Annex Products Pty. Ltd.
Taking the Lead in Smartphone Mounting Systems Development with SOLIDWORKS Professional
FROM KICKSTARTER TO MARKET LEADERUsing SOLIDWORKS Professional design software, Annex quickly developed Quad Lock designs for every new iPhone model since 2011—as well as Samsung Galaxy smartphones—designing, testing, manufacturing, and delivering new products in a matter of weeks. The company’s design agility has helped it increase annual revenue from zero in 2011 to $10 million in 2016. Annex has received several awards for the Quad Lock design, and with more than half a million units sold, the company has grown from a startup to a market leader. “We work with a variety of smartphone design data—including 2D drawings, scan data, and limited 3D geometry—to turn products around much faster than with conventional approaches,” Peters notes. “With SOLIDWORKS software, our Ultimaker 2+ FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printer, and a Form 1+ stereolithography (SLA) machine, we can iterate on designs and physical prototypes very rapidly, which has been an important part of our success.”
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF SOLIDWORKS SURFACING TOOLSBecause iPhones and other smartphones incorporate curvature into a phone’s shape and housing, Annex heavily leverages the advanced surfacing capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Professional software to precisely and efficiently emulate the phone’s profile in the company’s protective cases. “To match the continual curvature of today’s smartphones, we use a hybrid of surface and solid modeling in SOLIDWORKS,” Peters explains. “We find the fill and boundary surface tools give us the best results for controlling tangency and curvature to obtain the right shape,” Peters adds. “Creating the blends and transitions in our products is only possible using the powerful surfacing tools in SOLIDWORKS Professional.”
PREPARING FOR INJECTION-MOLDING PRODUCTIONAnnex also utilizes the mold development and analysis tools in SOLIDWORKS Professional software—particularly the draft analysis tools—to ensure the manufacturability of its parts, most of which are injection-molded by a moldmaker and manufacturing partner. “SOLIDWORKS draft analysis is critical for us to not only guarantee that our parts will pop out of the molds but also to work out where the parting lines and injection points should go. It’s a key tool for assessing the manufacturability of our products,” Peters says. “SOLIDWORKS mold development tools enable us to reduce iterations and streamline interaction with our moldmaker,” Peters continues. “SOLIDWORKS Professional has definitely allowed us to accelerate time-to-market.”
Establish and grow startup smartphone accessory products company through fast, effective new product design and production to support newly launched smartphone models more quickly than the competition.
Implement SOLIDWORKS Professional design software.
- Grew annual revenue from zero to $10 million
- Turned new products around in a matter of weeks
- Sold over a half million units in five years
- Improved interaction with moldmakers