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Software designs sports cars

06 November 2007

One of the leading hand-built sportscar manufacturers, Westfield Sportscars, has made the decision to switch to Autodesk Inventor design software because of its versatility and digital prototyping capability. Managing director of the family-run firm, Julian Turner, explains that lengthening waiting lists for the cars have led the company to consider ways to minimise lead times. He predicts that cutting the number of physical prototypes made - and instead using the Inventor model for testing and analysis - will help significantly in this goal.

“We are under constant pressure to produce more cars,” he says. “Previously we would build 10 chassis prototypes, try them all, test them and then destroy them. Using Inventor to build a digital prototype to check for design clashes, and then using it for more complex analyses such as emissions testing, will both encourage innovation and help to raise productivity as it will enable us to cut physical prototypes to just one or two.”

Westfield currently produces over 400 cars a year for driving enthusiasts worldwide. Manufactured at the firm’s West Midlands headquarters, and sold either factory-built or as self-assembly kits, these are renowned for their craftsmanship, speed and agility. Consequently, demand is constantly high and order books are always full.

Turner explains that Westfield’s two design engineers previously used a combination of AutoCAD and a competitive application. However, they decided to migrate to Inventor, “because of its multi-functional capability. For example, we do all our manufacturing in house - Inventor gives detailed manufacturing guidelines, so it does a lot of the work for us."

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