Case Study on CAD/CAM Precision performance parts help athletes to win medals
UK – Visi CAD/CAM's simulation capability ensures Bromley Sports has the mould and toolpaths ready for accurate and collision-free machining before they start to cut metal. By Stewart Bint, Vero UK
Britain’s number one skeleton racer for the last 20 years says the Visi CAD/CAM applications are vital in keeping the sport’s leading athletes at the top of their game. “We need the world’s best, to help the world’s best.” When not hurling himself down bob-sled tracks at 145 km/h on a small high-tech sled, Kristan Bromley designs and manufacturers sleds for 22 nations preparing for the next Winter Olympics, including Britain, Norway, Russia, Switzerland and Korea.
Doctor Ice with one world championship under his belt
He has one world championship under his belt, two overall world series titles, numerous British national titles, and is three-times European champion. In 2008 he became the first man in history to win the World Championship, European Championship and World Cup in the same season. The British media nicknamed him Doctor Ice because he gained a PhD from Nottingham University with a thesis entitled "Factors affecting the performance of skeleton bobsleds". His company, Bromley Sports, ships between 100 and 200 bespoke sleds to athletes around the world, but is currently moving into the recreational arena, having designed and developed a patented sled for an exciting new snow activity, baseboarding.
“Over the next two to three years we’re changing from purely providing a low volume, highly customisable Olympic-governed sled, to manufacturing up to 10,000 baseboards for a mass market. Our mission is to become the most advanced sliding sport product manufacturer in the world.”
And he says Visi, from Vero Software, is a critical aspect of the company’s future. “It’s absolutely vital for creating both high precision performance parts, and carbon fibre lay-up tooling.”
Baseboarding has recently been introduced at the Whistler Olympic Park in Canada, and Kristan Bromley describes it as “bodyboarding on snow” sliding down a groomed run on a patented board providing optimal ride dynamics, keeping the rider close to the snow, with a low centre of gravity. “The baseboard has a low friction curved base and parallel runners which create a highly agile board with easy-to-learn steering using feet and subtle upper body movements. It’s a safe recreational way for families visiting snow resorts to experience the head-first ride position of skeleton racing – which is an amazing adrenalin rush.”
Although the baseboard is extremely light, it is strong and stylised. “The product is underpinned with thermo-plastic composites, creating a super-tough 3D structure that can withstand temperatures of minus-30 degrees centigrade.”