Just this week, Phi received recognition by DEVELOP3D for being one of the top 30 technologies for the year 2022! 

The D3D 30, a yearly list from Develop3D, is an exclusive list of technologies that “have an important role to play” in product development, chosen on merit only. 

We wanted to be one of the first to recognize our valued advanced surfacing partner, Phi, for this illustrious achievement. 

Phi’s “slick surfacing” places the technology in great company with giants like HP, Intel, and innovative tech startups like (Onshape user) Lumafield. To celebrate this, we wanted to republish an article with some updates. 

Congratulations to the Phenometry team! 

A quick Google search for “product design” reveals what we already see around us: Most design involves freeform organic surfaces.

Yet, freeform design has been notoriously hard. Current solutions employ different approaches, each with pros and cons, with the cons often outweighing the pros. 

Phi is a new type of surface modeler for Onshape users, that allows quick and easy interactive modeling of surfaces without sacrificing precision and quality. It's available today, as an Integrated Cloud App in the Onshape App Store.

How Does Phi Work?

Based on n-sided patches technology, Phi is a curve-based modeler that allows unrestrained editable curves – so you can focus on your design intent while it automatically generates watertight, high-quality surfaces. This Integrated Cloud App is accessible within an Onshape Document tab, and can push and pull these complex designs to and from Onshape. 

Phi’s unique curve-based approach is quite different from existing design processes. The curves allow a great deal of freedom to achieve interesting shapes interactively, with just a drag of the mouse!

Watch the Onshape webinar, Add Freeform Surfaces to Your Designs with Phi, to learn more about designing with Phi.

Surface Modeling with Phi

To give the product designer more control, Phi has incorporated tools such as:

  • Various Smoothness and Tangency Options

  • Selective Symmetry for Flexible Mirroring

  • Carving 

  • Precise Scaling and Moving, alongside the freehand option

  • Attach surfaces to scanned STL data

Watch a quick overview of Phi below:

And the following video shows a few simple design examples, and how you can tackle them with Phi:

Try Phi Today

Get started by experimenting with your own design ideas, or by following our guided examples or tutorials provided within the application. You can find additional material on our website.

Phi is in rapid development, with many exciting features and enhancements coming soon, so keep an eye on this space!

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(This blog was first published April 26, 2021, and updated June 16, 2022.)

Stephanos Androutsellis(Stephanos Androutsellis is a co-founder of Phenometry, the developer of Phi.)