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Little Tikes Designs Infinity Climber With SolidWorksPlayground equipment designed in SolidWorks wins 2004 IDEA award (June 28, 2004)
The Infinity Climber, a wide, twisting playground climber designed in SolidWorks software has won the Gold Prize for the 2004 Industrial Design Excellence Award (IDEA) competition. Presented by the Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) and announced in the July 5th issue of BusinessWeek magazine, the award recognizes Little Tikes Commercial Play Systems, Inc.'s design excellence in creating the Infinity line of products.
Children climb, crawl, hang, swirl down slides, and wind through tubes in Little Tikes Commercial's products created in SolidWorks 3D mechanical design software. These products, designed in the company's Farmington, Mo., offices, appear in schoolyards, municipal playgrounds, church yards, and army bases around the world. Little Tikes' designers use SolidWorks to speed products to market and explore options for making playground equipment for everything from hospitals to McDonald's restaurants as safe and dependable as they are fun. SolidWorks software enabled Little Tikes Commercial to explore different design possibilities for the Infinity to arrive at the perfect combination of form and function (such as correct handhold placement) to increase climbing options and fun.
"Winning the IDEA award is a significant achievement given the caliber of the submissions," said Brian Jenkins, vice president of new product development at Little Tikes Commercial. "But we wouldn't have been able to draw or define the Infinity without SolidWorks software because of the complex geometry, and therefore we probably wouldn't have even pursued the concept. SolidWorks allowed us to try several different possibilities before we defined the right formula. It then let us quickly create dozens of configurations used in different climbers." Jenkins attributes his designers' ability to easily explore several design options to SolidWorks' ease of use. Its intuitive user interface lets users try different possibilities faster and with fewer errors than other computer-aided design (CAD) products. Little Tikes Commercial also chose SolidWorks for its short learning curve and compatibility with 2D AutoCAD software.
"The playground industry grew up with 2D," said Jenkins. "SolidWorks makes the translation of our old AutoCAD files as easy as a couple of mouse clicks, enabling us to reap the benefits of 3D visualization and time savings for product design, and still work on the same page as landscape architects, suppliers, and manufacturers."
Little Tikes Commercial, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Newell Rubbermaid and the sister company to the Little Tikes Company, has standardized on SolidWorks for product design in its research and development operations.
"To make cool, fun equipment that kids love to play on requires boundless imagination and the ability to transfer the most far-reaching concepts into visual graphics that you can truly evaluate," said Ilya Mirman, SolidWorks vice president of marketing. "Little Tikes Commercial exemplifies how SolidWorks breaks down the barriers to complex product design by allowing users to easily commit ideas to 3D models, explore all of the possibilities, and quickly arrive at the best product possible."
Little Tikes Commercial relies on SolidWorks reseller Concurrent Technologies, Inc. for ongoing software training, implementation, and support.
About Little Tikes Commercial Play Systems, Inc.
Little Tikes Commercial is a leading manufacturer of commercial play systems for public parks, schools, childcare facilities, and quick-serve restaurants. Corporate headquarters is located in Farmington, Mo., one hour south of St. Louis. For the latest news, or to find your local representative, visit the company's Web site (www.littletikescommercial.com) or call 1-800-325-8828 (outside of North America, call 573-756-4591).
About Concurrent Technologies, Inc.
Concurrent Technologies Inc. is a full service engineering-focused company supplying integrated Mechanical Computer Aided Engineering (MCAE) solutions. Its personnel have diverse backgrounds with more than 85 man years of experience in mechanical engineering, design, structural analysis, rapid prototyping, and manufacturing. For information, visit www.cticae.com.
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 (www.solidworks.com) or call 1-800-693-9000 (outside of North America, call +1-978-371-5000).
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