Fiomarine is a successful manufacturer of a range of products called Fiobuoy, a submersible retrieval system used for hundreds of different applications across the oceans of the world. Recently, we learned that they have been using DesignSpark Mechanical in their design process. I’ll let Mike Shegog, from Fiomarine, explain all about his company’s products and his use of our design software, DesignSpark Mechanical.
Hello, I am Mike Shegog, the Technical Director for Fiomarine Industries Pty Limited. We manufacture and sell 'Fiobuoy' a unique retrieval system for our many clients’ deployed subsea assets. The Fiobuoy is more than a submersible pop-up buoy, it will securely conceal underwater equipment whilst simultaneously allowing its simple and safe retrieval. Incorporating an acoustic release catch, a marker and retrieval line storage, all in a unique underwater buoy. The Fiobuoy catch is released upon receiving a signal from its deck control unit, as they are individually encoded with a 6 digit code this allows them to be communicated to separately when deployed as a fleet. The Fiobuoy products, with their unique feature set, have been designed to reduce costs, timescales and reliability over other deployment systems and methods currently in use today.
We have a broad customer base with customers from Marine Research to the Military, Oil, Gas, Fishing and Aquaculture. Fiomarine products were originally designed for defence purposes and forces around the world have been using our technology for over ten years now. The United States Navy is utilising Fiomarine products for the retrieval of mines and ordinance, research equipment, deploying listening devices and marking submerged obstacles, amongst many of the example applications of this versatile product.
I am a veteran (but definitely no expert) ACAD user, I tried a few 3D CAD packages in the past with mixed success, then I found DesignSpark Mechanical on Google one day during a search for free 3D CAD software. DesignSpark Mechanical offers many of the features that can be found in the really expensive software packages that are available, but for free, so I had nothing to lose really.
I initially tried DesignSpark Mechanical out on a personal project, with 'ok' results, but some months later I had the thought of applying it to a specific new project for a business client. While it took some change of thinking for me, it was very intuitive, and of course, the YouTube tutorials available helped immensely as I learned the software. I was able to supply the client with high-quality 3D concept 'sketches' from their emailed pencil scans. The absence of any useful dimensioning was a major hurdle, so we continued to produce manufacturing drawings in ACAD, which was a duplication of effort, so after a short period of time, we invested in the DesignSpark Mechanical Drawing Add-On, which is a truly amazing addition and transforms the functionality of the software.
The fact that DesignSpark Mechanical has been made available for free, you guys have "done good" in the world more than you'll ever know. All CAD software claim "easy and intuitive" but all require you to grasp their underlying thinking first, and DSM was no exception, however, once I got it, most things do flow easily. Though after a while you're then able to see just how much more you could do with the real package, SpaceClaim (for now I can't justify that huge price just yet). Being a free 3D CAD package, I’m surprised that the community network for it isn’t stronger, but hopefully, in time it will grow. All in all DesignSpark Mechanical is an excellent 3D CAD design package, even more so due to it being free to download, and with the addition of the Add-on modules, the software raises the stakes in terms of being a contender to real high-end CAD packages. I love the software, thanks for making it available for everyone!