCII format
(.ma) and IGES format (.igs) for further processing like quick surfacing.”
You can find some .ma files to play with at I Love Sketch – Thanks Seok-Hyung!

ILoveSketch from Seok-Hyung Bae on Vimeo.

The team from the University of Toronto will be presenting this at the 2008 ACM Symposium on User Interface Software and Technology, October 19-22, 2008

How do you see this being used in the future? It’s 3D, but still, you’re working against a flat screen. This is just the backdrop of what’s to come.

Big thanks to James (and csven)


Josh is founder and editor at, founder at Aimsift Inc., and co-founder of EvD Media. He is involved in engineering, design, visualization, the technology making it happen, and the content developed around it. He is a SolidWorks Certified Professional and excels at falling awkwardly.