In the world of Olympic bobsledding precision counts.
The US four-man bobsled team, travels with their mechanic, Jim "Cheech" Garde who makes slight adjustments on their Night Train 2 sleigh after almost every run.
“I am constantly giving feedback to Cheech and figure out how to make this thing faster, what I am feeling in the track, and how we can make the changes I need in order to maintain the control of the sled that I need,” US bobsledder Steve Holcomb said.
Garde uses Solid Works software, developed right here in Waltham by Dassault Systemes.
“Well that just helps make changes on the road whenever I can, I can call back to the engineer, Bob Cuneo, work with my company, CCC, where we can make it happen,” he said.
Using 3D modeling, Solid Works allows each component of the sled to be analyzed and tweaked.
“It’s not only about how fast can it go down the track, but it’s how well does it handle, how well does it glide? So what Solid Works lets you do on the computer, it lets you dial in those chassis settings and it lets you balance the sled just right,” Sr. Project Manager at Solid Works Craig Therrien said.
There are crashes, including one last month in Winterberg, Germany. Everyone was ok but the sled needed work. Exact parts replicas were made without taking the sled to the shop. Keeping the team, and the sled, in the race.
This new partnership with Solid Works is already paying off, they won four World Cup races this season before they go for the gold!
“I've learned that Cheech knows exactly what he's doing and Holcomb can drive just about anything, so we're in good hands,” US Bobsledder Steve Langton said.
The 4 man races start Saturday and Melrose’s Steve Langton will have a pep squad not only in Melrose, but also in Waltham, where Solid Works developers will cheer them on.