I have been looking at modo and see some designer use it in their workflow and it seem more practical compared to SW.
My question to any industrial designer using modo, is it limited to visualization? what else it can benefit in our process?
I use modo for rendering, but also for more organic shapes, such as cushions in furniture.
There is a great tutorial on modelling a motorbike fuel tank in modo and then bringing it into solidworks. I still use solidworks for most of my modelling though and modo is used to increase the visual realism in models and also for renders.
See my coroflot portfolio for examples of solidworks to modo workflow. The cushions on my Olea chair renders were modelled in modo, while the rest was solidworks.
Extracting useful CAD data from Modo is going to be tough without simply using it as a reference and then rebuilding in a CAD tool.
You may be able to convert your Modo Sub-D object to NURBS using a tool like Power SubD, but then there are still challenges.
For example, a fuel tank may work because it’s a surface model.
If you were trying to build something that needs to take your NURBS surfaces and offset them and build on mechanical features, you’ll more than likely have issues because the surface topology is not ideal. There were other discussions on this, and many people have talked about the possibility of it as a workflow for more typical ID tools, but I’ve yet to see any case studies on how it impacts parts that require exact tooling.
For softgoods, visualization, organic form ideation, then yeah go for it. Sub-D’s offer way more form flexibility at the expense of downstream precision and don’t break as easily as NURBS models do.
On one project we got some really useful geometries from Modo. Forms that the customer liked however we had to rebuild everything in their CAD (SW) tool so that the product could go to production. It was much harder to realize that form in SW.
When working on designs in the real world you need to understand what limitations will hit you downstream.
For example, that video is great at showing a fairly simple, solid mass, which can be brought into a CAD tool as a solid and have some basic operations done.
In the real world the workflow operations I would want to see are things like:
-How can we add draft for specific parting lines, especially when it comes to undercuts or areas where a slide/cam will have to interact with molding a part.
-Can you shell/thicken the part without the surface inverting itself? This is an art form even with many NURBS surfacing tools, I expect it will have similar difficulties with the converted Sub-D topology because you do not have direct control over surface boundaries or complexity. This might be a work around you could solve by bringing your Modo model into a tool like Alias/Rhino if needed.
-What happens when I am working with large, multi part and complex assemblies. Like most products, a product will be an assembly of dozens or hundreds of parts, I need a tool that allows me to build out all of those parts WITH the tolerance precision required for mass production.
If you are a student, and you are trying to generate 3D forms rapidly for testing and iteration and you never need to go past a 3D Printer, then Sub-D tools are awesome. Fusion is probably the closest thing right now to a tool that is trying to combine all these attributes, but I’m out of the game when it comes to the latest CAD software.