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CAD Software Helps Alaska Company Create Next Generation Camera Equipment

ZatzWorks uses 6k camera systems for aerial filming of natural landscapes in Alaska. Its sister company, AgileCine, designs and implements the steel and aluminum stabilization equipment for those camera systems. After facing some obstacles, the two companies searched for -- and found -- a CAD tool that significantly increased their efficiency when designing that equipment.

Daniel Zatz is no stranger to aerial filming Alaska's beautiful landscape. He and his team have flown across the vast state in helicopter to film programs for Discovery Channel, National Geographic and the BBC. He's a 25-year industry veteran who lives out his passions of flying and filming.

As industry trends change and camera technology evolves, HD resolution cameras are becoming outdated, superseded by 6k-8k resolution cameras. However, camera stabilization equipment also needs an upgrade. This is where Daniel's company, AgileCine Engineering, was born. They design and implement camera stabilization equipment upgrades that keep up with the pace of camera and lens developments.


Cameras and the stabilization system, also known as a gimbal, are often attached together, making singular upgrades impossible. Hence, a camera upgrade alone also requires an upgrade in the stabilization system. The mount pole is made of steel while the internal workings are aluminum.

To design upgrades for the gimbals for content with 6k-8k resolution cameras, Daniel and his team initially worked with a low-cost CAD tool. However, this package only took them so far down the road of a complete product development. After having tried a design concept, for example, they found themselves reworking models either to undo said concepts, or work through another. It was common for them to lose days of productivity having to rework CAD files.

Engineering Solutions

One of AgileCine's suppliers, Jawi Metaalbewerking in the Netherlands, recommend ANSYS SpaceClaim as a multi-purpose geometry tool. They quickly discovered they could design more concepts in a shorter amount of time, all the while doing continuous design modifications without getting stuck in CAD theory.

After starting SpaceClaim, Daniel realized their parts were otherwise more refined, were generally optimized, and lighter weight. He attributes this to his time now spent on actual design work and less on the rebuilding of CAD models.


Using ANSYS SpaceClaim was a major time and psychological gain for Daniel and his team. It took them only three weeks to become design proficient and make progress on their projects. When they need to improve a design, they found SpaceClaim infinitely flexible in making changes as compared to any other 3D tool they had used.

Daniel and team expected SpaceClaim to help with their general design requirements, but they quickly realized several other functionalities and benefits. In particular, they appreciated the lack of constraints when drawing 2D or 3D elements, and found modeling in a cross section view vital to their rapid design changes.

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