How to Train an Engineer...

I was sparked by a comment by Atohms in the “Hammer” thread…

and people who use G1-blends are lazy and it does show in the final project. Good Surface build up is so undervalued but so important to the final outcome.

I have an CAD guy that does most of my modeling. I am trying (so far successfully…it helps to be the boss) to change his mentality towards prettier surfacing techniques. I can’t go on forever doing the surfacing myself, and it is damn hard to find the right person to do it the way I want.

So, my question is, how does one train an engineer to buy into good Industrial Design modeling techniques? They typically take longer (see Atohms’ lazy comment above) than the “easy” methods in most CAD software. So, balancing client deadlines with the “better” product outcome can be difficult at best.

a rolled up newspaper swat to the nose and a firm “no!” when you see poor technique?

It might be more than just a problem with doing the CAD in an “easy” way. I think with engineers sometimes there’s a mentality to go with reliable/dependable over tricker surfacing that can fail at the worst times… especially when your job is on the line to make solid manufacturable parts on a deadline.

You could add some incentive to a G2 surfaced model… like a bonus. Maybe it’s out of his comfort level and some extra training could help. You could also consider a CAD surfacer guy to work alongside the engineering CAD guy - to hand off the skins when you’re satisfied…

Just ideas, good luck!

Eventually, I do intend to bring on board a solid industrial designer that drives the skeleton surfaces. But…at the end of the day, if the Engineers aren’t bought into the system, they will redo when that surface fails, or simply fight the process.

I don’t quite get it, especially when at the end of the design cycle they find the result “better”.

when I introduced one of my primary engineers to Curve Continuity, G2 and above and the like, I used the periodic table of form post that was on Core awhile back as one tool to talk to him about it.

Being someone that has a big appreciation for cars and car design I used surfacing from different cars he would be likely to know as points of conversation and examples as well. I think when he saw the real technical side of it as well as the challenge, he became very receptive. We also talked about the idea that when looking at something that was supposed to be curve continuous that was tangency instead, most people may not be able to articulate why they preferred one over the other, or what the difference was, that most were still likely to lean to prefer the G2 version. In short, figure out what they are into and their personality type and try to use that to help them get and appreciate what you’re after.

Another way to look at it, is if it’s someone you have to train to do advanced surfacing or have to continually ride them, maybe that’s the wrong way to go. Find someone who already specializes in or has created that as their core competency or differentiator, they are harder to find, but probably less of a headache long term.

IDiot’s points are a fantastic way to influence!Plus you are his boss, your objectives are his objectives. Write it into his performance reviews and simply make it not an option if he cares to continue to grow with the company!bmany years ago I worked with a CAD modeler whho revealed she had no understanding of why we tried so hard to achieve certain surfaces when other surfaces where so easy to model, it turned into a studio wide debate with people trying to explain it all different ways. The final solution was to fire her. It just was not a good fit, and we learned better questions to ask before we hired her replacement.