Tom Foster has nearly 40 years of drafting experience across various 3D/2D CAD platforms and traditional mechanical engineering methods. A majority of his experience was in pencil and table drafting, spending a good portion of his career working as an engineer for Universal Instruments Corp. (“Universal”) in the Binghamton area. While at Universal, he served in various engineering and management capacities.
As this case study is about the benefits of using SOLIDWORKS, it’s ironic that a good majority of Tom’s 3D modeling experience was in PTC’s Creo platform, prior to his first exposure to SOLIDWORKS.
He was the head of the new project research & development department for Universal and was in charge of the department when they adopted Creo in the mid-90’s.
After a successful career at Universal, Tom continued pursuing his passion for R&D design, as a consultant under the name of Priority Design, out of his house in Vestal, NY (a well-established suburb of Binghamton, NY). Here he manages design consulting services for his customers across many different industries including defense, aerospace & electronics.
Tom’s main design challenge on the project that brought him to CADimensions was to address designing a product with no flat surfaces for a military contract. Achieving this goal using existing 2-D software would have been very time-consuming. Additionally, having the ability to run through virtual prototyping was an important consideration on this project, so he began investigating SOLIDWORKS, which he had experience with during the latter part of his career at Universal.
He was looking for a design tool that was easy to use, yet still had the power and flexibility that would allow him to complete this complicated military design project. This is exactly what SOLIDWORKS offered Tom. After a few technical discussions with CADimensions’ engineers, we were able to zero in on a package that included SOLIDWORKS Premium and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Profession. These two tools would allow Tom to get the design capabilities he needed for an accessible cost, even for a small one-man operation. He was able to secure financing through his local bank for the capital investment and moved forward with the project.
A few months after the purchase of the software, I had a chance to catch up with Tom. I was very happy to hear how quickly he realized the return on his investment. He paid back the principal on the loan in just a few months, and actually four months ahead of his expectations.
As far as the benefits of working with CADimensions and SOLIDWORKS, Tom found that getting answers to his technical questions and design challenges was much easier than he anticipated. He has been able to utilize both CADimensions and the vast amount of resources in the SOLIDWORKS user community to find answers to his problems. This has enabled him to continue with his projects without the overhead associated with searching for assistance or answers. Moving forward, Tom has two projects lined up for early 2017, and anticipates only increasing his workload. He loves the type of work that he’s doing and sees no end in the future for his consulting business. We thank Tom and Priority Design for their business, and Tom’s time in working with us on this project. We look forward to being there for any future design challenges he faces down the road.