MCAD software produces designs that feature slick geometry, tight arcs, perfectly straight lines, and, of course, stylish, rounded edges. Designers and engineers will often jump out of those MCAD software suites in favor of NURBS modeling programs to add finishing touches like undulations and more flowing lines.
Non-uniform rational basis spline – or NURBS – is a mathematical model used in computer graphics applications for generating and representing curves and surfaces, and designers dig it as it offers flexibility and precision when dealing with both analytic and modeled shapes.
Evolve by solidThinking is a NURBS modeler, yes, but a software package that includes a “feature history” which allows designers to retrace their actions and modify their designs. Created by Altair Engineering, the makers of the Hyperworks simulation software, solidThinking Evolve is aimed at more conceptual design projects.
solidThinking Evolve allows industrial designers to develop forms faster – using either a Windows PC or a Mac – and the recent release of Evolve 2015 is packed with new features to speed the process like a PolyNURBS toolset with Nurbify, cutting edge rendering, and improved features and controls for surface modeling tools.
It includes 2D sketching and 3D extrusion tools, and Evolve also offers an extensive set of NURBS modeling tools ideal for working with splines. A point-control system gives users the ability to easily reshape surfaces and solids by pushing and pulling on points to change a spline’s curvature, and with it, the 3D geometry generated from a spline.
A surface blending tool makes it simple to join together adjacent surfaces and it’s capable of providing appropriate surfaces to preserve the continuity of a given surface.
One feature sure to please designers is the inclusion of a rendering window which features pre-loaded backgrounds, environments, and material representations to apply finishes to a 3D model and then generate a photo-realistic image complete with realistic reflections and shadows.
Evolve is at its best when used with solidThinking Inspire, which is an automatic optimization program to help select the prime shape for a design based on inputs like anticipated loads, stresses, pressures, and a variety of additional inputs.
The company says designers can “do more in one place with Evolve without the added cost or hassle of third-party plugins or tools. Evolve offers ultimate freedom of organic surfacing, parametric solid controls and polygonal modeling all coupled with construction history and state-of-the-art photo-realistic rendering.”
But it’s Evolve’s built-in rendering, and the photo-realistic imaging and animations which it creates directly inside a modeling package, that will draw some kudos from users.
Best of all, you can try Evolve free.
Have you ever used Evolve from solidThinking? Let us know what you thought of the software in the Evolve from solidThinking forum thread on 3DPB.com.