Meet the Minds at the Center for Advanced Design


A short while ago, I had an opportunity to speak at a SOLIDWORKS Town Hall. Interrupted by three separate microphone issues; I was relieved to take a seat after presenting my final slide.

Later in the Town Hall, Gian Paolo Bassi introduced Marc McCauley and Jesse Hahne, the founders of the Center for Advanced Design – Product Development. I suffered a brief moment envious of their presentation skills; then became lost in the story they shared with such ease and passion.

An opportunity to introduce myself to Marc and Jesse did not present itself after the meeting, but I was able to make a connection with them in the late summer. As before, their enthusiasm for what they do reverberated in each conversation, each email, that followed.

Marc and Jesse are no strangers to digital design. Over the years, they have engineered or modeled hundreds of products across a wide range of industries. A shared enjoyment had led to a number of motorsport designs, including an aerodynamic motorcycle trailer, motocross helmet, hydrofoil board, and a dirt bike to snowmobile conversion kit proving popular during the winters in their home state of Minnesota.

Motorsports also what brought them into collaboration with Mike Shultz, an adaptive athlete, multiple X-Games and Paralympic Winter Gold Medalist, founder of BioDapt and designer of a number of high-performance lower limb prosthesis.

Recently, CAD-PD used SOLIDWORKS to design a new cover for one of BioDapt’s products, the Moto Knee. When asked about some of the challenges they faced designing the cover, Marc replied, “Honestly, the hardest part was scanning. Mike had to source a replacement prosthetic allowing us to ship his current leg to Wacom for scanning.”

Not all of their designs focus on motorsports. When asked about some of the big projects they are working on, Marc told about a touchless lid dispenser that recently had gone to market after a year of development. This was an interesting application of SOLIDWORKS, as LidBoss’ design “incorporates injection molding, sheet metal, and plastic extrusion design along with electrical engineering. It allowed us to flex our design muscles in multiple manufacturing processes.”

They participated in the Industrial Designer Lighthouse program, and are early adopters of the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. Their introduction to the platform was “a three-second video shown at SOLIDWORKS World a few years back of a Sub-D model being pushed around. We knew this was a technology that could help us on a daily basis, and were unhappy with the transition from Alias Sub-D to SOLIDWORKS that we had worked with.  Since the 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a Dassault Systemes product, we knew this would solve our transition issues of the past.”

Jesse and Marc shouldn’t be strangers to SOLIDWORKS users, either. Besides their Town Hall presentation, they have shared their designs and workflows in a number of venues. Just this year alone they presented on the Boston SOLIDWORKS campus during User Advocacy Day, a breakout session at SOLIDWORKS World 2019, and at the product roll-out event hosted by their Value Added Reseller, Hawk Ridge Systems.

When asked about their great dynamic with Hawk Ridge, “The thing that stands out to us is how close we work together. We help with marketing videos and events along with customer references. In return, we get exposure from the events and new customer leads.  We truly enjoy the relationship we have built and think it is one of the key factors making us a strong company.”

The year to come will also prove to be a big one for CAD-PD. The loading screens in SOLIDWORKS 2020 will feature one of their snowmobile renders. At 3DEXPERIENCE World 2020, their collaboration with BioDapt on the VF2 prosthetic foot will be the focus of The Shop Floor live demonstration, and their main stage presentation should be at the top of your list if you want to get lost in an amazing story.

The next time you watch an adaptive athlete competition, spot an interesting motorsport product, or put a lid on your coffee shop drink without touching the dispenser, take a closer look. It is possible you will see something Jesse and Marc had a hand in designing.

To register for this year’s 3DEXPERIENCE World in Nashville, TN, February 9-12th, click here or on the banner below.

Charles is the digital Community Manager for SOLIDWORKS 3DEXPERIENCE products.