When you put pen to paper, there is a connection made between your mind and the words you are writing. That connection gets your mind working on the getting across that thought you put to paper. I do mean the physical connection of a physical pen and actual paper.
When you sketch your ideas and thoughts on a design, it gets your creative function running because you have to think about how you want to describe it. Believe me, once you start, you may have several ideas, several iterations, probably partials that you can continue with later.
It is hard for some to get up and share your thoughts by sketching in front of someone or a crowd of engineers and mechanical designers. They will make comments about your sketching ability, so get over it now, and move on. Sharing your thoughts through sketching will get others on board with your idea and motivate them, and yourself, to do more iteration through sketching.
Sketching your idea to yourself will help you develop and effectively explain your design idea to a fellow engineer, mentor, or manager.
White write-on boards are great for sharing and capturing ideation.
…sketching thoughts and ideas on a white board works just as well, but remember to take a quick photo for your records. These notes could be used for patent work, so it is always a good idea to get your initials and date in the photo, or on the sketch page.
There are instances in mechanical design that you know what you want, but a sketch will make it clearer to the others what you see in your design. Once the understanding starts, there will all kinds of input as to what might be better…that will be up to you.
Just let your thoughts flow from your mind through the pen. You will surprise yourself on how the design will flow and morph. And, as you go through page after page, your thought pattern will become clearer. Perhaps you have not considered something that is critical, or important to the design overall function. As you continue to let the ideas build on each other you will find that after spending time going over the various iterations, that it will be much easier to get those ideas into 3D on your MCAD system.
Always have a note book with you, to capture your thoughts. You may see a mechanical design that intrigues you, and reviewing and getting it sketched may spark some thought towards a design solution.
I have sketched ideas my whole life, perhaps to help me remember, or for further thought. As anyone who has written a paper knows, it is good to get it written, then let it sit for awhile. You will be thinking about what you wrote, and how well you are getting your subject across to the reader. When you pick up the paper and begin reading, you will find that there will be additions and corrections that will be obvious, making your subject come alive to the reader. You will experience the same with sketching your ideas. Your mind goes over thoughts sketched on the paper, and begins the thought process all over.