Software helps bumper maker sprout a driver's cart

July 22, 2004
A combination grocery cart and children's car took shape with help from SolidWorks 3D models.

McCue Corp., Salem, Mass. (www.mccuecorp.com), designs, manufactures, and sells plastic bumper systems that prevent shopping carts from damaging walls and fixtures. It also produces Bean and Sprout shopping carts for children.

“We deal with tolerances in fractions of an inch to match injection-molded components for a smooth surface,” says Adam Stevens, McCue industrial designer. “SolidWorks lets us visualize our concepts and quickly overcome the challenges that aesthetics and in-store dimensions present,” he adds.

Stevens and his team used SolidWorks from the company by the same name in Concord, Mass. (www.solidworks.com), to design and refine models for Sprout, a smaller version of the Bean cart. The software let engineers identify and fix part collisions and test fits for internal assemblies before production. It also automated changes throughout the design, saving time and reducing the risk of manufacturing errors.

According to Stevens, sending 3D models to the manufacturing team cut the number of design reviews, edits, and questions that can delay production. All in all, McCue credits Solidworks with shaving 20% from the normal product development time (including hand modeling and design iterations in 2D) for the Sprout.

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