3D Modeling Improves Design, Flow of Water-Treatment Systems
Water is essential for life. Unfortunately, it is often contaminated with trace pharmaceuticals, caffeine, synthetic hormones and beauty product chemicals.
For the past several years, Long Beach, CA-based APTwater Inc. has been manufacturing treatment systems that improve water quality and reusability by ridding it of these impurities. The systems’ key feature is a reactor that uses hydroxyl radicals to destroy biologically toxic and nondegradable materials (pesticides, petroleum and volatile organic compounds).
Depending on application, the reactor uses either the HiPOx advanced oxidation or the PulseOx advanced remediation process. Energy efficient and cost-effective, HiPOx can be used for water and wastewater treatment and reuse, as well as environmental remediation projects. PulseOx is an in-situ chemical oxidation technology designed for the environmental remediation of contaminated soil and groundwater.
Users of APTwater’s systems include municipal water treatment plants and industrial facilities.
Because floor space is limited at most of these sites, APTwater uses Inventor 3D modeling software by Autodesk Inc. to accurately design compact systems.
“We produce extremely dense designs that make the most of every possible square inch of usable space,” says Louis LeBrun, vice president of business development for APTwater Inc. “Without Inventor, we simply couldn’t build the systems or optimize our designs. The 3D modeling tools help us make our pipe reactors as small and efficient as possible, and make our injection points fit perfectly into the available space.”
LeBrun says that using Inventor also increases the efficiency of partner fabricators. The software produces digital models, which APTwater provides to the fabricators to ensure accurate system customization.
In 2010, APTwater introduced the Membrane Biofilm Reactor (MBfR), which uses a biological process to remove nitrates from water. The reactor is designed for use in farm areas such as the Central Valley of California, where large amounts of nitrogen-rich fertilizer have polluted drinking water and groundwater supplies in recent decades.
APTwater used Inventor to design and build MBfR. It uses hydrogen to sustain microorganisms that quickly metabolize contaminants and eliminate waste. Several California municipalities are using the MBfR in conjunction with filtration and standard chlorination. As a result, they have been able to remove contamination from long-dormant drinking wells, increasing available fresh water supplies for business and agriculture.
“Our ability to treat water without waste is in large part possible because of the software,” says LeBrun. “It played a key role in our ability to move from detailed planning and research and development, to actual site implementation of the MBfR technology.”
Inventor enables APTwater to create digital prototypes by integrating 2D AutoCAD drawings and 3D data into a single digital model. This makes the company much less reliant on physical prototypes, which cost more to create and often increase time to market.
APTwater also likes that Inventor uses rules-based design and automation tools to accelerate the design process. Visualization, illustration and animation tools are placed directly in the default workspace, along with dynamic shading, precise lighting control and a library of high-resolution textures.
For more information on 3D modeling software, call 415-507-5000 or visit www.autodesk.com.