Wheelguy if you have questioned me about my experience with StudioTools I should say I have worked with it since version 9 and currently I have 13.0.2 in my toolbox, enough to be considered as an experienced user I think.I also have used Maya extensively since version 4. But for the last couple of jobs I hardly used STs as I am currently using Imageware and NX from UGS and Catia and they are not new for me too. I don't want to set the minds to what is the best.Users are different. But I can recommend STs for beginners as it can help them learn the basics of constructing quality curves and surfaces which are applicable in other applications. Only time and experience will tell you what is the best and for whom. Sorry if you didn't mean me at all.
I've been using Alias/Maya for the past 6 years, where-as I have been a certified draftsman and PE for the past 10... To state that openly means that I've been using Catia and Pro/E for 14ish years, and used AutoCad since high school, some 18 years ago (release 10). I have been using Inventor since "Mustang" where I was on the beta team (1998). My experience with SolidWorks has been that of the past 6 years.
I feel, in my collective experience, that unless CAD data is required from your operation, you would not only be spending too much money, but also getting too much functionality for what you need if Catia was your package.
.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. "I couldn't find the sports car of my dreams, so I built it myself." - Dr. Ferry Porsche
Audacity, Alright that is good you are that experienced in this field, though conclusions and approaches are not necessarily the same, base on our experiences and jobs, clients, goals, needs, etc. There are clearly big deferences between a stylist and a mechanical engineering designer. Stylist should be creative, can produce styling theme but they are not necessarily engineers. A mechanical engineering designer can be a stylist though(otherwise needs to hire one) and supply his services' end user(the manufacturer) with useable data(a full assembly of a CAD model for example) and drawings that can be used for manufacturing (by CNC machines, or for mold making, tooling, etc). As what I experienced, whether the design has been a fiber-glass body car, a domestic vacuum cleaner, or a home servant robot, the manufacturer has been looking for a full assembly of the product in their CAD/CAM software (Catia or NX and I-DEAS as for high-end or Solidworks, Inventor, etc in the mid-range) or in any format which could be read and used by their systems rather than a full model of Alias(STs). Surface modelers are tools being used as part of the total modeling process. Again depends on what is your definition of design really that you can realize what part of the total design process you are and what role you have, a stylist, an engineer or both or something else.
No I was not singling you out. I was just curious why there is such a strong belief that Alias is so much better than NX, Catia, etc. for Class A surfacing. I've used them all, and sorry, I just don't see the advantage for Alias in terms of surfacing ONLY. What I tried in Alias could be done in NX, CATIA, etc. and to boot, I had a solid model in the end.
It appears at times that NX and the like don't get their fair shake on this forum and I feel it's very misleading for those that might be lacking the experience some of us have.....more or less what you said in your last post. The best software will depend on various things, not just the ability to model fancy surfaces.
Wheelguy That is because if the scope of the work to be done by a designer, artist or a modeler is providing styling themes, a general visualization of a concept or quality surfaces only, then StudioTools is by far easier for most and enough to do the job. Even though the technical surfacing is not easy and depends on experience of the user the Catia or NX and the like are not easy for novice users and faint-hearted considering price and learning curve. If your scope of work goes beyond those mentioned then using a CAD/CAM program would be inevitable whether you use it in conjunction with a third party surface modeler or using its surfacing tools if it has any.
I understand the scope of a stylist/designer's work....but I honestly feel those exact same tasks can be completed just as efficiently in a CAD software versus Alias. Granted, the actual sketching/drawing/painting (with tablet) is missing from all CAD softwares, but I wasn't taking that into consideration....only surfacing.
Price-wise, Alias is still pretty steep compared to NX. Last I checked, Surface Studio was over $40,000 and AutoStudio was over $50,000. NX Advanced Designer with a Shape Studio license costs UNDER $35,000 and possibly under $30,000 by now (I can't remember the exact price to add Shape Studio). That includes almost every translator available, and all modeling (solid and freeform), drafting, and basic assemblies. That will enable a user to do all the Class A surfacing in NX just as easily as in Alias. You could get a cheaper bundle if you wanted something to use just for surfacing. Catia is WAY over priced to begin with, so I can see why people might balk at that choice.
Maybe it's just the lack of experience in using Alias. But I still think the interface is much more cumbersome than NX or Catia's.....we never have to touch the keyboard other than to enter numerical values or ESC out of an inadvertent command choice.
I just find the favortism very interesting from time to time.