In my process I use Photoshop, Illustrator, and Rhino 3d. I also use a wacom tablet which is helpful to create a free flow line using the pen. As well as Illustrator which is expensive, there are inexpensive programs that will create a vector file such as Inkscape. The reason for creating a vector file is it can be blown up to a large scale and will not pixelate.
Rhino is a very good 3d program because it allows you create parametric wall designs and surfaces. When using Rhino you will need Grasshopper and use the command for Nurbs.
Sketch up is a free 3d software but is not very strong with mathematics, such as creating geometric pattern for surfaces, there is also 123d, tinkerCAD which isnt very powerful, Blender is good for animation, such as moving the model and creating lighting and real life movement, as is MAYA/ 3d studio. The main 3d software that is used within the commercial world is Solid Works. I prefer Rhino as it is good when using the Nurbs for surfaces.
This is a 3d design I created in photoshop it was unable to be printed as photoshop isnt able to give you options to go into the mesh.
I am now working with Rhino and for this geometric sphere I used Grasshopper 3d to create the geometric and Rhino to attach it to mesh.
Below is the 3d printable with supports.