SOLIDWORKS xDesign Challenge Submission: David Furry, Thunder Scientific

The second person we would like to profile from the SOLIDWORKS World xDesign challenge is David Furry. He shared the following with us regarding the challenge:

As long as I can remember I have been designing and building things. My dad was an engineer and I got to help with a lot of projects around the house, usually my job was to stay out of the way and watch and learn. We designed and built Pinewood Derby cars for five years running and won a lot of trophies. Three years of drafting in high school, with one of the best teachers around, really sparked my interest in creating. It seems that most of the jobs I have had over the years have ended up including drafting in one form or another. I had to learn to think three dimensionally during my career as a sheet metal worker — seeing how a flat pattern would fold up into the desired shape. After learning 2D CAD, it was a rather easy leap to move into the 3D world. I have used other software, but I have found that SOLIDWORKS outshines them all by far.

The Design Inspiration

When presented with the challenge, I narrowed the ideas down to the organizing and the design for social products. I think both themes are going to be quite useful, both now and in the future, as our population grows older and is more active longer. After looking at pictures for several hours and sleeping on it, the thought came to me that there were no storage containers actually attached to a laptop or iPad.

I think that having a storage container at hand, and easily available, would be most helpful, especially for somebody with mobility issues. The less somebody has to stand up just to get a pencil, pen or a pad of paper would save time and effort. I own a third-party case / keyboard and I sized this model to be a press fit onto the bottom of the keyboard side of the case. This design can be made in separate modules and joined together to fit onto a larger laptop with the addition of dovetail joints between pieces.

One problem I ran into using xDesign is when I found myself tapping on the keyboard and expecting a command to start. What I really like is how I can get on any computer or tablet and access my files. I have been talking this up at work for a year when it was last announced.  It definitely has a lot of possibility as my boss is a draftsman from long ago and he has told me more than a few times that he wants to learn to model. This application will please him I am sure!

Another thing I am excited about is the fact that exporting the model is so easy, either in a SLDXML or a STL file, both of which are easily imported into the desktop version of SOLIDWORKS. This will allow us to collaborate at work without everybody congregating in the Drafting office.

I am very grateful I was given the opportunity to participate in this challenge and I look forward to the production version of the software.

Want to get involved in the xDesign beta? Sign up at

Divi Lohiya

Divi is a Senior Manager, Product Portfolio Management at SOLIDWORKS. He is passionate about how new technologies are coming together to change the way how products are designed, made and sold and engaging/teaching kids in STEM activities. Divi graduated from Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Bombay with a dual degree in Mechanical Engineering and a Masters degree in Engineering from University of Texas at Austin.