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  • For you Industrial Designers/Product Designers out there

    Discussion in 'Industrial design' started by TigerDesign, May 20, 2010.

    1. TigerDesign

      TigerDesign Member

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      I am a Mechanical Design Engineer by trade, but would like to dive more into the aesthetic/artistic side of product design. Most of my emphasis in the past has been on function and cost, while appearance generally takes a back seat. I would very much like to change my paradigm.

      What tools/software would you recommend to partner with a 3D package that does a decent job of conveying your design concepts for the final product to the customer?

      I have looked only briefly into AutoDesk SketchBook Pro along with maybe a Wacom digital pad/stylus. Are there better software/hardware packages available?

      Thank you in advance.

      TigerDesign
       
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    3. cwarner7_11

      cwarner7_11 Well-Known Member

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      You need to more clearly define what you mean by "better" software. The industrial standard is generally taken as something like Solidworks, but such packages are very costly and can be difficult to justify for a small shop. I do believe Solidworks offers a limited "Student" license, but I am not sure. If you are willing to invest some time in learning, there is an OpenSource package called BrlCAD developed by the US Army that gives some pretty sophisticated results, but may not be "intuitively" easy for someone coming out of the commercial CAD environment. One builds objects by adding and subtracting and joining various solid objects, which is nice if you come from a machine-shop environment. BrlCAD has some nice animation capabilties, and one can import/export various formats (including*.dxf). Another OpenSource package that might be a bit easier to use would be Salome, which is essentially a front end for FEA analysis but gives some decent modeling for simple objects, if you are only interested in "illustrative" pictures. Images can be manipulated (rotation, various different views, etc.). Import/export features are pretty limited...
       
    4. Camid

      Camid Well-Known Member

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      It sounds like you are interested in concept sketching rather than detail design work. I have used a combination of things over the years - hand sketching, Illustrator, Photoshop, Solidworks... I understand Sketchbook to be very good. You have to spend a large amount to get 'proper' ID software - Alias etc.

      I find it depends on what the product is that your designing and the stage in the project. We used to use Illustrator for Hi-Fi concepts while other projects required hand sketches do to the early stage of ideas. We use anything as long as it get the idea across clearly - that is the main aim after all.
       
    5. TigerDesign

      TigerDesign Member

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      Thanks for the replies so far.

      cwarner7_11, being a Design Engineer, I understand the benefits and the utility of 3D CAD software and fully intend to continue doing my designs in SolidWorks. I am really inquiring about a software package geared more toward the Industrial Design side that I could use in conjuntion with 3D modelling. I am used to doing hand sketches on the front end and using jpgs or bmps created from 3D views of the models while in process, but I would like to find a good tool for making 'pretty picture' concepts to more clearly convey conceptual ideas. I would like to be able to draw freehand over the top of the model (or pictures taken from 3D views) on a layer so I could get an accurate scale. I would like it to be in digital form so I could email concepts and have clients/responsible parties add comments or sketches during the design review process.

      Since I have had only limited exposure to Industrial Designers working on my projects, I wanted to consult the forum to see which tools you guys have found that work the best.

      I appreciate any suggestions.

      Sincerely,

      TigerDesign
       
    6. simpo

      simpo New Member

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      I have a small design studio setup in Singapore . I use Rhino for surface modeller and Alibre Design for parametric stuffs.

      Rhino is quite good for free-form organic NURBS modelling.
       
    7. DesignTechnologist

      DesignTechnologist Member

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      Photoshop is a great tool but it does come at a price. CorelDraw is similar but it much cheaper.

      Like the old saying goes. If it looks like crap, works like crap, it's crap. If it looks like crap, works, its still crap. If it looks good, but doesn't work all that good, it's still good.

      Comming from a Manufactuing facility, the looks and functinality of a product go hand and hand.
       
    8. kinnavate

      kinnavate Member

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      I recommend the Wacom Cintiq 21UX with the Autodesk Sketchbook Pro. It is really slick to hold Goto Meetings with clients and flush out ideas on the screen. The pens are pretty good although they are not exactly the same as using traditional markers. If you want to get into Industrial design I recommend you take some classes from a local college in ID. You can take a look at the curriculum and try and take some of the core classes to get some schooling in color and perhaps basic drawing, shading, etc.
       
    9. Addies21

      Addies21 Guest

      Thanks for share good ideas!!!
       
    10. Harshad

      Harshad Member

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      Dear Sir,

      I believe, aesthetic/artistic part of the product is nothing but creativity of designer.

      It's imagination which is acceptable and appreciated by most of the people. I do not think any software will help you to improve aesthetic part of the product. I think, it is application of software element generation capability according to your imagination of aesthetic part. Any sketcher tool will reflect your own creativity, but if it is not possible to generate using CAD platform you use, you will not reach to perfect output. Better to deal with software capability to shape you dream.

      Hope I replied your question.

      Regards,
      Harshad Patel
       

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