ReThink Robotics, Formlabs, and Knapheide Manufacturing Corporation Push Design Limits at SolidWorks 2014 Press Event

My favorite time of year at SolidWorks is right around the product launch because I get to work closely with our customers and learn about all of the innovative ways that they are using our products throughout the design process and on the production line. It’s so great to see our customers speak so passionately about the products that they designed using SolidWorks software.  This year, our customers’ stories came to life at our annual press event announcing SolidWorks 2014. We featured ReThink Robotics, Formlabs, and Knapheide Corporation; three different companies who have gone beyond the limits of design and created products that are game changers in their industries.

Each customer had a different story to tell:

ReThink Robotics highlighted the company’s vision to revitalize manufacturing with Baxter, a two-armed, human-sized, animated robot built to help with manufacturing and increase safety on the assembly line. Using SolidWorks, the company was able to quickly conceptualize an idea, design for manufacturing and assembly, and perform stress analysis on the key component of the robot, the series elastic actuator. For ReThink Robotics, SolidWorks enabled a fast and easy design process: they went from sketch to part in under a week!

See how Baxter works now.

Formlabs Printer Designed in SolidWorks

Formlabs, a SolidWorks customer focused on design a high-definition 3D printer, the Form 1, was able to move from the idea conception process to manufacturing in just 18 months! The company transition from napkin sketches to 3D models of the printer by scanning the design into SolidWorks and then using drawing tools to build the schematics and ultimately prototype the product. Using SolidWorks solutions, Formlabs designed a printer that uses stereolithography to layer resins to create high-resolution products with a feature size of 300 microns. Unlike most 3D printers, the Form 1 does not rely on a full tank of resin – the company actually develops their own resin in house.

Watch the Formlabs printer in action here.


Knapheide Manufacturing Company, a longstanding SolidWorks customer, also presented at the annual press event. From its early beginnings as a company that used to make covered wagons for pioneers in the early 1800s, Knapheide has since grown into a company capitalizing in product innovation in service, platform and utility van bodies. Knapheide to moved into 3D realm by converting over from AutoCAD 2D to SolidWorks allowing them to expand into new markets and automate sheetmetal design and fabrication.

Watch the Knapheide customer videos to see how Knapheide used SolidWorks to move to 3D (you may need to register to view).

Explore limitless design with SolidWorks 2014, see how.


Asya Bashina

Asya Bashina

Subscription Services Marketing Specialist at Dassault Systemes SolidWorks
Subscription Services Marketing Specialist. Brand Marketing pro and travel enthusiast with a sense of humor.
Asya Bashina
Asya Bashina