Saratech Inc Blog: Solid Edge…Frito Lays..What’s the Connection? Saratech Inc Blog: Solid Edge…Frito Lays..What’s the Connection?

Solid Edge…Frito Lays..What’s the Connection?

So, Solid Edge ST6 is out and as usual, it is chock-full of new functionality. One of the long anticipated improvements is to surfacing. As an Industrial Designer, I have long awaited for this specific feature improvement.

I can remember many years ago when I was working as the operations manager at a stereolithography service bureau and I ran into a real need for some surfacing tools.  We had a client that made snack foods and they wanted to create a chip in various shapes and sizes. As was often the case back then, I said “sure we can do that” without really thinking about HOW we could do it. I’m sure there were several high priced CAD tools available at that time that could have done the job, but I didn’t have access to them. All I had was my trusty little mid-range modeler, Solid Edge V7.

Well, I started working with the tools I had. I tried revolved protrusions, lofts, sweeps and anything else I could think of. I would get frustratingly close only to run into a dead end. I needed a specific shape but I also needed to trim the edges. It seemed I could do one but not both. It was about 4:00 in the morning and I was about to give up when I finally had that “Aha” moment. Could I create two models, one with the basic shape and one with the trimmed edges and then use one to modify the other? I tried it and it worked! I still didn’t like the shape but at least I proved to myself that it could be done. That spurred me to keep working so that by the time the client came the next day, I had something reasonable to show him. We built dozens of variations, all painted to look like real chips. They were placed in front of focus groups to let them see and feel (but not taste) them until the final shape was chosen.

Looking back on it now, it seems so simple but it sure wasn’t simple at the time.

So now you know a little piece of trivia. The client was Frito Lay and the next time you’re in the supermarket and see a bag of Tostitos Scoops, you’ll know that they were designed with Solid Edge.

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