4ormfunction finds its way home with SolidWorks
Navman’s highest selling consumer navigation device, the F20, was designed in New Zealand by specialist design consultancy 4ormfunction.
The company used SolidWorks 3D computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) software, supplied by Intercad, for the project.
The compact nature of the F20 GPS unit meant designers at 4ormfunction had to overcome the challenge of designing a fully functional product within a small casing. SolidWorks’ advanced 3D design and analysis capabilities enabled the designers to meet the challenge and deliver a feature-rich product using the minimum number and size of parts.
To enhance their commercial viability new products must also be easy to manufacture and assemble. SolidWorks’ design capabilities meant the designers and manufacturers working on the project could share ideas easily and gain a competitive advantage by bringing the product to market more quickly.
David Lovegrove, Design Director, 4ormfunction said SolidWorks helped the team collaborate quickly and effectively with each other, as well as with external suppliers and vendors, to meet the project’s tight deadlines. “It was essential we could share drawings, ideas and models with everyone on the team,” he said. “Designing parts, tools to make those parts and then manufacturing both needed input from a lot of different sources, and each helped us share everything at the click of a button.”
4ormfunction was honoured for its design work on the F20 with a bronze award at the 2007 BeST Design awards. “Being nominated and winning awards like BeST is very important to our standing in the industry,” he said. “The people who judge these awards are your peers; they respect your work and know how tough it is. To be recognised really cements 4ormfunction as one of the premium design consultancies in New Zealand.” 4ormfunction completes projects for clients from inventors through to multinational organisations in many different industries.
It has customers in the consumer electronics, automotive and medical industries.“SolidWorks in our work and there isn’t really a project that we wouldn’t take on,” he said. “Now we can be certain the models and materials we choose will work within the constraints dictated by the design.” When choosing to work with “Local product design studio use CAD/CAM software to design Navm SolidWorks Lovegrove said the decision was initially made because of the large number of New Zealand companies already using the software and the local support available
Auckland and Christchurch to support its customers throughout New Zealand. “The local level of support and expertise has been invaluable to us and it is for this reason that we continue to invest in upgrades and further training for our staff in the software.”