Founder spotlight: Lightwork Design

From Digital to Reality: Visualising Exciting Design Ideas

Located only a few steps from the Sheffield Botanical Gardens, Lightworks combines three decades of software development expertise with a passionate multidisciplinary team to offer world-leading 3D technology. Lightworks is all things visualisation, from bespoke software development and integration into CAD applications, through stunning product configuration, to a wide array of future-proof, creative services.

Founded in 1989 by four talented individuals including former Managing Director, Gordon Oliver, Lightworks was originally based in the Sheffield Science Park and later on moved to its current location, Rutledge House, a building established in the 1850s as the Victoria Park Hotel.

With the initial aim to develop a software development toolkit for creating photorealistic 3D geometry for design and manufacture applications across distinct industries, Lightworks became one of the city’s long-running success stories with a reputation for 3D innovation and cutting-edge visualisation technology. Following a management buyout in 2006, led by current Managing Director David Forrester, the company’s passion and dedication to technology further paved the way for introducing 3D rendering tools to industrial, architectural and product design workflows.

AutomotiveToday, life-like rendered images are becoming commonplace; replacing photographs in advertising campaigns for cars, substituting drafts for clothing articles and complex architectural concept sketches. Breaking with obsolete industry practices, Lightworks’ visuals have the ability to put product photoshoots, design prototypes and time-consuming test renders into the shade across a multitude of industries; saving considerable time and money for businesses.

From initial successes, Lightworks hasn’t looked back and still continues to work closely with industry leaders, including Siemens, as well as local businesses, such as Profactum. Lightworks continues to go from strength to strength, boasting solutions for nearly 50 CAD software packages, with a combined user base exceeding three million.

David Forrester, Lightworks’ Managing Director, comments: “The original founders had a vision of enabling any user working with 3D modelling systems to bring their designs to life using powerful rendering technology. That vision remains just as valid today. We still continue to innovate and bring our technologies to new markets. We’re now working with a plethora of brands to improve their customer experiences by creating intuitive and stunning visuals and outstanding point-of-sale technologies.”

ApparelHaving recently celebrated their 27th anniversary, Lightworks are proud to have acquired a loyal customer base and continue to widen their portfolio across the design, manufacture and entertainment sectors. Working with segments such as automotive, jewellery and apparel worldwide, Lightworks have efficiently delivered successful software integrations and bespoke design applications.


A partnership with global graphics hardware provider, NVIDIA in 2013 contributed to the enhancement of the physically-based rendering technology, Iray®. Lightworks’ extended Iray+ rendering technology truly represents stunning, complex materials, life-like reflections and lighting conditions in the digital realm to capture the essence of designs and products waiting to be manufactured.

Visit the Lightwork Design website.