Cambridge Industrial Design (CID) recently moved a few doors down from our office on Vision Park, Histon, near Cambridge, so it was a great opportunity to meet and discuss the impact of SOLIDWORKS within industrial design. CID’s office move was sparked by the growth they have seen since the merger of two leading design companies, Cambridge Industrial Design (CID) and Think Product Design (TPD).
CID is jointly led by Alex Jones and Tim Evans. The company brings together CID’s award-wining scientific and technical product experience, close links to Far Eastern manufacturing resources, together with TPD’s skills and specialism in creating compelling consumer products. Between the two founders, the newly merged company has over 50 years experience, so who better to talk to, when we want to find out how SOLIDWORKS benefits Industrial Designers.
As Industrial Designers, CID like to be known as industrial designers that ‘make things work’, they bring their experience with a vast array of clients and projects to the table with a desire to ‘make things better’. As a consultancy they work in a collaborative and iterative process bringing a wider vision to the companies they work with enabling functional, cost effective and sustainable design. This is where SOLIDWORKS comes into its own. As all consultancy firms will find, clients expect more for less, quicker. Using SOLIDWORKS from concept to reality, CID can deliver just that.
Tim and Alex explain their process and how SOLIDWORKS maximizes value:
- Brief: Client to supply
- Research: Undertaken by CID
- Concept/Sketch: CID brainstorm and sketch out some rough concepts
- CAD: As quickly as possible, move from a sketch to SOLIDWORKS. This enables us to block space for the design, understand fiscal realities, form, fit and present compelling imagery to our clients.
- Concept Development: Once CID have worked through the iteration process with client, we then take their SOLIDWORKS models and develop the product from existing models saving valuable redesign time
- Concept Selection: Client presentations. SOLIDWORKS is not just a tool for design but a tool to maximise value for the client by creating photo realistic renderings and video to bring product concept to reality
- Concept Design
- Transfer to Manufacture: Again, the added functionality in SOLIDWORKS is priceless allowing CID to create manuals directly from the model bringing the collaborative process to all parts of the project
A great example of this kind of process can be seen in the development of an innovative Cat Flap. In partnership with local company SureFlap and its founder Dr. Nick Hill who have created an innovative product using microchip technology. The cat flap named ‘SureFlap’ has unique capabilities to open, only when your pet enters the home, preventing intruder cats from gaining access. The SureFlap is fully programmable to recognise your pet via their microchip and allows individual entry for all of the pets in the home, allowing controlled access to food etc.
When working with new technology products, design and production time scales are key. Using SOLIDWORKS and an iterative process CID ensured Nick and the team at SureFlap shortened design cycles. Being able to create designs for prototyping in as short a time as possible allows product to market faster to gain competitive advantage. SureFlap have created a unique product that is already gaining popularity and is recognised with various pet product awards.
The value that SOLIDWORKS brings to the table is second to none. Both Alex and Tim have worked in design for many years and were both early adopters of SOLIDWORKS – understanding the benefit the package would bring to their industry. CID have seen the development of the features and functionality in SOLIDWORKS over the years and are particularly pleased for the development of photorealistic rendering, compelling video creation and the ability to create collateral for other areas of business, such as Marketing and Production. 3D CAD has vastly changed over the years but the flexibility to design outside of the box that SOLIDWORKS offers, suits what they want to achieve in business, ‘make things work’.
To learn more about Cambridge Industrial Design
To learn more about the SureFlap