The Pre-production Advantage

Solidworks is a powerful industrial design package that is used around the world for prototyping, product design, product simulation and production planning for a variety of industries. While it’s mostly used to design vehicles, home appliances, industrial products, and others, it is extremely powerful to improve the design and production of signs.

See how Solidworks aided in the design and production of a recent project for Industry Beans.

Industry Beans desired a simple yet elegant design which had to suit the minimalist industrial styling of their venues. A key element of the design was to integrate the use of bespoke gold anodised aluminium, reflecting the attributes that make Industry Beans a popular venue for their customers.

To ensure the unique, one-of-a-kind sign was capable of being manufactured, we used Solidworks to build each component to model how it would be ultimately made. With all of the parts developed, we constructed the sign digitally in order to confirm how production was to be approached.

During pre-production all the components can be revealed in order to confirm fitment and positioning. This allowed for the Industry Beans sign to be built without any time-delaying issues during live production.

Solidworks enables us to solve manufacturing issues like how to address the floating centres of the lettering. Industry beans preferred not to utilise clear acrylic mounted directly behind the anodised aluminium face, so we had to develop a manufacturable method to suspend the centres.

Solidworks has several tools to help us understand more about our designs, such as mass calculation. By referring to material density figures we are able to calculate the approximate weight of the sign. This additional information allowed us to choose better materials to reduce weight. Also by understanding the weight of the sign, appropriately rated fixings could be determined for secure mounting to the on-site structure.

Once the design had been qualified and approved by Industry Beans, we published the drawings and sent them out for production. The anodised aluminium face was exported as a flat pattern design which was used to laser cut the aluminium. The accurate design ensured that all edges of the aluminium when folded to shape met correctly, improving production time by not having to rectify misalignment issues.

The Industry Beans sign is a perfect example of how Solidworks gives us the pre-production advantage to design and manufacture unique signs for our clients.

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