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Design Engine News

August 17th, 2012

The Future of Hovercraft

Empowered by Design-Engine, Kicked out by Kickstarter, and now a go on IndieGoGo: Mercier-Jones presents the Future of Hovercraft.

For unexplainably “not meeting Kickstarter’s guidelines” this project hit a road block right near the culmination of over 10 years hard work. Not the first road block, nor the last, and definitely not one that was able to stop the project.

Michael Mercier, CEO and Co-Founder of Mercier-Jones has been building and designing hovercraft since the eighth grade. He has a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a background in product development. Design-Engine’s Solidworks Surfacing Intensive gave him the tools and methods he needed to unleash this latest hovercraft design from his head and realize it in 3D. Now, with his cousin, Chris Jones, he is ready to build the Mercier-Jones Hovercraft in reality. With the support of all contributors to the IndieGoGo campaign, this reality is very near. Contribute to the campaign to become part of the Future of Hovercraft.

Realizing a design in 3D takes time, patience, skill and a solid process. Design-Engine’s Solidworks Surfacing Intensive taught a process that gave Michael the aptitude to design the Mercier-Jones Hovercraft in 3D. The class enables one to learn surfacing with respect to ergonomics, plastics, and with respect to how light reflects off of forms. Here is what the process looked like:

Click to View Images:

2D curve planning on pencil and iPad sketches. Boundary box setup in Solidworks with sketch plane images as reference. First surfaces built and mirroredSide features laid out Boundary surfaces mirrored to show the first shot of the model. Playing with surfaces to find the right form. Sketches over 3D on iPad using Sketch Book Pro to capture inspirations and tune the form. Surfaces rebuilt with a much clearer direction to prove form The hovercraft finds its form. Adding the details… The Mercier-Jones hovercraft body nearly completed 11 Light reflections in a Keyshot rendering with the completed model





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