Inventor used to build WoodWave roof structure at Olympic speed skating venue

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I remember back in the day before Alias was acquired by Autodesk, the toronto-based company had a tradition of issuing a press release every four years regarding the design of the Olympic Torch. It seems that the Autodesk guys have seen the good PR associated with a global sporting competition and have followed suit. It seems that while the British WInter Olympics hope rest solely with Amy “the Skeleton” Williams and everyone else is greatly amused by the prospect of a Ghanian olympic slalom skiier learning to ski in Milton Keynes hoping that it doesn’t resurrect the ghost of Eddie “the Eagle” Edwards, that the real action is above the spectator’s heads.

StructureCraft Builders, a British Columbian outfit has been using Inventor to develop the rather impressive WoodWave roof for the Richmond Olympic Oval long-track speed skating venue.

Approximately 100 different types of WoodWave panels were involved in the creation of the Olympic Oval roof, each of which is a complex assembly of about 250 parts. Even so, when confronted by the need to change the wave pattern due to a conflict with the sprinkler system, StructureCraft simply altered certain parameters in the model, and each panel automatically adjusted in the Inventor model. “It would have taken weeks to make these types of design changes the old-fashioned way,” said Santiago Diaz, a StructureCraft modeler, “In Inventor software, it took minutes.

StructureCraft relied on Inventor “to model, detail and build the WoodWave Structural Panel system for the Olympic Oval roof, using a Digital Prototyping process to quickly iterate design options and coordinate the project with subcontractors and project partners. By using Inventor software to clearly communicate the design process to stakeholders, StructureCraft streamlined fabrication of the Olympic Oval roof deck and completed the job on time and on budget.


For those of us that are looking at the London Olympics with financial horror, I can’t help but wonder if it might be a good idea that those responsible for the inevitable shambles that will be the London event, that they take a look at Inventor and get ‘on budget’ too.

Here’s a video with the team responsible for this quite incredible feat of olympic standard engineering.

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