SolidWorks Brings Three Of Four "American Inventor" Finalists To Final Round

CONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—May 31, 2006— Three of the four finalists' inventions on the popular reality TV show "American Inventor" on ABC were designed in SolidWorks(R) 3D CAD software, SolidWorks Corporation announced today. Product development consultancy Patton Design of California used SolidWorks to develop the Catch Elite, Word Ace, and Anecia Survival Capsule - all vying for the $1 million grand prize ultimately awarded to Janusz Liberkowski, inventor of the Anecia Survival Capsule, during the final episode on May 18.

Produced by Simon Cowell and the producers of "American Idol," "American Inventor" has seen a spike in viewership as the 12 finalists (chosen from thousands of would-be inventors) used $50,000 provided by ABC to transform their ideas into working prototypes. ABC invited several product design companies to give finalists a demonstration of their capabilities. The finalists then chose which design companies they thought would best bring their invention from a concept to a winning product. Patton Design was selected by three of the four finalists based on its breadth of experience, having developed everything from a leading heart defibrillator to high-end stereo speakers, all designed in SolidWorks.

"We had three weeks to turn product concepts in various stages of development into working prototypes for the show," said Aric Plumley, director of mechanical engineering at Patton Design. "We designed the Catch Elite from the ground up, and converted pre-existing designs for both the Word Ace and Anecia Survival Capsule into SolidWorks software. SolidWorks' flexibility and right-first-time design capability allowed us to beat a tight deadline and still ensure the product would work as promised during the final presentations."

The three finalists' inventions developed by Patton Design include:

-- Catch Elite - a detachable vest that football players and other athletes can wear to train and develop proper ball-catching skills. Erik Thompson of Detroit developed this idea for his eldest son.

-- Word Ace - an electronic table-top, bilingual word game that teaches up to six players spelling and vocabulary skills in a fun, interactive way. Former elementary and high school teacher Ed Hall of Chicago submitted this concept.

-- Anecia Survival Capsule - a new kind of infant car seat where the baby sits inside nested spheres that spin and automatically position the child's neck and back so they are perpendicular to the impact force, shielding the baby from the destructive force of the impact. Janusz Liberkowski of San Jose, Calif., wanted to further reduce a child's risk of injury in a car accident.

"The passion these inventors have shown for their ideas is infectious," said Plumley. "Working on these projects has been a remarkable experience for us, and the exposure is tremendous. Our phones have been ringing off the hook."

Each of the four finalists created a 30-second promotional commercial about their products that aired on the May 11 episode. Following that episode, the viewing public voted for the invention it deemed most worthy of the grand prize. The Anecia Survival Capsule was announced as the winner on May 18.

"This could be a once-in-a-lifetime shot for these inventors, and hopefully their enthusiasm and success will encourage others to pursue their creative dreams," said John McEleney, CEO of SolidWorks. "Three of these inventors chose Patton Design because of the range of products it has expertly developed. We're proud that companies like Patton Design use SolidWorks to create products that make their clients - be they global manufacturers or individual inventors - more successful."

Patton Design works with authorized SolidWorks resellers Hawk Ridge Systems for ongoing software training, implementation, and support. For more information on Patton Design and its involvement with "American Inventor", listen to the podcast at

About Doug Patton and Patton Design

Patton Design is an industrial and product design consultancy specializing in virtually every aspect of the design continuum. Doug Patton founded Patton Design, Inc. based out of Orange County, Calif. in 1983. He is a member of the Industrial Designers Society of America, TechNet, AeA, Society of Human Factors Design, Association of Software Designers, and the American Film Institute Advanced Technology Group. He has received over 150 design awards and 40 engineering patents, and many of his designs are in permanent collections at the Smithsonian Institute and the Museum of Modern Art in New York and Germany. For more information, visit (

About Hawk Ridge Systems

Hawk Ridge Systems is one of the largest SolidWorks CAD VARs in North America. Founded in 1995 in the San Francisco Bay Area, HRS has nine offices located throughout California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington. Hawk Ridge has 20 Certified SolidWorks Engineers on staff and maintains a 2:1 ratio of engineers to salespeople - more than double the industry norm. This heavy investment in customer support, plus an array of industry-leading products including SolidWorks, COSMOSWorks(R), and PDMWorks(R) has attracted thousands of West Coast customers in industries ranging from fiber optic networking products, semiconductor equipment, medical devices, consumer products, automotive, and aerospace. For more information, visit (

About "American Inventor"

"American Inventor" is an exciting series from Simon Cowell and the producers of "American Idol" about the biggest search ever for America's best new invention. "American Inventor," the embodiment of the ultimate American dream, has uncovered this season's hottest new product and made one struggling inventor's dream come true. With $1 million at stake, "American Inventor" celebrates the best in homespun American ingenuity.

"American Inventor" is the biggest search for the next great invention with wide consumer appeal... envision the Cabbage Patch Kids(R), George Foreman Grill(R), Post-It(R), or Rubik's Cube(R). A panel of expert judges narrows down the initial entries to a group of finalists, who are each given $50,000 to develop their product, refine it, and take it to the next level. This is a show that makes the American dream come true for one person - taking his/her idea, vision, and creativity and helping to turn it into a mass produced product that will be in every American home - but in the end it is up to America to call in and vote on which invention is worthy of the $1 million prize.

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 3D CAD technology, providing intuitive, high-performing software that helps product design teams develop great products. 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 PDMWorks are registered trademarks of SolidWorks Corporation. COSMOSWorks is a registered trademark of Structural Research & Analysis Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2006 SolidWorks Corporation.

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