Novice Ashlar-Vellum(R) User Creates Winning Entry In International Design Competition After Three Days

New Zealand Student, Having Never Before Done 3D/CAD Modeling, Cites 'Easy to Understand' Software for Helping Win $20,000 Grand Prize from Korea's LG Electronics Corporation

AUSTIN, Texas, Nov. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Rodney Mackrell, a third-year industrial design student at New Zealand's Massey University School of Design, didn't know whether to reach for champagne or aspirin.

Notified in August of 2001 that his mock-up of a hypothetical cellular phone/remote personal computer device had been named a finalist in the 2001 LG Electronics Design Competition, one of the world's premier student/professional industrial design competitions, Mackrell was informed he needed to transform his experimental product into a 3D CAD model. The CAD version was required so that Mackrell's entry could be turned into a physical prototype by the modeling department of LG Electronics, a major electronics and telecommunications conglomerate with 72 subsidiaries around the world. Once the company created the prototype, Mackrell's design would qualify for final judging.

Trouble was, Mackrell had never before used 3D CAD software. And he had only days to learn.

Aware of the pressing deadline, Mackrell's professor, Azhar Mohamed, turned to 3D modeling software provider Ashlar-Vellum® to assist Mackrell and two other Massey University classmates who had achieved finalist status. Ashlar-Vellum's Vellum Solids(TM) 2000 software (since renamed Cobalt(TM)) had recently been installed at the university; with the deadline looming, Mohamed asked Mike Scott, a former Massey student who had interned at Ashlar-Vellum, to assist.

"I started on a Tuesday afternoon with Rodney and the other two entrants, Tee Smith and Andrew Packer. Other than having the students' workshop-made models to look at, we were working from scratch," Scott said. "The finished CAD files needed to be sent by Friday afternoon, so there wasn't a lot of time."

To his surprise, Mackrell learned he could easily navigate Vellum Solids 2000's user interface and design features. "I had never produced a 3D model on a computer before, but with Mike's help I managed to learn to use the program and finish the model on time," Mackrell noted. "Constructing the model in Vellum Solids replicated the process one would follow if making the model by hand, making it easy to understand. Personally I also like being able to work on my [Apple®] Macintosh® without needing to transfer to a PC for CAD applications."

Vellum Solids 2000 has become a centerpiece of Ashlar-Vellum's Designer Elements(TM) line of CAD and 3D modeling software products under its new name, Cobalt. The product is made for high-performance product design, featuring an advanced engineering toolset, and provides 2D and 3D, equation-driven parametrics and assembly tools including constraint management, associative detail and section views, and production injection molding capabilities.

Most valued by Mackrell and the other students, however, was the natural interface and ease-of-use of the software. "It was particularly interesting how Rodney, Tee, and Andrew, who have no previous experience on CAID programs, managed to finish the job quickly," said Mohamed. "The program is quite intuitive in regard to the way we designers think, and the final models prototyped by LG Electronics from the CAID data were accurate representations of the final designs."

By that Friday the files were completed to the students' satisfaction and submitted within deadline for final judging. A few short weeks later, the results were in: out of 1,962 entries from designers in 56 countries around the world, Mackrell had been named Grand Prize Winner of the biennial competition, garnering $20,000 (U.S.) in prize money. Tee Smith also was given the Special Recognition award, receiving $2,000 (U.S.) for his efforts.

As the grand prize winner, Mackrell was flown to Seoul, Korea, for three weeks of work assisting LG Electronics in producing a working model of his design. Formal announcement of the competition winners took place at a gala awards ceremony October 8, 2001 at the Seoul Arts Center, presided over by the chairman of LG Electronics. Adding to the excitement was the fact that the ICSID (International Council of Societies in Industrial Design) Congress and General Assembly was taking place in Seoul at the same time.

"LG Electronics' competition is one of the highlights of the international design calendar. It's endorsed by the ICSID, and presided over by an internationally distinguished jury," said Mohamed. "Winning the LG Electronics prize has put Rodney, Tee, and Massey University itself at the forefront of the design community the world over."

Mackrell, Smith, and Mohamed praised Vellum Solids 2000 for its role in making the winning entries possible. "When the pressure was on, Ashlar- Vellum's intuitive control was able to make the difference," noted Ashlar- Vellum's Scott after talking to the winners. "The product is an extension of the designer's mind."

About Ashlar-Vellum:

Founded in 1988, Ashlar-Vellum is the leading developer and marketer of products that automate and simplify industrial, mechanical, and commercial design processes for drafting, design, and engineering professionals. Ashlar- Vellum's renowned user interface and powerful toolsets have earned the loyalty of conceptual thinkers around the world. Originally located in Santa Clara, California, Ashlar-Vellum now operates from headquarters in Austin, Texas. To learn more about Ashlar-Vellum call 800-877-2745 or visit .

Ashlar-Vellum is a registered trademark, and Designer Elements, Cobalt, and Vellum Solids are trademarks, of Ashlar-Vellum Incorporated. Apple and Macintosh are registered trademarks of Apple Computer, Inc. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners.

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