studiotools/rino vs solidworks vs maya/3d studio max

hi everyone im new to modelling and need some help understanding where the software stands in relation to one another

i realize theyre different programs and all have different applications
im an ID student at ocad and we’re being taught studiotools
im still pretty new to 3d modeling in general so i may be completly wrong but by my understanding solidworks is more for creating accurate cad drawings for production, and programs like 3d studio max and maya are good for modeling and rendering photorealistic images or videos

i cant quite see what strength industrial design rendering programs like studio tools or rhino have, especially with simplistic rendering programs like image studio. yet the software is popular in industrial design

can someone explain to me what makes rhino or studio tools useful in the field of industrial design? is it easier to model in or something?

and if i needed to learn one or two modeling programs which would they be and why?

thanks in advance

The strength of Studiotools and Rhino are that they are SURFACE modellers - they allow you a great deal of power to define extremely complex surface shapes VERY quickly.

For example if you were working as a designer designing computer monitors, you wouldn’t really need to know how to do surface modelling. Using a Solid modeller like Pro E or Solidworks would allow you to define all of your shapes (boxes with some chamfers and fillets on them) very quickly and accurately, and ship them right off for production.

Alias and Rhino are NURBS surface modellers - Alias Autostudio (the full-featured version of Studiotools) is what virtually every car studio on the planet uses to build their cars. It has extremely powerful tools for building and evaluating very complex surfaces.

Take a look at something like this :

When you really study something like the front bumper of the car you can see how many complex surfaces are interacting with one another. Creating a shape like this in solidworks would be nearly impossible. I like to use the metaphor “draining a pool with a shot glass” it’s POSSIBLE to do it in a solid modelling program, but it would be SO difficult and time consuming that it just doesn’t make sense.

Max and Maya are really 3D animation tools - they’re great for rendering out high quality images, and actually very useful to learn in conjunction with a program like Studio tools - but learning them by themselves is of very little use.

If you had a choice I would suggest you learn one of each tool - Studiotools/Rhino (studiotools is the better program, but Rhino is easier), Solidworks, and 3D Studio or Maya (Maya will probably be easier to pick up if you’ve been using Studio tools as well).

When I was in school I used Rhino/Maya for just about everything I did - but I also dabbled in other programs like Studiotools, Solidworks, Sketchup for certain projects which all came in handy.

For most ‘normal’ products, Solidworks is great. Especially when using in combination with Moldflow its one of the quickest and easiest programs I’ve used so far for CAD and especially CAM.

Try using the Photoworks plugin for surprisingly high quality renders.

Studiotools and rhino are strictly developed for Designers, catia Pro-e etc. are made in order to solve Engineering problems.

With rhino and studiotools you can play with the shape and invent the concept of your product and show them at the others, but when you want do a complete and engineering design is better if you use a software like Pro-e or solidworks.
I prefer Rhino cuz it’s more intuitive and wide than alias. Alias create high quality surface that rhino cannot, but if you don’t design automotive isn’t so important. and rhino is cheaper and easier to use.

For the creative step of a product’s design I feel good with solidThinking that allow you to play with the shape more than the other surface modeler, because it’s parametric and it have the costruction tree (you can model a shape and then edit it without redo all the operation but just editing the origin curves) I use it to look for the shape of my design.

look at this tutorial and relative video in order to understand what I’m saying.

In this tutorial they show you how to design a panton chair in a few steps… with pro-e would be more more difficult… but with the model of sT of course you couldn’t go in the production step :slight_smile:

if you want, you can see other examples of many product here:

c ya