SolidWorks Software Helps Make an 8-Year-Old's Dream a Home Run

Easy-to-use 3D CAD software enables engineer to design solid model of boy's JD Batball invention, now on the shelves at Toys "R" Us

CONCORD, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 19, 2001-- Challenge is nothing new to Jacob Dunnack, who was just four days old when doctors performed the first of several surgeries to combat a congenital heart defect. During an ensuing operation when he was still less than a year old, he suffered a stroke that doctors feared would leave him blind and paralyzed. Now at eight years old and doing things other kids his age do in his home town of Willimantic, Conn., Jacob is about to overcome a new challenge: bringing his own invention -- a hollow plastic baseball bat that stores balls inside -- to market. Thanks to the help of a design engineer and the easy-to-use SolidWorks® software for making 3D computer aided design (CAD) models, Jacob has been able to see the JD Batball through design, modeling, and production as it prepares to hit the shelves at Toys "R" Us Thanksgiving weekend.

The concept behind the JD Batball arose last year following a trip to his grandmother's house when Jacob and his mother Lisa brought a bat but forgot the balls. According to Lisa, Jacob vowed to make "a baseball bat that opens like luggage, so I can put the balls inside." They soon brought a crude model, complete with foam and duct tape to Peter Wood, product development specialist at ZZorco Consulting in Newmarket, N.H. A 3D solid modeling neophyte who just switched from a 2D design background, Wood whipped up an initial 3D model using SolidWorks software in 40 minutes.

"I had no formal training in 3D or in using SolidWorks," Wood said. "I had tried other 3D software, but it was too complicated and difficult to master. The SolidWorks tutorial was tremendously helpful and the software itself is very user friendly. I met the Dunnacks soon after I purchased SolidWorks, and I was able to refine the model, complete with a detailed snap-lock design and the grip for the bat, in a matter of hours."

After Wood completed the design, he put it into a standard graphical file format that he sent from his studio in Newmarket, N.H. over the Internet to Mass.-based Santin Engineering. Santin built a 1/3 scale model which the Dunnacks presented, along with photo-quality images of the JD Batball Wood created using SolidWorks' PhotoWorks(TM) product, to buyers at Toys "R" Us. Based on the design, the national toy store chain placed an order for 12,000 JD Batballs. Wood and the Dunnacks then tweaked the design based on Toys "R" Us' specifications and sent it to Custom Technical Molding, a Massachusetts company that manufactured the JD Batballs.

"I wouldn't have been able to turn around the JD Batball design in a 2D world," said Wood. "To get this level of detail would have been impossible. The beauty of SolidWorks software is that it takes a complicated technology, 3D CAD, and makes it accessible to those who don't have advanced engineering degrees."

According to Lisa Dunnack, Pete Wood and SolidWorks have made her son's dream a reality. "Without Pete and the SolidWorks software he used, we wouldn't have come this far. We've learned that having a complete product design, with all of the technical angles properly configured, is essential to manufacturing a product for sale. The order from Toys "R" Us proves that we've taken all the right steps," she said.

John McEleney, chief executive officer for SolidWorks Corporation sees this story as a testament to SolidWorks' accessibility. "The JD Batball proves that you don't have to be a multi-billion dollar corporation or have a PhD in engineering to use powerful 3D solid modeling software in product design," he said. "SolidWorks is easy to use and easy to learn while still providing all of the capabilities people need to draft comprehensive 3D designs, quickly and efficiently."

About SolidWorks Corporation

SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systemes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: Number 13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets mechanical design software solutions. Founded in 1993, SolidWorks' mission is to deliver the power of 3D to everybody in design and manufacturing. In over five years of shipping product, SolidWorks has shipped more than 160,000 total seats of software worldwide. SolidWorks has offices around the globe and distributes its products through a network of resellers selling in 70 countries. For the latest news, information, or a live online demonstration, visit the company's web site ( or call SolidWorks directly at 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) 2001 SolidWorks Corporation.

     Laura Kozikowski
     SolidWorks Corporation
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     Darby Johnson
     Beaupre & Co. Public Relations, Inc.
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