Digital Prototyping Puts Clean Tech Company on Path to Profitability
While It Produces a Green Transportation Alternative
LAS VEGAS, Dec 01, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) --
Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) has named Pi Mobility as the Autodesk Inventor
of the Month for December for using Autodesk software to more
efficiently design the Pi Cycle, a new generation of sturdy,
long-lasting electric bicycles.
In the early stages of design, Pi Mobility used Autodesk
Inventor software to produce a 3D digital prototype of the Pi Cycle
that showed that by increasing the diameter of the bike's tube by a half
an inch, the company could immediately save $335,000. Extrapolated over
several years, this discovery translates into seven figures worth of
cost savings -- a discovery that puts Pi Mobility on track to achieve
profitability a full year ahead of schedule.
"We can form a tube in about 30 seconds, and with the help of Autodesk
software, changes to the design can be embedded very quickly," said
Marcus Hays, CEO of Pi Mobility. "Our manufacturing method offers very
rapid scale at very competitive prices, but it also reduces the required
labor to a fraction of more traditional electric bikes."
The Pi Cycle's single, arched tube of recycled aluminum is the key to
its strength, providing a frame that eliminates the need to cobble
together multiple plastic components that are prone to breakage. In
addition to giving the Pi Cycle an iconic and instantly recognizable
shape, the arch provides a durability that ensures the bike will last
over the long haul -- helping increase the viability of electric bikes as
a sustainable transportation option.
The Pi Cycle has a miles per gallon equivalent (MPGe) of roughly 1,250
miles, which makes its unique hybrid of human and electric power 20 to
30 times more efficient than a conventional car or motorcycle running on
fossil fuel. In addition, the recycled aluminum tube that makes up its
frame requires just one-thirteenth the amount of electricity to produce
when compared to virgin aluminum, further reducing environmental impact.
Digital Prototyping Optimizes Design Process
Pi Mobility is also a member of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program,
which provides software for emerging clean tech companies in North
America and Europe. The Autodesk solution for Digital
Prototyping -- including Autodesk
Alias Design, and Autodesk
Showcase, as well as Inventor -- helped the company to rapidly
explore different materials and iteration choices to optimize the design
of the Pi Cycle.
Thanks to the less labor-intensive design and associated cost savings of
the single tube, the company is able to maintain high-quality production
of its Pi Cycles in the United States -- rather than sending the work
overseas, where most electric bikes are produced -- and still be
"Clean tech companies like Pi Mobility need to take a great idea and
make it a reality--quickly and cost effectively," said Robert
"Buzz" Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at
Autodesk. "With Digital Prototyping, they can do just that: save time
and money, build better products, and beat the competition to market."
About the Autodesk Inventor of the Month Program
Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the users of
Autodesk Inventor software, which takes manufacturers beyond 3D to
Digital Prototyping. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and
groundbreaking innovation. For more information about Autodesk Inventor
of the Month, contact us at IOM@autodesk.com.
About the Clean Tech Partner Program
The Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program supports early-stage clean
technology companies by providing design and engineering software that
accelerates their development of solutions to the world's most pressing
environmental challenges. Clean tech companies in North America and
Europe who can benefit from Autodesk solutions for Digital Prototyping
are invited to apply to receive up to $150,000* worth of software for
only $50. Access to a collection of Autodesk industry-leading software
applications includes up to five licenses of AutoCAD
Inventor Professional Suite, Autodesk
Vault Professional, Autodesk
Revit Architecture, Autodesk
Alias Design, Autodesk
Algor Simulation and Autodesk
Inventor Publisher software. For additional information, visit http://www.autodesk.com/cleantech.
About Pi Mobility
Headquartered in Sausalito, California, Pi Mobility has been developing
electric bicycles since 2000, providing an earth-friendly mode of
personal mobility that reduces dependence on automobiles. For additional
information, visit http://pimobility.com.
Autodesk, Inc., is a leader in 3D
design, engineering and entertainment software. Customers across the
manufacturing, architecture, building, construction, and media and
entertainment industries -- including the last 15 Academy Award winners
for Best Visual Effects -- use Autodesk software to design, visualize
and simulate their ideas. Since its introduction of AutoCAD software in
1982, Autodesk continues to develop the broadest portfolio of
state-of-the-art software for global markets. For additional information
about Autodesk, visit www.autodesk.com.
An interview with Pi Mobility is available on the Autodesk YouTube
Channel at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MU-CRpyQpec.
*Value is based on up to five commercial licenses of each application.
Autodesk, AutoCAD, Alias, Algor, Autodesk Inventor, Inventor and
Showcase are registered trademarks or trademarks of Autodesk, Inc.,
and/or its subsidiaries and/or affiliates in the USA and/or other
countries. Academy Award is a registered trademark of the Academy of
Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. All other brand names, product names
or trademarks belong to their respective holders. Autodesk reserves the
right to alter product and services offerings, and specifications and
pricing at any time without notice, and is not responsible for
typographical or graphical errors that may appear in this document. ©
2010 Autodesk, Inc. All rights reserved.
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SOURCE: Autodesk, Inc.
Clay Helm, 415.547.2425
Alyson Moses, 312.297.7430