When your products are used for high-profile events attended by British royalty, you know you’ve reached the pinnacle of design excellence.

That's exactly where Copenhagen-based SOWA Sound finds itself, thanks to cutting-edge wireless audio technology and old-school Danish design, creating a sound “ecosystem” that is easy to use, battery-powered, and elegantly beautiful.

Others are taking notice. SOWA’s flagship product, the SOWA Pro loudspeaker system, was used to provide sound for a Vogue event at Tiffany & Co., and an outdoor apparel curator KA-YO store event.

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“The essence of our brand is sticking to the core idea of making something that looks and sounds really good,” SOWA Sound founder Andreas Ranch says, “and sticking to the core technology of making robust wireless products.” 

“The other part of SOWA is making cool products that are user-friendly and nice to use,” he adds, “and that's where we use Onshape.”

The SOWA Promise: Making Professional Sound Easier 

SOWA Speaker in Onshape The Pro XL modeled in Onshape.

The SOWA Sound team set its sights higher for the second iteration of its beautiful audio products. However, they first needed to upgrade their CAD software and find an alternative to Fusion360.

“I was looking for a CAD system that makes collaboration easy and has a more modern mindset because our organization uses Linux, Windows, and Mac,” Ranch says.

Queue in PTC’s Onshape, a cloud-native CAD and PDM system with real-time collaboration tools that accelerate communication between designers, engineers, manufacturers, and suppliers. Onshape is browser-based and can be used on any device with internet access.

Previously using Fusion360 and frustrated by its sluggish performance, file corruption issues, and lack of cloud collaboration, SOWA Sound joined the Onshape Discovery Program, which provides qualifying companies with up to six months of free access to Onshape Professional. 

Ranch says he’s felt the difference since the switch especially as the team worked on developing the next iteration of products in Onshape. 

“Compared to Fusion360, Onshape is so much more robust and quick to get going in the morning,” Ranch says. “When I show up, I open my projects in two seconds, and everything runs smoothly – even though I'm running heavy stuff.”

Along with an overall better experience, Ranch highlights Onshape's version management and collaboration tools as game-changers for SOWA Sound’s design process.

“I want to praise the Git-like version management system. It's so good. I love it,” Ranch says. 

Onshape's built-in version control system provides a fully documented Edit History of who made what design changes and when. This allows for seamless revision tracking and branching off design iterations without the risk of overwriting previous work.

Onshape’s versatility also earns high marks from Ranch, who says, “I also love that you have the FeatureScript community because a lot of times, I find solutions there that someone conjured up, and it’s very impressive.” 

FeatureScript is Onshape's programming language that allows users to create custom CAD features and workflow automation specifically tailored to their company or industry. Custom features can either be used internally or shared publicly with the global Onshape community.

Collaborating with outside suppliers and manufacturing partners is also simplified. 

“I'm really happy about the Publication feature for sharing with our suppliers,” says Ranch. “It makes it so much easier to have a singular point of reference for what has been shared.”

Onshape's Publication options allow design teams to securely share product documentation with tight permissioning controls. Teammates, vendors, and clients can view the published design documentation without Onshape licenses. This ensures all stakeholders can access the latest approved versions without risking unauthorized changes.

A Sound System that’s ‘Bigger, Louder, Superior’

Speakers (Courtesy: SOWA Sound)

Ranch has extensive experience working as a stage technician for major venues in and around Copenhagen and understands how vital sound is to an event as well as how difficult setup can be. 

He found that loudspeakers available at the consumer level required professional knowledge for setup. There was a disconnect between the audio product developers and the people actually using the product. So, SOWA Sound was born to offer a solution that makes professional audio more accessible as well as better looking. 

SOWA’s speakers, made of locally-sourced wood, are battery-operated and connect through a proprietary technology called SOWA Link. This wireless technology lowers latency to 12 milliseconds, meaning any audio delay isn’t perceptible to the human ear. 

“With the SOWA Link, the cool thing is that all of our speakers can talk to each other and measure distances between each other,” says Ranch, adding that this minimizes delays and audio overlap.

The SOWA Sound founder also believes that much of the audio technology industry sacrifice aesthetics when developing new products. 

“A lot of audio equipment is made in a very rugged and, some would say, ugly way,” he says. “We try to make something that fits the venue.”

Moving Ahead with the Onshape Discovery Program

The front plate of a SOWA speaker modeled in Onshape.

Using Onshape's cloud-native product development platform, SOWA Sound is now streamlining its design process across its entire product line.

“We just launched a second version of our product, a big loudspeaker in the same family as the first one. This is the first product we've actually made entirely in Onshape, which has been bliss,” Ranch says. “We are also now developing more of an ecosystem of products. Big things are coming soon with new products and new partnerships.”

He highly praises the Onshape Discovery Program for helping SOWA make a risk-free, pressure-free decision on the best design path forward. The  Discovery Program provides ample time for teams to explore all of Onshape Professional’s offerings and truly experience what a cloud-native CAD and PDM platform can do to improve product development and design. 

While using advanced CAD and PDM technology has enabled a smoother design experience for SOWA, Ranch adds that Onshape’s commitment to customer service ensured a seamless migration from the old way of doing things.

“It turned out to be really nice to have someone holding your hand during this big switch, even for someone as small as us,” he notes. “I could basically ping the Onshape team directly, and they’d help us work through anything new we didn’t understand right away. That's a pretty cool service.”

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