Dassault Systèmes has announced breakthrough 3D sketching software that brings together the intuitiveness of creative 2D painting gestures and the power of accurate, realistic 3D modelling.

Called CATIA Natural Sketch, it enables designers to better understand their design in 3D, avoid misinterpretations of 2D views, and better communicate their ideas to 3D modellers.

By directly transforming a 2D sketch into a 3D digital product, inconsistencies between the design intent and reality can be avoided, resulting in dramatic improvements in design quality.

“For most designers, sketching is the medium of choice to express their ideas. By making sketching in 3D as intuitive as sketching on paper, CATIA Natural Sketch brings an experience that matches creative purposes while removing emotional barriers towards 3D creation,” said Anne Asensio, VP, Design Experience, Dassault Systèmes.

“This first-of-its-kind, life-like creative experience helps designers to free-up their creativity and share their ideas more rapidly and precisely.”


CATIA Natural Sketch gives designers and design studio teams the ability to use 3D sketched curves to create a model with surface modelling or subdivision surface modelling tools within CATIA.

“Enticing, inspirational, and intuitive!” said Jens Paulus of Jens Paulus Design.

“The strokes look like real pencil on paper and it’s great fun to sketch.

“Maybe the greatest advantage is that you get inspired while creating 3D as you are sketching at the same time.”

CATIA Natural Sketch also eliminates workflow disruptions through the entire industrial design process.

Transitioning from ideation to actual design is typically challenging. A sketched 2D idea isn’t always feasible in 3D and the process of constructing 3D models from an original 2D sketch is very time-consuming and prone to errors in interpreting design intent.

Brazilian automotive designer Alexandre Meyer described CATIA Natural Sketch as an incredible ergonomic step forward.

“Easier than putting pen on paper. A powerful way of working with concepts! It is probably one of the first designer’s mind-oriented technologies.

The general manager of Dassault Systèmes Australia New Zealand, Gilles Cruanes, says CATIA Natural Sketch is an answer to the company’s increasing customer base in consumer package goods, retail and architecture.

“Creative designers expect a solution that helps capture trends and elaborate on quick sketches without jeopardising the future industrialisation of the end product.

“CATIA brand delivers that full promise with very high accuracy.

“We believe this product will have a positive response both in Australia and New Zealand to allow local designers to compete against lower cost thus very productive Asian countries.”

The release of CATIA Natural Sketch follows the launch of CATIA Live Rendering for interactive, photorealistic visualisation a year ago.

CATIA Natural Sketch is a key new element of Dassault Systèmes’ Live Design leadership strategy and completes the CATIA for Creative Designers solution, which now combines 3D sketching, concept modelling, class-A surface modelling, rapid prototyping and visualisation.

“CATIA for Creative Designers addresses the complete industrial design workflow in a unified environment, from ideation and concept to refinement, design validation, and final production-ready 3D product,” said Anne Asensio.

“Dassault Systèmes is continuously striving to make the power of its widely recognised 3D creation solutions accessible to a larger audience with the right experience, empowering designers with intuitiveness while enhancing their creativity.

“To turn dreams into reality we have successfully brought together forward-looking designers and Dassault Systèmes technology experts, resulting in registered patents and delivering this unique 3D sketching experience.”

– Press Release first published at on the 29th of November 2011.