[This was updated to reflect the full public release, which occured on June 23rd, 2021.]

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 modeller for Onshape users, that allows quick and easy interactive modelling of surfaces without sacrificing precision and quality. It's available today, as an Integrated Cloud App in the Onshape App Store.

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:

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

  • Smoothness on vertices, edges, and across faces
  • Mulitple types of Symmetries

  • Carving 

  • Precise Scaling

Watch the following video to see a few simple design examples, and how you can tackle them with Phi:

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Try Phi Today

We hope that by trying Phi, it will help you get started experimenting with your own design ideas. You can find additional material on our website, and a complete list of tutorials within the application.

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


(Stephanos Androutsellis a co-founder of Phenometry, the developer of Phi. He is a software engineer, and has taught Information Technology at both the undergraduate and graduate university levels.)