Solving Mounting Problems Using xDesign

The best part about being an intern at the 3DEXPIERENCE Lab? Being able to rapidly prototype almost anything and use new products like the 3DEXPERIENCE platform!

Recently I purchased a new (to me) car. One of the many considerations I made in buying this car was its aptitude for being used in harsh winter weather; specifically, I wanted a vehicle that would make it up the access roads of any ski mountain regardless of the weather conditions. But I was missing one essential component that was keeping my new car from being a true ski car. It needed a rack!

Being a savvy shopper I decided I would search for a deal on a used roof rack. To my surprise, on my drive home from the DASSAULT SYSTEMES Waltham campus, I spotted a ski rack in someone’s garbage! Upon retrieval and inspection I noted that although the rack was like new, the mounting hardware was missing. Luckily, that is no issue when you have access to the the 3D Creator role on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform. With that role, I was able to use the xDesign app to solve my hardware problem.

While I could have simply purchased a set of replacement mounting hardware, I figured it would be far more fulfilling to create my own. I was able easily draft the missing parts in a matter of minutes thanks to xDesign.

Once I had modeled the first version of my rack mounting hardware, I wanted to take advantage of the 3D printers we have in the lab. So I decided to print it with PLA on one of our Sindoh 3DWOX1s. This print was simply as a proof of concept so that I could view and test my part in real life.

After reviewing my physical test part and making necessary changes in xDesign, it was time to produce a part that I could actually make use of. For this task I decided it would be best to use the lab’s Markforged 3D printer with Onyx filament. I choose to use the Markforged Mark Two printer because of its ability to use continuous carbon fiber reinforcement.

Using the Markforged, I was able to make my part with not only close to production level quality but also greater strength thanks to the continuous carbon fiber infill.


Because I was able to take full advantage of xDesign as well as the lab space, I was capable bringing an idea into life as a fully functional part!


Ben Horton

I am an intern and a mentor in the 3DEXPERIENCE Lab here at the DASSAULT SYSTEMS Waltham campus. Currently I am studying Mechanical Engineering at the University of Massachusetts, Lowell. I am also the Vice-President of the Society of Automotive Engineers at UMass Lowell. My interests include building racecars, petting dogs, being a maker, and going on adventures in my Outback!