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NEAT Vehicles - SolidWorks Case Study

NEAT Transcript

NEAT vehicles design and builds specialist vehicles and trailers. We specialise in building anything that’s not a normal commercial vehicle or trailer. We build the chassis, the bodies. We paint them, and fit them out with interior. We’re involved with 2D and 3D CAD. We chose SolidWorks because it was an industry standard. We’d had demonstrations of it and it seemed the right kind of package for us. We were taking on a graduate and they were involved with SolidWorks.

When I was applying for placements a lot of companies wanted people with SolidWorks experience. It was definitely the top choice of package I believe between the top 3. So I came from a different program to begin with and I made the transition fairly easy.  I’ve never really had any formal training on SolidWorks, the principle between the packages are very similar but I picked it up very quickly.

Some of the designs that we come up with are very complex and SolidWorks allows us to draw them out and test them prior to making them, rather than on the shop floor.

I’ve been prototyping the mechanisms in it to find out placements of different hydraulic ram locations, actuator arms and things. It’s been quite useful to find out the movement is correct before I send it to the shop floor. I think Weldments is very strong, 3D sketching is also a strong point too, other software packages don’t necessary offer that.

SolidWorks lends itself really nicely with Weldment profiling and cutting lists, it’s been incredibly useful for that. Getting drawings out quickly or getting cutting lists together to order material without really having to mess about and you know sometimes if you do a full drawing you can still get the list together quickly and sent off.

SolidWorks will help us both with working drawings and standardisation of drawings. But it will also help us with renders for marketing.

The company has only just recently moved over to 3D modelling so that’s why I’ve been brought in. So at the minute it’s a bit of a learning curve for everyone else to catch up. Renders have already been quite handy for presentations for clients and things and getting the models together for them is a key factor of that.

We do a lot of hydraulic expansions on the vehicles and we can draw the rams we can operate the rams. We can make things fold and move. So that’s invaluable in that respect because we can see where there might be a conflict.

Interference’s is key straight of the bat. With Weldments, a lot of them trim automatically with is handy so that nothing is extending and not overruling it and things like trimming one profile to another alters the length of the cutter table.

We do press and cut our own sheet metal, primarily for building the structures i.e. the chassis. Found Cadtek to be very helpful, when we first came to Cadtek they were encouraging us because we’ve not used a 3D package before and providing all the information so we could get a grant to obtain both the SolidWorks packages and the computers to operate them on.

Overview

NEAT Vehicles utilise many years of combined experience to create specialist vehicle and trailers. A family business with two generations working alongside each other, supporting a team of experienced engineers, coach-builders, cabinet makers, fitters and painters. NEAT use SolidWorks to design and manufacture a range of unique products.

www.neatvehicles.com

SolidWorks lends itself really nicely with Weldment profiling and cutting lists, it’s been incredibly useful for that.

We chose SolidWorks because it was an industry standard

Cadtek have been very helpful…providing all the information so we could get a grant to obtain both the SolidWorks packages and the computers to operate them on

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