SOLIDWORKS Saves Cambridge Industrial Design from Getting in a Flap

Successful products marry innovative answers to intuitive design. Functionality plus form. Cambridge Industrial Design knows all about that, with a varied range of illustrious clients including Fender, AGA, Philips, and Wharfedale. Enticing product design is the core of its business and SOLIDWORKS helps the company achieve it.


Who is Cambridge Industrial Design?

A joint venture in the UK between Design Director Tim Evans and Managing Director Alex Jones, Cambridge Industrial Design provide product design to the tailored specifics of its clients. Elegant, bespoke product development that’s as useful as it is fancy.  No prizes for where it’s based (clue: it’s UK team could go punting for lunch and it’s not Oxford).

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How does SOLIDWORKS help?

To answer that, you might as well ask the cat. Literally.

Tasked with creating an innovative new gadget for pet moggies, Cambridge Industrial Design worked with SureFlap to invent a safer way for feline pets to enter the home. Utilising microchip technology, a chip in the cat’s collar activates the cat flap, allowing only the wearer access to the house, keeping strays safely outside. Simple ingenuity, it’s a great idea in kitty security. Now all that had to be done was to design it!

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SOLIDWORKS allowed the team the luxury of a virtual design suite without the expense of physical builds and prototypes. The fact that SOLIDWORKS can accurately replicate the real-world behaviour of any given material, allowed real-time stress tests, as the team developed the product. This gave the CID team excellent opportunity to explore variant prototypes as it went along, making adjustments on the fly to generate huge savings on both timescale and material cost. Perhaps ironically for a cat product, complicated changes could be made with just a few clicks of the mouse, all without the need to physically construct a single thing.

The result was a finished product ready for manufacture in a tight schedule, giving SureFlap advantage by getting to market swiftly and surely. There are a lot of happy, safe cats out there thanks to SOLIDWORKS.


Strike the pose

Using SOLIDWORKS has an enormous commercial benefit over traditional methods of practical design and build, such as photorealistic renderings created in the software package. These give a huge advantage in terms of marketing timescales. With the design and ergonomics such an inherent part of Cambridge Industrial Design’s USP, it’s able to take marketing images straight from the software platform ready for use by its clients, before the product is packaged and ready to sell.

Also doing away with the unnecessary expense, time and unpredictability of hiring a photographer, CID can keep going back to the product whenever they need to, grabbing any image from its build as its client demands, with variables such as lighting and exposure never a problem.


Where next for Cambridge Industrial Design?

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From tabby accessories to tablet accessories, the company doesn’t look set to slow down its design and production any time soon. The appliance of SOLIDWORKS’ intuitive software will carry on making its successful product engineering possible.

Read the original case study by Innova Systems, here.
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Author information

SOLIDWORKS UK
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.

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