Surface and SOLIDWORKS: Helping Ringbrothers reimagine classic cars
Surface builds devices that empower people to be more productive and create without limits. Removing limitations is especially important for engineers, architects and designers – who depend on powerful hardware and software to streamline their workflow and bring their creations to life. This week at SOLIDWORKS World, the Surface team is on the ground with thousands of power users to showcase the Surface family of devices and learn more about how SOLIDWORKS is advancing the future of 3D Design.
One of the best aspects of my role on the Surface team is getting the opportunity to see first-hand how our devices are used to build awesome, innovative products that people love. That’s why I’m excited to see one of our users – Ringbrothers – here at SOLIDWORKS World and watch as they wow the audience with the story behind their 1972 AMC Javelin. The Javelin, unveiled at SEMA Show 2017, is a true work of art that the Ringbrothers team imagined, designed and built with the help of Surface and SOLIDWORKS.
I had the chance to sit down with Ringbrothers Product Development Specialist Matt Moseman to learn more about the Javelin, his work at Ringbrothers and how technology is changing the way engineers and designers work.
Tell me about Ringbrothers and your role on the team.
Ringbrothers is an automotive restoration company in Spring Green, Wisconsin specializing in customized auto parts and restoration of classic vehicles. I work with an incredible 15-person team to design, prototype, and manufacture products and unique pieces of automotive jewelry. Someone will bring in a vehicle from the 70s and our goal is to maintain that heritage while bringing modern technology and materials to it.
What’s your design process and ethos (i.e. – how do you work)? What did your process look like previously?
I use Surface for everything – from reading e-mails to making revisions on renderings in SOLIDWORKS. In the past, we took a vision from a napkin to paper then tried to recreate it on a device. Surface enhances our creativity and helps us collaborate better as a team.
We can offer our teammates and clients a more hands-on experience while creating and interacting with the device, providing tweaks and suggestions in real-time.
At the end of the day, it’s really about how the team culture and environment contributes to our collective design process. Everyone plays a role in the creation of these vehicles, whether we’re creating the parts and bolting wheels on the cars to changing oil. We don’t believe in titles or barriers between teams. Having everyone work elbow-to-elbow streamlines the process from design to manufacturing and breaks the communication barrier, shortening the time to market.
How did implementing Surface change your workflow?
With Surface, we’re able to be more productive. There’s a level of flow that we didn’t have before.
Being able to use the large-scale format on Surface Studio and then go home and sketch a drawing on my Surface Book 2 at the kitchen table – it’s a game changer. Our previous machines just didn’t have enough power. SOLIDWORKS helps take this vision and makes it 3D. It almost brings the products to life before they’ve even come out of the printer.
We also started using Surface Dial, Surface Precision Mouse and Surface Pen with the Surface devices. They provide a more natural way to interact with the devices and we like being able to bring together physical tools we can hold in our hand with the power and flexibility of digital tools.
What’s the story behind the Javelin? What value did Surface bring as you and the team built it from concept to creation?
Prestone asked us to build a car to commemorate its 90th anniversary and unveil it at SEMA 2017. They wanted a vehicle that aligns with their brand and culture – a classic that embodies the rich American history and automotive innovation. The 1972 AMC Javelin was the perfect fit. We built the Javelin in less than 10 months and it was the first vehicle we went completely digital on with Surface.
As we redesigned and rebuilt the Javelin, we were also able to create aftermarket parts, such as the interior door handles. This enabled first-time-right machining and let us test out new products.
The entire process was made more efficient with the release of SOLIDWORKS 2018 and the functionality offered by Surface.
We worked with Gary Ragle, an incredible auto designer, to generate the renderings and leveraged SOLIDWORKS on Surface devices to design prototype parts that are 3D printed. Given the short runway to SEMA, every area we could save time was crucial. Everything we do is power intensive and Surface Studio and Surface Book 2 easily handled these tasks and allowed us to maintain our workflow, stay in the zone, and ultimately create higher quality products.
For engineers like Matt, we understand why it’s so important for them to have the best tools available to get the job done. That’s what makes our work with companies like Dassault Systemès is so valuable. Thank you to the SOLIDWORKS team and Ringbrothers for a great partnership and time here in Los Angeles. We are excited to see what else the talented SOLIDWORKS community creates on Surface!