aesthetica Feature

aesthetica Puts the Stylist and the Manufacturing Engineer on the Same Page

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Dan Stanwick, March 1, 2007

Icona (Manchester, UK) has developed aesthetica, a software system which establishes a common frame of reference around which these two parties can analyse the manufacturing variation and its effect on the aesthetic quality of the product, both using their own skills-set, but in a manner which is understandable and digestible to both.

How does aesthetica work?

It uses a photorealistic 3D model of the product, and then allows both user groups to assign the manufacturing variance and evaluate the effects of that on the aesthetics of the product. In an automotive context, this is referred to as the Gap and Flush between the diverse panels, sub-assemblies and such, on the exterior and interior of the car.

The starting point is a digital product model. Icona has done a lot of work in the last few releases to improve the data translation tools, so that in addition to the standard IGES and STEP formats, you can now also import from CATIA V5 using Icon's plug-in for the CATIA V5 environment, and Unigraphics/I-deas/NX using the JT format.

The next step depends on where your responsibilities lie -- in manufacturing or design.

Once both workflows are complete, the result is a single digital model based on the nominal design data, which contains a photorealistic representation of the product, alongside a wealth of information about how that product and its constituent part will behave. The end result is a digital representation of a product which—and this is unique—holds information about how that product and its constituent parts will vary during the manufacturing and assembly process and where the key points for measurement and inspection are.


  • The Benefits

  • Bringing Convergence to Aesthetics

The full article is available for a fee at CADCAMNet