3D Tools Reduce Design Cycle for a Small Bike Maker

Duratec Ltd. is used to tough markets. The company was founded in a garage in the Czech Republic in 1997. Now it designs, manufactures, and ships custom bike frames optimized for performance and comfort -- with only two full-time design engineers. Since Duratec exports 60 percent of its product, it competes squarely with firms that operate globally.

Productivity begins with the design cycle. To maintain a competitive edge, Duratec has adopted the 3Dconnexion SpacePilot and SpacePilot Pro , two types of 3D mice that are built specifically for CAD professionals.

Duratec learned about 3Dconnexion's 3D mice at a Dassault Systemes PLM forum and immediately recognized the potential for increased output. Used in tandem with SolidWorks, CATIA V5 , and 3DVIA Composer , the 3D mice shortened Duratec's design cycle by 20 percent.

With 3D mice, users can pan, zoom, and rotate models simultaneously for enhanced design freedom and accuracy. The mice also have customizable function keys that make using 3D CAD software even more intuitive, leading to fewer errors. With the function keys, users can quickly access any function/macro, get visual feedback on the SpacePilot Pro LCD, and watch functions update automatically as they move from one application environment to another.

It's a good lesson for any design outfit looking to slim down and speed up -- close in-house collaboration combined with the right workstation improves efficiency and productivity. These benefits can keep your team working hard and comfortably, even during long design sessions.

John Moseley is the director of global marketing for 3Dconnexion, the creator of 3D mice for design and visualization professionals.

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