- Shortened design period
- Eased communication between product manager, design engineer, and machinist
- Pointed out potential flaws and anomalies
- Completed the project on time, within budget
Mountain Cycle designs and manufactures state-of-the-art aluminum monocoque bicycle frames, including the well-known San Andreas frameset which led the downhill racing revolution over seven years ago and remains one of the sport's top choices for performance and looks. In January 1998, Mountain Cycle set out to design the industry's most technologically advanced frameset: the ShockWave. The primary challenge, which led Mountain Cycle to evaluate SolidWorks CAD software, was to bridge the gap between 3D wireframe and prototypes.
SolidWorks CAD software delivers the ability to conceptualize solid parts, giving designers more confidence in designs, while pointing out flaws and anomalies, which are not immediately obvious. Prototyping for form and function have virtually been eliminated, leaving more effort and time for durability testing. Other important attributes are top-down assembly modeling, ease of translation between solid part and drawing, ease of 3D modeling over wireframes in CADKEY, and geometry data translation into Mastercam, a CAM package. The ShockWave frameset was Mountain Cycle's first major design project using SolidWorks CAD software. Designers completed the project on time and within budget, but the most noticeable benefit of using SolidWorks was the ease of communication between product manager, design engineer, and machinist. The solid modeling and robust detailing capabilities were other major assets.
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