ISDX Anyone?

I am curious to see if anyone out there is using the ISDX module in Wildfire for ID. We are at a crossroads in the office and are trying to pick the best software for ID and Engineering to work in. ISDX sounds great, but is anyone actually using it? It would be really handy since all of the engineers here, and all of our clients are using Pro.

Thanks for the insight!

I’m using it, and I’m pretty happy with it. But you have to remember that it is a separate license, and on a network, only one person can use it at a time per license. This means that your engineers can’t tweak the model (not that you want them to) without a license. The model will be treated like an import with no history. I’ve also noticed that if you need to go back and tweak the isdx feature, you’ll run the chance of screwing up the parent child relationships and having to go back and redefine stuff.

are you using Wildfire as your main 3D tool?

I had the intention of using Studio Tools as the main ID 3d application, but it was eventually quicker just to create the geometry in ProE/ISDX. I render in Studio Tools (I find Wildfire’s renderer terrible), but I’m probably going to find a less expensive option.
If I needed to do fast iterations of products in 3D, I may look into Alias again. By the time I’m going into 3D CAD nowadays, I have an idea what I’m going to be doing beacause of sketches and Illustrator layouts.

I used it for about 6 months at the last firm I worked at. I’m now using SW for everything, and I miss ISDX terribly.

It was not a difficult program to learn, and it became a good way for designers to get acquainted with ProE as well. (Whether you want to perpetrate a crime like that is up to you.)

The “Style” feature worked within Wildfire, and had the ability to create free-form, yet robust geometry that worked perfectly with the engineers. We created some highly-surfaced yet parametric carbon fiber bicycle frames using ISDX - of course you can build anything in Alias, but ISDX was a very efficient compromise.

Of course nothing is seamless in the transfer from ID to ME but I felt ISDX was a good tool for communication and could create anything. Flexibility is several degrees less than with a NURBS modeler but you can get used to that for most products.

go SW all the way…personally I can’t stand Pro/E stuck in the dark ages attertude. Alias is great if you want to do kick ass surfacing but for speed & flexablity SW is the king.

No, no, no! We IDers are about proving forms and there’s no better tool out there than ISDX. You talk about flexibilty? speed? satisfaction? proving forms? ISDX is the way. It may seem complicated at first but once you get the hang of it you will feel the control like anything else. Just the acronym of it sounds cool… I S D X …way better than SW. I have seen SW users and they are not in control it’s more like the reverse. You’re the designer you should be in control.

mmmm…I wonder why the automotive industry uses ICEM surf and Alias

mmmm…I wonder why the automotive industry uses ICEM surf and Alias

Alias is hands down the best surfacer out there, I am not debating that. If I were in the automotive industry, what software to use would be a moot point. But, for consumer product design, there really doesn’t seem to be a magic bullet. Because our engineers work in Pro (they also work in SW and hate it) it seems like ISDX/Wildfire is a logical choice. Pro does every thing SW does and more. I am just curious to hear what ISDX brings to the table. I was afraid this would deteriorate into a “mines better than yours” discussion, but I wanted to see if anyone was actually using ISDX and how it is working for them.

Thanks 8x10, Slippyfish, and Clyde BTW!

yes in the end they do the same things. It comes down to preferance and what you know best, rather than mine is better than yours…I’m mainly bitter as im fairly apt in Alias/SW and I have to use ProE at work and it drives me crazy with all its atiquated UI, over complex process, limited tool set, cyptic methods & poor software updates comparied to SW…and dont even get me going on the drafting and sketch tools, I might aswell use AutoCAD r10.

wolfman - If I was adept on SW and had to use ProE I would be very bitter. For solid modeling there is no comparison - the interface and useability of the menu tree in SW, plus the absence of the tedious set of instructions that ProE makes you go through for each feature, make SW a much better modeler. But surfacing in both programs is the same. Until Wildfire and ISDX came along, you were having to extrude, loft, chop and hack to make a surface model - and then god help you if it didn’t shell or knit.

Try building a model in SW using nothing but 3-D curves - the curves that go haywire when you touch one of those tangent handles. ISDX lets you do just that, with a lot more control and stability. I really think it’s a good bridge to engineers already trained on ProE, and if I was setting up a design studio (on a limited budget) I would most likely get a few seats of ISDX/Wildfire and a seat of Alias for more complex surfacing and rendering. ISDX won’t ever be as freeform or quick as a NURBS program.

I think you’re right on the money.


You are dead on about ISDX. Also with ISDX you can maintain the surface continuity and control that SWX can’t. However I use both depending on the clients main tools, and I can see an even number of pros and cons on each of the two platforms.

To me they are both tools neither being emensly better than the other, with the exception of far more control of the 3D splines in ISDX, and the realtime surface updates. But then SWX can be easier to trouble shoot.

Also to wolfman. The UI is getting far better than version 2001, and when you end up modifying dimentions and making final revisions the fully constrained sketches that Pro demands are time savers. Change the dimension and if built (referenced) propoerly nothing fails other than maybe a round or two. But the inability to draw an angled elipse, or control the dome feature can drive me nuts. The flow of the controls and the process of building makes a lot of sence once you think about it in the mind set of an engineer working on an assembly of 300+ components. You just have to plan the model for revision and determin what needs to reference what so that if you modify dim1 dim3, dim4, and dim203 all update as needed.

Is wolfman using on 2001? Major change after 2001.

I’m on Wildfire 2

I’ve used it for consumer and medical designs. to see something in production look at any 2007 cadillac or 2008 hummer. I did the dashboard analog clocks with isdx/proe. Nothing really mindblowing, but, a production example none the less.

i’ve also done some medical and consumer devices with isdx/proe, but they’re not on the market yet.

I’m happy with it. I have a little video demo of ISDX here if you want to see it in action, it’s the best way to go if you’re using pro/e.

Nice video. Have you got a podcast? You should really have a link on your site to download the codec so you can play the video. ( as it didn’t play first time for me nor could windows media player find the right codec.


If you want to see some further examples have a look at the Bic shaver range - they have been done using skeletons and ISDX. The Bic Comfort Advance 3 is a particulalry good example.

There is a link to the codec, but it’s not too easy to see. I made it’s location stand out better now on the page.

I dont have a real podcast, but I did post a version of the april videos in ipod format. I dont have an ipod, so I’m not sure if the resolution is enough to be worthwhile. I’m thinking the menu picks would be about 2 pixels each.

Rendered in Maya and modeled in Pro/E Wildfire 2.0 with ISDX

Wildfire 2.0 with a lot of help from ISDX complements to design-engine’s Alfredo Santillan of Mexico