Force Protection's anti-mine vehicle designed in SOLIDWORKS 'stars' in 'Transformers' movie
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SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD software ensures 23-ton vehicle used to maintain troop and civilian safety around the world is 'more than meets the eye'
CONCORD, Mass., Aug. 22, 2007 - A monstrous vehicle developed in SOLIDWORKS® 3D CAD and COSMOSWorks® design analysis software and used to detect and remove mines in troubled areas around the world is an 'actor' in the recently released "Transformers" movie. Force Protection, Inc. designed its Buffalo Mine Protected Clearance Vehicle (MPCV) to be a lifesaver, but the vehicle's resume now boasts a Hollywood part as the evil Decepticon Bonecrusher.
Already deployed globally and in use since 2003, the Buffalo MPCV several months ago made a trip to the DreamWorks movie studio where engineers and creative artists inspected the vehicle, which is 27 feet long, 10 feet wide, and 13 feet tall. It has a long hydraulic arm with a rake attachment that can scoop up roadside explosives. The studio's creative designers constructed a digital model of the vehicle used to put the Bonecrusher
"It's pretty cool to have a character in a movie based upon one of our company's designs," said Derek Parker, engineering section manager of the Capsule Group at Force Protection. "But as menacing as the transformer looks on film, the Buffalo's real-life mission means that it must be even more rugged than what is portrayed in the film. SOLIDWORKS and COSMOSWorks allowed us to explore myriad design options to make sure it is tough enough to withstand the extreme conditions that it operates in."
Based outside of Charleston, S.C., Force Protection has standardized on 94 licenses of SOLIDWORKS software to better design a broad range of vehicles used in military applications. The company dramatically reduces development time and production costs using SOLIDWORKS and COSMOSWorks by conducting much of its vehicle prototyping on computers. "We're now able to see if components such as engine mounts or the drive train will line up within required tolerances to ensure a safe and reliable vehicle. The software allows us to save time so we can focus on evaluating the best design approach and constantly improve our designs while reducing the number of prototypes we build. Ultimately, we begin final production sooner, and minimize otherwise huge expenses," said Parker.
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Parker cited other SOLIDWORKS benefits, including the intuitive user interface, associativity to automate changes throughout the design, and easily understandable 3D models that politicians, military commanders, and non-engineers can interpret.
"Whether in the military, or Hollywood , Force Protection's customers have very high expectations for its vehicles," said Rainer Gawlick, SOLIDWORKS vice president of worldwide marketing. "Having the right 3D CAD and design analysis software helps the company continue designing better products to meet those expectations."
Force Protection, Inc. works with authorized SOLIDWORKS' reseller ModernTech Mechanical for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.
About Force Protection
Force Protection is a leading blast and ballistics research and manufacturing enterprise, specializing in the development and production of vehicles that are designed to save the lives of troops around the world by shielding them from the deadly effects of roadside bombs, or IEDs. The company's vehicles have become the gold standard and the in-field performance of its Cougar and Buffalo vehicles is unmatched in the industry, standing as evidence that not all v- shaped hulls are created equally. Force Protection's mine and ballistic protection technologies are among the most advanced in the world. The vehicles are manufactured outside Charleston, S.C. For more information, visit the company's Web site at www.forceprotection.net.
About ModernTech Mechanical
Representing SOLIDWORKS since 1996, ModernTech Mechanical is a value added reseller representing leading design technology providers such as SOLIDWORKS, Z Corporation, CADpo, and others. ModernTech Mechanical is focused on the needs of companies in the mechanical and manufacturing marketplace and is one of the largest SOLIDWORKS resellers in the Southeast. For more information, visit the Web site at www.moderntechmech.com.
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