SOLIDWORKS Puts The Bradley Collection in Pole Position

Bradley Collection

The Bradley Collection

A leader in the curtain pole and track industry, The Bradley Collection has built up a reputation for high quality and technically advanced designs. It was founded by fashion designer Priscilla Bradley when she couldn't find the right interior products to remodel her home. She decided to take matters into her own hands and used her artisan contacts to custom-design, among other things, her own curtain poles. Word soon spread and in 1992 a brand was born for other discerning clients with a similar set of needs and wants.

The company's portfolio has now expanded to include 12 collections (including two fabric collections) and is established on both sides of the Atlantic, supplying major UK retailers including John Lewis as well as leading hotel and casino brands. Using a wide range of manufacturing techniques including its own on-site blacksmith forge, precision laser cutting and 3D printers for prototyping, The Bradley Collection's single aim is to provide the best quality curtain poles in the world.

The Challenge

The Bradley Collection's most recent challenge was to design a new "Eclipse" curtain pole collection that would meet customer demand for a hybrid style mixing traditional finishes with modern functionality. They needed to design a customisable collection that would work across all styles and mechanisms with different pole diameters (30mm, 38mm and 50mm) but with one bracket system that would work across all of them.

The Solution

In 2002, the design team switched from AutoCAD 2D to SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD. The company wanted to diversify its product offering and needed to revamp its design workflows so it could visualise, communicate and engineer designs faster to react faster to orders and changing customer trends.

As Tom Brewster, The Bradley Collection's Design Manager explained "Being able to visualise design intent is incredibly important to us in innovating new designs. 2D drawings can't always convey the design intent but visuals and exploded visuals are an incredible tool. With SOLIDWORKS, the advantage is that we can tweak the design as we go and get drawings from the updated designs instantly. We can then send out technical information to manufacturers or visuals to clients extremely quickly."


Reduced Time to Market
Previously working in 2D, a new collection would have taken The Bradley Collection 18 months to complete from conception to launch. Working in SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD, the company delivered the new Eclipse Collection in just six months. Tom says, "SOLIDWORKS lets us experiment with different design principles along with varying scale and control options before committing to a design. This meant the design was pretty much finalised before we prototyped, leading to massive time and cost savings."

Fast Bespoke Orders with SOLIDWORKS Simulation
Previously at The Bradley Collection, any customised curtain pole orders would have to be manually tested or over-engineered to make sure the poles and brackets were strong enough to bear the weight of the curtains - a very extravagant and time-poor way of testing the designs. Now using SOLIDWORKS Simulation, Tom and his team can analyse and verify their designs in hours rather than days.

Zero Waste With SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal
Working with SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal helps The Bradley Collection reduce manufacturing costs by enabling them to specify cuts and blends in the designs before sending the drawings to manufacture.

Working with NT CADCAM

"SOLIDWORKS reseller NT CADCAM has been with us throughout our whole journey into 3D CAD. Its technical expertise and support is fantastic. Because SOLIDWORKS is very reliable, we don't have to call NT CADCAM for much support anymore but when we do, even with the silly small issues, the team there can solve any issues with a couple of clicks, saving us any frustrations or delays."

"SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD truly allows us to innovate, squeeze down and push our designs further than ever before. Everything we strive for in our curtain pole and track designs - simplicity, clarity of purpose and elegance can be achieved using SOLIDWORKS. Not only do our designs turn heads but SOLIDWORKS also gives us a big advantage over our competitors."

Tom Brewster,
Design Manager, The Bradley Collection

Download the full case study or watch our customer testimonial video below to find out more.