As Industrials designers we're always about the details - especially when it comes to renderings - enter the RSE (Round Sharp Edges) option in PV2013 (I wanted to call it cosmetic fillet, but hey, that kinda is already taken.) No product really has perfectly sharp edges, so why should we stand for renderings that look that way? When used subtly, this can make renderings look a whole lot more realistic and also provide some opportunity for Bloom.
So with every SW2013 appearance, you now have the option under the Illuminations tab of the advanced Appearance PropertyManager to set the "Round Sharp Edges" value (set to Zero by default.) Setting the value to somewhere between .02 to .05 inch will truly enhance your product renderings, allowing highlighting to catch the edges. Can you see the difference between the two renderings below?
The key is to don't over do it; this is only works well if you use it as the nominal radius or the small break on metal parts.
Now if that were not enough consider this; how many of you have struggled with putting fillets on embossed or debossed graphics? I know I have - especially with artwork coming from Adobe Illustrator. Because of the minimum curvature in the profile of characters, many times it is simply impossible to round the edges of 3D graphics; that is till now. In the example below, I opened an adobe illustrator for this Porsche Carrera logo artwork. I knew right off the bat there was no way I was going to be able to apply a fillet to the top edge of this raised 3D graphic, but by setting RSE in the appearance of this chrome material to .080 inch it suddenly is transformed! Check out the following before and after:
Adobe Illustrator artwork opened into SolidWorks and extrude up-to-offset-from body surface
Same artwork, same feature, but changing the chrome appearance RSE to .080 inch
Now I have to eat my words, (and I know that Ron is grinning at me right now when he reads this) because a number of us argued whether to put the setting for this in the appearance or make it a global setting. Well, I'm glad now that we left it on a per-appearance-wise basis because for an example like above, it sure comes in handy!
That's it... Pretty simple huh? If it comes to it, consider the Round Sharp Edges as a Feature, next time you need to accomplish the seemingly impossible fillet feature. And like any good Industrial Designer/perfectionist, I won't stop at where we're at...perhaps the enhancement for 2014 would be to distinguish between inner corners and outer corners