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In this interview about GESTEL's solidThinking 5.1 for Macintosh, architosh editor, Anthony Frausto-Robledo, talks to Alessandro (Alex) Mazzardo of EVOQE s.r.l., the publisher/distributor of solidThinking, about Industrial Design and how solidThinking 5.1 for Mac servers this market.

Industrial Design on the Macintosh

AFR. Recently at Architosh we have been getting lots of interest in CAD and 3D applications for industrial designers and product design. Is solidThinking for Mac directed at this audience?

Alex. Definitely!

solidThinking is a professional CAID (Computer Aided Industrial Design) software...that is, software developed to meet the specific needs of industrial designers and style centers.

Industrial designers rely on CAID products like solidThinking to blend aesthetics and ergonomics with functionality in the form of cars, watches, bottles, jewels, mobile phones, product packaging--all of the designed objects that surround us every day. This is evident if you look at a partial list of our customers. You will find almost any kind of manufacturing industry.

AFR. How is solidThinking different from other rival products, such as Cobalt by Ashlar Vellum?

Alex. I am not going to talk of one in particular but I can mention some of our compelling advantages:

First off, we offer State-of-the-art NURBS modeling as well as polygonal modeling.

Also, although solidThinking is a professional application, user interface and workflow contribute to make it accessible to creative users. solidThinking does not require a dedicated operator like other competitors.

Full support of OpenGL graphics libraries grants the highest interactivity during any modeling phase.

Secondly, our Construction History is one of today's most reliable on the entire market and it is one of the key reasons for our success. Construction History makes a great difference for designers. With solidThinking they can create more design alternatives and even invent shapes they had not imagined before experimenting with solidThinking. This is what a lot of our customers report to us. solidThinking reflects a designer's changes to form or surface qualities instantly. No other tool offers comparable flexibility.

Add that solidThinking offers the most advanced modeling tools and support of all industry leading rendering techniques (hidden line, scan-line, ray tracing, Radiosity) and you have a market-leading application.

Last but not least: we are available on both Windows and Macintosh, and this has been proven to be very important to us.

AFR. Is solidThinking a true Mac OS X app? Does it take advantage of the Apple OpenGL and Aqua API's?

Alex. Yes, it is. Mac OS X is a great operating system, stable, reliable, with a beautiful UI and a high degree of OpenGL integration. solidThinking takes advantage from that being a native Mach-O application fully integrated with Aqua and OpenGL. We did not recompile our OS 9 source code...we created a whole new application, more stable and more integrated with OS X.

AFR. What rendering engine is inside solidThinking? Do you use LightWorks? And if so do you take advantage of multiple processors for rendering?

Alex. At the moment I would rather not talk about this because of current development work.

AFR. Where is most of your solidThinking user base?

Alex. Europe and the Far East...but also the US market is now ready for solidThinking. We now have VAR's (value-added resellers) and Authorized Training Specialists and many others will follow soon. We are going to establish a direct presence in the USA very soon.

Most of our customers are Industrial Designers and Manufacturing Industries. But many others are in Illustration, Advertising and Architecture.

AFR. Where are you taking solidThinking in the future? Can you outline some directions you are working on?

Alex. Our main objective--and solidThinking VANTAGE is our first step in this direction--is the development of an innovative solution which mixes CAD and CAID features. We will then be able to offer the user what they want: accuracy and precision of CAD and flexibility/productivity of CAID all in one. Think of engineers and designers using the same tool!

AFR. Gestel used to make other 3D products. Do you have any other plans to bring those products to Mac OS X too? What will happen to Tilery?

Alex. Yes, we plan to make them available as plug-ins for solidThinking. We will soon start to port them to Mac OS X.

AFR. Thanks Alex. It was great to hear about your products and your future.

Alex: Sure. Thanks for the time.

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