The daily professional activities of industrial design specialists and designers often have little in common with creativity, which is revealed in all its splendor only, perhaps, at the stage of idea generation, conceptual development of a new product, sketching. Further, an accurate calculation and meticulous study of drawings of parts and assemblies becomes fundamental in striving to obtain a high-quality and competitive product at the output.
Undoubtedly, modern specialized graphic CAD systems allow you to create sketches, layouts and models of products from a wide variety of areas of the economy and industry, including high-tech, science-intensive products. However, the question arises of the speed and convenience of work, the amount of expended resources (time and human) and the quality of the result. We can say with confidence that in the age of total automation of work processes, these parameters depend not only on the professionalism of engineers, designers and industrial designers, but also on the efficiency of the software and equipment used.
One of the ways to reduce the design cycle in CAD is to use typical drawing fragments from a previously created database in the work. But when developing unique, atypical drawings, this method is impractical and the development of design systems and optimization of the workflow can go along the path of improving the software and hardware input.
When working at a computer, several monitors can be used, when the designer is working behind one of the screens, and on the other, the update occurs automatically, or when the result of the specialist's work is displayed on one screen, and all the graphic CAD toolbars are displayed on the other.
One of the auxiliary, but objectively necessary tools for an industrial designer is a graphic tablet or an interactive pen display, which consists of a working surface and an electronic input device (pen or mouse), which provides, first of all, convenient and quick navigation through tabs and within an application in which You work as well as the ergonomics of the workspace.
Precision, reliability, efficiency and ergonomics have made high-end professionals long the choice of pen input devices from Wacom, the recognized world leader in graphic tablets and interactive pen displays. For them, "Vakom" has already become a household name.
But the process of purchasing a tablet does not end with a manufacturer's choice. With a fairly wide line of Wacom professional equipment - Intuos 4 series graphic tablets and Cintiq and PL interactive displays, you will be faced with a choice of format, capabilities, additional accessories for working in CAD / CAM / CAE systems and 2D / 3D graphics applications. There is undoubtedly a fairly wide range of prices for Wacom products. Therefore, let's take a look at the available models, and the choice will be yours.
Wacom Intuos Pencils4
In the model range of the professional line of Wacom for use in industrial design, there are 4 Wacom Intous4 graphic tablets and 7 input devices - pens and specialized computer mice.
The differences in the professional range of Wacom graphic tablets boil down to the difference in form factors - from A6 Wide to A3 Wide, and a slight difference in completeness. The choice of 4 models (Intuos4 S, Intuos4 M, Intuos4 L, Intuos4 XL) comes down to the ergonomics of a specific workplace and the definition of the tasks to be performed: whether it is a mobile tablet that is easy to carry with a laptop or a tablet for a stationary workplace; whether the workplace is equipped with a widescreen display or with an aspect ratio of 4: 3; whether a specialist works on one monitor or divides the processes of creating a particular model into working with several monitors.
Especially for the industrial designer
The Intuos4 L (~ A4 wide) and Intuos4 XL (~ A3 wide) pen tablets included with the Intuos4 Lens Cursor are the best choice for CAD / CAM / CAE applications. The large format of the working surface allows you to conveniently divide the tablet into 2 independent parts without compromising the quality of the result when working with multiple monitors, on each of which you can subsequently work without switching your attention to additional input devices (among the auxiliary keys of the ExpressKeys tablet there is a Display key for this purpose Toggle, which switches the work of the cursor either to work with monitor A, or work with monitor B, or work with two monitors at the same time, when one of them is a continuation of the second). And the cordless, battery-free and ball-free Intuos3 Lens Cursor, thanks to the positioning target, allows you to accurately capture anchor points from paper drawings and convert a drawing from paper to vector. The rotating target will allow both right-handed and left-handed people to work with both hands. With a high resolution of 5,080 lines per inch and a positioning accuracy of +/- 0.15 mm, it is far superior in accuracy to most computer mice and will be an effective companion in CAD applications.
All models of Intuos4 tablets are designed in Wide format with 16:10 aspect ratio of the sides of the working surface and are convenient to work with large-format displays, which in the modern world are already equipped not only with many desktop workstations, but also laptops.
Some designers may have difficulty working on wide graphics tablets with a traditional 4: 3 aspect ratio monitor. When working with two or more monitors or on a non-widescreen monitor, you need to enable the aspect ratio function in the tablet driver, which leads to a programmatic reduction of the tablet working surface. Without the aspect ratio enabled, a circle drawn on a widescreen tablet will look like an oval on a 4: 3 monitor.
Cintiq and PL interactive pen displays
For optimal hand-eye coordination and graphics applications on a more intuitive level, Wacom offers 2 Cintiq interactive pen displays in 21 "and 12" and 3 PL Series displays in 15.17 and 19 ", on which the designer can work in graphic applications with an electronic pen directly on the screen. The Cintiq21 is also equipped with a stand that allows you to rotate the display 360 degrees (when lying down) and tilt it 10-60 degrees.
The active area of all Intuos4 tablets perfectly simulates a paper sheet. And with an ergonomic design that's right-handed and left-handed and lightweight, Wacom cordless and battery-free input devices effectively reduce stress and fatigue from extended graphics applications, helping to improve productivity and eliminate occupational illnesses. industrial designers, such as carpal tunnel syndrome, when, due to constant, monotonous, repetitive, prolonged movements of the hands and fingers, and prolonged concentration on details for maximum accuracy of construction, inflammation of the anatomical tunnel occurs through which the nerves pass, causing pain, tingling, numbness and trembling in the fingers.
In addition to the work surface and input devices, the variety of which we will discuss below, Wacom Intuos4 tablets have developed ExpressKeys, Touch Rings (on Intuos4 tablets) and TouchStrip (on Cintiq displays), which allow the user to significantly speed up the work with most applications. and ditch the keyboard as much as possible, using the tablet as the main tool on the desktop.
Most designers and engineers use a graphics tablet in conjunction with a regular keyboard because in many applications it is easier to access a function with a keyboard shortcut - for example, pressing CTRL-C to copy objects to the clipboard or CTRL-Z to undo the last action.
Express Keys allow tablet users to directly access functions such as cut, copy, paste, undo, switch screens, and more. without constantly moving your hand from the tablet to the keyboard.
Keyboard shortcuts are predefined for most popular applications, but you can also assign them yourself.
Touch Rings (on Intuos4 tablets) or Touch Strips (on Cintiq displays) allow the user to operate the tablet with their fingers, just like on laptop touchpads. The touch functionality allows your fingers to slide up and down or in a circle, adjusting the scale while processing images in applications such as Adobe Photoshop, rotating the canvas, resizing the brush, or moving along the timeline in animation programs such as Macromedia Flash, and more.
There is no one input device that is ideal for all applications. But what Wacom's professional input tools have in common is that they can all be used with any tablet of the same generation and come with a Tool ID so that each device can be individually programmed and configured for any application. And these features will automatically be activated when you launch the program that the digital artist is running in.
Among the input tools, Wacom has an assortment of pens and mice.
All Wacom professional pens can be tilted up to 60 degrees, which is very important, for example, for simulating brushwork, and also have an eraser on the back of the nib (like a regular pencil), programmable and configurable, and just as sensitive to pressure and angle tilt like a feather.
Wacom offers 5 different pens for use with Intuos4 graphics tablets and as many for use with Cintiq interactive pen displays.
We invite you to familiarize yourself with the line of professional pens for Intuos4, which essentially differ from the line of pens for the Cintiq only in the number of recognizable degrees of pressure - there are 2048 Intuos4 pens, while the Cintiq has 1024.
The Intuos4 Grip Pen is a professional hand tool and standard pen for the Intuos4 tablet system. It features a tapered rubber grip area that reduces grip strength by up to 40%, reducing hand fatigue and strain when writing.
The pen tip recognizes 2048 levels of pressure, providing high sensitivity for drawing, writing, drawing, dragging and clicking. The reduced activation pressure level allows you to work more ergonomically and relaxed, while the increased sensitivity allows you to draw vignettes on the screen without transitioning between levels. The Grip Pen's programmable two-way switch can be customized for each application, from performing program buttons to performing keyboard shortcuts, pop-up menus, and more. To maximize the natural feel of digital instruments, the optional Stroke Pen and Felt Pen are included with the Intuos Grip Pen to simulate a brush and felt tip.
In addition to the standard Intuos4 Grip Pen, the professional can purchase the thinner Intuos4 Classic Pen or the Intuos4 Ink Pen, which replaces the plastic nib with a black ballpoint nib that allows you to place a sheet of paper on your tablet and then write or draw on a sheet of paper without looking at the monitor, and all your notes will be displayed on the monitor screen.
But the most popular after the standard Grip Pen is the Intuos4 Airbrush - the perfect tool for anyone creating, editing and retouching digital images. Realistic simulation of ink application and spray radius, as well as tilt sensitivity, bring you closer to authentic on-screen paint sprayer work. The easy-to-use wheel offers 1,024 divisions, and when you release it, unlike conventional atomizers, it stays in the same position, ensuring that the digital ink overlay stays the same.
There is also an Art Pen that can work in six dimensions: X-axis (left and right), Y-axis (up and down), Pressure (pressure), Angle (the angle at which the pen is located to the tablet surface), Tilt (the direction in which the angle is formed) and Rotation (the position of the pen relative to its vertical axis).
For working with CADCAM applications and 2D / 3D graphics programs, Wacom offers a cordless, battery-free and ball-free Intuos4 Lens Cursor mouse. This mouse, thanks to the positioning target, allows you to accurately remove nodal points from paper drawings and convert a drawing from a paper view to a vector one.
The rotating target allows both right-handers and left-handers to work comfortably. With a high resolution of 5,080 lines per inch +/- 0.15 mm positioning accuracy, it is far superior in accuracy to most computer mice and will be an effective companion in CAD applications.
The reviewed models of professional graphic tablets and Wacom input devices reveal all the variety of possibilities of modern high technologies to optimize the work of industrial designers in the media business and are aimed at providing the future user with a choice due to the specifics of work, habits and budget.