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Despite the name somewhat confusingly implying that it is a solid modeller, solidThinking from Gestel in Italy is in fact solely a surface modeller.
First introduced in 1992 for the NeXT platform running OpenStep, recent versions including the latest 4.1 run under Windows and on the Mac.
Gestel state their goals as "improving not only production but also enhancing design creativity." Given that solidThinking offers extensive surface modelling and rendering capabilities, the absence of any solid modelling, drafting or animation capabilities positions it most closely with Rhino as a surface creation tool for organic forms that is part of a designers toolbox.
As such it is likely to appeal most to industrial designers and mould tool designers although any models will need to be exported for further detailed component design.
Gestel characterise it as a low cost, easy to use Alias Studio or ICEM.
solidThinking is consistent with many other surface modellers in not adhering to Windows interface standards.
There are menus and toolbars with a unique multi-tab interface of meticulously coloured tool icons.
Multiple viewports can be displayed simultaneously, with a toggle for orthographic views to remain in projection if required.
Each viewport has controls in the title bar for setting shade mode and view pan and zoom.
The non-orthographic view has additional controls for rotation and perspective.