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SolidWorks 3D CAD keeps a lock on industrial vault design

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Vault Structures have saved $150,000 in prototyping costs and cut development time by 70 percent, using SolidWorks 3D CAD software.

Aside from overall security, the two most important considerations in designing a massive vault door are a tight fit and the ability to get out in case of an accidental lock in. Vault Structures, Inc. has standardized on SolidWorks 3D CAD and SolidWorks Simulation design validation software to help some of the world’s most renowned financial institutions keep a lock on billions of dollars of cash, jewelry, and other valuables.

One of the top five security device manufacturers in the world, Vault Structures develops a broad range of products including everything from safes and safe deposit boxes to custom high security blast panels, Underwriters Laboratories (UL) certified modular vault panels, and UL certified vault doors. The company recently unveiled its latest product, the VSI 360 vault door, tipping the scales at 9000 pounds and measuring 14 inches thick.

“We designed this door so it would only have a 3/16 of an inch gap around its circumference,” said Sara Cheney, design engineer for Vault Structures. “That’s a very tight gap for such a large door, providing maximum security. Using SolidWorks 3D CAD and SolidWorks Simulation helped us design and test the door about 70 percent faster than if we’d used AutoCAD, saving $150,000 in reduced prototyping costs.”

Cheney used SolidWorks 3D CAD to design a mechanism that enables people to get out of the vault if they accidentally shut themselves inside. SolidWorks’ sheet metal analysis capabilities enabled her to try myriad sizing options to ensure precision before fabrication begins. SolidWorks Routing enables engineers to determine exactly where and how to place electrical wiring within the design. SolidWorks Simulation helped Cheney make sure the door would open and close without any interferences.

Vault Structures depends on SolidWorks Workgroup PDM to maintain design version control and manage its vault designs throughout their entire lifecycles. “If security is job number one, longevity and durability are next in line. Our products are built to last hundreds of years. So it’s absolutely critical for us to keep an accurate, detailed history of parts, designs, and modifications,” said Cheney.

SolidWorks 3D CAD software is available from Solidtec .

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