Bicycle helmet maker MET has reduced its former 14-month development cycle with the implementation of virtual 3D modeling and NX software from Siemens.
Writing in a blog, Siemens tell the story of how its product lifecycle management software has assisted the Italian helmet label in simplifying its entire process leading to manufacture, as well as cut engineering costs through efficiency gains.
“Traditionally, a new model is based on a manual design process, starting with sketches by a designer through construction of a prototype to the production of a reference model for initial testing. This laborious trial-and-error process takes between 12 and 14 months,” writes the blog on the formerly drawn out product design process.
Moving to a virtual design process, manual model production has been replaced by a quicker computer aided design (CAD), paired to Siemens PLM software, allowing the firm to add compatibility to its own in-house structural analysis tooling. The NX software is a further boon to designers as it provides designers with support during the complicated process of surface modeling.
“In addition to structural considerations, the availability of a detailed virtual model is a significant step forward, as it allows the designer to check the feasibility of manufacturing tooling and to make the necessary decisions to optimize large-scale production,” explains Matteo Tenni, Product Developer at MET.
The shift in approach also allows for detailed virtual testing, something that can supply important data ahead of a first prototyping, if required, thus removing a layer of trial and error. Using this method prototypes can be produced with near perfect accuracy at low cost using 3D printing methods.
MET is now starting and completing the entire process in between six to eight months.