Billet Designs Uses ANSYS SpaceClaim as Primary 3-D CAD Tool

Billet Designs is a small engineering firm that found great success in using ANSYS SpaceClaim as their primary 3-D CAD tool. They specialize in wide variety of offerings for their clients, including product design for automotive and consumer products, programming, automation, PLC controls and robotics.

Steven Aguirre of Billet Designs says their main focus is on the design of electromechanical components of consumer products. His broad background in various industries gives him a unique and expansive knowledge into common design and product development issues and challenges. As the owner of a small engineering firm, he has to balance product design with marketing, order fulfillment, sales, manufacturing and general development of his product line.

ANSYS SpaceClaim Billet Designs

Billet Designs CO2 beverage growler head, designed entirely in SpaceClaim.

Optimizing their Business Model

Years ago, Aguirre shifted his business model, outsourcing assembly, order fulfillment and inventory management so he could focus on product design. Speed and efficiency would then be of the essence. In a more recent project of designing a CO2 dispenser on a beverage growler, Aguirre’s primary concerns were to design and produce an optimal product while efficiently using limited resources in a typically short product development cycle. When it came to CAD tools, Aguirre had previous experience with popular 2-D and 3-D CAD tools, but he generally didn’t care for their methodology and approach.

“I needed a 3-D CAD tool that was first and foremost efficient — one that valued functionality to accelerate my tasks at hand. I also work with several other tools like 3-D printers and laser punch machines, and I needed something that was compatible with the file types they accept.”

Up until that point every CAD tool he tried was either too cumbersome or inadequate. When it came to 3-D CAD specifically he needed an efficient way to create models and make changes quickly.

Aguirre received a trial of SpaceClaim and loved it immediately. What resonated with him was the idea of a 3-D CAD tool that adapted to the way his mind worked, and not the other way around. The simple user interface with minimalist approach of menus, buttons, and options was perfect for an engineer like Aguirre who was not a dedicated CAD designer/engineer. He quickly learned how to create a model and the best practices for adding dimensions, meaning he could add them at the start, during, or after model creation. SpaceClaim gave him the flexibility to start down a given path with an idea, then rapidly change his design any way he wanted without penalty.

ANSYS SpaceClaim Billet Designs cross section

Working in SpaceClaim’s cross-section mode made visualization substantially easier.

SpaceClaim’s Visualization

He found working in SpaceClaim’s cross section mode gave him the best of various modeling techniques. This approach combines the look of a 2-D perspective, while performing live edits at a 3-D level. In Aguirre’s words, “I love working in cross section mode because I can see all the components in a given region. I see everything at a glance, and it provides me instant feedback as to how a part may be machined or molded, and if I need to adjust the draft angles. And, I can even change draft angles right there in the cross section mode! If I want to work on just that part exclusively, then I turn off visibility of all other components, then I have 360 degree visibility of my part. This has helped me out so much in modeling.”

Aguirre goes on to say that once he learned and practiced SpaceClaim in a short amount of time, he found it to be fast, easy and efficient.

Benefits of Using ANSYS SpaceClaim

He now spends less time on keystrokes and more time engineering his design. He has also found the SpaceClaim repair tools invaluable, both for cleaning imported geometry or to modify design mistakes. In one case, a CNC shop said they could machine something as a cast part, but not as currently designed. Using SpaceClaim, he altered the design by filling in some rounds, changing draft angles to zero, and pulling some surfaces. Within 15 minutes the part was optimized for machining, saving him and his vendor time and money.

ansys webinarsIf you’d curious to learn more of Steven Aguirre’s story and use of ANSYS SpaceClaim in his product development cycle, we invite you to join us for a webinar on October 20th, 2016. Steven Aguirre will walk you through his design, various challenges, and how ANSYS SpaceClaim helped accelerate his product’s time to market.

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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 in various roles with ANSYS for over 7 years. 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.