Can SolidWorks do this?

I’ve been on a quest to find new engineering software that will do both conceptual & engineering. Graphics, printing & lug-on elements are very important in the approval process. We’re in our last lap!

Currently we crank out concepts like these until an esthetically pleasing design is selected & then we draw it up in Ashlar-Vellum. I think this is a great work flow. We can even plug in the clients’ agency’s artwork as it is developed.

Can SolidWorks and Photoworks (along with a tiny bit of Photoshop if necessary) create stuff like this?

Please answer in ten words or less. Thanx!

Yes, no prob at all

I would have to dissagree with MasterBlaster. Photoworks can’t even come close to something like Autodesk Viz 2005.

My process has always been to model in Rhino and render in Max/Viz.

You may want to look at FormZ as well.

Yo NY, If you’re running VIZ, have you considered Inventor? Max/Viz has an Inventor Plugin that allows you to update your Inventor assembly and then your Viz file will give you the option to auto-update, much like a windows update. This is just how it was described to me.

What do you export your Rhino file as? I’ve been messin’ around with Rhino and it seems pretty solid, I can’t “save as” in anything but a .bmp on the download trial. It imports models nicely though.

Form-Z is about on the same level as Max as far as modeling goes, right?

I have learned to stay away from both Inventor and Solidworks in the initial concept design process. I feel very limited by them when trying to work out an initial idea. Rhino feels much more like the electronic equivalent of a pencil and sketch pad for me.

My Rhino to Max/Viz transaltion actually involves 3 steps. I first export a Rhino model as an ACIS .SAT file, bring that into AutoCAD and then save it as a 3D DWG which Viz can open. For some reason Viz can not read 3D DWG’s exported directly from Rhino. Files exported in this fashion are much smaller and more maneagable than just exporting a 3DS from Rhino and importing that into Max/Viz. I gave up on IGES because multibody/multipart models exported are welded together into a single obect in Max/Viz - you would have to export each part individually which can be very time consuming.

FomZ would actually be a step above Max where modelling is concerned because it has a better NURBS implementation.

Ny,

You should stay away from any computer durring the initial design work…unless you are sketching by hand on a tablet.

PovD

Yes, you can produce hight quality images with SW. I keep getting the same question when people see the renderings we produce. “Is that Alias?” No, it is Solidworks.

If you are looking for a program that works great for a designer AND and an engineer, SW is the answer.

FormZ, IMHO, is the best modeller.
The renderer, yes, can be a little lame…but if you know what you are doing you can achieve some stunning results.
Their new version 4.5 (which is still in Beta at the moment) brings in a new plu-in architecture to the software that will allow for 3rd party plug-ins making it much stronger.

I have used FormZ in the POP, Retail and packaging industry now for nearly 4 years and I wouldn’t use anything else. Yes, it has it’s quirks like most modelling programs but the level of control you have over modelling is fantastic…also the people on the FormZ message boards are the most helpful people I have ever come across.

The engineering side is still very tame but everyone’s hoping for some decent plugins come 4.5.

you can check out some examples of FormZ work on my website (see below)
If you have any more questions I’d be glad to answer them.

SW is part and assembly based, it would make total sense to use it for retail/pop.

“If you are looking for a program that works great for a designer AND and an engineer, SW is the answer.”

debatable. some SW users prefer Wildfire. possible that there are other answers too.

yes you can produce these results in solidworks.

is SW the best suited program for that particular kind of work? Probably not.
But it is versatile enough for POP, and if the client decides to go with a particular concept, you already have design intent drawings with dimensions for a fabricator as you’re working with real dimensions and history (you can go back and change a dimension and evrything updates - which you can’t in Rhino, for instance)

we’re using it for merchandising and POP, even though that kind of work is only about 5% of what we do.

[quote=“NYC”]yes you can produce these results in solidworks.

is SW the best suited program for that particular kind of work? Probably not.
But it is versatile enough for POP, and if the client decides to go with a particular concept, you already have design intent drawings with dimensions for a fabricator as you’re working with real dimensions and history (you can go back and change a dimension and evrything updates - which you can’t in Rhino, for instance)

we’re using it for merchandising and POP, even though that kind of work is only about 5% of what we do.[/quote]

You mention some very strong points about SW, that is why I feel it is one of the best. As an Industrial Designer, mass porduction is the method our work gets to the end user. SW is very flexible when you bridge the best of both worlds, solids and surfacing that is dimension, part and assembly based.

go to zxys.com this is all done is solidworks with direct illumination it’s easy [/img]

Not very impressive stuff from a rendering standpoint. I was doing more realistic work than that 3-4 years ago in 3D Studio Max 3.

When you look at what can be done nowadays with Vray, Brazil and MentalRay in 3DS Max and Alias/Maya, Solidworks looks like a toy. Even Solidworks’ own implementation of MentalRay isn’t that great.

Go check out work posted at www.cgtalk.com or even Visualization Masters - http://www.visualizationmasters.com/VM_Main.cfm.

It’s not about the tool, it;s how well you use it :slight_smile:

but more seriously, Rhino v4 is coming out in about 6-8months… and it has a history, ofcourse it’s not that well structured/usable as SW’s history.
But then again Rhino crashes less and is usualy faster, and produces better geometry. Pro-E WF2 is a lot like SW2004, with some usability removed but more advanced features (and some features lacking). Rhino v4 is coming out with Brazil integration.(probably not included though).

Rhino is best bang for the buck, but doesnt have a ‘packaged’ feel to it, it’s more raw.
SW does have that ‘packaged’ feeling, it tries to think for you (but fails stupidly at some points, where if rhino failed it would be a lot easier to resolve).

I’d go for SW with Photoworks, … but if you know/own a better rendering software you best bet is make it in SW and render elsewhere. Depending on how well/versatile you want the renderings to be.
Animations with Photoworks take FOREVER. (3Dmax/viz would do it in 1/10 th time).

I make all my models in solidworks, just for the assembly functions. But I do use Ashlar-Vellum to render all my models. Ashlar is very flexible with rendering. The only thing that kind of sucks though is that alot of the time I have to use SAT to translate and it leaves small lines in everything, and I have to clear it out with photoshop.

"Even Solidworks’ own implementation of MentalRay isn’t that great. "

Photoworks uses only the MR kernal afaik. implementation expected to be less than ideal. even Maya’s MR isnt that great - still lot of room for improvement. Max has had a pipeline for longer time than Maya. expect it has a good implementation. now that its bundled with Max (finally), that makes the price easier to swallow. but best is probably SoftImage. doubt it ships with $495 version. but worth checking. amazing price already. more so if MR included. great option if there’s a path from SW to SoftImage.

Well Solidworks is definitely not on par with progs like Softimage or Maya. It can definitely do the type of images posted at the beginning of the posting. Using Photoworks is like pulling teeth, because Solidworks paid all their designer to muck up Mental ray to the best of their natural abilities. Even so you can still work with it to create some very good renderings. Again the big advantage is that Photoworks is a native renderer- but that is about it. IMHO it is still better than Flamingo and Alias native render engine

Comparing Solidworks to any of the other rendering packages like 3ds max, FormZ, Alias.etc solely in the rendering ability is pretty inaccurate. Solidworks is NOT a program for rendering, photoworks can do the trick, the other programs are better at that, this is an engineering/design software and it really good for the POP industry, why? Usually you are required to make renderings and in 1 or 2 days turn in pre-production drawings none of the other software packages have the ability to create that, so if you are using any of the other packages and you need to create very accurate drawings for production, you are going to have to use another package and redraw everything, exporting does not work well. I just started working in solidworks and sometimes use photoworks. When I whant a really nice rendering I export the model to 3dsmax and render it there.
The main competitor of solidworks is proE, you can create really good rendering using photoworks but not the best. But to model anything and make a lot of changes is it, is the best, you can link parts and if you modify one it will modify everything automatically, in les tha 10 minutes you can make dimensional modifications, render it and have the updated production drawings, that is the strength of the program is not like max or wavefront which are created for games or broadcast renderings.

solidworks can do it, but you can’t just switch to sw today and expect to get great results the next day.

I did what you describe with Rhino/3DS Max and AutoCAD on my first job out of college working for a kiosk enclosure manufacturer. Solidworks doesn’t make the process any faster and I purposely stay away from it to do actual design work.

Solidworks is for engineers, not designers. End of story. Companies that force their ID’ers to work in Solidworks right off the bad are short changing the design process IMO.