Machine Design

Trailer builder can't resist pull of 3D

A maker of equipment trailers recently moved from 2D paper-and-pencil drawings to 3D solid modeling for a boost in manufacturing productivity.

Croft Trailer designed and built the 5X8 utility trailer and modeled the unit in 3D after using the Alibre Design program for only about a month.

Modeling tools such as the Helical Boss lets users easily create components such as springs.

The models generate more detailed and associative 2D drawings for Croft Trailer Supply Inc., Kansas City, Mo. For instance, contract welders hired to supplement the regular crew no longer need help from full-time worker because 2D drawings more accurately describe the work.

Engineer Rick Stephens settled on the Alibre Design Professional CAD program from Alibre Inc., Richardson, Tex., because it delivered useful features along with a price similar to low-feature software. "I suspected the low price was hiding a function gap," said Stephens, "But I was mistaken. I have used it almost every day since and have found no holes."

Stephens has built the company's utility trailer line in 3D and plans to move other product lines into the solid modeler. He also credits the rapid rise in productivity to Alibre support, which is available over the phone and by the program's collaborative Web capabilities. "With 3D modeling and communication tools, we see productivity gains we did not think possible," he says.


Alibre Inc.,
(972) 671-8492,

Croft Trailer Supply,
(800) 426-8159,



TAGS: CAD Archive
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