Australian Made Case Study: SYAS Performance

From powerboats to world championship winning water skis, SYAS Performance is pushing the boundaries of composite fibre design in Australia, all with the help of Solid Edge.

The company’s story started in 2002, when Shayne Young and his wife Anna began the business making carbon fibre masts for the 2003 Americas Cup Campaigns in New Zealand. What Shayne and Anna thought would be a six month stint away from their native Australia turned into an eight-year odyssey involving two Volvo Ocean Race campaigns and numerous other advanced composite commissions. During this time Shayne went from composite builder to designer, learning not only the importance of design, but also the impact of presentation.

Arriving back in Australia in 2009, Shayne was asked to design a series of racing water skis and from there the business developed into boat hull designs to where they are now, designing a whole range of boats and world championship winning water skis.

Shayne realised early that in order to design race winning state-of-the-art designs he needed to keep ahead of the competition. “The best way to do this was to streamline the design process by using the best tools for the job.” So he adopted a new 3D design process along with the purchase of Solid Edge.

“When we converted from our previous design process to Solid Edge we were staggered at the amount of time they were able to save. To make a change in the old system and update the associated drawings would take up to a full day but since moving to Solid Edge we can make that same change in five minutes,” he explained.

“Our previous design software was extremely limited and time consuming in its capabilities. This made us reluctant to make edits which would ultimately compromise the design.

“If we designed a part in our old CAD software that didn’t quite fit onto a 6m sheet, we would either have to cut from a 9m sheet or add an extra piece to it which is not ideal. With Solid Edge and Synchronous technology we can now easily edit the design.

“The hull designs are imported from MacSurf and then the rest of the design is created in Solid Edge. Our suppliers also send us 3D models using various CAD packages and formats.”

Shayne finds Solid Edge the best program for editing imported 3D data. “We may receive a 3D model of an engine from Mercury and I can import that directly into Solid Edge. If there are any collisions with my design I can quickly and easily edit them.

“Using Solid Edge I can apply a centre of gravity to an engine model, enabling me to position the engine correctly. I can even edit parts of the engine itself if required. This is simply not possible in other software packages such as Solidworks.”

Another area where Shayne finds he saves time is when creating drafts. “With our previous design process it would take me over five hours to clean up a draft and get it up to standard, but now I’ve set up my drafting environment in Solid Edge. I can generate the same draft in minutes and if the model needs editing the draft automatically updates. I now have a lot more time to experiment with the designs and test all the different possibilities ensuring we produce the best possible result.”

Shayne explains that many of his customers are not experienced engineers and therefore cannot understand engineering drawings. Using Key Shot rendering, which is included in Solid Edge classic makes it is possible to create photographic 3D images of his designs.

Shayne utilises this function to fully communicate his designs to customers, allowing them to visualise exactly what they are getting. “With Key Shot we can show the customers every colour scheme imaginable and even change the darkness of the windscreen or use it to highlight the design curves. It’s a great deal sealer.”

“Simulation Express, which comes standard on Solid Edge Premium, is a powerful feature which enables us to test the strength of our designs. Using this also enables us to reduce the amount of material needed, thus reducing weight while keeping the strength properties required.”

SYAS Performance specialises in composite materials, mainly carbon fibre. Their designs also include components that are manufactured externally. They have made a name for themselves designing lightweight racing ski boats, powerboats and sailing boats, but according to Shayne they are always looking for a challenge. They have ventured into industrial design and also have a series of water skis (CS6) on the market that were used to win the 2013 open men’s F1 & F2 world championships.

All For Solar commissioned SYAS Performance to design their innovative 100 per cent solar powered catamaran. Their race boat customers include Force Boats, Cyclone Boats and Marine One along with many individual customers. They design many components for boats from alloy pulleys to carbon fibre steering columns.

Shayne appreciates the support offered with Solid Edge. “Without the help of the support team we wouldn’t be where we are today. We have been able to utilise many aspects of Solid Edge enabling us to further aid the design process.

“If you’re a mechanic, you use Snap-On tools so why would you skimp on your design software? You’re only as good as the tools you use and for us that’s Solid Edge.”

Wayne 2013 WT (2)

21ft ski boat Pro Boat rear Rev-b



“If you’re a mechanic, you use Snap-On tools so why would you skimp on your design software? You’re only as good as the tools you use and for us that’s Solid Edge.”

Shayne Young, Director, SYAS Performance

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