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CAD & 3D Modeling
Success Stories
on Mac & Windows

Cobalt™ Helps Win Grand Prize

Nelson Au designed the Digi-Pix digital camera for the Design-engine 2002 Photoreal Electronics Competition in Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt 3D modeling software. He won the grand prize and gained validation for his commitment to working with tools that allow him to focus on his creative vision.

As a senior designer for renowned industrial design firm IDEO, Nelson Au was accustomed to creating a 2D design and passing the profiles off to an engineering group to model it in high-end 3D software. But, like many designers, Nelson wanted more control over his designs.

So, when Nelson looked for a 3D modeling program, he looked to Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt. He wanted to give the engineering team a working 3D model that truly represented his design goals, avoiding the usual changes that occur in the translation from 2D to 3D.

“I was not interested in investing an extended amount of time learning Alias or Pro-E; I was busy with my own design and management responsibilities. I loved Vellum’s unique user-friendly interface and was glad to find it in their 3D modelers, too.”

“The amazing thing to me is how easy it really was to learn. I had no prior experience with 3D or solid modeling programs. I had no previous habits to unlearn or expectations for tools and function.”

The Digi-Pix design was the first time Nelson had taken a project from concept to a completed 3D model with photorealistic lighting and graphics. From start to finish the design took about one week.

“The Grand Prize win for the 2002 Design-engine Photorealistic competition was validation for my choice to use Ashlar-Vellum Cobalt.”

Nelson Au is now an independent industrial designer. He began his career as a designer in 1984 with Matrix Product Design before it merged with David Kelley Design and Moggridge Associates to form IDEO Product Development in 1991. Nelson was a senior industrial designer and project manager with IDEO for 18 years.

Learn More

For more on Nelson’s award winning work, see our story Clearly a Great Design.

Learn more about Nelson’s views on successfully using Cobalt 3D modeling software in these two movies:

See more designs by Nelson among those in these Galleries: