What is Organic Workflow for 3D Modeling?

Organic Workflow is what Ashlar-Vellum calls the non-linear creative process that makes our 3D modeling software so unique. It allows designers to create outstanding products through easy design iteration, transparent tools, and hands-on control of the production process. Using Organic Workflow a designer can start anywhere necessary within the design process and move freely in any direction within our 3D modeling software. This allows the design process to sustain radical change while still maintaining integrity.

Ashlar-Vellum’s Organic Workflow product suite has the unique quality of being not just a feature, but a philosophy- one that encapsulates the essence of a truly creative design process that engenders innovative product designs.

Frost & Sullivan, Best Practices Research Product Differentiation Excellence Award
To better understand this unique design process, we interviewed 15 designers from around the world. Their comments are available in the movie.

Using Organic Workflow in a 3D Modeling Environment

Ashlar-Vellum products uniquely support Organic Workflow through:

  • Non-linear workflow
  • Parametric history on demand
  • Transparent tools
  • Holistic tool palette
  • Continuous cross-team communications

Non-linear Workflow

An organic workflow is a non-linear or non-serial workflow. It fosters flexibility, spontaneity and free play by the designer as he or she works through ideas and tries new things.

What I’ve found in using the Ashlar products is that I can go from perception all the way to manifestation within the product because there’s a certain facile quality of it and a number of different ways that I can approach things.

Michael Golino, DesignJourney Industrial, USA

Parametric History on Demand (Cobalt™ only)

Parametric history is a designer’s most powerful tool, making design changes fast and easy. But it can also constrain creativity and become a bother. If a designer is free to use parametric history when needed, yet ignore it during the times when it’s not, it greatly increases the creative process. Ashlar-Vellum software uniquely allows designers to use history on demand to explore a design as best fits the process.

One of the things that I think Cobalt really lets you do is that it really lets you explore the evolution of your design. Cobalt really gives you the freedom and you still have the history…It’s just not yelling at you.

Jeanine Wong, Catalano Design, USA

Transparent Tools

Like all great tools, product design software must disappear into the background, becoming an automatic extension of the designer as he or she concentrates on the project at hand.

Ashlar-Vellum tools are so transparent they don’t require the designer to think about them. They work the way a designer thinks. They are easy to learn and allow the designer to simply play.

I have never found something easier than the Ashlar way to do things.

Celso Santos, Rio 21 Design, Brazil

Holistic Tool Palette

Designers require a holistically integrated palette of both engineering and design tools that includes wireframes, solids and surfaces without switching from one mode to another. They want to freely sketch, develop the model, provide photo-realistic renderings, animations and precision engineering drawings, using the same program. Ashlar-Vellum provides a uniquely holistic palette of tools giving designers power that was previously only available to engineers.

I work with the Ashlar-Vellum products for the specific reason that I can work within one application and explore the forms that I have in my mind…whether it’s surfaces, solids, even the wireframe tools. I can work seamlessly between those three and explore these ideas in what I call an organic way.

Marc Caloren, M3D Design Services, Canada

Continuous Cross-team Communications

Because product design is an organic process, different deliverables are required by different people along the way. Our software never demands that X, Y and Z be completed before A, B or C can be shown. Pass any type of 2D or 3D data to any part of your team at any point in the process.

We like to keep track of the way the design develops also during the production phase, so we keep in touch with our mechanical engineers and the production specialists through 3D files.

Bert Lonsain, Lonsain Design Studios, the Netherlands

Ashlar-Vellum designers create some of the most amazing products in the world. By starting with a designer’s point of view and being allowed to experiment, explore and play they not only make their designs come alive they make life better.