Mechanical design upstart think3(TM) today announced that Nissin (Toyota City, Japan), a leading automotive mold maker, has standardized on the company's 3-D solid and surface modeling software, thinkdesign(TM). Nissin designs and manufactures complex press mold casts used to build virtually any automotive body part (inner panels, doors, roofing, fenders, trunks, etc.) for leading automakers such as Toyota Motors Company and Toyota Group Companies, Takaoka Kogyo KK, Toyota Jidou Shokki Seisakusho and Toyota Group Companies.

Working with think3 and value-added reseller Toyota Caelum, Inc. (TCI) (Nagoya, Japan) over the past 18 months, the design team has experienced a 30 percent increase in productivity, while improving product quality. Nissin selected thinkdesign following an extensive evaluation of a total of 16 computer aided design (CAD) systems, in which the company compared many attributes and benchmarked the systems with real standard test data.

Nissin is confident that thinkdesign is the best technology solution on the market today for meeting the stringent demands of its customers for on-time delivery of product, cost-effectiveness and design innovation. According to Tomoyuki Amano, technical group leader at Nissin, this is due to: advanced features allowing complex geometry to be divided into simpler units; the ease with which surfaces and solids can be used together, the intuitive and easy user interface and the high cost/performance ratio.

"What we noticed after installing thinkdesign for full model design was that the designers were able to create their models in less time, and that the parametric modeling capability allowed changes to be made easily," explained Amano. "When we installed thinkdesign for palette design -- used in automotive manufacturing to stack and move parts in a factory -- we noticed a reduction in the number of design steps and an improvement in quality. We are quite satisfied with the features of thinkdesign, and we've gotten our wish for the data translation capability with Caelum (Toyota Data Exchange or TDEX) to be expanded to effectively handle groups and layers."

What solidified Nissin's decision to standardize on thinkdesign was the ease with which machine-ready full molds could be modeled. "Although it is easy to break up a CAD drawing to create individual parts independently, it is not a simple thing to break it into machinable parts which can be used to complete an assembled CAD mold model," explained Amano. "For this reason, the following product procedures are being used with thinkdesign: 1) the mold is broken up so that it is assembled from several parts, 2) the parts are modeled as separate parts, and 3) the model is assembled and installed. With thinkdesign, this is possible because it is able to handle relatively 'rough' data without getting 'no' for an answer."

Another factor for Nissin in selecting think3 is thinkdesign`s superior data import and export capabilities. thinkdesign is the only commercially available software with TDEX translation capabilities. It also includes access to native file formats, and very powerful, flexible tools to transfer and repair parts in neutral formats, such as IGES, STEP and Dxf.

A Key Player in Mold Making, Tool & Die Applications

think3 has established a successful track record with leading companies worldwide in the design and manufacture of complex molds for automotive and consumer markets. Among such think3 customers are: Alessi (boutique home accessories), Candy/Hoover (washing machines and household appliances), Iguzzini (indoor and outdoor illumination engineering products), Merloni Elecctrodomestici (washing machines and household appliances), Nissin (automotive supply chain), Tokuda Kougyo (automotive, aerospace), and Tycos Tool and Die (automotive supply chain).

About Nissin

Nissin (Toyota City, Japan) is a leading automotive mold maker that designs and manufactures complex press mold casts used to build virtually any automotive body part (inner panels, doors, roofing, fenders, trunks, etc.) for leading automakers such as Toyota Motors Company and Toyota Group Companies, Takaoka Kogyo KK, Toyota Jidou Shokki Seisakusho and Toyota Group Companies.

About Toyota Caelum

Toyota Caelum (TCI) was created in 1985 as a department of the Toyota Motor Corp. for system support of their suppliers. In 1993, TCI became an independent subsidiary that develops, sells and maintains service of CAD/CAM, CAE and CAT design systems for Toyota and its supplier base around the world.

With the introduction of think3's thinkdesign software to TCI's product line up, TCI expanded its sales activities to include not only automotive and supplier-related industries, but all other industries with MCAD needs in Japan. To that end, TCI leverages a direct sales force, as well as over 100 dealers and sub-dealers throughout Japan.

TCI sales efforts have resulted in adoption of think3 products by hundreds of leading companies in a variety of markets, including automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, furniture, medical equipment and sporting goods. Among the companies' top customers are: Tokuda Kougyo (automotive/aerospace), KS Engineering (automotive), Kobayashi Ironworks (automotive), Fukuda Denshi (medical equipment), CTI (automotive), Nissin (automotive), Matsushita Sangyo Kiki (electronics), Matsushita Seiko (electronics) and Mizuno (sporting goods).

About think3

think3 is a privately held mechanical design upstart company that produces software for designing common, everyday physical objects, ranging from home appliances, children`s safety products, engines and automotive body parts to boutique home accessories and custom cars, to name a few.

Upstart think3 established a unique market position in March 1999 with the debut of thinkdesign, the first mechanical computer aided design (MCAD) product to offer the power of parametric solids, advanced surfacing, wireframe and 2-D drafting to every designer -- not just an elite few -- on the desktop, all within a single environment.