Macron Dynamics, a manufacturer of belt driven linear actuators and multi-axis automation systems, recently collaborated with Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks, the 3D design software provider, to create an automated gantry system for a futuristic floating CAD office chair. The CAD office chair of the future was selected as the first SolidWorks “Let’s Go Design” interactive web series project, winning almost half of the votes from web-viewers over two other proposed projects–an all-in-one breakfast maker and a trailer hitch workbench.
Named “The Ultimate CAD Chair,” the innovative office chair suspends from a three-axis Macron gantry system and allows the occupant to move the chair with an Apple iPod Touch control panel. Features and functions for the chair could be suggested by the web-viewers, and designed with SolidWorks software. The series asked viewers to become part of the team by voting on elements of the project and contributing their own ideas and suggestions to arrive at a finished product design.
“When DS SolidWorks approached us about partnering on this project, we were immediately intrigued by the challenge,” said Larry Miller, sales engineer at Macron Dynamics. “At Macron we’re used to moving things, not people. Building a novelty item like this was an entirely new challenge for us, but we were beyond confident in our products and capabilities.”
The host of DS SolidWorks “Let’s Go Design,” Jeremy Luchini, worked with Miller, who managed the project for Macron and assisted in the integration of the gantry system, controls and motorization. Miller also assisted in the setup of the gantry and related components at SolidWorks’ headquarters in Concord, Massachusetts.
The Macron supplied gantry system needed to support 500lbs of chair, added electronics, and the body weight of the person operating the chair. Macron’s capabilities were tested as they built the specialized gantry system to meet the unusual features suggested by the “Let’s Go Design” online community.
The Macron gantry consisted of MacSTANDARD 14H belt driven actuators oriented in X, Y and Z configurations to fit within the predesigned octagonal office space. The machine frame was constructed with MacFRAME aluminum extrusions and components. Capable of speeds as fast as one meter per second, the gantry operates at a comfortable twelve inches per second for the chair occupant. Frequent on-the-fly changes in specifications and design called for modifications such as the addition of a Z axis with theta rotation, which allowed the chair to swivel. Overall, Macron provided the innovative gantry system, the gear boxes, and assistance in selecting the motors to design “The Ultimate CAD Chair”. In addition, once the design was finalized, Macron’s eight day turn-around of the gantry system met the quick delivery requirements and aggressive production and filming schedules.
Miller commented, “A level of excitement could be felt in the air as Jeremy Luchini and our teams worked with contagious enthusiasm. The DS SolidWorks “Let’s Go Design” team, along with the crew from Macron worked late into the night to get the motorization completed in time for filming. Despite the excitement of being in front of the cameras, the effort was “business as usual,” said Miller.
For additional information, visit www.macrondynamics.com or call Macron Dynamics, Inc. at 1-800-MACRON-1 (1-800-622-7661). All of the “Let’s Go Design” episodes featuring the Macron gantry system can be viewed at www.solidworks.com/pages/programs/letsgodesign/.