Create the Impossible with 3D Pattern Shape Creator

Next level shapes require next level technology. With the 3D Pattern Shape Creator role on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, you can explore and create next level shapes directly in your browser on your desktop or mobile device. The user interface offers easy functionality that enables you to create some of the most epic and complicated shapes possible, in the most epically uncomplicated way.

Here’s everything you need to know about 3D Pattern Shape Creator.

What Can You Do With It?

Here are some examples of geometry created using 3D Pattern Shape Creator. You will clearly notice the common themes of intricacy and complexity. The results will leave even the most experienced SOLIDWORKS Experts speechless. Even a veteran Elite Application Engineer will be absolutely blown away by not just the geometry but the ease of use. What would otherwise take several painfully tedious days—or even weeks—can be easily done in a matter of minutes.

What’s It All About?

3D Pattern Shape Creator is a tool that enables you to explore and create next level patterns and shapes. But let’s go beyond the official marketing terminology to explore what that really means. To find the answer, we’ll break down both those words to take a deeper look at how you can explore and create amazing shapes with 3D Pattern Shape Creator.

  1. Explore

In terms of 3D Pattern Shape Creator, when we say “explore” we are referring to its functionality, which enables you to easily play with the shapes in a way that has more of a free-form or experimental feel. 3D Pattern Shape Creators offers an environment where you can be free from the constraints, limitations and inhibition of parameters you are probably used to dealing with when it comes to traditional parametric modeling applications such as SOLIDWORKS.

In this environment, you don’t have to define shapes directly. In 3D Pattern Shape Creator, you have the flexibility (read: the ability) to define shapes indirectly in various ways. This means you can quickly create some incredibly complex shapes—which brings us to the second term: create.

  1. Create

With 3D Pattern Shape Creator, the impossible becomes possible. This isn’t hyperbole. Shapes that are impossible to create using traditional modeling practices with a tool like SOLIWDORKS are easy to create with 3D Pattern Shape Creator.

3D Pattern Shape Creator not only offers additional features and functions, it also offers a completely different method for geometry creation. There’s a lot of familiar terms and tools, such as split, thicken or extrude but you can also extend the functionality to some new tools like Voronoi and user operators, all within a completely different interface.

As you can see in the image above, on one hand there is the traditional graphical user interface such as you are accustomed to with SOLIDWORKS or other 3DEXPERIENCE applications. But on the other hand, there is an additional graphical interface, like a block diagram, for visual scripting. This graphical interface is the engine that drives all the magic. The best way to work is with a combination of the two—using both the graphical and scripting interfaces.

How Does it Work?

Using the graphical visual scripting interface, you can easily explore and create these complex shapes and patterns. It is simple to drag and drop commands to the interface and connect them, creating a web of elegance but not complexity. Everything you do in the scripting interface instantly generates in the graphical modeling interface, in real time. This gives you the ability to play with the geometry and continually tweak it to get exactly what you want.

What Is a Voronoi Diagram?

Any article about 3D Pattern Shape Creator must explain Voronoi diagrams. Named after Russian mathematician Georgy Voronoy, the Voronoi diagram it is the keystone of the 2D Pattern Shape Creator. It is a most useful feature and enables the ease of use.

When we said that using 3D Pattern Shape Creator enables you to create things that are perhaps impossible or just extremely painful or tedious, we said it with the Voronoi function in mind. The Voronoi function allows you to easily break up the shape and define the instances for the pattern. Easily breaking up the geometry in an algorithmic or organic way in this manner is just not practical or possible in an application like SOLIDWORKS.

What Is 3D Pattern Shape Creator and How Do I Get It?

3D Pattern Shape Creator is a piece of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. It seems that nowadays, all roads of exciting new technology from Dassault Systèmes lead to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. If you haven’t already, I recommend you do yourself a favor and look at all the amazing technology available there.

How best to get this functionality? Since it’s on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform, we need to explain roles. With the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, you will need to shift your mindset to roles rather than applications. 3D Pattern Shape Creator is a role that gives you access to the application to generate complex variable patterns.

What App Do I Need?

The app needed to create these shapes is xGenerative Design, affectionately known by its trigram XGG. This is actually the only app that comes with the 3D Pattern Shape Creator role. For the purposes of this article and when talking to a reseller, you can use these names interchangeably for they mean pretty much the same thing.

Introducing xGenerative Desisgn (XGG)

When it comes to creating these amazing shapes, xGenerative Design is what you want. To get it, you need to have the 3D Pattern Shape Creator role on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform. All the images in this article were taken using xGenerative Design. The “X” in the name means it is browser based. Because it’s not installed on the local computer, it also means that you can use it on your phone or tablet. It works on any modern browser, such as Chrome or Edge.

It’s a little mind-blowing. Imagine easily creating all these crazy shapes while comfortably sitting on the beach or flying on a plane—not tethered to your workstation. That’s the true power of the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform: design anything, on any device.

For Complex Shapes and Patterns, What Options are There?

When you want to create complex shapes, you have a few choices available in the Dassault Systèmes portfolio, so let’s recap these options:

  1. SOLIDWORKS Desktop – SOLIDWORKS Surfacing: B-rep modeling

Nothing new here. Of course, you can continue to use surface modeling just like we’ve done since 1995 and still model complex shapes with SOLIDWORKS Surfacing.

  1. 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, xShape: sub-d modeling

Introduced a few years ago on the 3DEXPERIENCE Platform, with x-Shape you can leverage sub-divisional modeling. Think of it like working with clay. You can push or pull to form the shape you want.

  1. xGenerative Design from 3D Pattern Shape Creator

Above are three choices for creating complex shapes and patterns. The last one is truly amazing and offers a mind-blowing combination of power and ease—not just making the impossible possible but also making the impractical, practical.

Don’t believe it? Take a look at the perforated sheet metal plate in the image below.

This is a model created in SOLIDWORKS which has over 40,000 holes cut in it. Each hole is positioned to match a pixel from an image to create the shape. The gradient was created by varying the size of the holes. Try as you might, you will not be able to do this with SOLIDWORKS. But with xGenerative Design, it’s not just possible, it’s easy!

Learn more about 3DEXPERIENCE with the ebook Developing Better Products in the Cloud.

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