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Freeform Surfacing for SolidWorks

nPower Software (San Diego, CA), a division of IntegrityWare, Inc., has announced the release of Power Surfacing, an industrial design add-in product for SolidWorks 3D MCAD software that is said to improve the design process for modeling complex organic, freeform “Class A” surfaces in SolidWorks. Power Surfacing, when combined with SolidWorks parametric design solution, says the company, provides SolidWorks users with “a ground-breaking industrial design toolkit.”

nPower Software
An industrial design add-in toolkit, Power Surfacing from nPower Software works inside of SolidWorks. Image courtesy of nPower Software.

Power Surfacing, says nPower, unites the disparate modeling paradigms of Sub-D (subdivision surface) modeling and NURBS-based CAD modeling. Sub-D modeling excels at producing and modifying complex, freeform organic shapes with smooth surfaces, explains the company, while NURBS modeling is good at combining shapes using Boolean and feature operations, as well as refining shapes with operations like filleting, blending, and face editing. Being able to use both modeling paradigms together in the modeling process provides huge productivity advantages in both the design and revision processes, says the company.

nPower Software
Power Surfacing, says nPower Software, enables Sub-D modeling within SolidWorks. Image courtesy of nPower Software.

Creating and manipulating Power Surfacing parts is described as being as simple as modeling with clay. Power Surfacing, the company explains further, allows great flexibility and productivity in designing difficult surfaces because it enables users to push and pull on the faces, edges, or vertices of a part. Shapes are created as single unified objects that can be modified easily without pulling apart the resulting NURBS surfaces.

nPower Software
Screen shot from a Sub-D to NURBS chess piece tutorial produced by nPower Software. Image courtesy of nPower Software.

nPower says that users create their initial Power Surfacing objects inside of SolidWorks using a sketch as a reference. The company adds further that the users then design their shape with Power Surfacing tools inside of the SolidWorks environment. Once a user converts a Power Surfacing design into a native SolidWorks part, their Sub-D models are treated as if they had been created with traditional SolidWorks tools, according to nPower. This attribute also means that users can apply such SolidWorks features as holes, bosses, fillets, and shells to the part as if it had been modeled using SolidWorks.

nPower Software
A game controller modeled with Power Surfacing and SolidWorks. Image courtesy of nPower Software.

After applying SolidWorks features, Power Surfacing users can return to the original Sub-D form and modify the surface shape and downstream features will be reapplied. Additionally, the solution can quickly and accurately convert virtually any Sub-D model (even Sub-D models that have some triangles) into the precise NURBS representation that is standard for SolidWorks parts, according to the company. Power Surfacing can also be used to import Sub-D models from products such as Maya, Modo, 3DS Max, Z-Brush, and Blender.

nPower Software
Power Surfacing, says nPower Software, improves the design process for modeling complex organic, freeform “Class A” surfaces in SolidWorks. Image courtesy of nPower Software.

Power Surfacing costs $1,495 and is available directly from the developer or its certified resellers. For more information on Power Surfacing, visit nPower Software.

Watch a getting started with Power Surfacing video.

Download the Power Surfacing brochure.

Watch an animation of a game controller.

Watch an animation of a game controller build.

Check out some Flash tutorials.

Watch a Sub-D to NURBS chess piece tutorial.

Sign up for a demo of the Power Surfacing plug-in for SolidWorks.

See why DE’s editors selected Power Surfacing as their Pick of the Week.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.

About Anthony J. Lockwood

Anthony J. Lockwood is Desktop Engineering's Editor-at-Large. Contact him via de-editors@deskeng.com.