Design Engineering

Vancouver’s Weatherhaven deploys portable shelters with help from Autodesk

By Design Engineering Staff   

CAD/CAM/CAE Autodesk CAD design Inventor

Design and data management software helps Canadian company cut costs and development time for Shelters used from Haiti to Antarctica.

SAN RAFAEL, Calif. — Autodesk, Inc. has named Vancouver-based Weatherhaven as the Autodesk Inventor of the Month for March 2011. The company’s shelters have supported activities ranging from earthquake relief efforts in Haiti to scientific expeditions in Antarctica and peacekeeping missions in the Sahara Desert.

Given the urgent nature of its customer needs, Weatherhaven must not only rapidly configure and manufacture systems, but also ensure they are mobile, redeployable and lightweight so the shelters can be quickly and easily broken down, moved and reassembled when an operation shifts locations.

Autodesk partner IMAGINiT Technologies provided training and support to help Weatherhaven create lighter, more mobile shelters. Creating a 3D digital model in Inventor helps make it easier for engineers to maintain focus on safety requirements, even as they optimize the design and lower the overall weight of the shelter.

“Inventor software plays a critical role for our company in improving our innovation, competitiveness and response time in serving customers, often enabling us to out-compete companies several times our size,” said Ray Castelli, chief executive officer at Weatherhaven.


Inventor automatically calculates the weight of various parts and assemblies as Weatherhaven engineers create the designs. In addition, by using integrated finite element analysis in Inventor software, engineers can better predict important factors, such as stress, and tweak the design accordingly.

Weatherhaven also uses Autodesk Vault product data management software to reuse designs and more effectively manage iterations and revisions, significantly reducing the need for rework and enabling the company to better respond to customers.


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