Objet system helps design consultancy meet impossible client deadlines
As a full service design consultancy, ID Group provides just about everything for their high profile clientele, who span a wide range of industries, including consumer goods, architectural, transportation and aerospace. The product design and development company combines research, industrial design, engineering and manufacturing under one roof, to provide turn-key capabilities as well as technical and strategic expertise.
Until recently, the one stage of the development process the company didn’t do in house was rapid prototyping, opting instead to outsourced the production of product and manufacturing equipment models. The problems was, says Jeremy Wilkens, design manager, ID Group, relying on a third party for these services was hurting their business.
“Our bottom line was impacted – and we were constantly dealing with issues related to our clients’ needs to develop and bring new products to market in the most timely manner,” Wilkens says. “We were not able to fully realize the benefits of our design iterations and improvements, but all of this changed when we brought rapid prototyping technology in-house.”
ID Group opted for Objet Geometries’ Eden500V model due to its high-level detail, smaller office footprint and ease-of-use. The company was also attracted by the ability to create models incorporating a wide range of materials, including Objet’s rubberlike FullCure Tango materials. Most importantly, Wilkens says, it allows ID Group to meet once impossible client deadlines and improve testing and validation processes.
“Our designers and engineers can now modify and output designs more quickly for faster, better outcomes,” he says. “When clients come to our office, the Eden 500V takes centre stage. They’re dazzled by its capabilities.”
From bikes to planes
ID Group utilizes its Objet system to develop client solutions across the full spectrum of industries and applications with spectacular results. In one example, a start-up company partnered with ID Group to develop an early-stage prototype of a bicycle for riding on snow called the Ktrak Cycle. Using the Objet system, Wilkens and his colleagues were able to quickly produce and piece together complex components of the model, from bicycle wheels to a rubber-like belt, resulting in a working prototype that could be ridden and tested.
The speed with which ID Group delivered the model – and enhanced the initial design concept – enabled the start-up to quickly ramp-up full production and successfully launch the product in time for the 2008 winter season. Almost immediately, the Ktrak Cycle – with 25 times the traction and flotation of the average mountain bike – gained distribution to sporting goods dealers around the world.