TeamVodafone races ahead with Intercad

Australian computer-aided design and manufacturing (CAD/CAM) specialist, Intercad, has become a sponsor of TeamVodafone, Triple Eight Race Engineering’s V8 Supercar Championship leading team.

The sponsorship includes the provision of 10 licences of SolidWorks 3D CAD technology and access to Intercad’s specialist technical support services to assist Triple Eight Race Engineering complete the design of its new Holden V8 supercar.

Intercad is the leading authorised reseller of SolidWorks 3D CAD/CAM technology in Australia and New Zealand. The company has more than 20 years’ experience in the design, engineering and manufacturing industries in both countries.

Ian Drapier, Drawing Office Manager, Triple Eight Race Engineering, says SolidWorks is being implemented to increase the productivity of the design team. Initial estimates show that the powerful 3D package will save the team more than an hour of time each day.

“This season we have a new car and we are still going through the initial period of testing and adjustments,” says Drapier. “When we come back from a race with something that needs improving we need to create new designs or iterations quickly, so we need our technology and services to be robust and help us improve our competitiveness on the track.”

Triple Eight Race Engineering’s point of differentiation is in its engineering capability which sees seven designers working on the components of the TeamVodafone car. Two race engineers and one data engineer travel with the team to each race where they work under immense pressure to have the car race-ready.

Specialist technical support services are critical in enabling Triple Eight Race Engineering to respond quickly to design issues. Intercad’s expert team of application engineers and technical support personnel has been working with Triple Eight Race Engineering to migrate its data from its previous CAD system to SolidWorks. The migration has been a major project and Drapier has looked to Intercad for advice on best-practice while undertaking the task.

“Intercad’s technical support services have been essential to help us migrate the several thousand parts, that make up the car, to SolidWorks,” says Drapier. “We now have a working model of the car in SolidWorks and are concentrating on working with the imported data on areas of the car that are currently being developed.

“Now we have the model up and running we will be looking to Intercad’s technical support team to help us iron out any day-to-day issues with using the software.

“We needed a package that we had confidence in and that didn’t cause niggling issues or have peculiar traits. Intercad’s technical support negates these issues and ensures we are using the software to its fullest potential.”

Drapier says Intercad’s long history in the Australian and New Zealand design, engineering and manufacturing markets was a critical factor in choosing to work with the company. Drapier himself has more than 10 years’ experience working with SolidWorks in the UK and New Zealand before joining Triple Eight Race Engineering, and says it was simply a case of working with a familiar software package and a well-established company he could trust.

Intercad has a long history of working with high-performance sporting teams to help them increase their competitive advantage. The company supplied Emirates Team New Zealand with technology and services to develop and test new approaches to the structural design of its yacht for the 2007 America’s Cup.

Max Piper, Chief Executive Officer, Intercad, says optimising each design component, whether it be for a yacht or a V8 supercar, will ensure maximum performance when racing.

“A key differentiator for the design team at Triple Eight Race Engineering is its desire to understand, upfront, the fundamentals of the engineering behind making the car go fast,” says Piper. “Applying those principles and putting the time in early to make sure the designs are right saves time and money by avoiding potential errors down the track.”

Drapier concurs: “We design and manufacture more than 80 per cent of the parts for the car here in Australia. Our team includes fabricators and machinists who rely on our design work to produce top quality components. SolidWorks will give us improvements in our design cycle, like easier management of large assemblies and assistance with weldment environments for chassis design, which will flow through to the manufacturing division and increase overall product quality.”

Triple Eight Race Engineering will next look at using SolidWorks Workgroup PDM for design data management and SolidWorks Simulation for virtual testing. Drapier says both packages, which are built in to SolidWorks Premium, will allow him to further improve the quality of designs by protecting data and reusing drawings, as well as test for defects.

Intercad works with many automotive companies in Australia including MtM, Bullet Cylinder Heads and Sprintex Superchargers, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Australian Automotive Components.

About Intercad Pty Ltd Intercad Pty Ltd is the leading distributor of SolidWorks in Australia and New Zealand. Intercad Pty Ltd is an Australian-owned company specialising in Mechanical Computer-Aided Engineering, Computer-Aided Design and Computer-Aided Manufacturing (MCAE/CAD/CAM) solutions. Established in 1989 with offices in each major state capital in Australia and in New Zealand, its core activities include software sales, technical support, training and consulting services. For more information please visit or call Intercad’s head office on 02 9454 4444.

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