Sub-Division Modelling

Organic / Freeform Designs

Sub-D Modelling capability within SOLIDWORKS using Power Surfacing

Investing in N-Power Software's Power Surfacing module for SOLIDWORKS has given North Design Works an advantage with aesthetic design, especially for consumer goods, bodywork design, indeed anything that has a freeform shape. A series of control lines are setup along with "gravity" weightings to lines & vertices. This allows smooth and creased surfaces to be expertly blended and refined.

The Power Surfacing module is directly editable within SOLIDWORKS, thus a hybrid approach to 3d modelling can be achieved, leveraging best of conventional parametric solid modelling & sub-division modelling. 3d data can be exported out to SOLIDWORKS Visualize to give photo-realistic images, direct from CAD with little or no post-processing required.

Sub-D modelling can be great for collaborative sessions with clients - the 3d model can be adjusted easily almost like moulding on screen. This is useful for sharpening up a design vision or creating a suite of derivative products.

"Grade A" surfaces can be exported for tooling and importantly, perfect symmetry can be achieved. In short, Sub-D makes surfacing in a regular parametric modelling package look somewhat primitive. Importantly for clients, it significantly reduces consultancy time whilst delivering exceptional results.

Commentary on examples shown on this page...

The car example shown here is a quick 'n' dirty design study (drawn in-house just for the fun of it). It's an unofficial concept / homage to the Vauxhall Chevette, but with a modern, modular EV platform in mind - pushing wheels out to corners, raised height for skateboard platform etc. The front end is unashamedly boxy - a direct reference to the original Chevette front, but with the bonnet shortened to maximise passenger space. Whilst we're dreaming, I'd be a 20 year old again and the car would have a 200PS motor front & rear.

Back in the real world, Power Surfacing software is amazing for all sorts of design work, making light work of aesthetic moulded parts, even items that aren't traditionally designed in 3d CAD, such as pottery, glassware etc. Making a family of products becomes a cinch, with an expedient approach to re-shape an existing design to quickly create a family of products. The classic vase design shown below can be easily stretched and re-shaped. Weighting is easily added to creased Octagonal long edges - note how fillets are perfectly blended to zero as it morphs back into a round profile top & bottom.

Morphing the cobalt blue vase above into a jug (below) while maintaining the same octagonal blends becomes technically quite simple, thus allowing design time to be spent on refining the shape, rather than fighting with technical execution. Again, note how the octagonal shape blends perfectly to circular at top and bottom.

North Design Works invests in skills & software to ensure the right tools are on hand for client projects.

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