Custom Mechanical Equipment Designed Using Powerful 3D Modeling Software 

At Matrix Technologies, mechanical engineers use proven design methodologies and Dassault’s Solidworks to engineer and design custom mechanical equipment that best fit client needs. By leveraging the strength and flexibility of Solidworks, comprehensive design packages are prepared and ready for construction and incorporation into larger facility designs.

Designing mechanical equipment begins by determining the design methodology that best fits the application. The most common methods are conceptual-to-elemental (top-down) and elemental-to-complex (bottom-up). Original machine design often requires a top-down methodology while retrofitting existing equipment may require bottom-up. Solidworks provides the tools required to implement each method and the flexibility to switch between methods if required.

Changes Cascade Automatically

The top-down method in Solidworks begins with an assembly model, and part models are added to render a conceptual design. Parts can be as simple as lines, rectangles, or circles, and are dimensioned and mated (a mate relates two features together such as two concentric cylinders) so that parts interact as a continuous system. Machine footprints, cylinder stroke lengths, working ranges of robots, and other parameters are evaluated quickly and accurately. Solidworks allows users to edit parts within assemblies, and dimensional changes cascade through related parts automatically.

This powerful method is useful for high level layouts and also can be implemented during subassembly design to ensure proof of concept. Designs using components such as trunnion mounted cylinders, tie rods, or four-bar links are developed and vetted before part numbers and surface finishes must be determined. Once all design decisions are made, finite element analysis (FEA) of assemblies and parts are reviewed, and each individual part is finalized with custom properties such as material, finish, and stock size.

Modifying Existing Equipment

Not all machine design starts as a new concept requiring top-down methodology. Retrofitting or repurposing equipment is a challenge that requires the bottom-up method, because the design concepts are already in place. An existing 3D model or point cloud (digital representation of the real world machine) provides the base design and is imported seamlessly by Solidworks. Individual parts are developed matching new specifications and are related to existing equipment. Once in place, assemblies are created from the new parts. For instance, new drivetrains can be easily incorporated into existing equipment.

Final Model Fully Rendered in 3D

The final Solidworks model is a fully rendered 3D design easily reviewed and revised by client stakeholders and the engineering team. Once approved, parts and assemblies are efficiently detailed in drawings parametrically linked to component properties allowing for easy revision and document control. Models are exported for use in facility design software such as Autodesk Plant3D, and drawings and supporting files such as Bills of Material (BOMs) are easily prepared for issued for construction packages.

With a clear methodology and the power of Solidworks, Matrix Technologies provides clients a complete custom equipment solution.

Matrix Technologies is one of the largest independent process design, industrial automation engineering, and manufacturing operations management companies in North America. To learn more about our manufacturing process and automation engineering capabilities, contact Drew Robertson, EIT, Engineer 3.

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