Monday, February 16, 2015

Always land on your feet with Skycat's parachute launcher

Skycat, the company behind the parachutes launchers:

Skycat is a startup company which designs and manufactures emergency recovery systems for drones. The company was founded in 2014 by Henri Hiisilä, a mechanical designer and drone enthusiast after he crashed his own drone 2 years before and realized the risk he had let other people and himself take as he was flying above them with no parachute ejection system. Since there were no performing solution on the market, he first developed one for his own use, then improved it and tested it on various multicopters and finally developed a commercial version for the market.

What problems is Skycat trying to solve with the parachute launcher?

The problem is simple although the solution isn't. Drones are extremely useful in various fields from surveillance to video shooting and they're flying over people as most of their applications involve people or populated areas, but in case of a loss of control they become deadly weapons with a weight of several kilos and spinning blades they can kill instantly in case of a crash. The only solution is to reduce their speed at impact and make sure they fall down in a safe and controlled way. This can be reached only by ejecting a parachute quickly enough to stabilize them before they are too low. Now to do this from a falling copter in any orientation with spinning propellers, and before it has fallen from a 10m height, you need something special. To do this you need to shoot the parachute out of the propellers way with such a speed that the chute would deploy instantly, whatever the relative speed actually is. You also need to deploy within tenth of seconds from triggering. Such a system did not exist before Skycat invented it.

Designing and conception of their product:

The design was based on simple principles which are proven to work well. By experience of the failures of some other adaptation trials from human parachutes and hobby rockets, we knew what must be avoided. The rest is the perfect alchemy to find the right balance between weight, performance and costs. We started with a simple tube that would keep the chute folded, but not squeeze it. Secondly we knew explosives were not safe and prevented transportation so we banned them from the beginning. Thirdly we wanted to have a simple, light, and absolutely 100% reliable trigger, so we worked very hard until we had one.

How CustomTools helped the Skycat's team in their design:

Although the result looks fairly simple, there's dozens of little secrets that would make a simple copy of our product just useless. All of them were invented through extensive testing of hundreds of prototypes. This is were CustomTools came in, we needed to have a tool that made prototype design so easy and quick that it was cheaper and quicker to build each single option, idea or version than to discuss whether they would be better or not. We worked like nature does, we build all the crazy things we had in mind, tested them, kept the ones that worked and did that again with the next batch of improvements, and tested it right away leaving no room for chance, or open questions. The result just works, and that's what customers pay for.

Watch the Skycat parachute launchers official trailer:

The CustomTools' Team would like to thank Bruno Lespinasse and Henri Hiisilä for their contributions to this blog article. Also we would wish Skypro, all the success that they deserve with their parachute launcher!

For more information about Skycat please visit their website.

Monday, January 19, 2015

February 2015 - What's up?

Well, it has been a while since last update here, but this is not because nothing is going on.
The team is working hard at fine-tuning CustomTools and CT Apps.  I will tell you why in a minute.

In February, Phoenix will host the greatest single day sporting event, Super Bowl XLIX.
Spectators from all over the world will follow as the two best teams of the season decide who will win it all, and who will be the last loser.

So Phoenix will be known worldwide just for this single event, but Phoenix does not settle for that!

The following week SolidWorks World 2015 will take place in the capital of Arizona.
About 5000 SolidWorks users will join this event, and learn about the product portfolio and all the great software solutions, which nicely integrate and add value to the Dassault Systèmes products.
You will find ATR Soft here also, and we have what all SolidWorks user need, and should have installed.
If you do not already know about CustomTools, then see this short video demonstration.

 We made a Top 10 Feature video, which you should also have a look at, but mind you – we have added even more value since this!

You do not have to take our word for it, so we strongly encourage you to visit our booth and challenge us with your everyday struggles.

We are almost certain that we can add value to how you work.
Our tool is designed to save time.
Save you from mistakes like saving files incorrect, printing to wrong printers, sizes and orientations.
We help you create PDF, DXF, DWG or any other file format you may save to, from SolidWorks.

Furthermore, we are proud to have a genuine world premiere:
HawkRidge and ATR Soft will introduce a new product at the SWW that will revolutionize the way that you are working today with your EPDM BOM. To learn more about that product please visit HRS, Inc booth (#624) or ATR Soft Booth (#529)

We design solutions.

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

CustomTools 2013 SP4 release

Yes! We released CustomTools 2013 SP4, and what a release.

There are so many enhancements that it would be impossible to highlight every single one of them, but I'll pick a bunch, and tell you why you should update now, if you did not do so already.

Usability when it comes to Print & Convert.

We have removed a panel which became obsolete by other changes, so you can now get to the print and convert dialog even faster than previously.
There is no more guessing and fiddling about, when it comes down to selection of documents to batch process.
Each batch rule is now intelligent, and when you select for instance DXF, all files matching the criteria for the profile will automatically be selected in the file view.

If you want to add more files to the Print and Convert list, you can browse for a folder containing files, and you can even select to include files which reside in subfolders to the one you add.

Configurations and batch operations

For users doing configurations, we have introduced an option to print the active configuration. This means, you have an assembly with parts. Each part have configurations, and each part configuration will have a configuration specific drawing.
Now, simply activate the assembly configuration you wish to print, and rest assured that CustomTools will print all drawings belonging to this configuration.

Are you creating DXF or DXG files from your sheet metal parts?

We now support adding notes related to the part. This could for instance be the Project Number, Material and Thickness properties plus the manufacturing quantity.
A minor improvement also worth noticing is, when using the CNC Tool on a drawing, we create now the flat pattern outline, and return to the parent sheet for more consistency.


Selecting files to copy, convert or print

Another enhancement was made for Print and Convert, but as a bonus this is also working during Copy operation.
If you have an assembly you can select groups of parts in the feature manager. Use CTRL or Shift selection as you are used to in Windows, press the print and convert or the copy, and the selected documents only will be handled.

Hierarchical lookup list

For the definition of the profile, we added a new type of list to the options.
This is called a hierarchical lookup list.
With this, you can define a tree structure list, where items can be grouped in logical top groups, and under each group you can then specify a more detailed sub-group. This will look and feel like a folder structure in Windows Explorer.
An example could be a car.
So you have the list CAR.
Under this item, you have chassis, frame, engine ...
Under engine, you have pistons, injection system, generator
Under Pistons you have raw piston, piston rings

Another thing we added is the option to remove characters from a combination property.
This means, you can now show first or last XX characters, or remove first or last XX characters, letting you have even more control over the output.

Search based on configurations

The search capabilities have also been greatly enhanced for this version.
Now you can search on configuration name, and you can see previews of the found files. And to make the search even more useful, we now added the option to print directly from the search result window.

Keeping folder structure in copy

If you ever copied an assembly in CustomTools, you will like also the new feature we made here.
It is now possible to recreate the folder structure under the main assembly being copied, for a much more consistent result.

Excel reporting was also slightly enhanced, and we are now pleased to inform you that the inserted image is the one specific to the used configuration.

CustomTools now available in German

Finally, we added German language support to CustomTools and we are now localized in 7 languages: Chinese (simplified), Chinese (Traditional), Czech, French, Hungarian, German and of course English.

Did you read it all? - Now, watch the great video of our teams Top 10 Enhancements in CustomTools 2013 SP4.0

CustomTools 2013 SP4 - Top 10 enhancements video:

Friday, March 28, 2014

Introducing the CT Apps and CT Services

ATR Soft is now introducing a new set of applications and services called the CT Apps and CT Services. Those applications and services have been designed to help the CustomTools, Enterprise PDM or SolidWorks users to focus on design by automating certain routines or tasks.

The CT Apps have been designed to extend or add functionalities to SolidWorks and EPDM. The following applications are now available:

- Office to PDF for EPDM
- Property Propagator for EPDM
- EPDM Drag & Drop
- Track file usage in EPDM
- Vault analytic for EPDM
- SW Property batch updater

The CT Services are customization and consulting services offered by ATR Soft for SolidWorks, EPDM and CustomTools users. ATR Soft has built its reputation on those products over the years and we are proud to offer our unique expertise and knowledge to the SolidWorks community. The CT Services includes services for the following products:

- CustomTools
- Enterprise PDM
- SolidWorks
- Composer
- Draftsight

 Please, find more information about the CT Apps and CT Services on our website. Please note that in the future we will also introduce new applications for SolidWorks and Enterprise PDM.

Friday, February 14, 2014

Feedbacks from the SolidWorks World 2014

This year, ATR Soft was an exhibitor at SolidWorks World 2014 in San Diego. First of all we would like to thank everyone who took time to visit us and discuss with us. Also we would like to thank all our partners (including our CustomTools resellers and SolidWorks employees as well) as the exhibition is always a great opportunity for us to meet most of them. If you visited us, please remember that on the 14th of February we will announce the winner of the $100 Amazon gift card on our Facebook page, so stay tuned!

Over the years we have received an increasing interest in the solutions that we are offering for SolidWorks and Enterprise PDM. This SolidWorks World was also very special for us, not only because it was our 10 Years SolidWorks World anniversary, but, also as we introduced our new products/services line called the CT Apps and the CT Services to the SolidWorks community.

The CT Apps are applications designed mainly to automate routines inside EPDM. While the CT Services focuses on development work offered for SolidWorks, EPDM and CustomTools for specific customization works. More information about the CT Apps and Services will be published soon on The CT Apps and Services greatly contributed to our success in San Diego, so this is definitely an area where ATR Soft wants to focus in the future.

Based on feedbacks that we received from the SolidWorks Users and Resellers, the top 3 features of CustomTools are the Excel reporting, the DXF automation, and the merge PDF. For the CT Apps the top 3 Apps are the Batch property editor for EPDM, the Vault analytics for EPDM and the Office to PDF for EPDM.

We are proud to announce that CustomTools was also nominated among the best in show by CAD Insider at the SolidWorks World.

Once again, thank you all and we hope to see you next year in Phoenix, Arizona, for the SolidWorks World 2015.

Check some photos from the SolidWorks World on our Facebook page


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Multi file editor

The Multi file editor is an innovative solution to easily batch modify or propagate property values to the data card of your documents stored into your EPDM vault.

See how the Multi-file editor for EPDM has helped Paroc, a Finnish company specialized in the production of stone wool insulation, to optimize and ease the management of their EPDM data.

Where can that EPDM add-in help you:

- When adding files to the EPDM vault
One issue that was faced by Paroc when adding documents or drawings sent by sub-contractors and suppliers to their EPDM vault was that the users needed to fill the data card for each documents separately. This was very time consuming as the operation needed to be repeated for every documents. This has now been fully automated.

- From the EPDM Searches
The Multi File Editor can also be accessed from on the search results. Making it possible for the user to select files from the EPDM Search to be modified. One possible use case could be that there is a new vendor.

- EPDM Copy Tree
When files are copied inside the EPDM vault, the data cards appears automatically (e.g Assign new project or project number).

-When files are moved inside the EPDM vault

-Selecting the files to be modified


  • Important time savings
  • Files are automatically Checked out/in
  • Eliminate or significantly reduce errors
  • Manage your data with consistency
  • Ensure that all the files are properly modified
  • Easily update property values of the files stored into your EPDM vault
  • Can be set up very easily


This case study was written in collaboration with Pirkko Bulut, SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Main Administrator at Paroc.

Friday, July 19, 2013

SolidWorks – M-Files integration

Looking for an effective way to integrate M-Files to SolidWorks

CustomTools provides a special integration between SolidWorks and M-Files and offers a different approach to use SolidWorks concurrently with M-Files. Most importantly it also covers a missing link between the two solutions. With our integration we tried to simplify the export of SolidWorks data to M-Files so that the users would be able to manage their engineering documentation quickly and easily.


  • The document structure is created to M-Files based on the file structure in SolidWorks assembly BOM
  • Defined custom properties are exported as M-Files document properties
  • SolidWorks files are converted to defined secondary file format (e.g. PDF, DXF, and DWG) and they are linked to document objects in M-Files
  • Approval workflows can be enforced for the published documents and modifications to approved content can be prevented.
  • Revision master is SolidWorks for SolidWorks files. When new revision is created in SolidWorks, a new major version is also created in M-Files.
  • When new revision is created in M-Files all parent documents are updated so that they also refer to new version of child document
  • Behavior and business logic of integration can be easily modified to match customer’s needs