Design Engineering

Dynamic Structures named 2009 Inventor of the Year

By DE staff   


Company’s robotics-assisted rides are changing the face of entertainment

B.C.’s Dynamic Structures has been named Autodesk’s Inventor of the Year for 2009. Members of the Autodesk manufacturing community chose the Canada-based provider of dynamic, complex structures by voting on the Autodesk Manufacturing Community website. The company—which designs complex structures from ski jumps and bridges to astronomical observatories—was originally named Inventor of the Month in March 2009 for its work designing the enclosure that will house the world’s largest telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope. The company is also using Autodesk Inventor software to raise the bar on what consumers expect from theme parks by creating bigger and more thrilling rides.

“Our company motto is ‘Anything you can dream, we can build,’” said Craig Breckenridge, senior designer at Dynamic Structures. “Inventor software has played a big role in helping us make good on that promise, and we’re honored to have the innovative work that we do recognized with the Inventor of the Year award.”


The company has successfully been using Inventor software to expand the offerings of its entertainment division, which designs attractions for the multibillion-dollar international amusement ride industry.

Notably, Dynamic Structures specializes in adding robotics to entertainment rides. This takes the form of roller coasters that operate on articulated arms, so that riders experience more unexpected motion and positions than on a regular rollercoaster track; motion theaters whose seats have programmable pitch and heave, so that audiences feel the sensations that they are viewing on the movie screen; and automatically guided vehicles that can navigate indoor and outdoor attractions in a pre-programmed fashion, without requiring a track.

Since these large amusement rides are difficult to physically assemble and test during the prototype phase of product development, Dynamic Structures relies on digital prototypes created in Inventor software as well as collaboration with Autodesk reseller and training partner IMAGINiT Technologies. Digital Prototyping enables the company to put all the mechanical and structural components in motion to simulate performance.

For example, this dynamic analysis helps the company identify corners that are too sharp or drops that are too steep long before the ride is built. The company can even check to see that it is not exceeding the acceptable G-force that a passenger is subjected to on a ride, helping to allow thrills and safety to go hand in hand.


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