Crenshaw Lighting Illuminates With Fixtures Designed With SolidWorks

SolidWorks software helps cut Crenshaw's new product development time and costs in half

CONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Feb. 13, 2006— Crenshaw Lighting, whose ornate fixtures illuminate such landmarks as the Smithsonian Museum and the U.S. Department of Justice, uses SolidWorks(R) software to bring New World efficiency to an Old World craft and cut product development time and costs in half.

For nearly 50 years, Virginia-based Crenshaw Lighting has transformed light fixtures into functional works of art that grace national landmarks, statehouses, federal buildings, churches, and private residences. Each fixture is handcrafted with a variety of materials, including silver, bronze, brass, iron, chrome, and a broad range of glass types. The company has standardized on SolidWorks Office Professional to design all new products, including more than 550 highly decorative fixtures for The Schermerhorn Symphony Concert Hall in Nashville, Tenn. and 80 new fixtures that will light up the U.S. Supreme Court building.

"This industry is comprised of a group of craftsmen that build each fixture by hand. That's the way it's been done for centuries," said Crenshaw Lighting Senior Designer Paul Sullivan. "By marrying age-old practices with cutting-edge 3D CAD software, we're able to try new options we wouldn't have attempted in AutoCAD. When evaluating 3D CAD solutions, we found SolidWorks has a friendlier interface and better rendering tools than competing products."

Firsthand collaboration is often essential when transforming sketched ideas from designers and architects into solid models. SolidWorks' RealView feature played a crucial role in the Nashville Symphony Concert Hall project. It enabled Crenshaw engineers to create lifelike views of fixtures using realistic materials and textures without leaving the design mode - all with just a few mouse clicks directly in front of a designer or architect. This allowed for immediate feedback and design modification, sometimes cutting days out of the design process.

SolidWorks' associativity also saved Sullivan and his team time by automating changes to 3D models without forcing engineers to recreate the design from scratch. As the product designs neared completion, Crenshaw shared them with the designer, the architect, and symphony officials using SolidWorks eDrawings(R) e-mail-enabled design communication tool. Recipients could simply click open the design and view and rotate it as if they were holding it in their hands.

Crenshaw uses the finalized SolidWorks models as the digital prototypes it shares with custom part manufacturers, reducing expensive prototyping costs and time by 50 percent. "Before SolidWorks, we wouldn't have had the confidence to just order parts from the designs," said Sullivan. "We'd have to order several parts and try them out as physical prototypes. If they didn't work, we'd have to try again. SolidWorks gives us the confidence that the components will work the first time."

Crenshaw also uses COSMOSXpress(TM) to test the load strength of critical components to ensure they will be durable. Some of the fixtures hanging over the performance hall at the Nashville Symphony Orchestra weigh as much as 2,000 pounds, and Crenshaw used COSMOSXpress to make sure the supports could more than adequately withstand the weight.

"Walk into a church or historic landmark and take note of the craftsmanship that goes into the light fixtures," said SolidWorks Vice President of Worldwide Marketing Rainer Gawlick. "Crenshaw Lighting has spent decades perfecting its craft, blending form and function into compelling works of art. Using SolidWorks has helped Crenshaw open new doors to efficiency and creativity."

Crenshaw Lighting works with authorized SolidWorks reseller Trimech Solutions for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.

About Crenshaw Lighting

Headquartered in Floyd, Va., Crenshaw Lighting has delivered distinctive lighting fixtures to historic landmarks, churches, custom commercial spaces, and private residences for nearly 50 years. Each fixture is handcrafted and custom designed to complement its intended location. The company's design engineers work closely with architects, designers, and expert craftsmen to bring exacting detail and elegance to every fixture. For more information, visit the company Web site at

About TriMech Solutions

TriMech provides various software applications and professional services to solve business challenges for the manufacturing sector. The company offers its clients competitive advantages through enterprise-wide solutions to streamline the engineering and manufacturing processes. As a part of the TriMech Companies, TriMech Solutions focuses on computer-aided engineering (CAE) and design tools including SolidWorks(R) and industry-specific software. Formed in 1996, TriMech has helped more than 1,400 companies cut the time and expense of mechanical design, analysis, prototyping, and production and has worked closely with nearly 100 educational institutions. For more information, visit the company's Web site (, or call toll-free, 888-TRI-MECH.

About SolidWorks Corporation

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. It is the leading supplier of CAD software, helping hundreds of thousands of users speed next-generation products to market around the world. With SolidWorks software, designers excel at their jobs and make their companies more successful by bringing designs to life. For the latest news, information, or an online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).

SolidWorks and eDrawings are registered trademarks, and COSMOSXpress is a trademark of SolidWorks Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2006 SolidWorks Corporation.

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Laura Kozikowski, 978-371-5077                           

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