New Version of solidThinking Industrial Design/Styling Software Launches Globally

Proven Italian software accelerates concept development process, empowering creative community to invent, explore and fully evaluate ideas quickly and cost-effectively


TROY, Mich., USA, July 22, 2008 - Leading industrial design/styling software company solidThinking (www.solidthinking.com) - which has quietly grown its market share as the dominant tool of choice for Italian design firms and industrial designers for everything from jewelry and electronic devices to furniture and yachts - is launching its latest version for Windows and Mac users worldwide.
"We are pleased to introduce the global design community to our most comprehensive release of solidThinking to date," said Alessandro (Alex) Mazzardo, vice president of product strategy and marketing, who started solidThinking in 1991 with his brother Mario Mazzardo, vice president of product strategy and management. "solidThinking is an extremely flexible, ‘what-if’ design software that empowers the creative community - industrial designers, style centers, conceptors, design firms and anyone who creates product concepts - to invent, explore and evaluate new ideas easily, rapidly and cost-effectively, without the limitations of traditional software."
"The solidThinking design community benefits from having one of the fastest, most deeply integrated rendering engines available to produce high-quality photorealistic virtual models," Mario Mazzardo said. "solidThinking compresses the product-development cycle by narrowing the spectrum of viable concepts virtually, reducing the number of physical prototypes and avoiding the need to reinterpret designs between designers and engineers."
Freeing designers from the constraints of other software in a number of ways, solidThinking version 7.6 incorporates many distinctive features. It:

• Offers a best-in-class, unlimited interactive construction history that enables the user easily to explore any design alternative from an existing design. At the core of its ability to infinitely reshape 3D models, solidThinking is a real idea generator that promotes innovation.
• Encourages users to change their minds at any point in the design process. Instead of starting from scratch when new ideas or directions emerge, designers can use the construction history to revise their creation and continue to innovate.
• Enables more real-time editing with full interactivity; variations and changes take seconds.
• Allows for simultaneous parameter editing and control-point editing: even when they want to finely sculpt a surface by editing, users need only revise a few control points.
• Offers unprecedented accuracy and flexibility for curves drawing and a complete set of advanced modeling tools.
• Features one of the fastest, most deeply integrated rendering engines available and an intuitive user interface for rendering.
• Produces fast, high-quality photorealistic 3D renderings for exploring colors and finishes with ease, and global illumination.
• Integrates completely with computer-aided design/manufacturing/engineering (CAD/CAM/CAE) systems.
• Is currently the only computer-aided industrial design (CAID) solution available on both Windows and Mac OS X.

Companies that rely on solidThinking include many of the world’s leading designers of furniture, electronic devices, automobiles, lighting, shoes, jewelry, timepieces, sports equipment, yachts, consumer packaging and other products. Thousands of designers use solidThinking to develop products and packaging for such renowned companies and brands as Azimut Yachts, Bulgari, Cartier, Diesel, DuPont, Fujitsu, Hugo Boss, Italdesign Giugiaro, Korg, MacGregor Golf, Mares, Masterfoods, Merck, Nestle, Nikon, Panerai, Peg Perego, Pininfarina, Scavolini, Thomson, Tisettanta, Toshiba, Toyota, Volkswagen and Volvo.

The global rollout of solidThinking version 7.6 - including an updated rendering engine, a streamlined user interface, rich photorealistic content functionality and a number of other user-centric enhancements - follows the recent acquisition of the company’s assets by Michigan-based Altair Engineering, Inc. A leading global technology provider, Altair has solid experience in developing sales channels and support expertise to increase solidThinking’s adoption across numerous business sectors and geographies. Robert Little, previously president of Altair Engineering Canada, Ltd., now serves as president of solidThinking.

"solidThinking 7.6 offers members of the global industrial design community an environment that will boost their ability to explore new ideas and excite their colleagues with images that are undeniably realistic, at a price point that offers excellent value and return on investment," Little said.

Gartner Research Director Marc Halpern, commenting on the importance of industrial design software, said "Industrial design software is becoming increasingly important as a means to streamline the workflow from concept to new-product introduction by enabling more users to leverage 3D models across product design, marketing, manufacturing and sales."

Customer Accolades
"solidThinking is a perfect tool to improve new design solutions in a very intuitive way," said Marco Borraccino, head of design at Panerai, a globally renowned luxury and high-end watch manufacturer. "I have used solidThinking for several years and release after release, the product has consistently delivered increased functionality that focuses on user needs. Moreover, the embedded rendering engine quickly delivers stunning renderings."

"solidThinking helped us to compress the product-development cycle by several times," said Aristide Barone, designer manager at Mares, a leading worldwide manufacturer of technologically advanced diving products. "We are pleased to see the continuous enhancement of this product."

"Finally, a true software for industrial design that allows us to move quickly from the first rough sketch to the final result that we send for prototyping or manufacturing," said Paolo Capeci, head of the Design Dept in Italy for Korg, which manufactures electronic musical instruments. "I chose solidThinking because it offers powerful, but intuitive, modeling; and, through its construction history, I can keep the project workflow under control."

"We have been using solidThinking for the last six years to translate our thoughts into three-dimensional objects," said Jr Neville Songwe, product designer and president of Joneso Design and Consulting, Inc., which created Brijo, a premier design in-vehicle information and communication platform that integrates technological devices into the dashboard of law- enforcement vehicles. "What we find unique about solidThinking is the ease and flexibility it provides to our product designers. It’s one of the few software applications designed and tailored for product designers. It facilitates creativity and minimizes the technical burdens, which other three-dimensional software applications don’t do as well."

See It, Try It, Buy It
The creative community is encouraged to experience solidThinking today. To see it, try it and buy it, simply go to www.solidthinking.com to: view demo videos; learn about opportunities to participate in product demos/webinars; download a trial version of solidThinking software; and purchase the software.

To view the Multimedia News Release, go to: http://www.prnewswire.com/mnr/altair/34019/


About solidThinking, Inc.

solidThinking, Inc. develops and markets industrial design/styling software that helps designers invent, explore and evaluate new ideas easily, rapidly and cost-effectively, without the limitations of traditional software. Designers use solidThinking software to create photorealistic 3D virtual prototypes of products across the design arena, from architecture and automobiles to electronic devices, jewelry, product packaging and yachts. solidThinking is a wholly owned subsidiary of Troy, Michigan-based Altair Engineering, Inc. (www.altair.com). Altair Engineering is privately held and employs more than 1,300 in North America, South America, Europe and Asia/Pacific.