In 2007, Helena switched from an aging 3D wireframe design tool to SolidWorks software, a computer-aided design (CAD) system from Dassault Systèmes Solidworks Corporation. Recently, Helena decided to redesign one of its most popular electrophoresis sample handlers. Handlers are used in applications such as forensics, molecular biology, genetics, microbiology and biochemistry. The issue was that replacement parts for the unit were becoming scarce and Helena needed to redesign it with new components.
Undertaking this and other major design work using SolidWorks seemed logical. But recent press and blog posts from SolidWorks users that Dassault planned to remove the Parasolid® software modeling kernel from its SolidWorks product worried Helena.
Billy Oliver, a longtime SolidWorks user and design engineer at Helena, started reading in 2010 about SolidWorks moving to another modeling kernel. The veteran designer says Helena didn’t want to redesign its products in SolidWorks if the modeling kernel was changing. To understand the impact, he cites one of the products needing redesign contains about 2,000 unique parts at 12,000 pieces per unit.
Once the kernel change was confirmed, Helena switched to Solid Edge® software. Helena now achieves 100 percent conversion of its SolidWorks and CADKEY® software wireframe designs into Solid Edge and preserves its valuable data.