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Sketching is widely considered to be an essential activity during conceptual design, and many argue that CAD tools should be faithful to the sketching metaphor for conceptual design. However, CAD tools have progressed significantly in recent years, and there is growing experimental evidence that existing CAD tools can be as effective as sketching. Recent research in cognitive psychology supports the idea that the sketching metaphor is not necessarily ideal, and that a 3D geometric modeling metaphor might better support human cognitive processes. Informal experiments in CAD modeling of sample geometric shapes reported in the sketch recognition literature shows that the two approaches are comparable. This evidence suggests that computer sketch recognition may be unnecessary, and that efforts should be directed toward improving the human factors aspects of current CAD software to better support the needs of conceptual design.