CAD+ Limited – Experts in Visual Design and Digital Prototyping

With over 20 years of industrial lighting design experience, CAD+ are experts in developing aesthetically pleasing, regulation-compliant products. From automotive to aviation, and from highways to rail, the CAD+ specialist services help industry-leading companies across the world to develop their next-generation lighting products. CAD+ enables to fast track superior product development that integrates light utilizing digital technologies, blending function and style into high-performance products that fit for purpose.

For this first edition of the Luximprint ‘SPOT ON! Series’ we had the honor to speak to Haydn Kerby, Founder and Technical Director and Sean Bunton, Sr. Product Design Engineer at CAD+. Here’s a summary of the recent interview we’re delighted to share with you.

Haydn: “The pleasure is mine Marco. It’s still an honor to have been part of the early days of the ‘printed optics movement’ and its fantastic that we continue to collaborate with you and your team. Thanks for providing us with this platform to be able speak out on the future of lighting product design and engineering as we see it!

Design and development of products and lighting solutions for use in highly regulated industries has always been our core expertise. My personal history goes back to the late 80’s when I first designed lighting for use on commercial vehicles. Ever since, we’ve been focusing on delivering design and engineering services for global market leading brands. As a result, early in the new millennium, CAD+ was formed to embrace new and advanced technologies into the product design and engineering environment.

The adoption of emerging technologies has always been crucially important to us. Being early adopters of additive optics in particular enabled us to add great new value to the overall process of lighting product design. Understanding potential risks and critical failures in the early stages of the development process is crucial to success. Therefore, printed optics are, in addition to our simulation and design services, a great tool to determine and manage these risks”.

Sean:After graduating from the University of Plymouth with a degree in Three-Dimensional Design: Product Design I began working for a fast-paced product design consultancy. I worked on multiple products intended for a wide range of industries utilizing rapid prototyping and 3D printed technologies to speed up the design process, allowing crucial questions to be answered. 

I left this role to broaden my skills as I personally felt I was at the very beginning of my career and wanted to challenge myself, this led me to working for CAD+. This was a step into the unknown, totally different industry and constraints to work within. I believe without constraints great outcomes are hard to achieve, as there are no boundaries to direct creativity. This is what I saw in CAD+, working in highly regulated industries that use light where form and function are equally important.

 “This is where 3D Printed Optics works great with our Ethos as there isn’t the Need for costly Tooling for a One-off Prototype.”

~ Sean Bunton – CAD+

Haydn: “Printed optics are a fabulous tool for designers and engineers that are working with light. To be able to rapidly test and validate new custom optics designs and concepts is invaluable. Therefore we often advise most of our customers to consider this particular route. It is a cost-efficient way of detecting product failures in an early stage of the development cycle. Whilst creating a greater impact than might have otherwise been achieved.

Fortunately, these printed parts are available to us in just days. This significantly speeds up the development cycle for me and my customers. In the case that any issues are detected, the design can be quickly amended and, if applicable, parts can be iterated and reordered. All this before any CAPEX investment is committed to the project”.

Image of a custom LED optic by CAD+ to illustrate the benefits of rapid prototyping

Rapid Prototyping of custom optics is by means of additive manufacture is a fast and effective way of validating the design and determining the performance of the part in the early development stages.

Sean: “Printed optics harmonizes very well with our development process and current clients. We work mainly in the digital world when developing a product as we believe with all the current advancements in software packages, we can test a design’s functionality by using the latest simulators. 

As we can go a long way down the development cycle without the need for physical prototyping which saves time and money for the client. This still doesn’t fulfill the want and need to see the product in real life, to be able to hold it and answer those final questions. This is where 3D printed optics works great with our ethos as there isn’t the need for costly tooling for a one-off prototype. 

Having said that, I will always keep it in mind for my future projects, especially for the low volume prototypes and small-batch productions”. 

Haydn: “With the current COVID pandemic causing disruption, the very existence of the traditional trade shows is very uncertain. With development budgets are being cut, the need for viable, cross-departmental collaborations are more important now than ever. In the automotive industry, for example, these days we see many OEMs move away from actual concept cars and towards technology demonstrators. I believe this trend, although it did pre-exist these COVID times, will continue and force design and engineering teams to collaborate ever closer than before”.

Sean:I see many industries moving more towards the digital design process, perhaps using Virtual Reality as it allows for multiple people to be able to work on a project together, no matter where they are in the world. With everything that is going on with Covid it is proving people can progress projects even though the current limitations of social distancing.  

Also, the technology improvements for realistic simulations and renders could mean products are released digitally way before any tooling and manufacture has taken place, reducing market failed products being made, saving money and waste going to landfill. This doesn’t mean the physical prototype won’t happen or be of value it will be far more refined and meaningful due to all the frontend digital design work. 

Image of Czinger 3D printed hyper car by CAD+ Limited demonstrating their work for use in the Luximprint SPOT ON Designer Series

A great example of the potential for the blend of digital design and 3D printing technologies is the Zcinger 21C supercar. 

A great example of the potential for the blend of digital design and 3D printing technologies is the Zcinger 21C, it utilized this approach which could be the future of supercar builds allowing for one-offs and special edition cars to be built easier. As with a lot of new technologies, this does have the probable chance of then being feed down into the more conventional car industry. 

“The adoption of emerging technologies has always been crucially important to us. Being early adopters of additive optics in particular enabled us to add great new value to the overall process of lighting product design.”

~ Haydn Kerby, CAD+

Sean: “Let me close by saying, we as humans are very visual beings, which means as a designer and engineers we have to put great effort into creating products that are going to excite and make the user love to use. But also keeping our attention on the economic and environmental impact it will have. I hope more people choose to use a digital design process and see the benefits it has in their development programs”.

Haydn: “I believe that for both of our companies tremendous opportunities lay ahead. Together, we’re in a position to offer appealing holistic solutions, both virtually and physically. That becomes critical for new product development in the near future. But I won’t owe the credits for utilizing that power alone. I believe we serve the whole industry ecosystem when we continue to share our views and services. As independent consultants, we are always keen to engage with anyone looking to extend his services in this direction, be it in an independent role or as part of their design and engineering team”.

Haydn, Sean, thanks so much for sharing your valuable insights with us. We look forward to continuing our pleasant cooperation in the decade to come and strongly believe that our joint approaches will enable our users to validate their concepts at speed!

You can visit the profile of CAD+ in the Luximprint Design Hub or just refer to the CAD+ website