A Truly Winning Customer

By Suzanne

Earlier in 2014 you may have read about how SOLIDWORKS was used to design the sled for the United States four-man Bobsled team that won a Bronze medal at the Sochi Olympics. While we believe all our customers are winners having one that has won an Olympic medal is, we admit, rare and very exciting.

This week representatives of the Bo-Dyn Bobsled project, who make the sled, and sled’s driver, Steve Holcomb,  paid a visit to our North America headquarters in Waltham, Mass. to tell our employees about the win and the role SOLIDWORKS played in it.

And they brought a few things with them. 

Steve Holcomb,  Bruno Latchague Geoff Bodine, John Morgan and John Vester

Bruno Latchague, Senior EVP, Americas Market, stands with Steve Holcomb and Geoff Bodine, the founder of Bo-Dyn, and a plaque presented to Dassault Systemes to thank the company for the support of the team. With them are Bo-Dyn’s Executive Director John Morgan and president John Vester.

As you can see in the picture above Steve Holcomb brought his Olympic medals – his Gold from the 2010 Vancouver games and his two Bronzes from Sochi. Here’s a closer look:

Steve Holcomb

I had the chance to hold them and they are very heavy.

Bruno Latchague then introduced the Bo-Dyn team to our Americas employees who gave them a big round of applause.

Bo-Dyn team with Bruno Latchage

After a few words about medal winning run at the Olympics, Geoff Bodine presented Steve Holcomb with even more metal – his official Olympic ring designed by Jostens.

Geoff Bodine and Steve Holcomb

At the conclusion of the event Steve Holcomb  posed with numerous employees, including David Gadarian below, to give them the opportunity to hold the winning medal.

David Gadarian and Steve Holcomb

American Bobsled Team and Dassault Systemes’ SolidWorks Partner To Win Medal at Sochi Olympics

By Suzanne

Congratulations to the United States 4-Man Bobsled team who won the Bronze Medal at the 2014 Winter Olympics with a sled, NightTrain II, that was designed using Dassault Systemes’ SolidWorks. The Bo-Dyn Bobsled company founded by engineer Bob Cuneo and NASCAR legend Geoff Bodine turned to SolidWorks to help them build a sled that was ready for the challenging course in Sochi.

In an interview with Fast Company, Bodine spoke about the how “technical” the track was:

“All the corners are difficult.” In particular, there is a section of the track where a series of corners lead to a stretch of track that goes uphill. All of which makes it especially important to build a bobsled that is highly navigable, since to come off those corners with any lost momentum can impair the team’s ability to plow through that uphill stretch. “That’s where they can lose those thousandths of a second.”

American Bobsled

The challenge, according to Bodine, was to find a way design a winning sled for Sochi without building multiple prototypes.

“We knew we needed an accurate and precise 3D design that could give us a realistic and cost-effective way to test and tweak Night Train 2® prototypes. The solution was SOLIDWORKS. SOLIDWORKS helped us design using a lighter material and creating multiple 3D prototypes of the bobsled on the computer so we could get it just the way we wanted it before we began building and manufacturing it.

SOLIDWORKS was incredible for allowing us to experiment with the weight of the sled and how that impacts the handling of the bobsled. You win in these races by a very small amount of time and the key to winning is very small changes in design. SOLIDWORKS lets us quickly make those crucial changes.”

Bodine and Cuneo took the stage at SolidWorks World in San Diego last month to discuss how SolidWorks assisted them and brought along some taped messages from the team headed by Steve Holcomb.

American Bobsled at SWW14

Watch coverage of the story by 7news:

American Bobsled on 7news

This is not the first time Dassault Systemes’ 3DExperience been used to create high-speed vehicles; we’ve helped our customers break land speed records, race in Formula One, follow the Sun across Australia and round the track in NASCAR.

We’re proud to add the Bronze Medal winning run of Team USA’s NightTrain II to the list!  :-)

American Bobsled Team in Sochi

 



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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.