Theatre Green Book PRODUCTIONS Toolkit – Designing and Making


Modelling Tools and CAD

With thanks to Jon Bausor, Max Dorey and Chris Pepler

Model Box Database

Dropbox Link

Physical Modelling

Biodegradable Foamcore is available in black and white and will breakdown by 100% within one to five years due to its unique “bio resin formulation”. Conventional foamboard will not biodegrade for 80 to 450 years


• Sketch up is an easy-to-use tool for simple 3D modelling without a model box that allows you to design quickly and then export to CAD etc. SketchUp Pro Software | Create 3D Model Online | SketchUp

• Vectorworks also allows sketch modelling and the 2D/3D drawing and modelling 3D Design Software – Fully Integrated BIM | Vectorworks

• AutoCAD for draughting AutoCAD for Mac & Windows | 2D/3D CAD Software | Autodesk

• Cinema 4D for 3D visualisation Cinema 4D Overview! – Maxon

• Solidworks is a parametric 3D CAD modelling program which also allows users to use standard toolbox components and rapidly edit designs and includes software for structural testing of parts before they are manufactured. 

• Autodesk Inventor is a parametric 3D CAD modelling program which integrates with AutoCAD and includes part libraries, rapid part editing and structural testing. The software also allows advanced users to program designs so that construction drawings can be automatically created for variations of a part.

CAD for Technical Design

• Building detailed CAD models and animating moving parts can refine the design, therefore avoiding waste from having to re-work parts later. It can result in lighter sections and reduced weight before parts reach the manufacture stage.

• Models from different design teams can be reviewed using interchange file formats such as STEP, IGES or STL.

• It is already possible to download digital files from external libraries such as Trace Parts, 3D Content Central and GrabCAD. Users of CAD software such as Solidworks and Autodesk Inventor will also find internal parts libraries which can be customised with bespoke content for reuse in future shows.


• 3D printers utilizing heat or lasers use 50 to 100 times more electricity than traditional production methods to make an object of equal weight. 3D printing is not the most efficient way of producing an item in general, but where one bespoke item is required, it uses exactly the amount of material required without the requirement to make bespoke tooling or undertake subtractive manufacturing processes where material is cut away and lost. Therefore in the right context, it can allow efficient and rapid creation of representative and functional parts. 

• Suppliers such as Filamentive recycle and supply recycled 3D printer filaments utilising post-consumer waste. 

• Many printers now use Bioplastics as a printing material