Monthly feature: Iray+ in the product design workflow

As a process, product design requires a host of stages involving accuracy, evaluation, collaboration and many other factors before a final product is created. Although each organisation, designer or agency will have subtle differences in how they execute a product design project, the basic processes stay similar. With the need for flexibility ranging from initial concept, through sketching and prototypes right up to manufacturing, Iray®+ has an array of features that can be used to enhance product development at all of these stages.

The Iray+ SDK (software development kit) can be integrated into any design process, through the development of bespoke design applications and configurators or integrated into existing CAD applications, producing high-quality 3D renders. Iray+, built on NVIDIA's Iray, provides powerful and accurate digital content, which have numerous benefits at all stages of product design. Using photo-real and physically-based digital images to represent accurate simulations of potential products in a product development process enables designers to see functionality, reliability, quality, aesthetics and more on an interactive representation of their product. With Iray+, the product design workflow is more interactive, flexible and accurate than ever before due to the unique features the technology brings to designers.



In the product design process, interaction with a product at all stages is crucial. The ability to evaluate aesthetics, materials, lighting and geometry enables designers to assess all facets of design in a time efficient and collaborative manner. Iray+ provides four unique render modes, which gives the product development process a unique and flexible rendering experience, balancing quality and speed throughout the workflow.

With four render modes, three interactive and one photoreal, Iray+ is designed to perform in any scenario. Interactive Fast Mode can be used by those who want to see changes rendered fast, with approximated lighting effects and ray traced materials. With this mode designers can quickly see what effects changes have on a product. This type of interactive design process increases flexibility and allows for quick feedback on design iterations when exploring technical details at the initial stages of concept design.

Other render modes can be used throughout the workflow to meet different requirements. When creating initial design images Interactive Direct Mode gives designers the ability to add real-world materials and lighting effects to the product. With the fast diffuse global illumination, the render time is still minimal but with additional accuracy. Interactive Preview Mode has fully direct lighting and sophisticated approximated global illumination models, so designers can interact with renders that are nearly photo-real. In the final stages of the design this allows designers to see the detail of their product whilst retaining the ability to make final modifications. Non-designers can also see intricate design features before finalising decisions.

Photoreal Mode is a high performance feature that generates physically accurate and fully interactive images with the highest quality final frame output. With the real-world accuracy of Photoreal Mode there is no need for prototypes; designers can see all features and behaviours of their product with a true representation of the product in a real-world setting. Iray+ allows designers to enhance the productivity of any design pipeline, with each mode giving interactivity from initial concept to final design.     


Iray+ offers numerous benefits throughout the product design process for designers who need to try different design options.  At the forefront of these benefits are the physically-based materials that give designers the opportunity to interact with materials in the same way they would in the real-world. The unique characteristics and aesthetics of a potential product can be decided through the flexibility that comes with interaction with different materials and designs that Iray+ provides.

A wealth of material options are available to designers with Iray+, giving the flexibility to assess numerous design iterations using the images created.  Iray+ provides a plethora of base materials that designers can take advantage of. Users can also develop and build their own specific materials as needed. The scope of materials and physical accuracy available mean designers can interact with fabrics, textures and components on a deeper level in the design process.

Moulding together the physically-based nature of the materials with the photorealism of the digital image output provides designers with the opportunity to evaluate all design aspects of a product in a more detailed manner. How the product looks, reacts and behaves with all design iterations can be seen using the flexibility of Iray+, meaning numerous design calculations can be made using this visual information. Schematic representation of operations and the relationship between components can be assessed in a detailed manner.  With the ability to test multiple options using digital technology in product screening, preliminary design and testing, designers have an opportunity to interact with their product in a flexible manner and evaluate final design decisions.   


Once a product has been through the stages of screening and preliminary design, Iray+ provides designers with real-world accuracy to make informed final design decisions. A multitude of materials, designs and features can be tried, and designers can calculate how each of these affects cost to manufacture, profit, ease of production and much more.

Being able to finalise design decisions in this manner saves designers both time and money, as it is quicker and cheaper than producing numerous prototypes. With the accuracy that Iray+ offers in terms of materials, photorealism and more, critical evaluation of all features can be undertaken using the digital representation of the final product. The ability to test and analyse all facets allows designers to calculate a multitude of results to deem whether the product is suitable for manufacturing and production.

With the accuracy provided by Iray+, the product design process can be completed with designers safe in the knowledge that their final product is being 100% truly represented by the digital representation of their final design.  Iray+ can transform a product development workflow by giving designers unparalleled interactivity, flexibility and accuracy. To find out more about the Lightworks, application and configurator development and creative services, visit our website at:

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