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3D CAD pleases with multiple concepts

01 March 2008

The more design options you can present to your client, the sooner they’re likely to hit upon the one that’s right for them. Such was the case with design consultancy, Creative when it provided a range of concepts for a new laboratory instrument

Creactive Design is using SolidWorks 3D CAD software to accelerate development of everything from solar lanterns to phone kiosks and commuter rail cars. Recently, a device designed in SolidWorks by the design consultancy for Thermo Fisher Scientific has set a standard for compact spectrometers that identify trace elements in liquids for a variety of industries.

“Presenting customers with options is critical to success for design consultancies,” said Hans Petersen, a Creactive partner. “SolidWorks allows us to work quickly enough so that we can create a broad range of concepts to present to our clients, increasing the chance they’ll see a solution that meets their needs. The software was crucial to the Thermo Fisher Scientific iCAP 6000 spectrometer design.”

One of the many challenges Creactive faced was to make the radically smaller spectrometer easy to operate in confined laboratory environments. SolidWorks enabled Mr Petersen and his team to visualise how all of the device’s components would shrink down and fit into a smaller unit, while ensuring against part interference. Reducing design errors on the computer helped the company to minimise expensive prototyping and accelerated production.

Creactive created the design for the award-winning iCAP 6000 in less than six months. “We wouldn’t have even attempted this form in 2D,” said Andrew Russell, senior designer. “It would have been a square box without any of the ergonomics that make it easy to operate, even in a compact shape.”

Boeing recently purchased the 500th iCAP 6000 instrument to monitor the contents of chemical tanks used in the production of aluminum wings and other structural components.

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