Toy Innovators Use SolidWorks to Expand Company Focus and Create Consumer Health Care Breakthrough


Chicago maker of new toothbrush system credits 3D mechanical design software's ease of use, efficiency for 50-percent reduction in time to production


CONCORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--July 30, 2003-- One of the world's leading toy invention, design, and development firms has used SolidWorks(R) 3D mechanical design software to broaden its customer base and bring innovations to the consumer health care market.

Rehkemper Invention & Design (RID) of Chicago has created a revolutionary dental care system that incorporates a toothbrush, tongue brush, and oral irrigator in one device that retails for under $10. The AquaSonic WaterJet(TM) Oral Care System, developed for Altitude Plus LLC, went on sale at Wal-Mart and other stores in June. It requires no batteries or electricity because it works on air pressure similar to Rehkemper's toy plane designs. The device holds two mouthfuls of water or mouthwash and sprays for 30 seconds after pumping.

"We designed everything in SolidWorks right down to the bristles," said Steve Rehkemper, CEO of the company behind blazingly fast yo-yos, the world's first radio-controlled toy helicopters, and affordable air-powered planes. "In fact, we've used SolidWorks to design all our products and have seen instant payback from the start. It was easier to see what we were designing with SolidWorks' 3D models than with drawings, continuous mockups, or the cumbersome 3D models from other computer-aided design (CAD) packages we tried. SolidWorks has reduced our time to production by more than 50 percent and has basically fueled our company's growth over the years. The risk/reward ratio was highly favorable compared with the expensive design packages like Pro/E."

SolidWorks' ease of use and efficiency were key factors enabling Rehkemper's manufacturing partner to get the AquaSonic WaterJet(TM) on the market quickly and keep development costs low, savings that go right back to the consumer. Rehkemper says the same efficiencies have also helped the company develop:

-- The world's first radio-controlled helicopter that is simple, safe, and affordable enough to be called a "toy." It retails at major toy and department store chains for only one-third of the cost of the least expensive hobby grade radio-controlled helicopters, and is much more durable.
-- An air motor the size of a sugar cube that will soon be on store shelves in the world's smallest air-powered planes. It will also go into four-inch-long, record-small air-powered cars capable of traveling the equivalent of a quarter-mile at its scale in three seconds. The company is sponsoring the Interdisciplinary Product Development (IPD) program at University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) to research, identify, and develop new product applications for the mini air motor in fields of use other than toys.
-- Yo Baby!(TM) yo-yos, including the Yo-Air, whose open-frame design gives it a 34-percent higher energy-to-weight ratio than standard designs.

"Toys present some extremely compelling engineering challenges whose solutions can be extended to other important industries," said SolidWorks Vice President of Marketing Ilya Mirman. "And of course, making toys safe, fun, and affordable to kids is important all by itself. As is apparent, SolidWorks is the 3D mechanical design software of choice for an astounding range of industries and applications, and its flexible design capabilities help companies like Rehkemper demonstrate their versatility in dramatic ways."

Rehkemper is working with SolidWorks reseller Computer Aided Technology, Inc. (CATI) for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.

About Rehkemper

Rehkemper Invention & Design was founded in 1983 and is in the business of inventing new products for license, primarily to the toy industry. Additionally, RID provides a full range of design, development, and prototyping services to the toy industry and other related consumer product industries, utilizing the latest in electronic design, CAD systems, and CNC machining. RID product inventions have resulted in over $1 billion in combined sales for clients such as Mattel/Fisher-Price, Hasbro/Tiger, and many others.

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 with the mission to unite quality people with advanced technology to create complete solutions for maximum business results. CATI is the 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 website 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. Founded in 1993, SolidWorks' mission is to unleash the power of 3D for everyone in product development and foster a collaborative user community. In seven years of delivering product, SolidWorks has shipped more than 268,000 total seats of software worldwide. SolidWorks has offices around the globe and sells, distributes, and supports its products through a worldwide reseller network. 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 of SolidWorks Corporation. Other brand and product names are trademarks of their respective owners. Copyright (c) 2003 SolidWorks Corporation.

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