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SOLIDWORKS helped this small Australian business win big

Central Innovation 10 August 2017

South Australian company Design Brains aims to bring ideas to life through its product design, development and prototyping services. Their clients are located across the world, and their products include the award-winning Ding Lights.

After working with Inventor and Rhino for several years, the Design Brains team (led by founder Des Burns) moved to SOLIDWORKS as it could offer the team a wider range of functionality within the one software product. Burns explains, “previously we had to use different software packages when working on different parts of a project – for example, electronic components would be designed in one program, with plastic moldings in another and packaging in another”.

By reducing the number of software programs in use, the team could become far more efficient. These efficiencies result in reduced the time spent in the design phase; the number of prototypes required throughout the testing phases, and ultimately, a reduced time to market.

“SOLIDWORKS has enabled Design Brains to expand and win new business.”
– Des Burns, Founder

With previous training in SOLIDWORKS Surfacing and Advanced Assemblies, Burns was able to get up and running with the software within just a few weeks.

“It was incredibly easy to get up and running with SOLIDWORKS, especially with the support of the Intercad team”
– Des Burns, founder

SOLIDWORKS is now used by the Design Brains team for all projects from product and tooling design through to large industrial fabrication design.

SOLIDWORKS Project: Ding Lights

With a personal interest in lighting design and cycling, it is no surprise that Design Brains founder Des Burns created a lighting solution tailored to the needs of inner-city cyclists. The innovative product, called Ding Lights, features two beams of light that illuminate the path both at the front, and to the side, of the cyclist. This light formation improves the cyclists ability to see the road ahead, while also making them more visible to others. This is the only light in the world that uses this unique pattern of lighting within the one unit, and has been granted patent protection.

SOLIDWORKS was used throughout the development of the Ding Light, from the design of the product and its metal housing, through to the creation of high-quality images that were used in the product’s Users’ Guide. The software was even used in the design of the light beams themselves; as well as fully populated circuit boards, connectors and wiring routings.

When it came to packaging, SOLIDWORKS was also used. As a start-up business, the Ding Lights team needed to ensure maximum efficiency in the materials used to package the light. Using SOLIDWORKS Assembly, the team were able to experiment with different layout options which would enable the product to fit perfectly within its round steel tin case, without the need for additional foam or cardboard to protect the light during transit. This resulted in a packaging design that is beneficial both for the environment (due to the reduction of superflous packaging materials), and the company’s overall profit margins.

According to Burns, the versatility of the software offered the team substantial savings in time, and ultimately made SOLIDWORKS “central to the success of the Ding Light project”.

“The Intercad team have been helping us with our SOLIDWORKS requirements since April 2017. We love the fact that they can provide us with everything we need – from software to training, to hardware and technical support.”
– Des Burns


Ding Lights won the ‘Product Design: Sport and Lifestyle Selection Award’ at the 2017 Good Design Awards.
Read more about the Ding Light at dinglights.com


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