Simulation at Work: American Wave Machines

In some of our recent articles, analysts and industry watchers talk about simulation tools and how they might be used throughout the design process—from concept to validation. While Chad and Monica look at trends and approaches to simulation-driven design, I’d like to tell you a little more about the companies that use PTC simulation tools together with PTC Creo.

I’ll start with a team that makes custom products in which a design error that gets as far as manufacturing can cost up to $50,000. American Wave Machines makes wave pools, wave systems, and surf centers found all over the world, so that land-locked thrill-seekers can surf an authentic ocean- or river-like wave.

An American Wave Machine installation might produce a standing wave that fits in a space just 2000 sq/feet, or an open traveling wave that requires the space of a football field. They are as fun as they sound:

When we talked to company president Bruce McFarland, he said the overall goals of the company are to ensure the user and the guest experience are the best that they can be. For that, he focuses on solving these challenges:

Lifecycle costs. Experienced amusement operators know the value of an attraction that lasts. Added years mean added profits. So for American Wave Machines, creating installations that perform and look good for a long time is essential.

A fun and authentic user experience. American Wave Machines prides itself on the authenticity of its waves. Based in Southern California, the whole company is staffed by seasoned ocean surfers who want to share that experience with guests from Russia to South Dakota. Their designs include customizable waves of varying direction, height, strength, etc. In fact, in some cases, a DJ-like operator can manipulate the waves while guests are riding via a remote app.

Safety. Many users will be riding waves for the first time in American Wave Machines; others might be experienced, but trying new moves. In either case, safe water attractions ensure a happy experience for everyone involved.

With PTC Creo Simulate, engineers at American Wave Machines can test their ideas before they ever become prototypes. McFarland says that while a design is still underway, his team is checking the strength and margins on the model components. That way, the model can be optimized before changes become costly—and long before installation.

“PTC Creo allows us to design rapidly and include redundant safety,” says McFarland. “I can look at a design in its entirety and see the bigger picture. This saves time, money and keeps the project on schedule.”

American Wave Machines has a long list of upcoming projects that reach all around the world and often include adjectives like “biggest ever.” For example, one upcoming project involves a 15-chamber wave-generating configuration. Multiple chambers provide more variation in waves and “a wave much bigger than anything you see in a standard wave pool,” says McFarland.

No matter the scope, PTC Creo and its simulation tools will help ensure that the pools are well-designed right from the start, no matter the size or complexity.

Ed-  If you’d like to learn how to accelerate product development and reduce the need for prototypes with PTC simulation solutions then why not attend a 25-minute webcast that includes demonstrations of PTC Creo Simulate and live Q&A with our simulation experts. Space is limited! Sign up today.

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