The Story

Solidworks / Modo / Power Surfacing used in making the next Mechanical Winged Project by dante2


Power Surfacing strength lays not only inside Solid Works (SW).  In combination with MODO it the quickest, cleanest, and also least expensive work flow to create a high-end industrial level product. Spanning from product design, to manufacturing, to rendering out stills and animations of the product for marketing.  This is all possible because of nPower's Power Surfacing plug-in for SW.  Paul McCrorey work illustrates the power of this suite of software very well; visit

To realize this workflow, it took a little bit of time. For my work, I have used CNC machines to output large private and public projects for the last ten years.  These projects have sculptural elements that rotate and light up using microprocessors, motors and high powered lights.   In my constant search to find better processes that allow technology to be part of the creative workflow and not a hinderance, I started with SW. As many SW users know, output from SW allowed me 100% of what was sent to the machine to have no errors, or very little comparable to other software.



After several years of working with SW, I realized that all my needs could not be met in a single program.  In SW, regardless of the learning curve, surfacing had limitations.  So I started looking at MODO, a newer SubD modeler that merged with The Foundry (great merger). MODO is a completely different beast but extremely powerful.  SubD modeling has been around forever and has the flexibility needed for animation but not the precision needed for manufacturing.  MODO has a great set of modeling tools that are robust and complex but still manageable to use.  Combine this with MODO's falloffs, action center, the super fast creation of multiple planes of any part of geometry; it allows you ways of creating forms that you might not even think of in SW.
Minus all the impressive technology included in Power Surfacing, the decision to have the software translate the info native in SW is it's true strength. I have worked with Geomagic, which is good for scanning and then cleaning but have always felt like I am trying to catch up to get to a final result.  Power Surfacing really puts me in the drivers seat, allowing me to plan ahead for how the shape gets designed.  The newest and greatest craze of 3D printing and affordable CNC output machines are all about chasing down the magic forumla that generates precise data that allows for great prints or machined objects.  This is where Power Surfacing really is truly amazing.  If you know anything about subD models, the more Quads or polygons with four verts, the better.  But what happens in most workflows?  You go to triangles, .STL file.  Makes no sense.  It is like driving a Formula One race car with a remote control. I state again, I would rather be in the driver's seat.  This allows you to be native in both programs, making your workflow more controlled and easier to edit at any point. You make a clean .obj in Modo that has both curved surfaces and tight edges that then to bring it into SW using power surfacing, is a thing of beauty.  You get a clean solid that still can be manipulated inside SW.  No longer do you have to re-export the file from it's native program.
Power Surfacing understands the program's individual strengths and creates the perfect hand shake between the two that allows both programs to do what they do best. All the while allowing the end user to enjoy the never ending benefits of both the creative and manufacturing worlds