Korean manufacturing giant LG Electronics has recently introduced its first mobile phone designed with Delcam’s Tribrid Modelling software. The Waffle phone features a surface texture created in the ArtCAM artistic CADCAM program, wrapped around the body of a phone design produced with the PowerSHAPE CAD software. It is expected to be the first of a number of new models that will use the Delcam software to create the distinctive designs needed to build market share in the highly competitive and fashion-conscious mobile phone market.
Tribrid Modelling is Delcam’s unique, patented approach to design that adds triangle modelling to the solid and surface modelling options that are available in hybrid modelling systems. It gives the ability to add triangle files of logos, branding, textures or other 3D decorations onto the surfaces of CAD models. This effect is rather like sliding a transfer over the surface of an object, with the added advantages that the decoration can be scaled or stretched to fit any given area, and that the result is fully three-dimensional.
Tribrid Modelling also allows Boolean operations to be carried out between triangle models and either surfaces or solids. For many years, PowerSHAPE was one of very few CAD systems able to perform Boolean operations between solids and surfaces. The ability to perform similar addition, subtraction and merge operations with triangles as well makes the software even more flexible.
LG Electronics has become a global leader through more that 50 years of technical innovation in consumer electronics, mobile communications and home appliances. The company, which is based in the Korean capital Seoul, employs more than 80,000 people, working in over 115 operations around the world. Last year, its global sales topped US$ 43 billion.
Staff from Delcam’s Korean joint venture, Hankook Delcam, had their first contact with LG in August of last year. An initial presentation on the potential for Tribrid Modelling was followed by a longer meeting with a large group of designers from the company. Subsequently, Hankook Delcam produced a series of rapid prototype models to further demonstrate how the unique Delcam technology could produce sophisticated designs quickly and easily.
The presentations were so impressive that LG decided to purchase the Delcam software in the following month. This was both pleasing and surprising for Hankook Delcam as most potential customers in Korea insist on a comprehensive evaluation period before making any purchasing decisions. Apart from the design capabilities of the Delcam software, the staff at LG were impressed with the full range of Delcam programs that could cover the whole design and manufacturing process for the phone cases. In particular, they were pleased to see how quickly the software could generate machining data for tooling once the product designs were completed.
Of course, the comprehensive training and support available from Hankook Delcam were also an important part of the decision. The value of these services was seen in the speed with which LG was able to introduce its first design with the new software. Following this initial success, Hankook Delcam is now approaching other parts of the LG organisation to investigate further opportunities to introduce its software.