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  • DesignSpark Mechanical 3D modelling tool from RS Components used in development of groundbreaking Daedalus jet-engine flight suit

    Highly intuitive direct-modelling-based 3D CAD software enables fast learning curve for users and quick and easy revision of designs and concepts

    Oxford, UK, 17 May 2017 - RS Components (RS), the trading brand of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the global distributor for engineers, today announced that its DesignSpark Mechanical 3D modelling software tool was used in the development of the ‘Daedalus’ jet-engine flight suit, which was demonstrated at a recent TED conference in Vancouver and reported via many news organisations as the real-life ‘Iron Man’.

    The ‘Daedalus’ flight suit is the brainchild of Richard Browning, who early last year began working on his vision to create a viable anti-gravity jet-engine suit, as well as building a company that could re-imagine human flight. Throughout 2016, Browning and his team designed and built the Daedalus prototype suit, including testing and multiple design iterations, before filing patents for the technology and launching Gravity, the world's first human-propulsion company.

    The Daedalus design team, which included experienced CAD operators, used complex 3D design software to create the initial CAD renditions for the first suit prototype. However, Browning wanted to make changes to the design and shape 3D models himself. This would have meant at least one week of intensive training on the CAD tools, which was simply not possible given Browning’s busy schedule and the timescales for the project.

    The answer was the free-to-download DesignSpark Mechanical 3D design software from RS, which uses direct modelling technology rather than the parametric methods used by traditional CAD software. When combined with DesignSpark Mechanical’s highly intuitive functionality, this can enable a user to graduate from novice to CAD expert within a matter of hours, as users only need to use a few basic functions within the tool to add or directly modify existing model geometry. The tool also enables users to move between different material rendering modes, such as metal or plastic, as well as enabling them to collaborate with others via the software’s built-in 3D PDF generator.

    Developed in conjunction with SpaceClaim, the leading provider of flexible and affordable 3D modelling software for engineers, DesignSpark Mechanical is a key tool in the RS DesignSpark initiative to provide engineers with resources that enable them to rapidly develop prototypes in the product concept design stage. The software is also available with a pair of extended professional engineering options, which turns the tool into a highly capable and low-cost 3D CAD solution.

    “We are thrilled that Daedalus creator Richard Browning decided to use DesignSpark Mechanical in the development of this truly groundbreaking human-flight project, which has inevitably captured attention around the world,” said Cameron Ward, Senior VP of Innovation at RS. “Delivering the freedom to create quick revisions of a design is a key element in the development of any innovative hardware project. In common with a large number of professionals, students, enthusiasts and creators, Richard selected DesignSpark Mechanical because it is easy to use, offers powerful functionality, and enables the fast iteration of models from initial product concepts.”

    More information on how DesignSpark Mechanical was used in the Daedalus project, and an interview with Richard Browning, can be found here: https://www.rs-online.com/designspark/designspark-mechanical--flying-high-with-gravityco.

    DesignSpark Mechanical is available for free download at www.rs-online.com/designspark/electronics/eng/page/mechanical. Support can be found via the DesignSpark community at www.rs-online.com/designspark/electronics.


    About RS Components
    RS Components and Allied Electronics are the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc, the global distributor for engineers. With operations in 32 countries, we offer more than 500,000 products through the internet, catalogues and at trade counters to over one million customers, shipping more than 44,000 parcels a day. Our products, sourced from 2,500 leading suppliers, include electronic components, electrical, automation and control, and test and measurement equipment, and engineering tools and consumables.

    Electrocomponents is listed on the London Stock Exchange and in the last financial year ended 31 March 2016 had revenues of £1.29bn.