SolidWorks and 3DVIA enable Aqualux’s seven-person design team to move a product from design through tooling, manufacturing, and shipping in as little as ten weeks to meet demands from its customers, which include independent bathroom retailers and “big box” home improvement stores throughout Europe. Aqualux, the largest manufacturer of shower enclosures and bath screens by volume in the U.K., designs products and tooling in SolidWorks at its U.K. facility. Designers also use it to provide customers with prototypes and full mockups for design and cost reviews. Aqualux then sends the final specifications to a manufacturer in China as digital files.
Aqualux produces all of its product brochures, technical specifications, and assembly instructions based on SolidWorks models with the 3DVIA authoring tool. Accurate documentation for new and re-designed products is critical because many of Aqualux’s customers sell to consumers installing shower enclosures and bath screens themselves, not plumbing professionals who could make do with less detailed directions.
“We have to provide layman-level instructions to the end customer as well as detailed instructions for our service and quality control people so they can walk consumers through the build when they don’t understand something,” said Aqualux Design Manager Neil Harrison. “3DVIA Composer was a huge leap forward for us in producing documentation. Before, we had to bring isolated views from SolidWorks into an illustration program and clean them up to show the tools and the bathroom views so customers could see them in context. That was very labor-intensive and time consuming. 3DVIA cuts 25 to 40 percent from that process, depending on the product, and with much less aggravation and higher quality manuals with extra instructions and graphics.”
Harrison said Aqualux plans to use more of 3DVIA’s capabilities in the future. Among the company’s plans are providing full online 3D views of products that enable customers to rotate images to show, for example, the underside of an assembly that’s giving them trouble. That is the kind of detailed, useful information that 3DVIA was designed to communicate, according to Chris McManus, the U.K. and Ireland country manager for Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.
“Printed documentation still has a role in consumer products, but there is a lot of information that can’t be communicated with a 2D document. 3DVIA helps on both ends of the process by streamlining 2D documentation production and giving companies a fast, easy way to supplement printed information with electronic 3D views,” McManus said.
Aqualux relies on authorized SolidWorks UK reseller Solid Solutions Management for ongoing training, implementation, and support.
About Solid Solutions Management
Founded in 1998, Solid Solutions focuses on providing industry-leading software and services. This philosophy has helped Solid Solutions gain respect, recognition, and awards as an established and high-capability supplier of SolidWorks software. With main offices in Warwick and Fareham, and regional training facilities throughout the U.K., Solid Solutions supports thousands of customers encompassing all industry sectors and ranging in size from single-person operations to large multi-national organizations. For more information, visit the company’s Web site ( www.solidsolutions.co.uk).
About Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp.
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp., a Dassault Systèmes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) subsidiary, develops and markets software for design, analysis, and product data management. It is the leading supplier of 3D CAD technology, giving teams intuitive, high-performing software that helps them design better products. For the latest news, information, or an 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).
About Dassault Systèmes
As a world leader in 3D and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM)
solutions, Dassault Systèmes brings value to
more than 100,000 customers in 80 countries. A pioneer in the 3D
software market since 1981, Dassault Systèmes
develops and markets PLM application software and services that support
industrial processes and provide a 3D vision of the entire lifecycle of
products from conception to maintenance to recycling. The Dassault Systèmes
portfolio consists of CATIA for designing the virtual product -
SolidWorks for 3D mechanical design - DELMIA for virtual production -
SIMULIA for virtual testing - ENOVIA for global collaborative lifecycle
management, and 3DVIA for online 3D lifelike experiences. Dassault Syst è mes
is listed on the Nasdaq (DASTY) and Euronext Paris (#13065, DSY.PA)
stock exchanges. For more information, visit