Advanced Rapid Military Systems Development with SOLIDWORKS
macintype_dev • 26 May 2017
With SOLIDWORKS Premium design and analysis software, SelectTech GeoSpatial can more rapidly deliver C2ISR systems by accelerating design, production, and assembly operations.
The SelectTech GeoSpatial Advanced Manufacturing Facility specialises in the rapid development, production, and delivery of command and control, intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance (C2ISR) systems.
The company was founded to create and manufacture C2ISR systems more rapidly than other defense contractors. To accomplish that mission, SelectTech GeoSpatial needed to use the latest 3D development technologies and lean, lexible manufacturing processes, according to Executive Director Frank Beafore.
“Our niche is being able to design and build a range of special projects on the fly,” Beafore explains.
“To succeed, we need to develop, manufacture, and ship C2ISR and related systems for deployment faster than anyone else. The US Department of Defense (DOD) values contractors who can consistently deliver on time and on budget. From the very beginning, we sought out the best design and manufacturing tools available to help our people meet that standard.”
Printing a UAV Working with SOLIDWORKS Premium software and a Stratasys® Dimension® FDM (fused deposition modeling) 3D printer, SelectTech GeoSpatial set out to prove that an agile, innovative company could produce a UAV quickly and with limited resources. Using SOLIDWORKS software, the company cut development time on the plane by 75 percent and prototyping costs by 83 percent. The plane’s successful test flight marked the first time that a 3D-printed UAV took off and landed successfully.
The only parts of the plane, which has a four-foot wingspan and weighs less than five pounds, that did not come off the 3D printer are the motor, landing gear, and two carbon-fiber rods.
“SOLIDWORKS lets us simultaneously create, test, build and demonstrate designs, which results in faster deployment”
Beth Galang, Chief Designer
“The purpose of the project was to demonstrate that we can conceive, develop, and execute complex systems and get them out quickly,” Beafore stresses. “We basically built a UAV in a week and a half, and SOLIDWORKS played a major role in that effort. Because of this project, we’re now developing a full 25-pound UAV with a 10-foot wingspan. SOLIDWORKS software enables us to rapidly design and build UAVs.”