Recently I had done a video tutorial on youtube, that described how to use Google SketchUp as a design aid to make 3d objects look a little better in photographs and illustrations. As I found the programme relatively easy to operate and control, I thought I would give it a go to make the necessary components for the technical aspect of the illustrations.
The additionally nice thing about SketchUp is that the files, once created, can be exported as eps files as well as jpg files. This meant that the shadow aspect could be applied to the jpg, so I could have good 3d reference to the position of the shadows, as well as a well rendered vector file on which to make the illustration.
Below is a series of images which represent the completed illustration and the SketchUp model that was created in order to make the job work properly. As is evident, some elements had to be added to the illustration by hand, such as tape, and the eps is rendered out as a flat colour so all colour work had to be achieved in Illustrator as well.