Cool Gear International, LLC
Supporting Growth in Cooler Product Development with SOLIDWORKS Professional
Expanding Product DevelopmentUsing SOLIDWORKS Professional software, Cool Gear has expanded product development, both in terms of its design staff and in the number and diversity of its products. “As our company has grown, so has our product development effort,” Mason explains. “We’ve gone beyond basic hydration products to develop several new product lines—more than doubling our product offering in the process—and expanded our development team from a single designer to a staff of seven creative professionals. “SOLIDWORKS software has helped us support this growth by accelerating our development cycles, facilitating collaboration, enhancing design visualization, and driving the establishment of our dynamic rapid prototyping/3D printing studio,” Mason continues. “SOLIDWORKS helps us maintain our lean philosophy while advancing our design effort. We are generating so many product designs with SOLIDWORKS that it seems like we can’t manufacture new products fast enough.”
Advancing Rapid PrototypingThe move to SOLIDWORKS Professional software not only enabled Cool Gear to generate accurate, visual representations of new product designs, it has also allowed the cooler products manufacturer to heavily leverage rapid prototyping and 3D printing technologies. “SOLIDWORKS, 3D printing, and rapid prototypes are integral parts of what we do,” Mason says. “In addition to our Stratasys Dimension® 3D printer, we’ve installed a 3D Systems Viper® SLA (stereolithography) system that uses a clear resin to prototype products for which clarity is a requirement, such as water bottles,” Mason adds. “SOLIDWORKS software provides us with the tools to interact visually with a design, and the ability to quickly produce physical prototypes adds a tactile, in-the-hand experience to the process. Using SOLIDWORKS and our rapid prototyping studio, we can create working prototypes that are as close to the final product as possible. The benefits of this capability extend beyond design because in many cases, the prototype actually sells the product.”
Beating the CompetitionLeveraging SOLIDWORKS Professional software to maintain a lean, fast-response approach to product development gives Cool Gear an advantage in an increasingly competitive market. In addition to applying this philosophy to the development of its own product line—such as a double-walled, insulated vessel that looks like a soda can—the company brings the same approach to its partnerships with major brands—chiller cups for Coke®, for example. “There’s so much competition, that you need to be fast and reliable to win,” Mason stresses. “With SOLIDWORKS software, we’ve brought designability to a whole new level,” Mason says. “We can quickly create designs, generate renderings, produce prototypes, and expedite design changes, all of which enables us to beat the competition and stay ahead of the game.”
Grow the product offering, design throughput, and product development staff to support partnerships with leading household brands, and to support its merger with Igloo Products, the world’s leading cooler brand.
Implement SOLIDWORKS Professional product development software.
- Doubled product offering
- Increased diversity of product line
- Grew partnerships with major brands
- Supported merger with Igloo Products