3-D Design Helps Pool Cleaning, Accessibility Go Swimmingly

What comes to mind when you think of public swimming pools?  A refreshing escape from the summer heat? Children playing and swimming? Free-swimmers, divers, and water polo players jockeying for limited space? How 3-D design makes pools cleaner and more accessible for everyone? Hmm. I may need to explain that last one.

While many of us focus on the positive aspects, there are some of us who avoid public pools: non-swimmers, of course; people concerned about bacteria and other health issues; and people with reduced mobility (PMR) who find accessing public pools difficult to manage and unwelcoming.

Hexagone, a French company founded in 1987, has made its mission to serve these last two categories of recreationists, designing and equipping public pools with professional high-tech cleaning devices and creating solutions that increase PMR accessibility and safety.If you were to visit the production site at their headquarters in Argenteuil, France, you’ll discover a variety of devices designed for the swimming pool and its immediate environment. Hexagone’s star products, robot-controlled vacuum cleaners, are used by 60 percent of swimming pools in France, and more than 12,000 of their vacuums are used in 54 countries all over the world. And as the market for therapeutic and recreational public pools continues to skyrocket, pool builders see new opportunities to use Hexagone products to improve their safety and convenience.

All of their products were designed using a traditional 3-D CAD system. However, since 2015, the company has responded to burgeoning market demand for new products and faster innovation by adopting ANSYS SpaceClaim to design and create all new projects.

“The choice for using SpaceClaim was fueled by its capacity to predefine a shape, design a model, alter it all through the development process and to track its evolution 5 times faster than before.

This helps us produce more prototypes and to study various alternatives without losing time and money,“ says Thomas Boudesocque, an R&D engineer and his colleague, Technical Director Damien Dumontier.

Trained on most of popular 3-D CAD/CAM systems, they now trust in SpaceClaim for its ease of use, how quickly they can set up new projects and how efficiently they can study new designs.

Another fundamental aspect they appreciate is SpaceClaim’s interoperability, which helps them easily revisit projects designed with other 3-D mechanical software.

Hexagone can now address new markets with confidence; they’re able to convert model design into a 3-D PDF format, which enables the marketing department to share the project interactively with their customers on the internet.

The Unikart Compact Project

For hotel swimming pools, Hexagon has recently developed a new chair, the Unikart Compact. It consists of a seat that uses a winch to lower  PRMs into the pool, where they can enjoy the pool in comfort and safety.

”Thanks to SpaceClaim’s ease of use and speed, a new development approach was adopted in the R&D department. Actually, SpaceClaim has a different philosophy from other CAD systems, and because of this we can work more effectively in assemblies and extract useful data,”  says Thomas.

This new model is similar to the previous one in that there are several hundreds of parts. However, the huge difference is that SpaceClaim saves a lot of time and money on the iterations made during the design, analysis,  and simulation phases, and lets them  test multiple design alternatives of many more virtual prototypes without launching a costly temporary production.

SpaceClaim helps Hexagone designers address customer requirements up front, and by giving the designers the ability to develop virtual models and experiment with different alternatives, enables them to adapt their products to new pool designs quickly and efficiently.

So while you’re relaxing at your public pool, sunbathing, swimming, complaining that those darn kids won’t let you swim in a straight line, I’ll be contemplating how 3-D design is helping make public pools cleaner, safer and more accessible to all.

To learn more about ANSYS SpaceClaim, we invite you to see for yourself how easy it is to use. Use it right now in a cloud-based session. Get started in minutes!

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About John Graham

John is an experienced application/mechanical engineer with specialties in sales, marketing, design, 3D modeling, and product development. He received his B.S. degree in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Missouri-Columbia and has been with ANSYS for nearly 5 years as an Application Engineer specializing in SpaceClaim. Prior to his current role he worked as a design engineer on a variety of products such as electric motors, linear motion guides, and fiber optic transceiver modules. John's passions include content marketing, technical teaching/training, project/product management, programming, and video production work.