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Which CAD or 3D Modeling
Product is Right for Me?

Which CAD or 3D modeling product is right for me?

That’s the number one question our sales department is asked. It all depends on what you’re designing and your needs.

Our products fall into two categories:

Let’s examine the products to see which is right for you.

2D/3D Drafting 3D Modeling
Graphite Cobalt Xenon Argon

Graphite 2D/3D CAD

Graphite is our 2D/3D precision wire-frame CAD program on Mac and Windows.

Who uses Graphite?

Graphite is intended for those needing extremely powerful, precision wire-frame drafting that’s easy enough to use even on an occasional basis.

What are the benefits of Graphite wireframe drafting?

  • The fastest, most productive drafting tool available
  • Never lose the time invested. Leave it for a month or two, come back to it and be immediately productive once again
  • So easy to use and learn it is accessible to everyone needing drafting tools, and can be deployed further throughout an organization
  • Cross-platform so you can use the machine you choose on Mac or Windows
  • Fast to create either fully detailed or schematic/sketch level 2D drawings
  • Great for those who can conceptualize 2D drawings into 3D products themselves

What does it Cost?

Graphite retails for $1,395.00 e-only (electronic-only) download.

For more on Graphite, including a complete list of features, see the Graphite product page or download the Graphite product sheet and Graphite specification sheet.

Ashlar-Vellum 3D Modeling Products

We’ll let you in on a little secret. All three of our 3D modeling products are built on the same core. When you buy Cobalt, you’re getting everything, including the rendering and animation found in Argon. Sometimes, however, you don’t need that much, so we’ll discuss each product and where it fits into the product line. But first, let’s look at the benefits that apply to all of our 3D modeling programs.

What are the benefits common to Cobalt, Xenon and Argon 3D solid and surface modeling software?

  • Facilitates “thinking through a design in 3D” not just “documenting” a design or idea after it’s completely developed in your mind
  • Provides the tools and interface to design faster with a higher degree of style
  • So easy to use and learn it is accessible to everyone needing 3D solid and surface modeling, and can be deployed throughout your organization
  • Cross-platform so you can use the machine you choose on Mac or Windows
  • Contains everything needed from concept to development and visualization, on through rapid prototyping and precision drawings to marketing presentations
  • Provides true interactive, hybrid solid and surface modeling so you can use the techniques you choose
  • Provides full-scale visualization, including complete rendering and animation, to aid in form development or for clients who don’t see in 3D wireframe
  • Creates fully defined 3D models that:
    • Promote greater understanding by product development team, customer and manufacturing
    • Enable CAM-driven machining
    • Enable rapid prototyping like stereo lithography
    • Enable engineering analysis to be performed
  • Provides 2D precision engineering drawings

Cobalt CAD & 3D Modeling

Cobalt is our flagship 3D solid and surface modeling program on Mac and Windows.

Who uses Cobalt?

Cobalt 3D modeling software is intended for product designers going to traditional manufacturing processes. It is for design engineers requiring a high degree of stylization as well as precision engineering. Cobalt’s dimensional constraints make it a very productive tool for those doing multiple variations on a design.

What are the benefits of Cobalt?

  • Provides greater productivity using on-demand dimensional constraints for:
    • Design variations (concepts)
    • Variational designs (customizable or sizing options)
  • Provides greater productivity using parametrics, associativity and history tree to facilitate efficient design changes that ripple through the model and drawing sheets
  • Offers extreme time savings using the parts library for standard parts
  • Offers time savings for creating engineering level detail on plastic parts
  • Provides easy to maintain associative and geometric relationships between parts in an assembly
  • Provides associatively updated, 2D engineering drawings for manufacturing

What does it Cost?

Cobalt retails for $2,995.00 e-only (electronic-only) download.

For more on Cobalt, including a complete list of features, see the Cobalt product page or download the Cobalt product sheet and Cobalt specification sheet.

Xenon CAD & 3D Modeling

Xenon provides highly flexible, precision 3D modeling without cumbersome constraints, on Mac and Windows.

Who uses Xenon?

Xenon is for designers and creative professionals creating products with a high degree of artistic style and customization. Those doing products that are more highly customized and less mass-produced are more likely to use Xenon. These include furniture and fixture designers, those working in ceramics and glass, jewelry makers, exhibit design and architectural rendering professionals.

What are the benefits of Xenon?

  • Provides productivity using parametrics, associativity and history tree to facilitate efficient design changes that ripple through the model and drawing sheets
  • Provides associatively updated, 2D engineering drawings for manufacturing
  • Offers the majority of Cobalt’s features at a lower price for those who don’t need the on-demand dimensional constraints.

What does it Cost?

Xenon retails for $2,495.00 e-only (electronic-only) download.

For more on Xenon, including a complete list of features, see the Xenon product page or download the Xenon product sheet and Xenon specification sheet.

Argon 3D Modeling

Argon is for those who prefer history-free 3D modeling on Mac or Windows.

Who uses Argon?

Argon is an excellent way to get started in 3D modeling. It a great complement to any set of computer-aided design tools, because it adds so much for such a small price. For example, many machine shops use it to provide translators, Booleans, surface adjustments and stitching. Argon makes a good front-end surface modeling and rendering tool for doing concept designs intended to be handed off to an engineer running Pro/E. It is a good companion modeler/translator for Inventor or Solid Edge. It is also used as a front-end modeler for animation systems like 3D Studio MAX or Ligthtwave for easy creation of manufactured objects.

What are the benefits of Argon?

  • More power, flexibility and precision than any CAD or 3D modeling product at a comparable price point
  • The extensive set of translators alone is worth the price of Argon to many people
  • A low cost way to get started in 3D solid and surface modeling

What does it Cost?

Argon retails for $1,195.00 e-only (electronic-only) download.

For more on Argon, including a complete list of features, see the Argon product page or download the Argon product sheet and Argon specification sheet.