SolidWorks 3D design technology offers competitive edge to UK furniture designer


A brave investment in leading edge design software enables Craig Jones Design to grow and prosper.

In 2005 South London based designer, Craig Jones, made the decision to invest in SolidWorks 3D design software to help his company deliver innovative products. Specialising in furniture design, Craig has continued to see his business flourish by creating outstanding designs for his international client base. Established in 2000, the company offers a wide range of specialist furniture design services that fully manage projects from the early conceptual design through into production.

SolidWorks is a leading 3D design software that is used by over 750,000 engineers worldwide. SolidWorks not only enables engineers to create virtual models of a design concept but can also simulate its assembly, analyse its performance when in use, analyse its strength, generate engineering data and even produce photo-realistic images of the final design. The company sources its SolidWorks software, training and support from Innova Systems in Cambridge, a leading UK company in 3D computer-aided design.

"For a small company, investing in a design tool like SolidWorks, was a big decision, but quite simply ‘we couldn’t live without it now’" says Craig Jones, Managing Director of Craig Jones Design. "Since the purchase of SolidWorks in 2005, we now embrace more demanding customer products and requirements than would have been possible with our previous 3D CAD software."

Craig ‘s clients have included the BAR F1 racing team, PC World, MFI, the Department for Work and Pensions and Harmony Medical. His projects include desk designs, cable management systems and office storage systems.

"Our designs now cover a very broad range of manufacturing disciplines, ranging from plastic injection mouldings, castings, extrusions, fabricated steel, timber, pressing and sheet metal," said Craig. "The depth of engineering design varies and depends on the client, whose main concern is the end product, not necessarily how we get there. SolidWorks helps in all parts of our design process. For prototypes, we can create complex shapes easily, ensuring the correct balance of making the product look nice with the functional performance needed".

Craig Jones Design send their SolidWorks engineering data files to precision machining companies, who use the design data directly to create very complex machined prototypes within the tight timescales often demanded by their clients. In addition Craig Jones Design benefits from using the concept of "E –drawings", the SolidWorks’ facility to e-mail design information to customers, suppliers and manufacturers, enabling multiple parties to contribute to the success of the design through its ‘view and mark up’ capability.

To the company’s surprise, being able to complete a design validation with SolidWorks Simulation has become a very important part of the design process. SolidWorks Simulation is a software tool that enables the designer to test the design in a virtual environment.

"I originally thought that this type of tool would be too complex and too specialist for what we do," explained Craig, "But in the new design of a double link Monitor arm, SolidWorks Simulation proved to be of great benefit. In the workshop, we took a known design, suitably restrained at one end and applied a load of 16kg at the extent of the arm to measure the deflection. This way we knew how the product was behaving in real life conditions. We then set up the analysis in SolidWorks Simulation. The results were remarkably similar to the real world conditions we knew were accurate and gave us the confidence that this software tool would produce the correct results. With this re assurance and confidence, a brand new design was created with various iterations tested using SolidWorks Simulation as a natural part of the design process."

As the design team grew, Craig Jones Design also started implementing SolidWorks PDM, a data management tool that helps design teams to manage product data, share design information, automate workflows, and improve collaboration between engineering and manufacturing. Prior to this, the team members were working in slightly different ways, with design data scattered over the network in an unstructured manner. When a designer was away from the office, it would be time consuming for another designer to locate their design files, and doubts would remain as to the correct version to use. In this respect, implementing SolidWorks PDM proved to be good decision for the control of all the design data being created by the team, enforcing consistency, structure and discipline on the team. A key benefit is faster and more accurate access to design data.

Throughout the company’s adoption of SolidWorks, engineers at Innova Systems provided the necessary training on the various SolidWorks products and provided technical advice and design guidance when required.

"Craig Jones Design is a great example of a forward thinking business investing in the right tools to gain competitive advantage," said Mark Bradford, Managing Director of Innova Systems. "Their investment in SolidWorks software, training and support is considerable for a relatively small team, but the return on that investment has been clearly demonstrated in their growth and success."

About Innova Systems

Innova is a leading UK distributor of SolidWorks, an advanced 3D Mechanical CAD system that enables engineers to rapidly develop and refine ideas to create innovative products. By combining SolidWorks with Innova Systems’ expertise, training facilities and commitment to support customers, Innova is helping companies across the UK to significantly change and improve the way new products are created.

SolidWorks® is a registered trademark owned by the SolidWorks Corporation



Innova Systems Contact: Mark Bradford

Tel: +44 (0) 1223 200 690


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Supply of SOLIDWORKS 3D software for companies designing and developing new products.

Innova Systems - Experts in SOLIDWORKS Training & Support