We all know it. There are at least six programs that go into design process. That is, when there are more than five programs used. And with that, there’s a workflow that needs to be beat into submission. You’re about to see one that has been dealt with thusly.
You remember the design arsenal poll last week, right? The comment about using six different programs in the design process, which inspired that poll, came from none other than Bruce Buck, SolidSmack reader from the great city of San Antonio, Texas.
Now, he lays the process out for us – the design, the management and the rendering inside the company he works with, Metso Texas Shredder. As the name implies, they make machines that shred things, big things. Cars, for example. They have offices around the world that coordinate with each other on the engineering of the massive structures and they use NX, SolidWorks, AutoCAD, Teamcenter, Keyshot and Shot to do it all.
The Workflow at Metso Texas Shredder
Our workflow is probably very similar to many industries where you have a large, global organization and worldwide presence. Metso happens to cover many different sectors including mining & construction, energy, automation, recycling, and pulp & paper. Our particular division (Metso Texas Shredder) focuses on designing and manufacturing car shredders for the scrap recycling industry.
Design for the shredder begins in either SolidWorks, NX, or AutoCAD. We just rolled out NX in 2009, when we were designing a new line of next generation shredders. Since some of the core components were going to be manufactured by our parent company in Germany, they wanted us to design in the same CAD system that they were using, which was NX. For designs such as the shredder featured, where we have a little bit more freedom to design in the system we prefer, we use SolidWorks.
The shredder itself contains anywhere from 5000-10000 components, depending on the model. This is a challenge in and of itself. Since we don’t just provide our customers shredders, but the ferrous and non-ferrous downstream sorting systems that go along with it, and pretty much everything else required for a fully equipped metal recycling plant, we also use AutoCAD to handle the extremely large plant layouts that are custom designed for each client. SolidWorks is still heavily used for many of the systems that tie all of these components together. Keeping track of all this data is TeamCenter, where we not only manage CAD and engineering data, but other company documents as well.
We also try to leverage our CAD data to help marketing and sales. In this particular project, the deadline for submitting marketing materials for an industry magazine was the first week in July. I didn’t have much time so I took what was completed by then and started painting the model up in HyperShot. However, just for kicks, I had also just gotten a brand spanking new 6-core, 64-bit system from SolidBox that had SolidWorks and KeyShot installed, and decided to paint the model up on that system in parallel since time was a-wastin’. To my amazement, the shiny new SolidBox got the first render done in 1hr 24min. My old dual-core workstation, with the same output settings, took 8hrs 46min. Over 6 times faster. Since I had to do a second pass with just the internals showing, and since the deadline to submit to the ad agency was the next morning, I ditched the old machine and finished the project up in KeyShot.
After the renderings were done, I went into Photoshop and create a composite of the two. Once this was complete, I submitted the images to the ad agency for use in the magazine ad.
As far as Shot goes, I’m currently working on another project and so far Shot is the only program that’s been able to import the large model. It’s still in Beta, though, so I’ll be testing that out and see if it will be able to meet our needs.
The next thing we are looking at adding to our arsenal of product development is 3D printing. Just need to find a good way to miniaturized these things. 🙂
For more information about Metso Texas Shredder: About Metso Texas Shredder
For more information about Solidbox: MySolidBox.com
Programs used in the design process: