Having previously extolled the virtues of 1 : 1 templating. What about model making?
Scale models and mock ups can be invaluable as a way of readily getting a sense of 'form' for various projects and communicating what the thing or idea is really going to look like. As previously mentioned too, even the most basic of model or mock up can give much more 'real-sense' information than the most elaborate of 3d animated renders.
Why is this?
A model occupies a real space presence. It can viewed all around, as can a 3d render, the difference is that it has a tangible and tactile placement. You can touch it.
That's not to say that 3d animated renders are not as good - just different. Think of the virtues of a walk through animation through a new architectural space.
The very act of creating a model for elements of sculptural furniture even in its most basic form allows a more direct cognitive exploration of actual structure - How will I be able to make this element at full size?
Models can also then of course be photographed to emulate the full size work.