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A leading company in the coffee retail industry had been working on a design to improve their latest coffee machine by implementing the latest technology into their product.

The concept had evolved over a period of time working with different partners, each working with a different CAD platform. Now completed, a single system was required to create the final concept to generate the pre-production system.

The overall task involved building a complete product in the 3D SolidWorks environment, with assembly and manufacturing drawings, to ensure that a full BOM (Bill of Materials) was created and there was no missing components.

Our first challenge was to understand the coffee manufacturing process and the technology that was being introduced, and compare that with the current technology in the market place.

The focus here was the making of gourmet coffee and knowing that it is not instant. The process is more than adding hot water, milk and sugar! Gourmet coffee requires an understanding of the temperatures of milk & water, the quantity and grind of coffee beans to create the best combination available.

The next phase was to collaborate with the Design Consultants who created the concept and the assembly manufacturer and collate all the information to rebuild the machine in the SolidWorks environment.

The starting point was to collate and analyse all data from the different systems and bring them into single platform, SolidWorks. We were then able to discuss with each party on the function & interaction of the different areas of the machine in order to build the assembly and create the build structure.

The frame assembly was recreated using the Weldments module within SolidWorks, which provided the basis for all the internal and external assemblies to be assembled to. The plastic facia components had been previously designed in Pro Engineer / Pro Desktop and when brought into SolidWorks in step format, the feature tree would be lost. These models were then converted / recreated in SolidWorks using surfacing, if dimensional modifications were required.

50 prototype machines were initially manufactured from the finished assembly and this concept has now evolved into coffee machines that are seen in retail outlets today.