Providing low-cost, efficient, and on-demand mobility services is the goal of South Africa-based Mellowcabs, a manufacturer of a fully electric, three-wheeled vehicle. Although vehicle development began a few years ago, it didn’t take off until Mellowcabs decided to replace its 3D design tools with SOLIDWORKS® design, engineering, and visualization software.
“With SOLIDWORKS, we were also able to access a more complete set of tools through our participation in the SOLIDWORKS for Entrepreneurs program, which allowed us to purchase the software at steep discounts,” says Technical Lead Ernie Aylward. “We especially liked the fact that we can complete surface and solid modeling—as well as evaluate manufacturability—from within the same development environment.
The ability to visualize the distinctive design in SOLIDWORKS helped Mellowcabs remain focused on the important refinement of the ergonomic shape and aesthetics that differentiate its minicab from its competitors. The cool, head-turning look of Mellowcabs is paramount because on-vehicle advertising generates significant revenue so the company does not have to rely on trip fees alone.
With surfacing, solid modeling, and Design for Manufacturability tools inside the same development environment, SOLIDWORKS facilitated synergy between industrial design and mechanical engineering, which cut product design time in half and reduced the number of prototypes, while improving manufacturability.
“The ability to move back and forth between surfaces and solids was certainly a big advantage; the enhanced visualization in SOLIDWORKS—and the software’s integrated simulation tools—also decreased prototyping time because it allowed us to foresee and address mistakes,” stresses Industrial Designer Naeem Cassim.
“The video animations and rendered images that we create in SOLIDWORKS Visualize software also make a huge difference when presenting our vehicle and ideas to prospective clients,” Cassim adds.
Click here to read more about using SOLIDWORKS to facilitate cooperation between design and engineering, to cut product design time in half.