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Software Takes Designers Ove Industrial Design From Concept to Reality

Few of Delcam's customers embrace the company's "concept to reality" philosophy more enthusiastically than Ove Industrial Design Ltd. of Toronto, Ontario, which uses the PowerSHAPE hybrid modelling software throughout its design process.

Ove's clients make products ranging from automobile safety seats and kidney dialysis machines to retail kiosks, mobile surveillance cameras, and miners' safety lamps. Handling such a wide variety of projects in a timely and cost-efficient way requires design tools that are versatile and easy to use.

A design begins at Ove with pencil sketches, aided by computer technology. Designers employ PowerSHAPE's solid modelling capabilities to create a solid model of a new product's internal components and print copies of the model to serve as underlays for sketches. "Then we know that the forms we are sketching are definitely going to hold the internal hardware," said senior industrial designer Charles Goertz. After the client approves preliminary sketches, they are scanned as digital files and used as backgrounds when creating surfaces in PowerSHAPE. "I draw three-dimensional computer curves right on top of my sketches, so I recreate the exact forms the client loved," Mr. Goertz said. Translating preliminary sketches into advanced designs is quick and accurate. "The program's manufacturing-oriented tools enable us to account for plastic thicknesses, bosses for holding hardware, draft, and all other necessary internal features." The detailed PowerSHAPE files facilitate discussions with mouldmakers to confirm a design's manufacturability and cost-effectiveness. Ove uses the same CAD files to create rapid prototypes for final client approval. Mr. Goertz said, "At the end of the design process we send the same files to all our downstream contributors, who use our 3-D data to make their prototypes, tools and parts.

There's no speculation on their part at all. It guarantees us that we get the product that we designed." The Komfort Kruiser, an innovative automobile safety seat designed for children who have outgrown toddler seats, is an Ove project that showcases the capabilities of PowerSHAPE. Ove senior industrial designer Stacey Gay said the client wanted to progress from seats made of cut foam to a formed product with a flowing design that would wrap around the child. Ms. Gay emphasized the convenience of PowerSHAPE's surface creation and editing tools. She said that solid modelling is great for building rough models of internal components. However, she added, "When you want something that's more organic and curvy, then the surfacing side gives you more freedom to shape the model." Using solid modelling alone, without the advantages of surfacing tools on a project like the Komfort Kruiser "would take you much longer."




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02/02/2004, 17:46:52
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