SolidWorks And COSMOS Software Help Deliver Secure, Private, Independent Voting For Disabled Americans

AutoMARK Technical Systems, LLC sped breakthrough accessibility product to market with efficient design, analysis, and communication tools

CONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Nov. 1, 2004— A company committed to equal voting opportunity for the handicapped and "problem-free elections" used SolidWorks(R) 3D mechanical design software and COSMOS(R) design analysis software to speed its breakthrough assisted balloting system to market.

As controversy and lawsuits brew over faulty electronic voting devices, the AutoMARK(TM) Voter-Assist Terminal (VAT) provides a virtually foolproof method for handicapped people and those facing language barriers to vote accurately, privately, and securely. Unlike purely electronic devices, the AutoMARK(TM) VAT provides reliable printed ballots for use in auditing or recounts. The system is piloting in Arizona during the November elections.

To use the AutoMARK(TM) VAT, a voter inserts a standard optically scannable paper ballot into the machine. The ballot choices are transferred onto a monitor and/or headphones where voters answer them by touching the screen or Braille keypad. Once complete, the AutoMARK(TM) VAT prints out the selections on the ballot, which is separately run through an optical scanner where it is tabulated. Since votes are marked on paper by the AutoMARK(TM) VAT and then digitally recorded by the scanner before being dropped into a ballot box, there are two records for cross-checking results, making inaccuracies, tampering, or misinterpretation of ballots virtually impossible.

The AutoMARK(TM) VAT offers several features for disabled voters, including an audio ballot, a tempo control, directions in Braille, a repeat key, a sip/puff tube for quadriplegics, zoom and contrast buttons for the visually impaired, and multi-language capabilities.

The DiMonte Group Inc. of Chicago designed the machine for AutoMARK Technical Systems, LLC, also of Chicago. The DiMonte Group performed the initial industrial design and concept feasibility work, then brought the design to production - all in nine months, a fraction of the time it would have taken a competitor that attempted the job but couldn't meet deadlines.

"SolidWorks and its COSMOSWorks(R), COSMOSMotion(TM), and PhotoWorks(TM) tools have rapidly accelerated our engineering development of this important product," said DiMonte Group President Gene DiMonte. "SolidWorks software is easy to use and intuitive, so our engineers can focus completely on design challenges, not on how to get their CAD systems to perform. With SolidWorks, we've created an elegant, powerful, reliable product that is manufacturable at a cost consistent with the mass market we're targeting. Moreover, SolidWorks is the same software our manufacturing partner, Ricoh Electronics, uses. As a result, we've dramatically streamlined the design-to-manufacturing process by sharing design data very quickly and very precisely."

SolidWorks' COSMOS design analysis software helped the DiMonte Group conduct "virtual prototypes" to ensure that designs for the AutoMARK(TM) VAT were sound and that the assemblies would work properly. Virtual prototyping was critical because the AutoMARK(TM) VAT employs a complex paper path requiring a 23-inch-long ballot to be printed, flipped, then printed again on the flipside, all while preventing the voter from touching it. This needs to take place in a wide range of temperatures at polls from Guam to Alaska and year after year after 12 months at a time in storage. To that end, the DiMonte Group used COSMOSMotion analysis software to check the smooth operation of assemblies and COSMOSWorks software to test the integrity of individual components.

The DiMonte Group used PhotoWorks to create photorealistic product renderings so AutoMARK Technical Systems, LLC executives could make decisions on the look, feel, and performance of the product and for the sales force to use in selling the product. The DiMonte Group used the SolidWorks eDrawings(TM) e-mail communication tool to share designs with parts suppliers.

"Few things in this world are more important than ensuring that all voters have unimpeded access to the ballot box, that their vote is kept private, and that their vote is counted, and counted accurately," said SolidWorks Vice President of Marketing Ilya Mirman. "The AutoMARK(TM) VAT delivers this privilege, and we're proud that SolidWorks helped the company create it quickly in a reliable form that is bound to appear very soon in polling places across the country."

The DiMonte Group works with authorized SolidWorks reseller Computer Aided Technology Inc. for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.

About AutoMARK Technical Systems

AutoMARK Technical Systems, LLC. is a developer of innovative election systems. Its latest product, the AutoMARK(TM) Voter Assist Terminal (VAT) is an optical scan ballot marker designed for use by people who are unable to personally mark an optical scan ballot due to physical impairments or language barriers. For more information, visit www.Automarkts.com.

About the DiMonte Group

The DiMonte Group performs industrial design, engineering, drafting, model shop services, and complete product development for its customers. The company is familiar with all types of component manufacturing and applies this knowledge to achieve the best possible designs for new products. DiMonte utilizes the latest technology as well as highly talented individuals to optimize its efforts. For more information, visit www.dimontegroup.com.

About CATI

Computer Aided Technology, Inc. (CATI), headquartered in Buffalo Grove, Ill., provides the Midwest with five full-service facilities, supporting Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, and Wisconsin. CATI creates competitive advantage for manufacturing clients by leveraging an industry-experienced team and leading technology solutions. CATI is the nation's original SolidWorks Reseller and the Top Reseller of SolidWorks in the Midwest. CATI is dedicated to providing comprehensive solutions to engineering, manufacturing, and educational sectors and offers a full suite of SolidWorks Solution Partner technologies including CAD, CAE, CAID, CAM, ECAD, and PDM solutions. For the latest news from CATI, visit the company's Web site at www.cati.com or contact a representative at 888-308-2284.

About SolidWorks Corporation

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for mechanical design, analysis, and product data management. It is the #1 supplier of 3D mechanical design software for the mainstream market. SolidWorks leads the market in number of users in production, customer satisfaction, and revenue. For the latest news, information, or a live online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

SolidWorks is a registered trademark and eDrawings and PhotoWorks are trademarks of the SolidWorks Corporation. COSMOS and COSMOSWorks are registered trademarks and COSMOSMotion is a trademark of the Structural Research and Analysis Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2004 SolidWorks Corporation.



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