Orange County Choppers Uses SolidWorks To Bring "Softails," Swing Arms, And Knife Blades To Life In Dream Bikes

3D Models Enable Brainstorming of Radical and Beautiful Designs on Mega Hit Discovery Channel TV Show

CONCORD, Mass.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Jan. 31, 2005— Orange County Choppers, the custom motorcycle shop popularized on the Discovery Channel show "American Chopper," uses SolidWorks(R) software to design the sweeping exhaust pipes, daring wheels, and other key features that make its street machines unique. SolidWorks' ease of use allows Orange County's lead parts designer to convert cool ideas into 3D models without any prior computer-aided design (CAD) software training.

"I'm an artist, not an engineer or a programmer," said Jason Pohl, designer at Orange County Choppers. "I usually just throw lines on paper to knock out a good concept for the part I am working on. SolidWorks was so easy to learn that in no time, I could put my sketch ideas into 3D models that I can perfect before machining begins. I am now sculpting my ideas rather than just sketching them."

In a niche industry where form and function both push the envelope, innovation is limited only to the designer's imagination. Orange County Choppers has earned international recognition with its creative designs and daily explosive arguments aired on the show. Pohl, who honed his skills at the Illinois Institute of Art, uses SolidWorks to design everything from custom swing arms, which connect the rear wheel to the bike frame, to flashy wheels with sharp eye-catching tribal knife blades as spokes.

"Some people in this industry use AutoCAD," said Pohl. "That's a boring 2D program that limits creativity. SolidWorks brings our ideas to life, so we have a good idea of what they'll look like and how they'll perform. It gives us cross-sectional views, exploded parts views, and light shading. The parts look like real chrome. SolidWorks lets me prove things out, so I can see how a new wheel design would look at 70 miles per hour, and then test the wheel's structural integrity."

SolidWorks helps Pohl save time in trying new ideas because he can change parts models as often as he wants without having to re-create the design from scratch. For example, he can use the software to check whether the rear suspension system in a softail motorcycle design will interfere with any other parts, and troubleshoot any problems before production begins.

Pohl also uses SolidWorks Gold Partner Product DezignWorks ( to convert his hand-drafted sketches into 3D models in SolidWorks that he then fleshes out, modifies, and refines. This step streamlines his design process so that he can quickly complete design concepts to show to the shop's owner Paul Teutul, Sr., and chief fabricator, Paul Teutul Jr. The teamwork and sometime theatrics between father and son have fueled the show's widespread popularity.

"Choppers and software. It's not a combination that immediately jumps to mind," said Paul Teutul, Sr. "But Jason makes it work, and the results are the new part designs that give our choppers an edge."

Pohl creates edgy designs by bending exhaust pipes, handlebars, and other steel parts models in SolidWorks prior to the computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) process. He saves time by sending SolidWorks-generated 3D models to Mastercam, the SolidWorks Certified CAM partner application that creates the computer numerical control steps to automatically manufacture parts.

"To anyone in the motorcycle industry, be they designers, fabricators, or enthusiasts, the stylistic and creative possibilities are endless," said SolidWorks Chief Operating Officer Jeff Ray. "SolidWorks lets artists like Jason Pohl reap the benefits of 3D CAD and explore all of the possibilities for innovation."

About Orange County Choppers

Orange County Choppers has gained international recognition from the popular Discovery Channel TV show "American Chopper." Based in Montgomery, N.Y., the store custom builds motorcycles for well-known clients from around the world. Paul Teutul, Sr. opened the shop to fuel his passion for motorcycles after successfully growing Orange County Ironworks into a thriving business. For more information, visit the Web site at

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 ( 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) 2005 SolidWorks Corporation.

SolidWorks Corporation
Laura Kozikowski, 978-371-5077

Beaupre & Co. Public Relations, Inc.
Darby Johnson, 603-559-5809



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