CamelBak implemented SOLIDWORKS Premium design and SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional analysis software to support its product expansion, and recently added SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional product data management software to more efficiently handle the increasing volume of design, engineering, and manufacturing data associated with its products.


“With SOLIDWORKS, we can roll out product innovations in a timely manner,” Davies says. “We introduced the first BPA-free bottle [BPA is bisphenol A, a harmful industrial chemical] in 2011 and secured a patent for the unique trigger mechanism of our Forge® insulated travel mug. SOLIDWORKS helps us to consistently achieve our product development, testing, innovation, ergonomics, and durability goals.”

SPARK DEVELOPMENT CamelBak leveraged SOLIDWORKS surfacing and motion analysis tools during the development of its KickBak™ bottle, which features an innovative snap-back cap. Design Engineer Kelsey Hammond conducted motion studies on the living hinges that allow the cap to open and close—then ran multiple days of machine testing to ensure the cap would last for thousands of cycles. SOLIDWORKS surfacing tools helped her make the cap more ergonomic and aesthetically pleasing.


“We are committed to offering a durable product that you can take out in the field and drop numerous times—or bang around your car—and it will still function properly,” Hammond stresses. “But we also want our products to look cool. SOLIDWORKS is extremely crucial for helping us uphold our standards.

“For example, on the KickBak cap, I used SOLIDWORKS advanced surfacing techniques to place an undercut where one side of the cap snaps into the other side and to smooth the area where users drink,” Hammond continues. “Then, I added fillets to clean it up, improving performance and aesthetics. If I didn’t have SOLIDWORKS, I couldn’t do my job.”

AND PERFORMANCE Because CamelBak offers a lifetime “GOT YOUR BAK” guarantee on all products, the company strives to design products to last a lifetime. That doesn’t mean CamelBak skimps on innovation. In addition to conducting extensive testing of its design concepts, CamelBak relies on SOLIDWORKS Simulation Professional FEA capabilities to push the envelope of what’s possible, such as the patented auto-seal trigger on the Forge insulated travel mug.


“The Forge travel mug presented an interesting design challenge because we were introducing an industry innovation while attempting to shorten time-to-market,” Davies notes.

The SOLIDWORKS design environment also lets CamelBak shorten its prototyping process through the rapid creation of fixtures, molds, and testing platforms. Design Engineer Aaron McCready used SOLIDWORKS to make a 3D-printed mold, with which he made a prototype of CamelBak’s one-piece, self-sealing, silicone bite valve.

“The more testing we can do with real people to obtain feedback from actual users, the better,” McCready says. “We use SOLIDWORKS to create usable prototypes as much as possible because the speed with which we complete prototyping has become extremely critical. SOLIDWORKS is a huge timesaver—at least 10 to 20 times faster—for creating prototypes. For the bite valve, I had actual silicone parts for testing in two days with the 3D-printed mold as opposed to the two months it likely would have taken to create these parts elsewhere.”

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