Prominently displayed at the SOLIDWORKS North American headquarters in Waltham, MA, you can see Jason Pohl’s handiwork, a custom-designed motorcycle, engineered entirely with SOLIDWORKS®. Best known for his long career at Orange County Choppers (OCC), Pohl is now an independent designer at Jason Pohl LLC. His enthusiasm for design, innovation, problem solving, and creativity is infectious.
Pohl first started using SOLIDWORKS at OCC when he was 21 years old. “I kind of rolled my eyes when I first learned that I had to use SOLIDWORKS for design, but I gave it a shot anyway,” remembers Pohl. “Now I have been using SOLIDWORKS for over 16 years, and I use it every day in my new business.” Pohl is especially proud of inspiring others to become designers, engineers, or manufacturers. “If I can help just one kid figure out what they want to do in life…that’s called a mission success.”
Pohl earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree at the Illinois Institute of Art. He started out working on various video games as an artist/animator at Incredible Technologies. While lead designer at Orange County Choppers, he created state-of-the-art designs for Fortune 500 companies and individuals from all over the world. Pohl says his favorite project is always “the next one.”
When asked for his advice to students interested in science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM), Pohl says: “Work hard every day. Learn every day. Constantly put yourself in uncomfortable situations and adapt and overcome and never remain complacent. No one’s going to give you a free ticket to easy town right into an awesome job. You’re going to have to earn everything you get.”
Pohl is an “Industrial Design Champion” for SOLIDWORKS and 3DEXPERIENCE® Works. In this capacity, Pohl’s design process—creating custom parts from an initial concept sketch to 3D sculpting, programming, and machining of the final product—will be recorded and used as an educational tool.
Pohl’s primary goals as an industrial designer (and artist) are to create compelling, stylized designs for his customers that naturally grab attention. When Pohl discovered 3D Sculptor, a Sub-D modeling tool in the 3DEXPERIENCE Works portfolio, he became obsessed with it. “It’s just like pushing clay around,” says Pohl. In 3D Sculptor, you start with a basic shape and push and pull it into the form of the object you desire.
Being a dyed-in-the-wool SOLIDWORKS user, Pohl admits that he was at first hesitant to try the other tools on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. But once he spent time investigating and trying new products, his attitude changed. “If I had never touched 3D Sculptor, I would have been the same designer I was 3 months ago,” says Pohl.
When Pohl worked at OCC and was asked what he did for a living, he replied, “Well, I draw pictures of motorcycles, and then I color them in. So, in a way, I get paid to color.” But what Pohl does is actually far more elaborate: research and development, conceptual sketching, 3D modeling, photorealistic rendering of design ideas, CNC programming, machining, and more.
Pohl aims to inspire the next generation of designers by demonstrating the power of SOLIDWORKS and the 3DEXPERIENCE WORKS portfolio. He shares his extensive design and manufacturing knowledge with educational seminars and user group meetings via video and in-person demonstrations. Viewers will become better acquainted with 3D printers, CNC machine manufacturers, hardware companies, and tooling partners, among other benefits.
“I’m excited to share my experiences with other designers and inventors,” says Pohl. “With a healthy imagination and the proper tools, I really do believe people can create just about anything.”
Pohl believes the opportunities for students to learn are endless. “Watch YouTube to see what professionals are doing [in the design and engineering world]. Keep hustling. Every day and every night, push yourself to be that much better than the peers around you.”
If you have further questions about SOLIDWORKS or 3DEXPERIENCE Works, please contact your local reseller.