Advancing Interactive Table and Wall Display Development with SOLIDWORKS Solutions
Ideum manufactures a range of state-of-the-art, multitouch hardware for use in demanding, high-traffic environments worldwide by implementing SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium.
Established in 1999 to develop interactive websites and
software for museums, Ideum has grown to become a leading
manufacturer of interactive, multitouch table and wall display
hardware solutions. After becoming dissatisfied with the
quality of display hardware available to support its applications,
the company began designing, building, and selling its own
multitouch tables in 2008. As more public spaces began
utilizing interactive touch displays, Ideum shifted its focus to
support growing demand for these products.
The company manufactures a range of state-of-the-art,
multitouch hardware for use in demanding, high-traffic
environments worldwide. Its products are used in a variety
of settings, particularly museums, including the National Air
and Space Museum in Washington, D.C.; the Field Museum in
Chicago; and the Exploratorium in San Francisco. Intended to
support multiple simultaneous users, these large-format tables
and wall-based touch devices incorporate high-end computers
and cutting-edge interactive touch display technology within
attractive, hardened designs.
During the transition from design firm to hardware
manufacturer, Ideum learned some hard lessons about
manufacturing, according to Creative Director and CEO Jim
Spadaccini. “We discovered that the creative tools that our
industrial designers used—the Adobe® Illustrator® drawing
and Rhino® surfacing packages—while certainly capable for
creating design concepts, were not as well suited for designing,
engineering, and manufacturing products,” Spadaccini recalls.
“In working with our fabricators and manufacturing partners, we
encountered mistakes related to data translation and inefficiencies
in the process,” Spadaccini explains. “It became clear that
expanding and providing our hardware to a larger audience
required a more robust development platform. Our primary sheet
metal fabricator recommended SOLIDWORKS® software, so we
standardized on the SOLIDWORKS platform in 2014.”
Ideum chose SOLIDWORKS software—implementing
SOLIDWORKS Professional design and SOLIDWORKS Premium
design and analysis software—because it’s easy to use, facilitates
manufacturing, and includes integrated finite element analysis
(FEA) simulation and PhotoView 360 photorealistic rendering
tools. “SOLIDWORKS allows us to streamline the development
and manufacturing process by giving us all the tools that we
need to communicate effectively with everyone from metal
fabricators to clients,” Spadaccini says.
Since standardizing on SOLIDWORKS, Ideum has realized
shorter design cycles and greater accuracy in the development
of standard and custom products. The interactive display
manufacturer has cut development time for custom
products in half and standard products by 25 percent.
“One particular challenge inherent to ambitious, custom
installations is the need to see how the hardware will look
in the overall space,” Spadaccini notes. “With SOLIDWORKS
PhotoView 360 rendering tools, our designers and engineers are
able to visualize custom hardware and hardware configurations
and share them with clients with a high level of accuracy.
“SOLIDWORKS has been instrumental in helping us minimize
design time and costs through the use of parametric design,
sheet metal, weldment, and structural analysis tools,”
Spadaccini adds. “We can easily share design elements, and
even some components, across our product lines, and can
design iteratively through the use of assembly configurations.
SOLIDWORKS associativity enables automatic updating of all
assembly and part drawings, shortening development time
between product cycles.”
REDUCED PROTOTYPING REQUIREMENTS WITH SIMULATION
By leveraging the simulation capabilities of SOLIDWORKS
Premium to perform FEA structural analyses and by taking
advantage of 3D printing for rapid prototyping, Ideum has
cut prototyping requirements for custom designs in half and
for standard products by two-thirds. “Before SOLIDWORKS,
we would often have multiple prototypes made and make
a decision based upon an actual physical product,” says
Technician Matt Gallegos. “Now, we can go through the
same process virtually, viewing multiple versions of rendered
photorealistic models, analyzing costing information, and
reviewing the simulation analysis.
“By making the switch to SOLIDWORKS, we have cut our
design cycle from 16 weeks to less than 12 weeks,” Gallegos
continues. “We used to create three prototypes prior to
deciding on a production model; now, we only need one.
This has saved a minimum of 160 man hours and substantial
prototyping costs on a single project.”
SUPPORTING EXPLOSIVE GROWTH
The productivity gains that Ideum has enjoyed since
transitioning to SOLIDWORKS have enabled the firm to maintain
its lean manufacturing approach in concert with explosive
business growth. “We were named an Inc. 5000 company in
2015 with an annual growth rate of 108 percent, and we’re on
a similar growth path this year,” Spadaccini notes.
“Our success stems from our ability to quickly integrate with new
technologies—like 4K HD displays,” Spadaccini says. “SOLIDWORKS
allows us to rapidly prototype new systems as well as boost annual
throughput by 30 to 40 percent to support growth.”
Accelerate the development of cutting-edge, interactive, multitouch digital tables and walls for use in museum displays and other applications—in response to continuous technological developments.
Implement SOLIDWORKS Professional design and SOLIDWORKS Premium design and analysis software to improve visualization of visitor engagement, accelerate design cycles, streamline manufacturing, and boost throughput.
Shortened development cycles by as much
as 50 percent
Cut rework by 90 percent
Realized return on CAD investment after
“SOLIDWORKS has been instrumental in helping us minimize design time and costs through the use of parametric design, sheet metal, weldment, and structural analysis tools... SOLIDWORKS associativity enables automatic updating of all assembly and part drawings, shortening development time between product cycles.”
-Jim Spadaccini, Creative Director and CEO
Using the simulation capabilities of SOLIDWORKS Premium software to perform finite element analysis (FEA) structural simulations of its product designs in combination with 3D printing for rapid prototypes, Ideum has cut its prototyping cycles in half, enabling the Inc. 5000 company to expand throughput and support explosive growth.
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