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An Interview with Alex Mazzardo of EVOQE, aka solidThinking

Articolo apparso nel marzo 2007 sul blog di NOVEDGE.

Alex Mazzardo is the Managing Director at EVOQE, the worldwide publisher of the solidThinking product line, a suite of applications for industrial designers (CAID – Computer Aided Industrial Design).

A few days ago EVOQE launched Modeler, a new product, and updated the entire solidThinking line. Taking advantage of the fact that Alex is Italian (like me) and his products are among the most prestigious in our online catalog, I invited Alex to participate in the following interview:

What can you tell us about the new Modeler products?
The new solidThinking Modeler and Modeler XL are the consequence of a market analysis and the identification of a different market compared to the one represented by solidThinking DESIGN or solidThinking VANTAGE users. There are users that are not necessarily interested in a fully integrated environment (modeling, rendering, animation) like the one you you can find in solidThinking DESIGN and solidThinking VANTAGE but they still demand full power. Now they can find all the modeling and analysis tools based on our flagship Construction History at a very aggressive pricing. solidThinking Construction History is a distinctive feature and we decided that all solidThinking versions had to offer it.

Who would be the typical Modeler user?
Product designers and Style Centers, R&D offices. But also Engineering departments interested in completing and enhancing the CAD production environment by improving collaboration between designers and engineers. In general anyone who needs to blend aesthetics and ergonomics with functionality in the form of watches, bottles, jewels, mobile phones, electronic equipment, all of the designed objects that surround us every day.
You can get a more complete idea having a look at some of our customers at our website. You will find lot of different markets: from jewelry and watch design (Bulgari, Panerai, etc.) to automotive (Toyota, Volvo, etc.), from packaging (Masterfoods, Nestlé, etc.) to electronics (Thomson, Nikon, Korg, etc.), from furniture  (Moroso, Tisettanta, etc.) to lighting (Automotive Lighting, Stanley Electric, etc.), from pure product designers to booth builders.

Which products do you consider competing with Modeler, and how is Modeler different?
You know, there are several products that can do some good and even complex modeling.
The distinctive point about solidThinking Modeler is that it really exploits creativity. It’s not just a tool for reproducing shapes. It allows you to evaluate any design alternative almost in real time. We are excited when our customer report us that they could invent a new product thanks to the possibility to experiment with shapes. solidThinking Construction History is not just an add-on. It’s built on a kernel level. It’s a fluidly interactive multi-level History which incorporates everything from the point level up to entire complex assemblies, and it exponentially accelerates creativity when modeling. It allows you to manipulate both the parameters and points of all objects freely at any time. (If you have not yet done it, I suggest you to participate to a “solidThinking LIVE” class to fully understand what I mean.)

Can you tell us about the new plug-ins? Do you have plan to add more of them?
Sure. The solidThinking PDK (Plug-ins Development Kit) allows users and software developers to develop modeling, rendering and I/O plug-ins. We already have plug-ins for PhotoRealistic RenderMan and for Maxwell Render but others are on the way, including Mental Ray.

Any specific news for the Mac users?
I am sure Mac users will appreciate the fine tuning of solidThinking Release 7.5 user interface.
More in general (Win and Mac) I can tell you that part of our development team is working on the next generation of solidThinking (version 8) since almost two years. The 8 will be our most important release ever in terms of innovation, the result of the last seven years of development in the field of history-based. Maybe we can talk about it another time.

I would like to thank Alex Mazzardo for taking the time to speak with me today. All the products mentioned in the interview are available online from Novedge website. If anybody has a question for Alex or for Novedge, just leave a comment below, and we will be glad to answer.

Franco Folini

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