Cobalt Case Study: Helping Move Designers Towards Diplomas

Nelson Product Design & Technology Textbook

A Cobalt Case Study: Moving Designers Towards Diplomas

Here at Cobalt, we believe design should improve the world we live in. We do this in many ways; sustainable practices, socially responsible design, and using our technical know-how to solve practical problems.

We also believe that educating future generations to be design-aware is crucial to a better tomorrow. With this in mind, we were thrilled to be asked to contribute to the principal VCE text book on product design & technology.

For those outside of Victoria (or even outside of Australia), VCE (Victorian Certificate of Education) is the certificate which students receive on completion of their secondary education. Year 11 and 12 students must pass their VCE classes to receive their final scores for their secondary education- which is where textbooks become especially important.

The textbook (Nelson Product Design and Technology, for VCE units 1-4, 4th Edition) was written by Jill Livett and Jacinta O’Leary and published for the start of the 2018 academic year. The book is a comprehensive collection of information and exercises for VCE students studying Product Design, covering topics such as design thinking, sustainable design, materials and the design process. On top of this, the book also features a case study on Cobalt Design.

Cobalt’s contribution includes the importance of teamwork, design briefs, discovering user needs, and transitioning from design through to engineering and production. Whilst these are all areas discussed elsewhere in the textbook, Cobalt’s 20 years of real world experience provided tangible examples to all these concepts.

The textbook also includes a specific look at the design process Cobalt used to design the latest KeepCup- the KeepCup Brew, describing how it progressed from initial sketches to a final glass and cork product. This case-study covers more detailed elements such as divergent thinking, iterative prototyping and even the thought process behind the specific materials used in the product, to give students insights to inspire and accelerate their studies.

Cobalt Principal Steve Martinuzzo was also asked about his personal experiences including what he liked about designing products. “I like working as part of a team, and seeing our staff grow and be their best” he said, “I get real satisfaction in finding a new approach that makes an everyday product or process a little easier- or even more enjoyable- to use”

The textbook is now the prescribed text book for VCE Product Design & Technology classes, and is available for purchase for upcoming students- or for anyone with a keen interest in the fascinating world of design.

Nelson Product Design & Technology VCE Units 1-4 4th Edition is published by Cengage Learning Australia

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New Cobalt Offices CGI Render

Cobalt Studio v3

Since earlier this year Cobalt has been implementing an update to our studio level. The new fit-out and upgrade will improve team layout and communications as well as incorporating new facilities and technologies. Once finished it will be the biggest upgrade to our facilities since moving into our building in 2005.

Whilst we are well versed to being the designer, being both designer AND client at the same time was a new experience. But with great input from the end-users (our own team), numerous mock-ups, CAD models and CGIs we have ended up with a fantastic outcome. The renovation is still in progress as we need to do the works around ongoing projects, with the final Stage 2 being planned for completion during the Christmas and January 2015 period.

Key elements of the design include:

  • Integrated AV facilities in the conference room
  • Desks arranged in islands to increase project team interactions
  • All workstations upgraded to twin screens mounted on Zgo monitor arms
  • Dedicated and flexible ProjectSpace featuring pin-up wall, and a secondary AV projector for interactive project team meetings. This area will have mobile storage plinths and drawing boards to allow us to create extra large areas for occasional events, including industry functions and student lectures.
  • New large format Wacom tablet monitors for digital sketching, bring total of these to 7
  • Relocation of our 2 rapid prototyping 3D printers
  • Mezzanine storage space for accessible project and sample archiving
  • New first floor reception area, and semi-partitioned offices for Principals.

The other objective of course was that the new office had to feel and look right for us. A studio is a place where spontaneous creativity as well as detailed and focussed analysis has to co-exist every day. Our team end up spending a huge part of their waking hours in this place, so we think getting this right is worth every effort it takes.

We look forward to having you drop in to see the new fit-out, especially when it is fully completed in the new year. In the meantime, here is a preview of CG-images created by Graeme Marshall, one of our Design team members.


Design Integration for Business

Design Integration for Business

Design to Business (D2B) Integration is a structured audit, planning and mentoring programme which helps companies build design into their business activities in order to become more innovative and achieve sustained competitiveness and growth, especially through export opportunities.

The programme does this by allowing participating firms to build their own capabilities in design management, making design central and integrated within their business. Cobalt was one of the first Australian consultancies involved in the programme, with Managing Director Steve Martinuzzo being an Auditor since it was first piloted in Victoria in 2011.

D2B Integration is yet another successful New Zealand export, that Australians are making their own. It originated from the highly successful ‘Better by Design’ programme developed over 10 years ago by a small group of senior Kiwi design and business practitioners who decided business needed more support in understanding how to use design. Since then the programme has been tuned and run several times in Australia at both state and Commonwealth levels.

Straight from the CEO’s mouth

Other similar programmes, such as Britain’s Design Leadership Programme also focus on making design an integral part of business and supercharging their drive for innovation and user centred offerings. Like these, most of the NZ and Australian companies who have participated in the programme have benefited, and some have had truly astonishing successes. Consequently the CEOs of these organisations end up becoming the biggest advocates of the programme, and champion design thinking throughout their organisations. Some of these stories include:

Phil & Teds: Baby Buggies, NZ. CEO Campbell Gower credits the programme for providing clarity that allowed them to align their brand and product design. The result: a 10-fold increase in turnover in less than 5yrs.

Centor: Windows and Door Systems, Qld. After Nigel Spork undertook the D2B programme (called Ulysses in Qld) he transformed his financially crippled family business into a booming global leader by embracing new product development and truly understanding the end user of their products. They have since been recognised by multiple business and product awards and launching its products in the US and UK to international acclaim.

Branach Ladders: Specialised Ladders, Victoria. CEO Mike Walsh credits the programme’s audit and on-going mentoring with committing the company to serious technical research and energising company with a vision of what they could become.

According to Steve Martinuzzo, the audit and plan phases include a series of interviews with the client’s senior management and key personnel over four days. The audit team consists of three highly experienced professionals; a business analyst, a product designer and a brand designer. The process is not for the faint hearted with participants challenged to have their culture, strategy, product, process and brand aligned as well as bullishly aimed at being the best in the world in the business they choose to operate.

The result is a plan to address and build on the key issues, challenges and opportunities from which the company can build from. To support and build capabilities with the key people within the organisation, the programme offers 12 months of mentoring where regular input from an appointed mentor and structured workshops guide the company toward truly embedding new thinking and capabilities within their own team and processes.

Firms which qualify for the Victorian funded programme receive audit and mentoring services valued at approximately $80,000, whilst only investing $9,000.

“Unlike other programmes I’ve seen, D2B works by embedding a strong design philosophy throughout the entire company, starting with its senior management team. It’s not about designers telling them what to do, it’s about the business building their own capabilities themselves” says Steve. “Once positive results of this integrated approach start to be realised the internal appetite for innovation and user-centred products really flourish. For companies with courage, D2B can be the kickstart they need to transform their focus to be world’s best in their chosen space”.

For more information or to apply for the D2B Integration programme contact:

Leonard Carrillo
Design to Business Program Manager
leonard@equipdesign.com.au


Drawing for IP

Drawing for IP

Design Guide: IP Drawings

What are IP Protection Design Drawings?

Patent and design drawings are a primary means of communicating a protectable design. Registering product designs accurately is vital for ongoing protection of any unique or novel ideas intended for industrial and commercial use. Design drawings are registered through Intellectual Property Australia, and while the drawings have similarities to engineering drawings, a number of conventions must be adhered to when creating patent and design registration drawings.

Do I need to register?

Firstly, you must consider whether registering your design is appropriate for a product and secondly, if it is correctly presented. Intellectual Property Australia defines a design as, “…the features of a shape, configuration, pattern or ornamentation which gives a product unique appearance, and must be new and distinctive.”

Despite Australia not being as specific as the US Patent’s office, there are still strict criteria and drawing conventions to follow. We recommend producing a first draft of drawings based on functionality as quickly as possible and then changing the design as per the patent attorney’s request. As such, you should always check with the client and patent attorney to see if what you have provided is suitable and adjust accordingly.

Some tips and guidelines

Aside from the above, general rules for design registration drawings include:

  • Orthographic views (of all and only faces needed to convey essential elements)

  • Perspective view/s
  • It should sufficiently describe the finished product shape.
  • It needs to be halfway between an engineering drawing and a ‘Bunnings’ style line drawing.
  • It must illustrate product features that move in alternate positions (such as handles) in its most descriptive mode.
  • All dimensions, centrelines, and ‘unnecessary’ tangent lines should be removed.
  • Scale between orthographic views should be consistent, but there is no need to keep to regular or ISO drawing scales. Instead the views should be scaled and arranged to comfortably fit on either an A4 or A3 page (in either landscape or portrait).
  • Line weight should be thin enough to see detail but thick enough that it can’t be reproduced. We recommend 0.5 point.
  • If you are including a mating part or product this should be shown in dotted line.

In terms of our process, we would normally:

  1. Produce a drawing with chosen views from our 3D CAD model (take care to set tangent lines appropriately to avoid excessive editing later).
  2. Save this as a DXF and import it into Adobe Illustrator.
  3. Edit these in a vector-graphics application like Adobe Illustrator to remove unwanted lines, change line weight etc. This is the most time consuming step.
  4. Save as a PDF to send to client/patent attorney.
  5. Check details and views are suitable. If there are additional products/drawings to produce only do these after this format is confirmed.
You can find out more about patent and design registration here.


Hibermate Kickstarter thumbnail

Hibermate Kickstarted

Kickstarted: Hibermate smashes targets

Two years ago Cobalt’s NewsFlash reported on a new model to fund creative projects – crowd funding and social product development. Today, KickStarter and Pozible, among others, have become almost mainstream – at least within the product development world that is.

A recent product that Cobalt has designed for our client, Hibermate Pty Ltd has successfully listed on KickStarter. Actually, ‘successfully’ may be selling it short. Smashed might be a better descriptor as within 17 hours and 3 minutes the project had reached its US$10,000 funding target and within 2 days they had doubled it.

Within its 30-day fundraising period, the campaign has raised over $110,000, more than ten times its funding goal. The campaign now has a substantial investment amount to complete development and initial production.
For those that are new or hazy about crowd funding, here is an overview of the concept.

  • Crowd funding is based on the idea of inviting a lot of people to each contribute a little to generate a usable amount of funding and sales to launch new projects.
  • People with a suitable product idea (‘developers’ such as inventors, designers, entrepreneurs etc.) list their product on one of any number of crowd funding websites (KickStarter (US), Pozible (Australia) and CrowdCube (UK) with more sites still emerging).
  • Each site has its own rules (for example you need to have a US-addressed representative or entity to list on KickStarter). The sites make their money by taking a percentage (about 10%) of contributions. Crowd funding is a nice business model for them too.
  • The websites attract millions of everyday people worldwide, as they attract people looking for creative and new ideas. People who each pledge relatively small amounts (‘contributors’) receive a reward as below.
  • Developers are required to define their funding goal ($) and a rewards schedule based on tiered contributions from a couple of dollars through to larger amounts (sometimes up to several thousand dollars).

And some more tips:
  • Crowd funding is not risk or cost free. Before being ready to list on a crowd funding website, a product developer needs to put in a fair amount of effort and investment themselves. This includes protecting the intellectual property (IP) of the idea, and then undertaking initial design development to a level that clearly demonstrates and communicates the idea.

  • Crowd funding is not for shrinking violets as you’ll need to sell yourself as well as your idea online to a whole wide world of backers. You’ll also need to make and submit a video description of the idea and the successful projects usually have good videos.
  • Ensure the idea appeals to the kinds of people that trawl crowd funding websites. That is, quirky technology, lifestyle or homewares products are good. Worthy but obscure products are not. Alternatively, truly altruistic products, i.e. products that help third-world communities, could also do well.
  • Also ensure the product is of a value that suits being provided (‘pre-sold’) as a reward for contributions.
  • Have strong IP protection in place. IP protection, especially across multiple countries, requires good legal advice, which we all know is never cheap.
  • Get professional industrial design done on the idea to turn it into a feasible and desirable product. As a minimum the product idea needs to be represented by still CG images. Better yet are CG animations and a working prototype.

In summary, crowd funding isn’t for all and has some real drawbacks. But it has emerged as an exciting and liberating alternative of bringing about new products and designs and that can’t be a bad thing.

For more information on Hibermate:
www.hibermate.com

Crowd sourcing sites:
www.kickstarter.com
www.pozible.com.au
www.crowdcube.com
www.quirky.com


We Survey What Our Clients Really Think

Cobalt Client Survey

Client Survey

Cobalt has a client centric philosophy that recognises the importance of understanding our client’s needs in order to develop great products that create value for manufacturers and users alike.

One element of Cobalt’s client focused philosophy has been our adoption of the Net Promoter Score (NPS). The NPS is a customer loyalty metric that, when deployed diligently and regularly, heightens our internal focus on our clients’ needs and provides candid feedback.

Net Promoter Score TM

The NPS is a single numeric metric that simply but powerfully measures an organisation’s customer satisfaction and loyalty levels. NPS advocates cite compelling evidence that indicates good NPS figures are directly linked to future company performance. It is used in a range of small and large companies; some such as General Electric even use it to determine executive salaries.
NPS is a measure of ‘promoters’ (people who are likely to recommend an organisation to someone else) minus detractors (people unlikely to recommend, or even warn against using an organisation). People who are neither extreme are ignored in the scale. As extremes, NPS can be as high as 100 (everybody is a promoter) to as low as -100 (everybody is a detractor). An NPS that is positive (i.e. higher than zero) is felt to be acceptable, and an NPS of over 50 is excellent.

Cobalt – Customer Survey

Cobalt has implemented a customer survey initiative (initially fifty recipients) to gain insight from existing and past client contacts, as well as a mix of prospective clients and other influential industry figures (i.e. government, universities). Survey recipients were invited to anonymously complete the survey which consisted of 2 simple questions:

• Would you recommend Cobalt
• List the first three words that come to mind when thinking of Cobalt.

In addition, most people also left an optional comment. Client organisations represented the range of companies we work with, including multinational corporates and large private companies, to small start-ups and individual inventors. The survey data was used to generate Cobalt’s NPS.

Results

From the 31 responses received, 22 answered ‘Extremely or Highly Likely’ to recommend Cobalt to a colleague, business associate or friend, and 2 answered ‘Moderately Likely’ or below. The rest answered ‘Very Likely or Likely’. Cobalt’s NPS result of 65 puts us slightly below Apple, but ahead of esteemed brands such as BMW and Sony, and way ahead of telcos and banks which are deep in negative territory. In summary, a pleasing first result and one that we are keen to monitor and further improve upon.

Feedback

One of the most pleasing outcomes of the initial survey initiative has been the overwhelmingly positive comments made in the survey’s optional feedback field. These were made anonymously so we can’t attribute most, although some clients have been kind enough to agree to nominate their comments as below.

We work with you guys by choice. I considered using another firm for the current work, but you guys got it for all the right reasons”
Bio-Rad (USA)

A well run team of very creative designers”
Camatic Seating

As well as being highly creative, the team is always very professional, will pull out all the stops to meet commitments, and is friendly and very easy to work with”
Agilent Technologies

Great team. Great ideas. Love the ‘no problem, no issue, can do’ attitude from all team members”
The Fitness Generation

Like the people, like the vibe”
Applidyne

The whole team at Cobalt were a pleasure to deal with. To deal with such likeminded people was very rewarding”
Novas Architectural

More feedback

Other anomonyous feedback we received includes:

  • You pay for what you get and Cobalt do great things. Cobalt is a one stop shop that works passionately with customers producing high end material.
  • Professional and dedicated to industrial design practice at the highest level.
  • Professional outfit – great customer response.
    Our investment in using them has been paid for ten-fold through their experience and insights.
  • I had an incredible experience with Cobalt, where they put the time and effort in for someone that needed a bit of help, and they were happy to accommodate, with a smile.
  • Great team that has survived the test of time and impossible client demands.

TM The Net Promoter Score is a registered trademark of Fred Reichheld, Bain & Company, and Satmetrix.


Animation: Emotional Communication

Animation Emotional Communication

Animation: Emotional Communication

If a picture tells a thousand words, can a moving one tell a million? Until recently CGIs (computer generated images) were the most potent way of visually communicating products that don’t yet exist. But the future in communicating design ideas adds motion to images to create CG animations.

Over the last two years, Cobalt has expanded our in-house expertise and equipment to be able to create compelling CG animations. Essentially our CG team use the same process, tools and software as motion picture producers like Pixar or large animation specialists creating advertising and entertainment material. Unlike them, we focus on making the product the hero and our lead character. That is, products that are either newly developed by us or based on our client’s existing products.

A common example of the type of animation Cobalt produce is the pre-flight airline safety videos which increasingly use CG animation rather than videos of real models in planes.

CG animations go beyond a snapshot of what something looks like; they can tell a product’s own story. Done well, they can emotionally engage with viewers through the narrative of the unfolding story being told.

Applications

Although sales and marketing applications are the most obvious use of CG animations, the full list includes:
  • Marketing (website, tradeshows, e-brochures)
  • Pre-Marketing (attracting investor funding or commercial interest)
  • Training (especially relevant for training operators to use complex equipment or devices)
  • User instructions (watched over the web, or a DVD supplied with the product)
  • Service manuals or manufacturing assembly work instructions (used in manufacturing or by technicians to rapidly communicate assembly etc.)

CG animations cut across language, culture and mechanical understanding. Unlike reading a technical drawing, viewers won’t ever misinterpret the form or detail of a moving 3D image. And unlike live-footage videos, CG animations also allow the impossible to be shown as easily as the obvious. For example, parts can become translucent, or move, transform or appear in ways they never could in real life. CG animations are about creating a pure story (narrative) in which the product is the leading character.

Our Process

After understanding the purpose and context, Cobalt’s typical process in developing CG animations includes:
  • Creating an initial storyboard where we illustrate key elements and sequences of the animation. This allows our clients to see our ideas and make changes and improvements before ‘signing-off’ to the next step.
  • Development then shifts firmly across to our high-end animation software, 3D StudioMax, where we import existing 3D CAD models into a scene and assign materials to the surfaces.
  • We then define camera, part and lighting movements and effects as per the agreed storyboard which forms the first draft
  • Finally, after feedback from our client, we make final modifications, often to the timing and transitions as well as finishing touches like subtitles, intro and end sequences as well as adding music or narration.

Depending on the context CG animations can look real, deliberately made to look conceptual or anywhere in between. CG animations make the unreal appear real. They cut through to command attention, and no doubt we’ll be seeing more and more of them.
For more product animation samples, click here to visit the Cobalt Channel


Crowdfunding new product development

Crowdfunding NPD

Online collaborative product development funding

Social product development is an emerging web based method of attracting funding and interest for new product ideas. Also referred to as crowd funding, social product development (SPD) allows individuals to ‘invest’ small amounts in return for some reward (usually a sample of the finished product).

For product developers, SPD provides seed-funding to pay for development, tooling etc. Almost as importantly it can also gauge interest, secure initial sales and help attract distribution deals.

The idea of crowd funding through social media and online communities was originally pioneered in the late 1990s by fringe artists looking to fund low-cost recordings, films or tours. Fans of a particular band or genre benefited by going to the concert, film etc and being publicly acknowledged (i.e. in album notes or on the artist’s website).

The shift to use this crowd funding model for product development was more recent and has been facilitated by web-based agencies such as KickStarter (US), Pozible (Australia) and CrowdCube (UK) with more sites still emerging. A notable KickStarter product success is the PadPivot, a portable and ingenious stand for iPad and other tablet devices. After setting a goal of US$10,000 in January 2011, the idea raised almost US$200,000 by mid-March, with about 5000 people pledging an average of US$40 each to support the product. For PadPivot’s inventors, this enabled them to complete the design, produce complex injection moulding tools and ship final manufacturing products by June the same year.

Why contribute?

The buzz of investing in an interesting product idea will never have the emotive pull of supporting an emerging band or artist. So if it’s not ‘social cred’ what’s in it for SPD investors?

On purely pragmatic terms, contributors receive rewards matching their contribution. For example a $5 contribution gets them acknowledged on a website, $15 gets a T-shirt and a $50 contribution earns the supporter one of the very first products produced by the venture.

Beyond these tangible rewards, SPD also taps into people’s altruistic side, as well as offering bragging rights to being a co-partner in the latest ‘must have’ product. Understanding who contributors are and what they want gives some clues to the types of products that are best suited to social product development.

Preparation

SPD is not risk or cost free. Before being ready to list onto a SPD site, a product developer (inventor, designer, entrepreneur etc.) needs to put in a fair amount of effort and investment themselves. This includes protecting the intellectual property (IP) of the idea, and then undertaking initial design development to a level that clearly demonstrates and communicates the idea.

Both of these steps should involve professionals; patent attorneys for IP protection and product designers for industrial design and product engineering. Each of these steps can involve some time and cost, and need to be co-ordinated. For example, CAD mechanical drawings produced by design engineers are needed for patent applications.

Lastly, a compelling presentation needs to be produced, ‘selling’ the idea to potential contributors. This presentation usually takes the form of a YouTube-type clip featuring CG (computer generated) animations of the product, and video of a prototype in-use as well as the developer describing the product background and business case.
Generally the better this preparation is done, the better it will do on SPD sites.

Going live

Most agencies operate along similar lines although details vary slightly between each of the different SPD sites.
To list a project, developers are required to submit a video description of the idea, and define their funding goal ($) and a rewards schedule based on tiered contributions from a couple of dollars through to larger amounts (sometimes up to a thousand dollars).

All going well, the project attracts enough interest to reach and surpass the set goal, and the funds, less the agency’s fees, are transferred to the developer. If a listed project doesn’t reach its goal within the timeframe, funds are returned to the contributors. This latter scenario ensures that the system only supports projects with sufficient funds to reach an objective.

Hibermate banner image

The pitfalls

For all the apparent benefits, SPD has at least as many pitfalls. For contributors, the obvious one is that they may be getting mixed up in a shonky deal, and the product never eventuates. There are, although admittedly few, cases of this occurring in the US. It is important to note that contributors have no share in the business they are ‘investing’ in, and effectively no tax position in relation to amounts contributed.
For developers, the biggest issue is the brazen exposure of their idea. This is a two-edged sword; publicity attracts interest and contributions, but also alerts potential competitors to the idea. Even with water-tight IP protection, competitors can use their stronger market position or potentially work around patents and designs if they get an advance preview of the idea.

Tips

Based on the above, we believe SPD could be a very useful model if the following can be achieved. Therefore BEFORE listing, potential social product developers should:
  • Already have plentiful supplies of entrepreneurial spirit (chutzpah). SPD is not for shrinking violets as you’ll need to sell your idea and yourself online to a whole wide world of backers.
  • Ensure the idea appeals to the kinds of people that trawl SPD sites. That is, quirky technology, lifestyle or homeware products are good. Worthy but obscure products are not. Alternatively, truly altruistic products, i.e. products that help third-world communities, could also do well.
  • Also ensure the product is of a value that suits being provided (given away) as a reward for contributions.
  • Have strong IP protection in place. IP protection, especially across multiple countries, requires good legal advice, which we all know is never cheap.
  • Get professional industrial design done on the idea to turn it into a feasible and desirable product. As a minimum the product idea needs to be represented by still CG images. Better yet are CG animations and a working prototype.

As getting to this point requires much of the design development to be done, developers should be prepared to have invested a significant amount before ‘putting it out there’ for remaining funds to pay for things like electronics design, tooling, packaging, marketing and initial production. Developers should also be ready to act quickly if the project reaches its funding goal so that they can beat any competitors to the market.

SPD isn’t for all and has some real drawbacks. It’s yet to be seen if it becomes a viable community-driven alternative to new product development, or ends up as an interesting curio of the web 2.0 age. But for the moment, it is emerging as an exciting and liberating alternative of bringing about new products and designs. And that can’t be a bad thing.

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Sweet Suite Car thumbnail

Digital Design Suite

Cobalt’s design team have been further empowered by the recent acquisition of the surface modelling software package Alias.

With the addition of Alias, Cobalt’s comprehensive CAD suite rivals major multinational design groups. Alias provides a vital link complementing a complete digital design approach

Alias is the world’s leading product design oriented, free-surfacing CAD platform. It is used by all major automotive design studios and manufacturers in that it can create complex, Class-A surfacing within an interface specifically designed for industrial designers as opposed to engineers.

Engineering-focussed CAD modelling software is perfectly suited to highly precise final production design parts. However, Alias’s design oriented approach is often superior in its ability to transform evolving concepts, especially when a creative endpoint is still to be defined.

Our now complete suite of CAD software has streamlined the transition from a designer’s pen to an engineered product ready for manufacture.

No boundaries

According to Design Team Leader, Jack Magree, “being able to build virtual models of the final product very early in the design process has given our designers and engineers a new level of communication both internally and to our clients. We still need to sketch our way through initial solutions but soon after Alias comes into its own as we can resolve complex forms very quickly. Deliberate, complex and bold styling approaches are now much easier to achieve, opening up a new world of possibilities.

It’s as if we have turbo powered the designers with the freedom to create forms that inspire”. Our designers are now talking via their designs directly with the user rather than being interpreted through an engineering CAD program” says Jack.

The impact of this co-ordinated product design software on the design process suite is substantial. For example, the simple time efficiencies that result from this suite enable Cobalt’s designers to dedicate more thinking time to issues surrounding the user experience and product strategy.

It has taken years to build our skills and knowledge gained in traditional CAD and 3D surfacing programs that understand how to links these together within a creative design and engineering process. The addition of the latest Alias package now completes this suite, at least for the time being.


Ultimate 3D CAD Toolbox

Ultimate Designer Toolbox

The Ultimate Designer Toolbox

Cobalt Design has recently added the powerful Unigraphics NX6 system to our suite of high-end CAD modelling tools, complementing ProEngineer, Solidworks and 3D StudioMax. Unigraphics CAD software is used by major companies like GM Holden, Sunbeam, Breville, Futuris and ANCA.

NX6 delivers a new standard of flexibility and performance, allowing us to focus more on the design, and less on the process of modelling.

Using state of the art synchronous technology, we can now import CAD data from virtually any source and have the ability to modify and evolve an existing part design.

With NX6, Cobalt has one of the widest range and best-trained CAD capabilities in Australia.