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Acumen Saves With SolidWorks 3D PartStream.NET

Online catalog of 3D models saves on printing costs, increases queries (June 21, 2004)

Acumen Technical Associates, Inc. is using SolidWorks' 3D PartStream.NET service to improve the effectiveness of marketing its ACUFRAME brand of modular T-slotted aluminum framing, guarding, and convertible tooling products to global customers. Acumen's 3D PartStream.NET-powered online catalog allows users to download 3D models into their product designs to check fit and function. The service has saved the company as much as $500,000 in paper catalog printing costs while increasing non-New England customer queries by 600 percent in four months.

Acumen's T-slotted aluminum extrusion products offer infinite configurations, often framing sheets of metal, polycarbonate, Plexiglas, wire mesh, and other materials in modular sets that companies use for a variety of applications, including factory automation, product testing, and assembly line stations. Its customers are in such varied industries as packaging, food service, pharmaceutical, aerospace, and medical, and include such names as U.S. Surgical, Koch Membrane Systems, and biotechnology company ArQule, Inc. Rhode Island-based Acumen switched from a distributor-based sales model to 3D PartStream.NET to expand beyond its New England market to a broader range of customers and industries all over the world.

"Just by varying lengths and other features, customers can purchase our products in millions of configurations, each with its own part number," said Steve Geroux, president of Acumen. "To publish and distribute a complete catalog with all of those configurations would have cost us a half-million dollars. And we don't have the staff to follow up with those catalogs and increase our markets to the West Coast, South America, Europe, and Asia. 3D PartStream.NET acts like a virtual sales force by delivering a comprehensive online catalog of downloadable solid models that customers around the world can configure themselves."

Streamlined product configuration Acumen's customers can easily locate the necessary product family in the online catalog, configure the right product, and download the 3D model in the format of their choice into their designs to check compatibility with just a few mouse clicks. This streamlined process dramatically reduces framing part search times and speeds product development for customers such as professional loudspeaker manufacturer Eastern Acoustic Works, Inc. (EAW).

EAW's high-end speakers deliver powerful, clear sound in such diverse public settings as the Vatican, Gillette Stadium, and night clubs. To comply with new fire safety regulations, Senior Mechanical Engineer Tim Desplaines and his team are designing a line of speakers whose exteriors will not create excessive smoke in case of fire. He located Acumen on SolidWorks' 3D ContentCentral (, an online directory of suppliers offering downloadable 3D part models to hundreds of thousands of product designers and engineers around the world. Desplaines used Acumen's 3D PartStream.NET-powered online catalog to quickly configure the ACUFRAME products to form the smoke-proof exterior of the speakers.

"Acumen's online catalog allowed me to configure a new part on the fly, so that I could try it out in our product design in a few minutes, without having to conceptualize the extrusion from the ground up," said Desplaines. "That streamlined configuration probably cut months out of our product development time, so that we could quickly design and produce new fire safety-compliant products."

Acumen also uses SolidWorks 3D mechanical design software to create new product models and COSMOSXpress design analysis tool to calculate products' load strength and test their overall durability.

"Acumen has increased its market exposure and taken a significant competitive advantage in an industry dominated by companies that rely on distributors for sales," said Bob Noftle, general manager of 3D content solutions at SolidWorks Corporation. "3D PartStream.NET levels the playing field for manufacturers like Acumen to reach the same customers more effectively and affordably than larger competitors with more resources."

About Acumen Technical Associates, Inc
Founded in 1999, Acumen Technical Associates, Inc. has developed T-slotted aluminum extrusion products for framing sheet metal, Plexiglas, polycarbonate, and other materials used in factory automation, product testing, and assembly line stations. Customers in a variety of industries including food service, pharmaceutical, packaging, medical, and aerospace use its ACUFRAME line of framing, guarding, and convertible tooling products. For more information visit the company's Web site at

About SolidWorks Corporation
SolidWorks Corporation, a Dassault Systèmes S.A. (Nasdaq: DASTY, Euronext Paris: #13065, DSY.PA) company, develops and markets software for mechanical design, analysis, and product data management. It is the #1 supplier of 3D mechanical design software for the mainstream market. SolidWorks leads the market in number of users in production, customer satisfaction, and revenue. For the latest news, information, or a live online demonstration, visit the company's Web site ( or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).


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Related Keywords:Acumen, SolidWorks, SolidWorks 3D PartStream.NET, 3D models, ACUFRAME, 3D PartStream.NET, Steve Geroux, Eastern Acoustic Works, Tim Desplaines, SolidWorks 3D ContentCentral, SolidWorks 3D, COSMOSXpress, Bob Noftle, Dassault Systèmes,


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