Ogle Models announced they were asked to create two unique phones and base chargers for British Telecom (BT) by design firm Alloy.

The models required intricate detailing for the buttons and integrated lighting for the base charger, which have never before been seen on the market.

Industrial Designer at Alloy Matt Harris said: “After paying a visit to Ogle, we were impressed by the range of equipment, the breadth of materials and processes they were able to perform and replicate. It was a pleasure to work with Ogle.

“The determination of the team to deliver exactly what we wanted, and the openness to try new or different processes, is what sets them apart from others.”

The finished version of the revamped BT DECT cordless telephone range needed to reflect the premium nature of the products for potential buyers.

In order to create the highest quality of parts needed for the project, Ogle used the Stereolithography (SLA) process which is so accurate it can meet measurements as small as ±0.1 mm per 100 mm.

To produce the brush metal effect, which was required for phones, Ogle also had to experiment with different techniques.

Mr Harris added: “The fine-spun finish turned out to be quite difficult to replicate on the model, but the team at Ogle tried several approaches until they found the one that most accurately matched our reference sample. They even ordered additional tools for this part to achieve the best finish.”

The base units for the phones had to incorporate a blue LED light to deliver a glow to the base of the phone.

To avoid spots of light, the model making team at Ogle created a reflective funnel to sit within the base unit to deliver an even distribution of light. The team then applied the battery pack, switch and mock USB sockets.

Dave Bennion, Marketing and Sales Director at Ogle, said: “It was a huge honour to work with the guys at Alloy on models for BT’s premium phone range. Being such a high quality product we knew we needed to deliver a superior surface finish. Dean Lear our Project Manager, was key to getting this detail right.

“As the handsets would be part of the high-end DECT range, there were several processes and material finishes required that had not previously been used on the phones and required patience and accuracy, which we believe eventually paid off.”

The iconic “Starry night” by Van Gogh reflects the best of the Dutch post-impressionist master’s unique style. It is known that Van Gogh “sculpted” texture onto his canvas with a thick layer of gesso (a type of white binding mixture used as a primer) prior to applying the colours. This technique allowed him to achieve his rich, signature impasto without overusing more expensive paints.

The Toronto-based 3D printing company, Custom Prototypes Inc. has produced an exact replica of this supreme artwork using additive manufacturing technology.

A high resolution image of the painting was scrupulously analyzed to create a CAD file of the “primed canvas”, simulating the technique Van Gogh used with gesso. The STL topography file turned solid during the 3D printing process. The use of a large format, high definition stereolithography machine played a key role in meticulously reproducing the texture.

With these steps completed to reproduce the image, the creative finishing began. Under the expertise of a professional art restorer, Custom Prototypes turned to the ages-old technique of oil painting. Again undertaking a thorough analysis of the original piece, many hours were spent reproducing virtually every point and colour on the surface.  Final aging and a vernix coat were applied to the artwork to bring the painting to life.

To achieve the total effect, the “canvas” had to be protected by a period frame.  An original 19th century European impressionist frame obtained from a local art dealer was 3D scanned and 3D printed hollow in another stereolithography process. The surface was finished using a combination of art paints, gold leaf and aging techniques.

The painting made its debut at this year's Additive Manufacturing User Group (AMUG) conference in St. Louis, Missouri, where it was awarded first place in the Advanced Finishing category of the AMUG Technical Competition.

Published in Custom Prototypes

Airbus Group and Local Motors have launched a global co-creation challenge to identify the next generation of commercial drone technology. The two companies are inviting amateurs and professionals alike into a joint project that includes a series of co-creation activities, online competitions, open-source projects and hackathons all focused on designing a next-generation commercial drone solution.

The first part of the Airbus Cargo Drone Challenge, seeks specifically to identify designs for drone aircraft capable of vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) and efficient forward flight.

Part of the inspiration behind this challenge is to identify better ways to transport medical supplies when time is of the essence and a life could be hanging in the balance. Imagine a doctor deep in the jungle having the ability to order urgently needed drugs from a hospital 100km away.

“As Local Motors and Airbus Group progress in this challenge, we expect our co-creation community to deliver the kind of amazing ideas that helped us build the world’s first co-created vehicle and 3D-printed car,” said Local Motors CEO Jay Rogers. “As we harness the power of the crowd, Airbus will have the ability to iterate on commercial drones faster than ever before. This will be a much-needed shot in the arm for civil drone development.”

This initial co-creation challenge will run through June 5 and offer $117,500 in total prize money. The evaluation of each entry will be conducted through a jury of experts in the field before potentially becoming part of an industrial program from Airbus.

“The Challenge initiative is really exciting and we are eager to see how the power of co-creation can accelerate new, innovative thinking around commercial drones,” said Jana Rosenmann, Head of Unmanned Aerial Systems within Airbus Group.

Assisting Local Motors and Airbus Group on this challenge is Praxis Aerospace Concepts International Inc. (PACI), which will bring its deep, technological experience in commercialization of robotics and unmanned systems to the project.

For more information, visit: www.localmotors.com/dronechallenge

Published in Local Motors

GE’s FirstBuild™ is announcing the development of its new Pique Coffee Brewer by launching the Cold Brew Challenge: a product design competition drawing upon the power of crowdsourced design and the FirstBuild community. Pique is expected to go to market this summer on Indiegogo, the world’s largest crowdfunding platform. In a bold move, FirstBuild is offering a portion of the proceeds from the Indiegogo campaign to the top 3 challenge entries.

A microfactory in the heart of the University of Louisville’s campus, FirstBuild designs, builds, and sells the next generation of innovative home appliances. FirstBuild is brewing up the core technology, but we are reaching out to the community to create a beautiful design.

The options for hot coffee at home are virtually limitless—drip makers, French press, single-serve cups, pour-over—but consumers prize cold brew (coffee brewed in room temperature water) for the smooth, balanced flavor profile resulting from its low acidity. A satisfying cup of cold brew traditionally comes with a 12- to 24-hour wait. Want cold brew on a balmy summer Saturday? Hope it was started last night.

But why wait? Like the Opal™ Nugget Ice Maker and the Monogram® Pizza Oven before, the minds at FirstBuild have helped tackle a kitchen conundrum with the power of technology. We’ve developed the capability to make a full pot of rich, deeply flavored cold brew coffee, in under 10 minutes, a 98% reduction in brew time.

FirstBuild is offering its registered community members the chance to once again show off their extraordinary industrial design capabilities and user-experience insights by entering the Cold Brew Challenge.

Here’s how it works:

  • FirstBuild members can download and take a look at initial CAD design files and decide where the potential lies—or scrap it entirely and start from scratch
  • Submit innovative designs by March 27, 2016


Winning designs will be selected by the FirstBuild community and a panel of selected design experts in early April, followed by a summer 2016 pre-sale and crowdfunding campaign on Indiegogo in order to help fund development and marketing for launch.

“We’re looking for beautiful, functional design that will wow coffee enthusiasts,” said Taylor Dawson, product evangelist at FirstBuild. “Cold Brew is different—it’s richer, smoother and more aromatic than typical iced coffee, and we need the product design to match.”

And for the first time, FirstBuild is offering 1 percent of the campaign funding from Indiegogo to be shared by the winning designers, up to $30,000 in total awards. While the amount of funding varies and there are no guarantees, FirstBuild’s most recent Indiegogo campaign for its Opal Nugget Ice Maker received more than $2.77 million in funding.

“Interest in cold brew coffee has grown exponentially in the last 5 years. Pique is positioned to serve a passionate existing customer base looking for a better cold brew experience,” said Dawson. “FirstBuild’s co-created products are on the leading edge of the appliance industry. It’s that collaborative approach that continually results in fresh thinking.”

For more information, visit: www.piquecoldbrew.com

Published in FirstBuild

Rinus Roelofs calls himself a ‘digital sculptor’: he creates sculptures on a computer. Mr Roelofs has been a pioneer in this field for over 20 years. He is also a mathematician, and his creations are inspired by complex mathematical structures.

Many of Mr Roelofs’ ideas are geometrically so complex that they are a challenge to realize in practice, particularly with traditional production methods. Mr Roelofs has been an enthusiast and early adopter of 3D printing for his sculptures. However, most 3D printers are unable to produce items that are large and firm enough for outdoor public display, such as in a museum garden.

3Dealise, the industrial 3D printing and 3D engineering company, has worked for some time with Mr Roelofs to bring his ideas to life. First, 3Dealise produced 400 mm tall prototypes of two designs for Mr Roelofs, to demonstrate what is possible. Then, the challenge was accepted to produce a giant 2.3 meters tall ‘cylindrical knot’ for Mr Roelofs. The shape was described by Mr Roelofs as ‘a tube that is knotted in an unconventional way’.

Mr Roelofs unveiled the sculpture at the RapidPro trade show for a crowd of enthusiasts and press. It was the first time that Mr Roelofs saw the structure himself, and he was delighted to finally see a life-size version of his idea that was conceived so many years ago. The sculpture is 2.3 meters tall and is made of approximately 600 kg of iron.

3Dealise uses a two-step process to produce large items. First, a giant 3D printer, capable of producing prints up to the size of a phone box (build volume 1800 x 1000 x 700 mm) within 24 hours, produces a mold for metal casting. Mold prints can be stacked like Lego bricks to produce larger shapes. The use of 3D printing in this step enables ‘freedom of design’, customization and other benefits of 3D printing. Second, a metal casting is made with the 3D printed sand mold. This second step uses a traditional casting process, producing high quality material with well-known materials and well-known material quality, that can be issued with a material certificate such as Lloyds 3.1.

Sculptor Rinus Roelofs commented: “I have had the idea for this sculpture for a long time, and only in the late ‘90s the software was advanced enough to be able to design it. Since then, I have tried to realize the sculpture, which has been a challenge. First, I made a version with digitally cut layers of wood glued together. 3D printing a small version in plastic became possible a few years back. And for the first time now, it has been possible to make a life-size version in one piece, as the sculpture was intended.”

3Dealise CEO Roland Stapper commented “This new technology is important for two reasons:

First, it demonstrates that ‘freedom of design’ is available for large items, such as this 2.3-metre-tall work of art. 3D printing is often associated with relatively small parts, but the benefits are equally available for large parts. A universe of new design possibilities is unlocked for artists and designers this way.

Second, because this technology is capable of producing large metal items, it shows that structurally strong and vandal proof items can be made with 3D printing. This is essential for outdoor display of works of art.”

Published in Rinus Roelofs

Awards & Prizes

There are two categories of awards in this challenge. Both best model and best portfolio category will have one winner and one runner-up.

Best 3D Printing Fashion Model

For the 1st place winner

  • MBot Grid II+ SH Printer by Mbot3D
  • LIX pen by LIX
  • 1 Reel of Innoflex 45, 1 Reel of Innoflex 60, 2 Reels of PLA or PET or ABS (chosen by the winner) by Innofil3D
  • 3 free sales by CGTrader
  • T-shirt by CGTrader


For the 1st runner-up

  • 1 Reel of Innoflex 45 or Innoflex 60, 1 Reel of PLA or PET or ABS (chosen by the winner) by Innofil3D
  • 1 free sale by CGTrader
  • T-shirt by CGTrader


Best 3D Printing Fashion Portfolio

For the 1st place winner

  • MBot Grid II+ SH Printer by Mbot3D
  • LIX pen by LIX
  • 1 Reel of Innoflex 45, 1 Reel of Innoflex 60, 2 Reels of PLA or PET or ABS (chosen by the winner) by Innofil3D
  • 3 free sales by CGTrader
  • T-shirt by CGTrader


For the 1st runner-up

  • 1 Reel of Innoflex 45 or Innoflex 60, 1 Reel of PLA or PET or ABS (chosen by the winner) by Innofil3D
  • 1 free sale by CGTrader
  • T-shirt by CGTrader


Judging

The judging of the challenge will be performed by CGTrader staff. Winners will be chosen following the requirements below

Best 3D Printing Fashion Challenge Model

  • Quality of the 3D Printing in Fashion World 2016 challenge model
  • Uniqueness, innovation, and general achievement in design of 3D Printing in Fashion World 2016 Challenge model
  • Clear and attractive presentation on CGTrader.com


Best 3D Printing Fashion Challenge Portfolio

  • Quality of the 3D Printing in Fashion World 2016 challenge portfolio
  • Uniqueness, innovation, and general achievement in design of the 3D Printing in Fashion World 2016 Challenge portfolio
  • Clear and attractive presentation on CGTrader.com


Things you must know

  • 3D Printing in Fashion World 2016 Challenge will run from the 14th of January, 2016, to the 14th of March, 2016.
  • Only Models uploaded during the challenge time are considered as entries in the competition.
  • When uploading your entry be sure to check "fashion-challenge" to get your model tagged and counted to the challenge.
  • Cool renderings are optional but we will definitely consider this when judging.


Things you should know

  • Designs uploaded to the gallery are not treated as valid entries.
  • Upon joining this challenge, you agree that your rendering scene might be used by sponsors for marketing (non commercial!) purposes.
  • You can have as much entry models as you want. By uploading more than 8 entry models you are eligible to enter Portfolio category too.
  • The challenge is open to everyone, including teams, legal entities and people from all over the world.
  • Participating in the challenge and uploading 3D models to CGTrader platform is free of charge.
  • All the entries must be original and not derivable.
  • Employees and relatives of CGTrader and sponsor teams are not allowed to participate in this challenge.
  • Any existing taxes or duties must be paid by the winner. CGTrader is not responsible for any illegal actions taken by the prize winners.
  • We are independent sheriffs of this challenge, so stick to the rules and don't do anything stupid.
  • Got some questions? Have suggestions? Check for FAQ or drop us a line at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


For more information or to enter, visit: www.cgtrader.com/challenges/3d-printing-in-fashion-world-2016

Published in CGTrader

By: Risto Lahdesmaki, CEO of Idean

The idea that creating a great user experience (UX) is the single best strategy to drive sales and/or build and maintain a loyal customer base has gained currency across the business world over the past few years. While the term “UX” is often used to denote excellence in the way users interact with mobile or desktop apps, an important part of the meaning, the definition extends to all other aspects of the user and customer experience as well.

As technology evolves, it is becoming increasingly clear that achieving excellence in UX will require a design strategy that goes beyond the on-screen customer transaction to encompass all aspects of the interaction between a user and a product or brand. Here are three UX design trends to watch in the coming months:

 

 

  • Design that transcends screens: User interactions within apps or on screens have been the focus for designers, but as technology evolves, designers will need to deliver a great UX beyond apps and screens. Wearable products and artificial intelligence provide developers with new ways to interact with users. Machine-human interactions that were once fodder for sci-fi entertainment like “Her” and “The Minority Report” are fast becoming an everyday reality as the consumerization of technology grows. User demand is closing the gap between leading-edge concepts and marketable products at a faster pace.
  • Creating a narrative by design: Before innovators can bring a new concept to market, they have to find a way to tell their story effectively. In years past, research and development houses existed to bring new ideas to fruition, identifying concepts, developing ideas, testing prototypes and then selling investors and executives on the promise of the concept. Today, innovators are more likely to pitch their ideas directly to investors or executives to obtain development support, which means the onus is on them to create a compelling narrative. Design has a crucial role to play in this process: User-driven storytelling that allows users to experience cutting-edge products in a virtual context can be incredibly effective.
  • Design skills for all: Design is baked into human DNA — the ability to conceptualize and create is what allows humankind to survive and thrive on a planet that presents many existential challenges. And as design becomes more central to business success, company leaders and HR visionaries will increasingly understand that it is essential to virtually any role and start treating it as a core skill that employees require in order to express themselves effectively. Just as presentation skills are widely taught to help employees in non-sales roles, employees who aren’t primarily designers will learn the fundamentals of design so they can do their jobs better and communicate more efficiently.

 


The common thread driving these UX design trends is the increasingly prominent role design plays in delivering a great experience for customers, colleagues, investors and any user who needs to understand a new concept or use a product effectively. In the coming years, more companies will realize the importance of excellence in UX beyond the context of apps and screens, which will mean more challenges — and opportunities — for design teams.

 

Published in Idean

Prototyping firm Ogle Models has come to the aid of a designer to create 3D printed shoes for Olympic gold medal winner Amy Williams.

The gold wedge shoes appeared on The Gadget Show as part of a feature emphasizing the use of 3D printing in the fashion industry.

The process involves making three-dimensional solid objects from a digital CAD file, typically by laying down successive thin layers of material.

The design house Julian Hakes turned to Ogle after facing the prospect of creating a unique design in a short time frame, and the company’s industrial 3D printing machines provided the solution.

Ogle marketing and sales director Dave Bennion said: “We’re delighted to be involved in such a unique project, especially honoring a British Olympian. The latest technology provided by 3D printing is enabling innovation across all kinds of industries.

“3D printing and additive manufacturing are terms that are, today, frequently used synonymously to denote a group of additive processes that produce – or print – parts directly from 3D CAD data, one layer at a time.

“These additive processes have emerged and been greatly developed during the last 20 years and have proved advantageous for a host of applications including concept models, functional prototypes, tooling patterns and, more recently, production parts.”

The team at Ogle printed the shoes using special technology called Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) production, which gave a nylon-based print strong enough for walking in and bonded well to the leather upper. 

For more information, visit: www.oglemodels.com

Stratasys has announced that the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art (SFMOMA) has acquired the much-acclaimed ‘Gemini’ chaise designed by Prof. Neri Oxman for its permanent collection. The purchase of Gemini, designed in collaboration with Professor W. Craig Carter with the 3D printed skin by Stratasys, is the most recent in a series of 3D printed art accessions by prestigious museums across the USA and Europe, which also include MoMA New York, Centre Pompidou Paris, Science Museum London, Museum of Fine Arts Boston and MAK Vienna.

Gemini is a semi-enclosed, stimulation-free environment designed to enhance vocal vibrations, which are thought to be healing, throughout the body. A biologically-inspired 3D printed skin lines the beautiful wooden chassis. The skin’s texture is an intricate design of tiny knobs, which provide comfort while maximizing sound absorption. The combination of a CNC milled wooden shell and the 3D printed lining creates an ideal acoustic setting for a single individual.

As the first project unveiled using Stratasys’ unique Connex3 triple-jetting technology, the 3D printed ‘skin’ that lines Gemini was created in myriad colors and materials. Combining three base materials – Stratasys’ rubber-like TangoPlus, rigid VeroYellow and VeroMagenta – the acoustic chaise included 44 different materials properties in varying shades of yellows and oranges with differing transparencies and rigidities, all produced simultaneously in a single 3D print. Surfaces that are more curved than others were assigned more elastic properties, thereby increasing sound absorption. The materials, shapes and surfaces of the 3D printed ‘skin’ enable a unique vibrational acoustic effect for a quiet, calming environment.

“No other manufacturing technology is able to provide such a variety of material properties in a single process. This makes Stratasys color, multi-material 3D printing technology very compelling for artists,” says Naomi Kaempfer, Creative Director Art Fashion Design at Stratasys. “And that’s just one influencing factor in the recent growth we are seeing in museums advocating 3D printed artwork. We believe that the technology has substantial cultural impact and expect it to have a significant influence on buying habits and manufacturing industries. As museums strive for public engagement with art, this progressive technology provides an important cultural reference, which should be celebrated.”

According to Kaempfer, the trend for museums adopting 3D printed design affirms the longevity of 3D printing as an artistic medium and reflects a wider movement of artists celebrating the unique capabilities made possible with this technology.

“3D printing is at the very cusp of innovation, and Stratasys leads the way with new developments of its technology and a wealth of diverse materials. As such it provides an expression of novelty and a source of wonderment for many artists,” Kaempfer concludes.

Published in Stratasys

A proposed ASTM guide will make it easier for businesses to create parts using additive manufacturing, also known as 3D printing. Specifically, the guide will provide overarching principles of design rules in this fast-growing field.

“It is very hard to come up with a single ‘right way’ to create a part using additive manufacturing,” says ASTM member Paul Witherell, a mechanical engineer at the U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology. “This standard will serve as a foundation that supports the development of design rules for the growing number of additive manufacturing processes and machines.”

Well-formed design rules provide manufacturers – including entrepreneurs and small businesses – with a way to make meaningful changes to parts and production processes without compromising overall manufacturability. The new standard will promote a consistent way to develop and apply these rules, providing key insights into the intricacies of additive processes.

All interested parties, particularly those developing best practices in this field, are welcome to join in the work of ASTM’s additive manufacturing committee (F42) and this proposed standard (WK51841, Guide for Principles of Design Rules in Additive Manufacturing).

For more information, visit: www.astm.org/COMMITTEE/F42.htm

Published in ASTM

The 2015 R2 version of Delcam’s ArtCAM Pro artistic CADCAM software features improvements in design and machining, including the ability to create support structures for 3D Printing, easier designing with vectors, more design options with real-time updating and faster machining simulations.

Unlike most other CADCAM systems, ArtCAM Pro is aimed at skilled artisans rather than engineers and requires much less knowledge of engineering or computing.  It has been particularly successful in the signmaking, woodworking and engraving industries.  In these areas and in other artistic applications, ArtCAM Pro allows users to increase productivity, improve quality and deliver new designs more quickly, by combining their craft skills and creativity with the power and precision of computer-aided manufacturing.

The main enhancement for the new version of ArtCAM Pro is the ability to create support structures for 3D Printing.  Users can generate intelligent support structures, either manually or automatically, and can also use batch assembly for the printing of multiple items.  3D Printing offers ArtCAM users an alternative route to machining for the production of complex models.

ArtCAM users that design with vectors will benefit from two new options.  Firstly, snap hints now appear to help in locating hard-to-find snap points within vectors when creating designs.  Secondly, the thickness of vectors can be changed, in either the 2D or 3D view, making it easier to visualise the design.

Accuracy will also be helped by the addition of rulers in the 3D view to make it easier to create precise artwork and to position elements of the piece.

The ability to overlap and intersect reliefs has been enhanced with a new option to interactively blend the reliefs.  This allows relief clipart to be pulled up or pushed down in the Z axis to give a better blend with another 3D design.

The range of modelling tools that operate in real time has been extended to include the ability to create smooth domed shapes or domes with a centreline ridge, and the option to make intricate weaves.  Real-time operation makes it easier to create exactly the effect that is required and shortens design times.

The tools for assembly modelling have been improved by making it easier and quicker to drag or rotate elements of the assembly into position.  It has also been made simpler to undo any changes.

The creation of complex designs by grouping relief layers together has also been made easier.  For example, it is easier to combine the front and back of a miniature or a sculpture.  In addition, relief slicing can now output the slices as DXF files, making laser cutting of tall items easier.

The main machining enhancement in the new release is significantly faster machining simulations thanks to a new algorithm that uses the specialist processor in modern graphics cards to calculate multiple operations simultaneously.  This gives major benefits over standard multi-threading.

Another area of improvement is corner machining, where fillets can be added to vectors to allow more accurate machining of slots.  In a related development, loops can be added for creating corners with knife cutting.

Finally, two new options are available in the 3D offset strategy.  Firstly, it is now possible to spiral from the outside in or from the centre outwards.  The strategy can reduce tool wear and give better surface finish.  Secondly, on-surface links can be used.  This reduces the number of plunge and retract moves and so saves machining time.

For more information, visit: www.artcam.com/pro

Published in Delcam

“3D Europa” is a sculpture designed by the Portuguese artist Leonel Moura for ICT (Innovate, Connect, Transform), the biggest Information and Communication Technologies event in Europe. ICT 2015 is a European Commission initiative, this year co-organized with the Foundation for Science and Technology (Fundação para a Ciência e Tecnologia), that is underway in Lisbon, from October 20th to 22nd.

This impressive work of art was developed during the last 6 months and represents a new way of art, by combining creativity and technology with innovative methods of doing things.

The sculpture, all 3D printed in PLA, was supported by BEEVERYCREATIVE and 3D FACTORY, and has about 300 parts with fittings and is almost 5 meters tall. Leonel uses 8 permanent 3D printers and counts also with the community’s help to make it possible.

BEEVERYCREATIVE’s team 3D printed several parts and Leonel also uses BEETHEFIRST at his studio, since it has what he looks for in a 3D printer: reliability and usability.

Leonel Moura is a pioneer in combining art with robotics, artificial intelligence and now, 3D printing. His work is recognised on an international level, with exhibitions in the United States, where he has a robot-painter as a permanent exhibit in the New York Museum of Natural History, in Brazil, China, South Korea, Dubai, among others, as well as several European countries. In 2009, he was nominated as European Ambassador of Creativity and Innovation.

For more information, visit: www.beeverycreative.com

Published in BEEVERYCREATIVE

Stratasys along with its subsidiaries GrabCAD and MakerBot, announced the winners of the CubeSat Challenge after a month-long, highly competitive engineering competition.

Home to the world's largest community of mechanical engineers, the GrabCAD Community was invited to use 3D printing to rethink the design of a CubeSat, a standardized small satellite frame originally developed to allow university students to build low-cost satellites for research and education purposes. The goal was to design CubeSat structures that would be faster and easier to manufacture, and pack more utility into the very small volume that CubeSat designers had to work with. Participants had the chance to win prizes that range from MakerBot Replicator Desktop 3D Printers to cash to manufacturing services provided by Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.

Surpassing expectations, over 200 entries were submitted from all engineering disciplines and geographic locations. The submissions demonstrate the ability of additive manufacturing to vastly improve design over traditional manufacturing methods. “Engineers were able to reduce satellite structures from up to 50 parts down to two or three parts by using additive manufacturing,” said Scott Sevcik, business development manager for aerospace and defense at Stratasys. “There were a number of very creative approaches to redesigning the satellite structure, and it was great to see several of the entries consolidate the build down to two or as few as one part. That highlights one of the most significant benefits of 3D printing a structure.

Reducing part count from 50 to three can make a significant impact on a manufacturer’s operations. It can:

  • Reduce the amount of assembly labor, which saves cost and time.
  • Reduce the risk of assembly error, or a late part delaying production.
  • Reduce the risk of repetitive stress and other ergonomic injuries due to assembly effort.
  • Simplify the supply chain, reducing purchasing, receiving inspection and other ancillary risks and costs.


First place was awarded to Paolo Minetola for his entry FoldSat, a design that uses geometries only possible with 3D printing. Second place went to David Franklin for his entry STRATASATT – FDM ONE, a design that illustrates customization using real CubeSat components. Third place went to Chris Esser with his entry Foldable Articulated CubeSat for Additive Manufacturing. His design featured 3D printed threads and six hinged panels.

Entries were judged based on technical requirements including feasibility, production, value and being optimized for additive manufacturing. The judging panel included experts from the aerospace and 3D printing industry:

  • Dr. Jordi Puig-Suari, Cal Poly Professor and Co-Inventor of the CubeSat Standard
  • Dr. Robert Hoyt, CEO and Chief Scientist, Tethers Unlimited Inc.
  • David Espalin, Center Manager - W.M. Keck Center for 3D Innovation, University of Texas, El Paso
  • Adam Hadaller, Mission Manager, Spaceflight Industries
  • Patrick Price, Aerospace Additive Manufacturing Research Engineer, Stratasys
  • Jesse Marin, Aerospace Project Engineer, Stratasys Direct Manufacturing
  • Jonathan Cook, Director of Product, MakerBot


The Aerospace vertical solutions team sponsored the CubeSat Challenge, with collaboration from GrabCAD, MakerBot and Stratasys Direct Manufacturing.

For more information or to view the winning results, visit: www.grabcad.com/challenges/the-cubesat-challenge/results

Published in Stratasys

More than 70 creative minds from around the world will come together August 7-9, 2015 in Costa Rica for the Fourth Annual Sketching Lab. Participants in the Sketch Aerobics event will learn sketching skills that lead to product development methodology, using visual communication to foster innovation.

"We started Sketching Lab in 2012 to create an educational and inspirational space that would use drawings as a tool for design and visual communication," says Jose Gamboa, founder of the event and director of industrial design at Slingshot Product Development Group in Georgia. "This is a forum for people to share their passion and knowledge in visual communications. Designers and artists from around the world are invited to participate and we aim to inspire future generations with this unique program."

Gamboa, who was born in Costa Rica, had the full support of Slingshot in launching this interactive program three years ago. The purpose of the event is to help build a design community in Costa Rica. Each year he plays a key role in the sessions and is able to teach visual innovation and creative strategies to participants, which include students, freelance artists, dreamers and doers in the areas of fashion, graphic design, animation, industrial design, illustration and architecture.

"I'm able to show these people a bit of what we do at Slingshot, using sketch technology to bridge the gap between development investment and business success by approaching product development in a complete, holistic way," says Gamboa, who has served as an industrial design professor at the Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD).

The intense three day workshop includes drawing, mind mapping, concept development and visual communication. In addition to Gamboa, program attendees will learn from experts Andres Parada, Joey Zeledon and Matt Marrocco.

"Sketching Lab's goal is to ignite a person's interest in improving hand drawing and sketching skills, which are essential tools for anyone in the arts and design field," says Gamboa. "This year I'm collaborating with Joey, senior industrial designer at Smart Design in New York, to create a methodology that will help develop a single idea generated by the event under the criteria of tradition, culture and nature, that will later be refined by Joey, myself and the team at Slingshot. The idea will be taken to the prototype or small production stages so that the participants can see the results of their creativity.

"With hard work, anything is possible. Our speakers are a great example of that statement. Now that we're in our fourth year, we're seeing educational institutions carefully looking at and recruiting the talented people who participate in Sketching Lab."

According to Gamboa, sponsorship of the Sketching Lab event is important to Slingshot because it puts a worldwide focus on talented designers. "Our company seeks out opportunities like Sketching Lab to give back to society," says Gamboa. "We're able to shine a spotlight on diversity and the talents available in Costa Rica and participants from other countries by continuing to support this event year-after-year."

For more information, visit: www.sketchinglab.com/en

Published in Sketching Lab

Utilizing a unique technique combining 3D printing, glassblowing and blow molding, product designer Roos Meerman has pushed the boundaries of the art and science of 3D printing. Using Ultimaker’s family of 3D printers, Meerman experimented with the idea of inflating 3D sculptures to create unusual works of art. By using compressed air on heated 3D printed objects, she is able to create and experiment with extraordinary shapes. Ultimaker’s line of 3D printers brought Meerman’s ideas to life and can be purchased in the U.S. online and in select stores.

After studying product design, Meerman studied closely the process of creating new products and how innovation technology could inspire creative ideas. While experimenting with an Ultimaker 3D printer, she noticed that when the plastic was hot, it was pliable and able to stretch into new shapes. Utilizing that idea, she used the Ultimaker 3D printers to create 3D printed models of small shapes that she inflated afterwards.

“It isn’t pure art or pure science, it’s a combination of the two. I dream of printing objects which can be temporarily inflated and can be deflated back to its original small shape, making it easy to move from one place to another,” says Roos Meerman, “I would love to continue experimenting with this technique, find new applications for it and push the boundaries.”

Inspiring makers every day. From the very beginning, Ultimaker’s vision has been to make 3D printing accessible to all. It’s why all their desktop printers are extremely quiet, fast, accurate and effortless to use. Such a commitment has made them become one of the most successful open source 3D printing companies around.

For more information, visit: www.ultimaker.com/en/stories/view/11715-roos-meerman-aera-fabrica

Published in Ultimaker

American Standard Brands has cemented its position as a true innovator in faucet design and engineering with the launch of the first commercially-available faucets created with additive manufacturing, better known 3D printing.

What makes the new DXV faucet designs unique?

Additive manufacturing opens up new possibilities for the design and function of faucets, enabling new ways to present water and completely reinventing the user’s experience.

  • Two of the new faucets are focused on reinventing the way that water is brought to the user. The incredibly high strength of the alloy enables fine structures of concealed waterways that converge at the top, shortly before reaching the aerator. This construction creates the impression that water appears magically out of the faucet.
  • One design is an eye-catching mesh of delicate latticework, while the second faucet has the waterways separated into four thin sections, giving it a more traditional appearance.
  • With the third faucet, the focus was on designing the experience of water. The water is presented to the user as a stream bouncing on rocks in a riverbed. To achieve this poetic effect, the design team used Computational Fluid Dynamic (CFD) technology to adjust each of the 19 waterways to achieve the proper effect. The rest of the faucet is extremely pure and simple not to distract from the play of the water.


How do you “print” a faucet?


There are different types of 3D printing. The process for printing the DXV faucets is called laser sintering:

  • A computer-guided laser beam fuses, or sinters, powdered metal into the shape of the faucet with high heat and pressure.
  • A solid metal block arises out of powder, hinting at the sculpted masterpiece-to-be.
  • The block requires hand-finishing to smooth extraneous metal and reveal the faucet design.
  • The actual printing—the laser sintering—takes about 24 hours.
  • It is not all about the printing. The DXV faucets go through a butler finishing process for a hand-polished look and feel that mimics the texture found on silver pieces after years of being hand buffed and polished.


Haven’t there already been 3D printed faucets?

3D printing has been used to create plastic faucet models and concepts for years, using another 3D printing process called fused deposition modeling. It’s the additive manufacturing process most people are familiar with, layering plastic in rows to build an item. American Standard and others have used fused deposition modeling in faucet design concepting for years.

The DXV faucets are the first ready-for-market working faucets to be printed in metal.

Where can I buy one of the new DXV 3D Printed Faucets?

These new DXV faucets will be available through an exclusive network of showrooms, likely within the next 12 months or so. The estimated retail price will be somewhere between $12,000 - $20,000.

Do they meet US code approvals?

All three DXV faucets have received NSF certification. Iconel does not contain any lead, so we easily passed all low-lead code approvals. The faucets meet the water-saving standards of the WaterSense® label, and will be submitting to them for approval.

How will 3D printing impact the design and construction Industry?

3D printing will have a major disruptive effect on the design and construction industry, and DXV by American Standard is the first plumbing manufacturer to introduce a product for commercialization.

The process democratizes design and decentralizes manufacturing, which will eventually upend the design and construction industry, along with many others. A new, more efficient business model for bespoke design could be on the horizon. This would reduce the inventory pressures that arise from mass production of personalized products, while opening up a new world for both design and construction.

For more information, visit: www.americanstandard-us.com

Published in American Standard

element14 announces the launch of its latest design competition – the Vertical Farming Challenge. Sponsored by Silicon Labs and Wurth Elektronik, with support from the Association for Vertical Farming and Green Spirit Farms, element14 will select 15 engineers to build indoor vertical gardens using technologies and methods that have the potential to change how food is produced around the world.

“The Vertical Farming challenge is one of our most unique design competitions to date,” said Dianne Kibbey, Global Head of Community, element14. “The vertical farming industry presents a real opportunity to address growing concerns surrounding overpopulation, environmental changes and food production. The engineer can play a critical role in developing solutions to those concerns, and we’re proud to empower 15 finalists with the technologies and resources they need to find those solutions.”

The challenge comes on the heels of element14’s Engineering a Connected World report which found, among other things, that consumers globally view agriculture/food production as one of the primary areas where technology and innovation should be focused.

element14 will accept applications for the Vertical Farming Challenge from now until July 3, and finalists will be chosen based on the solutions proposed. Entries should include solutions for: environmental monitoring (light, temperature and humidity), water and feeding systems, a growing surface that expands beyond the overall footprint of the build and energy monitoring to collect data on the system’s overall consumption of power and water.

Finalists will be announced on July 14 and the chosen competitors will have until October 19 to create their indoor vertical farms. element14 will provide each participant with a kit of IoT-enabled technologies to help with the designs, and Green Spirit Farms and the Association for Vertical Farming will guide challengers though the growing and harvesting process.

“We’re honored to be advising the individuals that will take part in the Vertical Farming Challenge,” said Milan Kluko, Founder and President at Green Spirit Farms. ”Electronic engineers are uniquely positioned to create innovative technology and new systems that can make all indoor growing systems more efficient and sustainable in urban areas where access to fresh food can be limited. Green Spirit Farms will guide element14’s challengers through the growing and harvesting process so every participant’s ‘indoor farm’ has the chance to maximize their respective crop yield using their innovative approaches to Controlled Environment Agriculture.”

Throughout the competition finalists will receive recommendations on moisture, lighting and humidity ranges to be aware of when planting the crops and the optimal time to transfer and harvest those crops. Along with the resulting crops, entries will be judged on originality, innovation, technical merit and data points collected. The winner will be announced on November 3. Each of the 15 competitors will provide weekly updates on their progress through blog posts, photos and videos via the element14 Community.

The Vertical Farming Challenge is the latest competition as part of a broader Engineering a Connected World initiative from the element14 Community. The program, of which the report is a part, is designed to drive innovation by connecting engineers to powerful new ideas, the latest technologies and to each other, and to make the ordinary, extraordinary.

For more information, visit: www.element14.com/verticalfarming

Published in element14

Materialise launched the 3D Printed DINO clothes rack as an outcome of a recent collaboration with the Finland-based design studio KAYIWA. The DINO clothes rack blurs the line between design and art. While keeping aesthetics at the forefront of their design, the DINO rack serves as a functional furnishing piece that fits in a foyer, lounge, cloakroom, walk -in closet, wardrobe, or a fashion boutique. The sophisticated and eye-catching design of the DINO rack works to aesthetically enhance any space.

“During the last decade, 3D printing technology advanced considerably, which allowed the true vision for DINO to be realized,” says Lincoln Kayiwa, Designer and Founder of KAYIWA design studio. “In line with KAYIWA’s sustainability values, hangers are produced only to meet the exact demand. The remaining polyamide powder from the laser-sintered parts is reused. Nothing goes to waste.”

Suspended along an electro-polished stainless steel bar with spacers in between, hangers remain organized and comfortably swing back and forth and/or move side-to-side for efficient hanging and clothing removal. The hangers can be made in varying heights, leaving hanging space for long coats or making them easy to reach for children and people on a wheelchair. In addition, hangers can be hung on the bar in any order, according to your preference and their textured finish and ergonomic shape ensures the secure holding of clothes.

For this project, KAYIWA worked closely with the design and engineering team at Materialise. “Design is often the key to success for a 3D Printing project. Together with the customer, we modified the original shapes in order to come to designs that are ready for additive manufacturing. This guaranteed a perfect and repeatable quality that meets KAYIWA’s standards,” says Karel Honings, Project Manager at Materialise.

The DINO clothes rack is now available in three versatile models: straight, wavy and modular, and in the eight KAYIWA standard colors (black, blue, green, orange, red, violet, white and yellow). Nevertheless, the DINO rack can also be customized to match your  room’s current style and it is even possible to incorporate your company’s brand identity through a specific logo or color scheme.

For more information, visit: www.kayiwa.fi/product-category/clothes-racks

Published in Materialise

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) announced the launch of Tinkerplay, a free app designed for kids of all ages that introduces creative play through 3D design and 3D printing.

The Tinkerplay app is based on the popular Modio app, which Autodesk previously acquired, and will join the Tinkercad family of products. The Tinkerplay app allows users to design and customize characters and creatures digitally with the option to 3D print afterwards. The 3D printed parts can also be snapped together for dynamic play. With this launch, new parts, features and functionality have been added to make the world of 3D design simple, fun and engaging.

“Creators, designers and makers from ages five to ninety, have blown us away with their passion for 3D modeling and 3D printing,” said Samir Hanna, vice president and general manager, Autodesk Consumer and 3D Printing. “With Tinkerplay, we’re providing another great tool designed for kids of all ages who want to play, create and tinker.”

The Tinkerplay app lets users quickly get started by dragging and dropping interchangeable parts to make custom creations. The parts are optimized for 3D printing as fully poseable characters and creatures, and are designed to not require rafting or support material to print. The print function within the app shows the layout of parts for 3D printing and provides an easy way to export print files to a variety of 3D printers.

For users that are inspired to take their design skills one step further to create completely new parts, Tinkerplay connectors can be found in the Tinkercad web app. Autodesk has launched Tinkerplay simultaneously on various mobile platforms including iOS, Android, Windows and Windows phones to better provide users with access on their device of choice. The Tinkerplay app can be downloaded for free* from the App Store, Google Play or the Windows Store for Windows 8.1 users.

For more information, visit: www.123dapp.com/tinkerplay

Published in Autodesk

New research conducted by the element14 Community, an online community of more than 300,000 electronics engineers, has revealed high consumer interest worldwide in the Internet of Things (IoT) and a huge potential value to developing economies.

The study, conducted as part of element14’s mantra, “Engineering a Connected World,” included more than 3,500 people in North America, Europe, Asia and Australia. When asked if it would be beneficial to connect more devices and appliances to the internet, 43 percent agreed. However, the research highlights a notable thirst for increased internet connectivity in developing economies, hinting that IoT has the potential to continue the trend for increased access to the internet in developing economies that mobile has created.

On average, 31 percent of consumers in Australia, France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S. agree that the more devices in their home that connect to the internet, the better. This figure more than doubles to 71 percent for consumers in both China and India, newly industrialized countries with lower percentages of population with internet connectivity (according to World Bank data).

The research findings give new credence to the launch of the latest Design Challenge from the element14 Community, Enchanted Objects. As part of the challenge, Community members across the world are encouraged to re-imagine everyday objects using embedded Internet of Things technology.

Other findings from the study include:

• Respondents in China and India are also more likely to agree with the statement “The more of the world that is connected to the internet, the better,” indicating that desire for connectivity extends beyond their homes. On this statement, 73 percent and 86 percent concurred for each country respectively, compared to just a 55 percent average across Australia, France, Germany, the U.K. and the U.S.

• People in China and India are much more open to wearing a connected device such as a smartwatch or smartglasses, with 66 percent and 63 percent agreeing, compared to 26 percent on average in the other countries surveyed.

• In the U.S., more than two-thirds (68 percent) are concerned about notification overload as an effect of connected devices, highlighting the need for intelligent automation and minimal interaction in IoT technology.

• With regards to the privacy implications of IoT, France was revealed to be the most concerned nation with 81 percent agreeing this was an issue for them. The average number was only marginally lower (77 percent), showing IoT technologies must be transparent and address privacy concerns.

• Aside from India and China (which were 59 percent and 63 percent respectively), Brits and Germans are the most gadget-obsessed nations, with 50 percent of both agreeing that they cannot live without their gadgets and technology.

The Enchanted Objects Design Challenge will be judged by a panel of IoT experts. This includes Dr. John Barrett, Head of Academic Studies at the Nimbus Centre for Embedded Systems Research at Cork Institute of Technology (CIT) and Group Director of the Centre's Smart Systems Integration Research Group.

Barrett commented, “The IoT has immense potential, but individuals and companies also have very valid concerns about security and privacy in an interconnected IoT world. In Nimbus, security and privacy are an integral aspect of our research and application development, and worthwhile IoT devices need to reassure users they will get something they value in return for allowing their data to be collected. I’m very much looking forward to what participants in the Enchanted Objects Challenge produce.”

Dianne Kibbey, element14’s Global Head of Community, added “Everyone – from our component suppliers to manufacturers of consumer products - is talking about the Internet of Things because its potential and importance will be revolutionary. IoT offers so many opportunities for new functionality and capabilities outside of existing products, and many companies and product designers are being forced to rethink their traditional businesses. While some are struggling to realize and understand IoT’s significance, this research shows key geographies and applications where IoT has strong potential.”

“On the element14 Community, we’re ‘Engineering a Connected World,’ and the Enchanted Objects Design Challenge is about giving ordinary objects a new life – “enchanted” by the power of IoT. We’re excited to see what our members can imagine and deliver against this challenge.”

For more information about the challenge, visit: www.element14.com/community/community/design-challenges/enchanted-objects

Published in element14

Local Motors is teaming up with the Advanced Research Projects Agency-Energy (ARPA-E) to present the Lightweighting Technologies Enabling Comprehensive Automotive Redesign (LITECAR) Challenge, which seeks innovative conceptual designs to lightweight a vehicle while maintaining or exceeding current U.S. automotive safety standards. Participants’ pioneering designs will compete for a piece of the total $150,000 cash prize.

"Local Motors and ARPA-E are disruptive forces changing the future of vehicles," said John B. Rogers Jr., CEO and Co-founder of Local Motors. "Together, we want to understand what technologies, materials, and solutions are required to make a vehicle with the purpose of being lightweight and safe. Instead of incrementally lightweighting today's vehicles, we want to start from first principles and make meaningful change.”

The LITECAR Challenge invites designers, scientists, engineers, innovators and fabricators to comprehensively redesign a vehicle using beyond the state-of-the-art solutions to reduce the overall curb weight of modern vehicles. Participants are encouraged to address novel material technologies, structural designs, energy absorbing materials and devices, and unique methods of manufacturing that allow for lightweight vehicle designs that maintain or exceed current U.S. automotive safety standards.

A panel of expert judges will evaluate entries based on four main criteria: curb weight reduction, vehicle safety, innovation and supporting evidence. The total prize money for this challenge is $150,000, with a grand prize of $60,000. Submissions will be accepted until Thursday, March 5 and winners will be announced on Monday, April 20.

For more information, visit: www.localmotors.com/litecar

Published in Local Motors

The LightWave 3D® Group, a division of NewTek, Inc., opens the door to a new era of creativity for artists, animators and designers working in 3D with the release of LightWave 2015 3D software for Windows and Mac operating systems.

LightWave 2015 offers many new workflow enhancements and features that are designed to streamline a variety of pipelines—from visual effects, motion graphics, and game development to architectural visualization, product design, and advertising and marketing.

"At Stargate Studios our VFX workflow for hit shows like 'The Walking Dead,' 'Grey's Anatomy,' and 'NCIS: Los Angeles' require massive stability and performance—LightWave delivers both," says Al Lopez, VP of Creative Services, Stargate Studios. "We are excited to add all of the new tools in LightWave 2015 to our pipeline because LightWave enables us to get the impossible done…every day."

LightWave 2015 introduces new features that are ideal for character animation, visualization, dynamic simulations, and more. It also extends the functionality of popular features like the Genoma character rigging system, Bullet Dynamics, dynamic parenting, rendering enhancements, and more.

Some of the many new highlights in LightWave 2015 include:

  • Bullet Constraints: Take control of dynamic simulations with new constraint types such as Point-to-Point, Hinge, Slider, Cone Twist, Spring and six degrees of freedom (DOF) constraint types. Whether it's a car rolling over a terrain with fully working suspension, or a rag doll falling down the stairs, constraints help make the movement believable.

  • Importance Sampling: Greatly improve the quality of scenes lit by GI and HDR images or background lighting.  Importance sampling intelligently concentrates rays into important areas and eliminates the noise and splotches that arise from highly differing light intensities for cleaner, more predictable renders.

  • Match Perspective Tool: Whether matching plates or simply placing objects in photographs, matching the camera position and rotation can be a time consuming process. The new Match Perspective tool can quickly sync the LightWave camera to an original photo or plate.

  • Genoma 2 Character Rigging System: This rapid modular rigging system, which at the base level is a complete rigging development kit (RDK), can be used to quickly rig characters for animation without the need to set up complex rigs from scratch. Genoma 2 can create expert rigs and generate custom presets that perfectly fit into any character animation pipeline. It supports the use of Math Expressions and Scripts and includes new and improved human, feline, and arthropod preset rigs.

  • Edge Rendering: Intersection Edges can now be drawn where geometry intersects on the same object and/or separate objects, allowing for more creative control over cel rendering. Use Patch Border Rendering to make Sub-Division patch borders visible in the renderer with the click of a button. It is perfect for modelers who want to showcase their mesh topology combined with the full render. Edge Buffer  can be used to render all edges into their own buffer, allowing for post-process manipulation in a compositing software.

  • 64-Bit QuickTime Support: Loading and saving Quicktime movies is now possible to those using 64 bit versions of LightWave for Windows.

LightWave 2015 includes new enhancements to the Viewport Preview Renderer (VPR) and introduces many new features and improvements such as Interactive Dynamic Parenting, Textured Falloffs in Modeler, Fiber FX, GoZ Multi-tool and Unity 5 support, and more. It also supports the latest interchange formats such as Alembic 1.5 and FBX 2015.

LightWave 2015 for Windows and Mac OS is now available along with no-cost 30-day full-feature trial.

For more information, visit: www.lightwave3d.com

Published in NewTek

SME’s annual Design for Direct Digital Manufacturing Competition is calling for high school and college student designers to submit custom designs featuring additive manufacturing.

The competition is sponsored by the Direct Digital Manufacturing Tech Group, which is part of SME's Rapid Technologies & Additive Manufacturing Community. The community and its associated tech groups focus on the technologies and processes that help conceive, test, improve and manufacture new products to bring them to market faster and more cost-effectively.

“This annual competition provides an exciting venue for students to showcase their creativity and the unique benefits of additive manufacturing for real-world applications,” said Peter Ried, secretary of SME’s Direct Digital Manufacturing Tech Group. “As a result, attendees will get a glimpse at how additive is sparking the imagination of the next-generation workforce and helping advance the technology for all.”

Aligning with this year’s theme, Structures Rule, the competition’s focus is on structurally optimized objects or devices made from additive manufacturing. Structural optimization is the process of maximizing efficiency, while reducing design cost and time in additive manufacturing. Winners from each academic level, and from each category, will be formally recognized at SME’s 25th annual RAPID Conference & Exposition in Long Beach, California, from May 18-21, 2015.

The competition will consist of the following three categories:

  • A mobility device for air and space or for land and sea
  • A healthcare device
  • An architectural mockup

A first-prize winner will be selected from one university and from one high school student’s submission. These winners will receive a complimentary conference pass to RAPID 2015, a $300 stipend for RAPID, a one-year SME student membership and other SME-branded awards.

All submissions must be received by April 20, 2015.

For more information, visit: www.sme.org/ddm-competition

Published in SME

PTC (Nasdaq: PTC) announced the PTC Systems Engineering Solution, purpose-built to help organizations reduce risk and accelerate innovation in an increasingly smart, connected world. The solution provides a comprehensive systems engineering platform to help organizations design more innovative products, engineer more profitable product lines, and validate that products meet functional and quality requirements.

The coming decade is expected to witness a surge in the growth of smart, connected products with billions of connected devices in use by both businesses and consumers. But while smart, connected products define the future of manufacturing, they are intrinsically more complex to design, build and operate. As a result, many organizations struggle to deliver the functionality, quality and performance that the market demands.

The PTC Systems Engineering Solution provides a complete systems engineering platform to enable rapid exploration and accelerated design and delivery of more successful products. It combines the strengths of the PTC Integrity™ family of Application Lifecycle Management (ALM) products with products from Atego, a wholly owned subsidiary of PTC and leader in architectural modeling and Model-Based Systems Engineering (MBSE).

The solution includes the following product families:

  • PTC Integrity™  -- Robust system requirements and validation
  • Atego® Asset Library – Collaborative asset management and reuse
  • Atego® Modeler --  Collaborative, scalable architectural modeling and model-based systems and product line engineering
  • Atego® Process Director – Rich process authoring and deployment with out-of-the-box systems engineering best practices

The new solution enables faster adoption of model-based systems engineering approaches, while allowing organizations to choose among text-based, model-based and hybrid systems engineering techniques. MBSE efficiently captures and communicates design through a common and standards-based language, improving stakeholder communication and buy-in.

“The model-based PTC Systems Engineering Solution is our platform for cross-discipline product development,” says Dirk Denger, head of Synergistic Methods at AVL. “As our products grow in complexity and connectivity, new systems engineering approaches are needed. The PTC Systems Engineering solution allows us to unify all of our engineering teams through a common, model-based systems engineering approach, enabling us to deliver higher-quality engineering services with best value for our customer in time and cost.”

The PTC Systems Engineering Solution enables organizations to:

  • Design more innovative products using a collaborative MBSE approach. Design capabilities include:
    • Requirements engineering  – Author and manage requirements to capture and communicate the voice of the customer throughout the product lifecycle
    • System design– Collaboratively design system specifications using standard (SysML and UML) notation to efficiently explore alternatives
    • Analyze design options– Perform trade-off analysis to make better decisions in both the design and allocation of functionality to engineering disciplines (hardware, software, electrical, etc.)

  • Reuse system artifacts to enable profitable product line engineering. Capabilities include:
    • Requirement, model and test reuse – Reuse all artifacts across design projects to speed time-to-market and reduce costs
    • Modular design – Optimize systems design and architect for reuse to improve architectural resilience and business flexibility
    • Product Line Modeling – Design families of subsystems including commonality and variation to create more profitable product lines

  • Validate products meet requirements and best practices processes are followed. Capabilities include:
    • Model verification – Automate design review to find problems earlier
    • Test management – Author and manage test cases, test sessions and results to improve quality
    • Traceability – Capture rich traceability across design artifacts to improve organizational agility and resilience to change
    • Governance – Utilize out-of-the-box systems engineering best practices to improve individual and team maturity

“The PTC Systems Engineering Solution is specifically designed to enable innovation in the process of designing the product, allowing customers to better address market needs and bring products to market faster,” said Roque Martin, SVP, Application Lifecycle Management, PTC .  “Delivering more complex products on time and at a lower cost is often the edge customers need to make their products stand out in a smart, connected world.”

For more information, visit: www.ptc.com/solutions/all/systems-engineering

Published in PTC

The community­ based 3D model marketplace CGTrader and the pioneering 3D printing company 3D Systems have teamed up to bring digital content creators an art challenge, striving to refill 3D designers’ creative well with fresh ideas.

It’s already clear that 3D printing will disrupt a wide range of different industries, everything from medicine to military. And yet, when analysts turn their gaze to art, it’s an entirely different story. In art, 3D printing is a fantastic tool allowing creatives to encapsulate their visions and create new experiences for the end user. However, its aim is not to revolutionize or hijack the creative process, but to supplement the art field as a technological advancement, giving designers and artists the sole ingredient required for ground­breaking creative product ­freedom and means to materialize any idea.

Having recently celebrated a major 100,000th user milestone, CGTrader is focused on offering its growing community a well­ rounded experience that includes all essential aspects from unique challenges to exclusive sales data.  This time, joining forces with one of the biggest market players 3D Systems, known for its innovative and pioneering approach to technology, the company hopes to inject some inspiration into the 3D printed art field.

Marius Kalytis, the founder and CEO of CGTrader said: “The vast sea of opportunities made possible with the adoption of 3D printing is even more promising when this technology lands in the hands of 3D artists.  We are exceptionally excited about the art  challenge because we’ve partnered with 3D Systems, one of the market leaders, and that should send a strong message to all participants. Conventional designs won’t do this time.”

The challenge focuses on bringing art closer to home, so all designs that explore the ways people can artsy up their living space will be accepted: think furniture, wall art, sculpture, product design or home decor. Among other valuable prizes, the winner of the best portfolio category will be awarded the amazing CubePro printer (worth $2,799) and the creator of the best model will receive the 3Doodler pen.

For more information, visit: www.cgtrader.com/challenges/3d-systems-art-challenge

Published in CGTrader

Stratasys is now accepting submissions to the 11th annual Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge.

Open to students worldwide, this annual 3D printing challenge invites students in engineering, design and art or architecture to create a new product that improves how a task is accomplished or to redesign an existing product. Entries should be mechanically sound, realistic and achievable, and are judged based on:

  • Sound mechanical design and part integrity
  • Compelling description (written and/or video)
  • Design creativity
  • Product usefulness
  • Aesthetics (art or architecture category)

Individual students or two-person teams are required to create designs using 3D CAD software and to submit their design files in .STL format to Stratasys online, along with a written description and/or a 30-second video explaining the value and benefit of the Extreme Redesign model. The deadline to submit entries is Feb. 11, 2015. Categories include:

  • Engineering: Secondary Education (middle and high school)
  • Engineering: Post-Secondary (university, college or post-secondary)
  • Art or architecture (any grade level)

New this year, the first-place student winner in the post-secondary category will win a trip to a 3D printing/additive manufacturing conference in 2015 (location to be determined). First-place winners in every category will receive $2,500 (US dollars) scholarships, and the instructor of the first-place student will receive a demo 3D printer for a limited time to use in the classroom. Second and third place winners will receive $1,000 (US dollars) scholarships. The top-10 entries in each category will receive a Stratasys apparel item (value up to $50) and regional semi-finalists will receive a 3D printed model of their design. Each person who enters will receive an official Extreme Redesign T-shirt.

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com/industries/education/extreme-redesign

Published in Stratasys

FISHER/UNITECH, a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS® 3D design software and Stratasys 3D Printers, will host its second annual Design Excellence Forum – an event scheduled in 11 cities throughout the Midwest and Northeast. This year's Design Excellence Forum will offer several presentations showing how to leverage today's most innovative technologies to achieve excellence in design and manufacturing. The Forum promises to cover many stellar topics: 3D mechanical CAD enhancements; conceptual design with cloud-based collaboration; unified electronic design; improved simulation techniques; advanced 3D printing for product development; data management; and the latest for technical communication. This event also features a reveal of the new SOLIDWORKS 2015 software. This roadshow will begin on October 1st in Kansas and travel throughout the Midwest and East Coast during the month of October.

The Design Excellence Forum serves as a unique and complimentary resource for SOLIDWORKS users, prospective users and upper management alike. This forum offers management the opportunity to stay involved and up to speed on the latest and greatest manufacturing and product design technologies in the industry. Executives are invited to discover methods of optimizing design for additive manufacturing, improving product development efficiency through data management, leveraging electronic design automation, and learning how design validation improves product quality. These solutions are sure to expedite manufacturing processes and make companies highly competitive. SOLIDWORKS users can expect to be exposed to rich content that will enhance productivity and grow their skillset.

"Our Design Excellence Forum will give end-users and executives alike a viewpoint of how today's most innovative technologies are being used by manufacturers to compete in the global economy," said Charlie Hess, CEO at FISHER/UNITECH.

The Design Excellence Forum is completely complimentary and all are welcomed to attend, but registration is required. This event is sponsored by HP, Dassault Systemes, and Stratasys.

For more information on the agenda, locations and dates, visit: www.funtech.com/Events/Design-Excellence-Forum

Published in FISHER/UNITECH

solidThinking, Inc. announced the latest version of solidThinking Inspire®, adding a multitude of new features. solidThinking Inspire enables design engineers, product designers, and architects to create and investigate structurally efficient concepts quickly and easily leading to reductions in cost, development time, material consumption, and product weight. Important new features in solidThinking Inspire 2014 include geometry simplification tools, linear static analysis, concentrated mass parts, and smoothing options as well as the ability to export solid geometry.

“With solidThinking Inspire 2014 we focused on enhancing the concept development process by proposing designs that can be rapidly iterated and easily exported to the user's preferred computer-aided design (CAD) tool,” says Andy Bartels, Program Manager for solidThinking Inspire. “We put a strong emphasis on improving the usability of the software while adding new features like geometry simplification tools for easier model setup and analysis to help users verify their concepts, all directly in the Inspire interface. These new features will allow customers to apply Inspire to a much broader set of design problems.”

More details are available on the solidThinking Inspire 2014 website, which features a collection of new videos, including a tour of the user interface, a comprehensive overview of the latest features added for 2014, and an overview of how the software fits into the product design process. In addition, customers may access tutorials created specifically for the solidThinking Inspire 2014 release, product demos and an interactive infographic.

“solidThinking Inspire 2014 fuses direct-modeling tools like push-pull faces and powerful Booleans with linear static and normal modes analysis, as well as geometry simplification and concentrated mass parts,” says Anthony Frausto-Robledo, Founder, Publisher, and Editor-in-Chief of Architosh. “Another exciting aspect of this tool is that it works on both Windows and Mac platforms, empowering designers to make lightweighting and material efficiency considerations prior to final engineering development.”

solidThinking Inspire is used by design engineers, product designers, and architects in multiple industries including aerospace, automotive, heavy industry, architecture, and consumer products. “Reducing part and assembly mass is important to us and solidThinking Inspire shows us how we can do this while also increasing the durability of structural components,” says Martin W. Dirker, Technical Specialist of Navistar Inc. “The great thing is the rapid feedback from design to an optimized shape.”

Earlier this year, solidThinking released solidThinking Evolve® 2014. Evolve allows industrial designers to develop forms faster, using either a Windows PC or Mac. Evolve captures an initial sketch, then allows exploration of styling alternatives and the visualization of products with high quality renderings generated in real time. It combines both the modeling freedom of organic surfaces and the control of parametric solids with its unique ConstructionTree history feature. Evolve releases designers from the constraints of engineering-oriented CAD tools, while allowing the export of digital models required by others in the product development process.

For more information, visit: www.solidthinking.com/inspire2014.html

Published in solidThinking

Stratasys Ltd. (Nasdaq:SSYS) announced it has collaborated with the Stan Winston School of Character Arts,  Legacy Effects, Condé Nast Entertainment and WIRED to create a 14-foot tall giant creature which will be showcased at the Comic-Con International 2014 conference. The conference takes place July 24-27 in San Diego, California.

The giant creature was designed by artists at the Stan Winston School. Engineers and technicians at Legacy Effects — the studio that brought to life Iron Man, Avatar, Pacific Rim and RoboCop characters — worked closely with Stratasys to build dozens of 3D-printed parts to create the character.

“Everything about the giant creature project was ambitious, including size, weight, delivery schedule and performance requirements,” said Matt Winston, co-founder of the Stan Winston School. “Without the close involvement of our partners at Stratasys, whose 3D printing technologies are, in our view, revolutionizing not only the manufacturing industry but the entertainment industry as well, none of it would have been possible.”

More than one third of the giant creature was 3D printed, including the chest armor, shoulders, arms and fingers. A variety of Stratasys 3D Printers were employed in the build process, including the Fortus 900mc which uses FDM 3D printing technology to build durable parts as large as 36 x 24 x 36 inches.

The parts were created using ABS-M30 thermoplastic material, which has excellent mechanical properties suitable for functional prototypes, jigs and fixtures and production parts.

In addition to 3D printed parts, the creature integrates a variety of video and sensor technologies to offer attendees at the event, as well as fans online, a unique interactive experience with the character.

“The main advantage to 3D printing was going directly from a concept design to an end use, physical part, helping avoid any interpretation by hand or casting in a different material,” said Jason Lopes, lead systems engineer at Legacy Effects. “There is a reason why Legacy Effects has always been a Stratasys house, and this giant creature build shows why.”

"We are excited to debut the series, How to Make a Giant Creature on The Scene with our partners. With last year’s success, we are eager to provide audiences with something bigger and better, which this new creation definitely is,” said Michael Klein, Executive Vice President, Programming and Content Strategy, Condé Nast Entertainment.

During last year’s Comic-Con International, the Stan Winston School and Legacy Effects also collaborated with Stratasys, WIRED and YouTube to introduce an interactive robot suit, which incorporated several 3D printed parts primarily for the robot’s facial structure.

“3D printing is opening up an entirely new world of possibilities in nearly every industry, including entertainment,” said Gilad Gans, President, Stratasys North America. “The giant creature represents the perfect marriage of technology and art coming together in an innovative way.”

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com

Published in Stratasys

Solid Concepts is offering a unique 3D printing design challenge which requires participants to design a deck for a skateboard. Two lucky winners will receive their skateboard deck 3D printed for free.

Challenge Parameters:

  • Skateboard decks must be structurally sound, challenging to traditional deck designs and unique.

  • Skateboard decks must fit within certain design parameters:
    • Length cannot exceed 25.5”
    • Deck must be at least 0.475” thick

  • Designs must be submitted to Solid Concepts no later than June 30th.

The top five finalists will be uploaded to the Solid Concepts Facebook page, where they will be judged by a panel of their peers. The two designs with the highest amount of Facebook “Likes” will receive 3D printed versions of their skateboard decks, ready to ride.

Solid Concepts will use their Selective Laser Sintering (SLS) process to manufacture the 3D Printed skateboard decks for the two finalists. SLS is a 3D printing process which uses a bed of powdered nylon and a CO2 laser to melt material layer by layer. It’s a durable process frequently used in aerospace applications. Skateboard decks will be printed with Nylon 12 PA.

For more information, visit: blog.solidconcepts.com/tech-talk/3d-printing-design-challenge-solid-concepts

Published in Solid Concepts

With its latest exhibit, "EDAG GENESIS", EDAG offers a visionary outlook for what might well be the next industrial revolution in automotive development and production. Current advances in additive manufacturing now allow a component, module, or even a complete, one-piece vehicle body to be produced in one single production process.

At the EDAG stand in Geneva, the company will be presenting a futuristic vehicle sculpture "EDAG GENESIS". Using the example of a body structure, the sculpture was designed to demonstrate the revolutionary potential of additive manufacturing including bionic lightweight principles, topological optimisation and load-conforming design strategy.

Our exhibit, "EDAG GENESIS" can be seen as a symbol of the new freedoms that additive manufacturing processes will open up to designers and engineers in development and production. Additive manufacturing will make it possible to come a great deal closer to the construction principles and strategies of nature.

"EDAG GENESIS" is based on the bionic patterns of a turtle, which has a shell that provides protection and cushioning and is part of the animal's bony structure. The shell is similar to a sandwich component, with fine, inlying bone structures that give the shell its strength and stability. In "EDAG GENESIS", the skeleton is more of a metaphor; it is there to ensure not mobility, but passenger safety. The framework calls to mind a naturally developed skeletal frame, the form and structure of which should make one thing perfectly clear: these organic structures cannot be built using conventional tools!

The immense potential of additive manufacturing inspired us to define and analyse the current status quo of the latest technologies, and then assess the extent to which it might be possible to use them in vehicle development and production. What process offers the best prospects for being able to produce structural parts with the required product properties in a single production step, without the use of tools?

A multi-disciplinary team of EDAG designers and specialists from the EDAG Competence Centre for Lightweight Construction took a close look at the potential of a number of promising processes, and discussed them with research and industrial experts. Possible candidates for the situation analysis of additive manufacturing were technologies such as selective laser sintering (SLS), selective laser melting (SLM), stereolithography (SLA), and fused deposition modelling (FDM).

In the assessment, a specially developed evaluation matrix was used to quantify the structural relevance of the technologies. How wide is the range of materials that can be used, and what degree of complexity and lot sizes are involved in producing structural parts? The processes were also assessed and classified with regard to part size, tolerance, ecological performance and manufacturing costs.

Apart from SLM, the generative process already industrially available today, with its portfolio of weldable metals and plastics, a refined FDM process also looks to be a promising candidate for the future-oriented subject of additive manufacturing.

Unlike other technologies, FDM makes it possible for components of almost any size to be produced, as there are no pre-determined space requirements to pose any restrictions. Instead, the structures are generated by having robots apply thermoplastic materials. Complex structures are built up layer by layer in an open space - without any tools or fixtures whatsoever.

Metallic SLM aside, most of the high-performance plastics used in additive manufacturing processes do not yet achieve the strength, stiffness and energy absorption values generally required in the industry. This is remedied in the FDM process by the parallel addition of an endless carbon fibre to the production process. One of the central characteristics of FDM is its potential for the incorporation of fibre reinforcements to systematically increase strength and stiffness.

Even though industrial usage of additive manufacturing processing is still in its infancy, the revolutionary advantages with regard to greater freedom in development and tool-free production make this technology a subject for the future. From today's point of view, the production of components, and in the next stage modules, is certainly feasible. As for the target of using additive manufacturing to produce complete vehicle bodies: there is still a long way to go before this becomes an industrial application, so for the time being, it remains a vision.

For more information, visit: www.edag.de

Published in EDAG

A multi-partner team led by UI LABS has been selected to receive a $70 million award from the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) for the Digital Manufacturing and Design Innovation (DMDI) Institute.

The federal investment for the DMDI Institute will be used to establish the Digital Lab for Manufacturing (Digital Lab), led by UI LABS, a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative. Along with the $70 million cooperative agreement, UI LABS has secured an additional $250 million dollars of support from industry, university, government, and community partners to form the $320 million Digital Lab.

“This is a transformative opportunity to shape the future of American Manufacturing,” states Warren Holtsberg, Chairman of UI LABS.  “We salute the vision of the President and the confidence the Department of Defense placed in UI LABS to be that change agent.”

The 18-month effort to develop the vision and plans for the Digital Lab was steered by a dedicated core team of individuals from UI LABS, the Office of Mayor Rahm Emanuel, the Office of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, and World Business Chicago.  The Illinois Science & Technology Coalition, the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, and the University of Chicago also made significant contributions as members of the core planning team, in collaboration with a broad set of partners spanning 17 states.  McKinsey & Company supported the team by providing fact-based research and analysis.

“This new Digital Lab has the potential to revolutionize the way the United States approaches manufacturing and a major effort will be centered in Illinois,” states U.S. Senator Dick Durbin (D-IL). “Partners from across the state including the Quad Cities Manufacturing Laboratory, the Blue Waters Supercomputer at the University of Illinois, Northwestern University, the Illinois Institute of Technology, the University of Chicago, Southern Illinois University, Northern Illinois University, and the City Chicago will be at the forefront of innovative, industry-driven research that will make America more competitive on the global stage. Illinois will undoubtedly benefit from the thousands of jobs created through this research.”

"Illinois is at the forefront of a high-tech manufacturing revolution and that means our state will be Ground Zero for creating the high-tech jobs of the future,” Governor Pat Quinn said. "This first-of-its-kind digital hub will make companies more competitive and stronger by providing them with the most cutting edge tools and technologies. It will be the birthplace for innovations that will change the world in which we live, work and play."

“This solidifies Chicago’s place as the epicenter of the digital manufacturing revolution that will create thousands of jobs here and make our city the place where the greatest 21st century innovations are born,” said Mayor Emanuel. “This cutting-edge Digital Lab will ensure that the City of Big Shoulders remains the City of Big Discoveries for years to come.”

“We are grateful for the backing of our many industry and community partners as well as the bipartisan support from federal, state and local officials across the U.S.,” said UI LABS Interim Executive Director Caralynn Nowinski.  “We are especially proud of the recognition and collaboration from our incredible university and industry partners who are helping UI LABS realize its vision to be a platform for public-private partnerships that will enhance our nation’s competitiveness.”

Digital Lab for Manufacturing (Digital Lab)

The Digital Lab will be headquartered in Chicago and connected to a network of manufacturing research sites across the United States.  As a pillar of President Obama’s investment in U.S. Manufacturing, the Digital Lab will be the nation’s flagship research institute in digital manufacturing and design innovation and a world-class, first-of-its-kind manufacturing hub with the capabilities, innovation, and collaboration necessary to transform American manufacturing.

The Digital Lab will apply cutting edge mobile, cloud, and high-performance computing technologies to the manufacturing challenges of the DoD and industry. By utilizing the Digital Manufacturing Commons (DMC), an open-source online software platform, the Digital Lab will create online networks of people, manufacturing machines, and factories. In turn, this will enable real-time collaboration and analysis of big data during the design and manufacturing processes - reducing the time and cost of manufacturing, strengthening the capabilities of the U.S. supply chain, and reducing acquisition costs for DoD.

The world’s most competitive manufacturing companies have come together to invest in the Digital Lab under the leadership of UI LABS.  Key industry investors, including General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Lockheed Martin, Siemens, Boeing, Deere, Caterpillar, Microsoft, Illinois Tool Works and PARC among many others, have partnered with leading universities, local government, and community organizations to launch this $320 million institute.

Jobs & Economic Impact

The Digital Lab’s applied research will spur the creation of thousands of jobs in advanced manufacturing fields and make the U.S. economy more competitive, generating billions of dollars of value for the DoD and the U.S. industrial base.  Many of these new jobs will require new skills, and the workforce must follow.  The Digital Lab is a vehicle for workforce development, through partnerships with community colleges, local economic development organizations, and national associations, including SME, a leader in manufacturing workforce development, the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM) Manufacturing Institute, and Project Lead the Way.

Digital design tools allow for new product development to be accelerated by up to 50 percent, by expanding business opportunities and improving the supply chain security, putting U.S. companies ahead of international competitors.  Additionally, the DMC, which is the centerpiece of the Digital Lab approach, will expedite the production of parts and services, expanding markets and the base of suppliers, and driving innovation in related goods and services.

Digital Lab Team

The UI LABS-led consortium includes:

  • World-class technology companies as well as both defense and commercial manufacturers, including General Electric, Rolls-Royce, Procter & Gamble, Dow, Lockheed Martin, Siemens, Boeing, Caterpillar, Deere & Company, Illinois Tool Works, Microsoft, PARC, among many others
  • Next-generation technology companies working alongside 10 of the Top 50 best performing U.S. manufacturers.
  • The nation’s premier engineering schools, one of the world’s most powerful supercomputers, and nationally-recognized education and workforce partners.
  • 6 of the top 20 engineering schools in the U.S.
  • More than 12% of all engineering / computer science students graduating annually in the U.S.
  • Partners are regionally anchored in the Midwest, spanning Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Wisconsin, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio, Missouri, and Nebraska.  Additionally, the team includes world-class university partners from beyond the Midwest, including Texas, Colorado, New York, and Oregon, to leverage the best research and technology in the country and deploy solutions on a broad scale.
  • Network of local, regional, and national organizations, community colleges, and MEP partners, providing connections to over 220,000 small and mid-sized companies.

Digital Lab Leadership

The Digital Lab is led by Executive Director Dean Bartles, Ph.D., who has 35 years of successful manufacturing operations, program management, marketing, and R&D at leading U.S. Defense firms.  Dr. Bartles has spent the past 13 years as VP at General Dynamics - Ordinance and Tactical Systems.

The Digital Lab’s technology leader is Chief Technology Officer William King, Ph.D., a globally recognized leader in manufacturing and design innovation. Dr. King is the College of Engineering Bliss Professor at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, where he leads a research group whose work crosses boundaries between science, technology, and commercialization.  Dr. King has been founder, advisor, or director at a dozen early stage technology companies with a focus on manufacturing, materials, and nanotechnology.  He is the winner of numerous research awards and was named by Technology Review Magazine as a person whose innovations will change the world.

About UI LABS

As a Chicago-based research and commercialization collaborative, UI LABS brings industries, universities and government together to apply real solutions to tomorrow’s most important business, economic, and cultural challenges.  UI LABS actively cultivates and channels talent and resources, fosters unbiased collaboration to bring new ideas to market, and drives economic growth and competitiveness.

Caralynn Nowinski, M.D., serves as the Interim Executive Director for UI LABS. In her capacity as the Associate Vice President for Innovation & Economic Development at the University of Illinois, Dr. Nowinski was one of the founders of UI LABS.  She offers a unique perspective to the University’s and UI LABS’ efforts to foster innovation, encourage collaboration, and stimulate Illinois competitiveness, drawing from her past experiences as an entrepreneur, physician and venture capitalist.

For more information, visit: digitallab.uilabs.org

Published in UI LABS

3D Systems  (NYSE:DDD) announced that it has acquired Digital PlaySpace (DPS), a proprietary, innovative and immersive digital play platform that connects brands, retailers and consumers to 3D printable play activities. Through its two leading digital play properties, Digital Dollhouse and Dreamhouse Designer Facebook app, the DPS platform combines home design, gaming, and community sharing to deliver a vivid 3D create-and-make experience for children and their parents. Compelling content creation, capture and customization features make it quick, easy and fun to personalize and 3D print incredible creations at home on a Cube® 3D printer, or have them cloud printed using 3DS’ fulfillment service, available on its consumer destination site Cubify™.

Jesyca Durchin, DPS founder and CEO said, “We are thrilled to integrate our virtual and actual play experiences directly into the 3DS Cubify platform. Our vision is to deliver a ‘3D PlaySpace’ for everyone. The immersiveness and fun of our PlaySpace experience enhances brand recall and loyalty, enabling brands and retailers to connect with consumers in a whole new way. We designed Digital PlaySpace from the bottom-up for publishing flexibility and scalability, and 3DS is the perfect home for our growth.”

“We are excited to have Jesyca and her entire Digital PlaySpace team join our Cubify platform, enabling millions of new users to connect with family, friends and favorite brands in more immersive and socially creative ways,” said Cathy Lewis, Chief Marketing Officer, 3DS. “Digital PlaySpace’s ability to customize and rapidly publish mobile and web 3D printable content provides a differentiated value proposition for brands and consumers alike.”

Durchin is a leading developer of interactive and filmed entertainment for girls since 1994. She is an award-winning producer of both interactive and 3D animated films for Mattel, and has been a key advisor to Disney Theme Parks regarding brand-sponsored exhibitions targeting women. As a producer, Jesyca has created and produced games, films and rides for leading brands such as Mattel Entertainment, Buena Vista Games, Walt Disney Imagineering, Walt Disney Home Video, and Mattel Interactive.

From virtual worlds to social games, Digital PlaySpace captures and converts consumers through interactive entertainment that strategically leverages play behaviors and lifestyle preferences, seamlessly linking real and virtual goods within immersive and relevant games and interactive experiences. Digital PlaySpace understands brands, their promise to the consumer and how to fulfill that promise through social games. We create real brand engagement for consumers in keeping with what they want and expect, and design games for you that go beyond the traditional corporate/consumer relationship, creating “play spaces” that build brand awareness, fans and customer loyalty.

For more information, visit: www.digitalplayspace.com

Published in 3D Systems

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) customers will now be able to access Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max design tools via a web browser. For the first time ever, customers can access full-fledged 3D design, engineering and entertainment work in a browser without sacrificing performance, power or functionality.

The announcement furthers the company’s ongoing strategy to provide access to its most popular tools from almost anywhere, anytime, regardless of device and without compromising performance. Continuing to build on Autodesk’s collaboration with Amazon Web Services (AWS), OTOY and NVIDIA this new capability debuts as a tech preview and is an important expansion of the remote access capabilities provided through Autodesk Remote software. With this new capability, developers can access 90-day trials of Autodesk Inventor, Autodesk Revit, Autodesk Maya and Autodesk 3ds Max software.

“Designers and engineers face deadline pressures and efficiency targets that demand work be more mobile than ever,” said Jeff Kowalski, chief technology officer at Autodesk. “It’s no longer a requirement to run sophisticated 3D design applications such as Inventor, Revit, 3ds Max or Maya on a powerful workstation. Now all you need is a simple browser and an Internet connection. We are excited to be first in the design industry to provide this capability.”

In August, Autodesk Remote was made available to Subscription and rental plan customers worldwide. Remote allows users to drive Autodesk software installed on their primary computer from a remote PC or iPad, utilizing its full power in their 3D design and modeling work regardless of the device. The collaboration with AWS and OTOY expands on this capability to include access to Autodesk applications hosted in the cloud.

“OTOY and Autodesk worked together to provide customers with a turn-key solution for accessing 3D design applications through their HTML5 browser,” said Jules Urbach, CEO of OTOY. “For the first time ever, design and engineering professionals can access all the features of Autodesk 3DS Max, Autodesk Maya, Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Inventor software to perform major design work, without ever having to download a piece of software to their local PC. OTOY's OctaneRender further enhances this experience by adding real-time, path-traced GPU rendering inside Autodesk applications. All of these pieces will be cohesively hosted on the cloud, leveraging the unprecedented scale and efficiency of AWS’ on-demand Amazon EC2 GPU instances. We believe this solution will not only translate to major cost savings for consumers, but greatly impact the mobility and efficiency of their workflow.”

“With the launch of G2 instances for Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) today, we are enabling the delivery of high-quality, client-agnostic 3D experiences to customers around the world,” said Matt Wood, General Manager, Data Science, AWS. “We are working closely with leading organizations such as Autodesk to leverage these powerful capabilities to meet the needs of designers and engineers around the world.”

"Design professionals need fast, fluid interactivity with their digital creations to fully realize their vision and express their ideas,” said Jeff Brown, general manager of Professional Visualization and Design at NVIDIA. “With the availability of NVIDIA GRID GPUs and Autodesk applications in the cloud from AWS, high-performance graphics are now available to power the most demanding and advanced applications on essentially any device.”

For more information, visit: www.autodesk.com/subscription/overview

Published in Autodesk

PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC) recently joined more than 45 partners to kick-off the 2013-2014 Real World Design Challenge. The theme of this year’s challenge, “Unmanned Aircraft System Challenge: Precision Agriculture,” was announced in Washington, DC.   A $50,000 scholarship from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University will be provided to each student on the national winning team.

Shared Value is a corporate social responsibility initiative at PTC where the company gets involved with programs like the Real World Design Challenge in order to build stronger communities which can result in a better workforce for other companies that require engineers.  These programs make science and technology exciting for participants, encourages interest in these fields, and helps build excitement for the engineers of the future.

The Real World Design Challenge (RWDC) is an annual competition that provides more than 5,000 high school students, grades 9-12, the opportunity to work on real world engineering challenges in a team environment. PTC and its partners, including Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and the Aerospace States Association, are focused on transforming and enhancing STEM education in the American educational system by providing science, engineering and learning resources that allow students and teachers to address an actual challenge confronting one of the nation's most important industries.

Students that participate in the 2013-2014 Real World Design Challenge will focus on the design and implementation of an Unmanned Aircraft System to support precision agriculture, specifically to monitor and assess crop conditions to achieve increased yield.  Teams will employ a systems engineering design and integration approach to identify, compare, analyze, demonstrate and defend the most appropriate component combinations, subsystem designs, operational methods and business case to support the challenge scenario.

“This competition offers a broad base of resources and expertise from business, government and academia to help students apply the lessons of the classroom to the technical problems being faced in the workplace,” said John Stuart, senior vice president, global academic program, PTC.  “Teams are encouraged to think like engineers and scientists while also developing the problem solving skills they will use in their careers.  PTC is proud to be part of the Real World Design Challenge.”

The winning teams from the participating states will be notified in April and will receive an all- expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete at the National Challenge Event in November 2014.

PTC provides commercial-grade product development software, including PTC Creo® 3D product design software, PTC Windchill® product lifecycle management software and PTC Mathcad® engineering calculation software, to teams participating in the Real World Design Challenge. PTC also provides connections and access to mentors from its partner organizations across America who are participants in the competition or program management for the competition.

The deadline for teams to register for the Real World Design Challenge is December 20, 2013.  The solution submissions are due March 31, 2014.

For more information or to register a team, visit: www.realworlddesignchallenge.org

Published in PTC

Students from universities across the globe will recommend ways to improve the products consumers use every day—from sporting goods to automotive components—as they participate in the Altair International Simulation-Driven Design Challenge over the next four months. They will compete for thousands of dollars in prizes and travel to any of several countries in North America, Europe and Asia.

Sponsored by Altair and employing HyperWorks, the competition asks students to re-design or re-engineer an everyday object of their choice to improve its ergonomics, weight, durability, functionality, manufacturability and/or sustainability. They will use HyperWorks simulation tools in seeking to develop designs that are better and more innovative than the original.

“Altair has conducted similar local contests in such regions as India, China and Korea, but this is Altair’s first worldwide competition of this type,” said Altair Business Development Director of Academic Markets Dr. Matthias Goelke. “Student winners and all others who have entered locally are eligible for the international challenge, as are students in countries like the U.S., U.K. and Germany where this competition is new. Students anywhere can submit a project they have developed in their classes, in a previous Altair competition or as part of an entirely different course of study. Our objective is ultimately to incorporate this competition into university curricula.”

The contest is open to college and university students globally who are at least 18 years old at the time of entry. Applicants may submit entries as individuals or as two-person teams, with an optional mentor. Entries must be received by Jan. 31, 2014 and may be submitted online.

Students are not expected to spend the four months between now and the deadline working on their projects. The redesign may take only a few weeks or a few days; the deadline has been set to allow students ample opportunity to work on projects in their spare time or as part of university coursework.

The winning individual or team will be invited to present their project at an Altair Technology Conference of their choice in the U.S., Europe, India, China, Malaysia, Korea or Japan. Altair will award the student(s) free admission to the conference, airfare, hotel accommodations, and meals. Additionally, each member of the winning team will receive a cash award of $2,000 USD.

Second prize is $2,000 USD, to be divided equally among team members, and third prize is $1,000 USD to be split by the team. Each of the top 20 entrants also will receive an e-book reader from Altair. The top three entries will be published in a special edition of Concept to Reality, Altair’s magazine for the engineering community. Entrants retain all rights to their work beyond allowing Altair to publicize their projects.

Students should complete the free registration, which requires a brief summary (up to 250 words) of the intended scope of work. Altair will review the proposed projects and provide accepted entrants with the ability to download the full commercial version of HyperWorks, giving them a three-month license for academic use. Submissions should include the digital design files, a case study summarizing the entrant’s work, a tutorial showing the methodology and reasoning used, and an optional video of up to five minutes explaining or demonstrating the project.

Judges will evaluate the projects on a number of criteria, including 1) innovation, creativity, sustainability, social impact and technical relevance of the study; 2) analysis, accuracy and methods in using HyperWorks; 3) case study content; and 4) effectiveness of the tutorial, including an online live presentation to the judges for the top 20 finalists. Winners will be announced on April 11, 2014.

For more information or to register, visit: www.altairuniversity.com/challenge

Published in Altair

Allied Electronics and RS Components announced a significant development in the history of 3D design software with the unveiling of DesignSpark Mechanical, a new free 3D solid modeling and assembly tool.

Developed in conjunction with SpaceClaim, the new easy-to-use DesignSpark Mechanical will bring major benefits to design engineers around the world and is available in multiple languages. It is a significant step in the evolution of the DesignSpark online resource hub for the engineering community.

The availability of DesignSpark Mechanical overcomes the two major barriers to entry faced by potential users who do not currently have access to a 3D design solution, but who could benefit enormously from the use of 3D modeling to quickly develop sophisticated concepts and products. These impediments are the prohibitive costs and the considerable investment in learning time associated with traditional 3D CAD tools. Not only is DesignSpark Mechanical free, its simplicity of use means that engineers and others involved in product development can become fully conversant with the software within minutes, rather than the weeks or months required to become skilled with traditional 3D CAD tools.

"The launch of DesignSpark Mechanical is the first time a 3D design tool with this level of sophistication has been made freely available. Engineers will love using modeling software that is so intuitive and flexible," said Dan Stewart, Vice President of Marketing at Allied Electronics. "The use of DesignSpark Mechanical early in the design cycle can eliminate much of the time-consuming rework associated with traditional product development processes. This is a highly significant initiative that helps engineers to bring innovative products to market quickly, and DesignSpark Mechanical's STL output format enables direct export of designs to 3D printers."

With access to more than 38,000 3D models in the extensive DesignSpark online component library, DesignSpark Mechanical gives all engineers the ability to rapidly undertake an end-to-end design with professional-grade modeling tools that are at zero cost. RS and Allied have also collaborated with world-leading 3D content company TraceParts to provide access to millions of models from the online tracepartsonline.net CAD portal in DesignSpark Mechanical format.

"Allied and RS are partnering with SpaceClaim to launch DesignSpark Mechanical, which combines the power and ease-of-use of direct modeling technology from SpaceClaim with access to the massive library of standard parts from Allied and RS, trusted by millions of engineers around the world," said Rich Moore, vice president of business development for SpaceClaim.  "Feature-based CAD is more difficult to learn and with DesignSpark Mechanical, users can rapidly create 3D models to accelerate engineering design and improve their competitive advantage."

The active base of 3D CAD seats globally is currently estimated at approximately 1.5 million. However, it is also estimated that there are an additional 20 million engineers globally who do not currently use 3D CAD, but could significantly benefit from a tool such as DesignSpark Mechanical. It will enable design engineers not only to be more creative, but will also support a more efficient product development process, allowing the production of professional concepts right through to delivering highly detailed and dimensioned manufacturing blueprints.

DesignSpark Mechanical employs a powerful methodology called 'direct modeling', which is very different from traditional feature- or parametric-based 3D CAD software. The tool uses simple gestures that enable real-time editing and instant feedback, making it possible for engineers and others to create geometry and easily explore ideas and product concepts in 3D. All basic designs can be achieved quickly and easily via the use of the software's four basic tools – Pull, Move, Fill and Combine – in addition to its employment of familiar Windows keyboard shortcuts such as cut/paste, undo/redo, which makes it highly intuitive for new users.

The software can also be used as a complementary 3D tool in the product development process for the creation of early concept designs, for instance, alongside 3D CAD tools that are already in use today. The tool can remove bottlenecks in the early design process by allowing changes and additions in seconds, rather than having to wait for the CAD department using the traditional 3D tools to rework the design.

3D designs can also be exported in STL, the standard file format to enable rapid prototyping builds and computer-aided manufacturing, in addition to providing the ability to quickly obtain Bill-of-Materials (BOM) quotes via the Allied and RS websites. The tool can also import circuit layout files in IDF format from any PCB design tool, including the award-winning DesignSpark PCB software.

For more information, visit: www.designspark.com/mechanical

Published in Allied Electronics

Stratasys announced the opening of its 2014 Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge. Now in its tenth year, the contest invites students worldwide to submit inventive new product designs, redesigns of existing products, or original or redesigned works of art or architecture. Designs are created on 3D CAD software. Students at the middle school, high school and college level are eligible to participate in the design challenge, and the winning submissions are awarded with scholarship money.

“The Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge not only offers students a chance to win scholarship money by putting their creativity and critical thinking skills to the test,” says Stratasys Executive Vice President of Marketing Jon Cobb, “but it gives the rest of us a glimpse of the exciting possibilities coming from this future generation of inventors, designers and entrepreneurs.”

As in prior years, Stratasys will award the top three student winners in each category either $2,500 or $1,000 scholarships in each of the categories of Middle School and High School Engineering, College Engineering, and Art & Architecture. Designs are awarded based on creativity, usefulness, part integrity and aesthetics. Instructors of the first-place student winner in each category will receive a limited-time demo 3D printer to use in the classroom. Since the contest’s inception, more than $100,000 in scholarships has been awarded to students.

Each submission must:

  • Be a sound mechanical design
  • Be realistic and achievable
  • Include a clear written description of the design

This year’s contest will also feature the bonus award category, “Extreme Sports,” in which students may compete for an additional prize. Students whose designs are intended for use in a sporting activity will have a chance to win a $250 gift card.

For more information or to submit an entry, visit: www.stratasys.com/industries/education/extreme-redesign

Published in Stratasys

3D Systems (NYSE:DDD) announced the immediate availability of Cubify® Sculpt, a powerful virtual clay sculpting tool that transforms 3D modeling from a complex, skills-centric design experience to a simple, intuitive sculpting delight for everyone. Cubify Sculpt, powered by 3D Systems' volumetric CAD engine, is ideal for the freeforming of organic shapes with ready-to-print output.

Cubify Sculpt packs a powerful feature set that includes embossing with textures, adding color with paint for full color 3D printing, intuitive push and pull tools to sculpt in virtual clay and accurate symmetry settings for designing organic shapes. The mash up feature empowers users to import multiple designs to create larger and more complex objects. Cubify Sculpt designs are 3D print-ready for at-home printing or cloud printing with materials like Cubify Ceramix and Cubify Colorstone. Cubify Sculpt accepts STL, OBJ and PLY file formats. 3D Systems plans to fully integrate Cubify Sculpt into its expanding Cubify platform and to its award winning Cube and CubeX 3D printer experiences with direct plugins.

"Cubify Sculpt shifts the 3D modeling tools paradigm, making design for instant 3D printing something everyone can do," said Rajeev Kulkarni, Vice President & General Manager Consumer Products for 3D Systems. "Our new virtual sculpting experience sets the stage for mainstream users to create and make everyday useful and impactful printables."

For more information or to download a free trial, visit: www.cubify.com/sculpt

Published in 3D Systems

The huge success of the 2012 Engineering Design Show has convinced organiser Findlay Media that an event designed for design engineers is not only an idea whose time has come, but one that merits further expansion.

With this in mind, the 2013 event has tripled in size. Occupying two halls at the Ricoh Arena – a floorspace of 6,000m2 – the Show will take place on the 2 & 3 October 2013 and is expected to attract as many as 250 exhibitors.

The Show will still remain true to the founding principle of catering specifically for design engineers, but will include a number of new elements. The most significant of these will be the launch of the Electronics Design Show, which will co-locate with the Engineering Design Show, occupying the whole of Hall 2.

Created by Findlay Media using its market-leading magazine New Electronics, the Electronics Design Show will provide exhibitors and visitors alike with a unique opportunity to take part in an event aimed exclusively at electronic design engineers.

As with the Engineering Design Show, the Electronics Design Show will offer best practice learning and practical design ideas for visitors through comprehensive conference and workshop sessions. The conference will provide 16 sessions over the two days, while the workshop programme will offer 20 practical and technical sessions.

Further leveraging the strength of Findlay Media's editorial offering, the Engineering Design Show 2013 will also see a new section specifically devoted to the engineering materials sector called Engineering Materials Live!

The decision to incorporate this element of the Show is based on this year's successful launch of Engineering Materials, the latest member of Findlay Media's stable of design engineering titles.

October 2-3, 2013
Jaguar Exhibition Hall
Ricoh Arena, Coventry, UK

For more information or to register, visit: www.engineering-design-show.co.uk

Published in Findlay Media

Dassault Systèmes unveiled the new 2013-2014 SolidWorks Education Edition. This latest version includes new functionalities to simplify complex design tasks, enable students to create models easier and faster, and provide wider connectivity to expand collaboration between users.

Teaching guides and lessons are also available to provide educators with additional support for developing Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) curriculum. In addition, qualified schools are given SolidWorks Student Edition licenses at no charge for use by their students. Schools with a SolidWorks Education subscription can also administer the Certified SolidWorks Associate (CSWA) exam to their students. More than 6,400 students were certified in the last year alone and the recognition is considered a major asset in a job search because it effectively validates student expertise to prospective employers.

Dassault Systèmes provides an array of support tools to ensure design projects are successfully executed. Students now have access to My.SolidWorks, to help them increase their professional skill set and gain insight and expertise from the SolidWorks Community.

“Technical skills are critically important for career development in the 21st century and we felt it was crucial to provide students with services and technology in the classroom that would prepare them for the real world,” explains Kieran Flannery, a teacher at Castletroy College in Limerick and a regional development officer for t4 Technology Subjects Support Service. “The Irish Department of Education and Skills searched for an educational tool to execute its mission and turned to SolidWorks. Through its ease of use and support capabilities, SolidWorks Education program is enhancing teaching and learning, and in a short period of time has already dramatically improved technology education in Ireland.”

The new education edition includes the following enhancements:

  • SolidWorks Plastics - provides students the insight to predict and avoid manufacturing defects during the earliest stages of plastics part and injection mold design.
  • SolidWorks Simulation Premium - makes it possible to easily subject designs to the same conditions that they’ll experience in the real world.
  • SolidWorks Flow Simulation - takes the complexity out of flow designs by allowing students to visualize fluid flow and compare analysis results between multiple design configurations.
  • SolidWorks Sustainability - evaluates the financial and environmental impact of a design decision during the development process.

SolidWorks’ newest product, SolidWorks Electrical, is also part of this version. SolidWorks Electrical enables students in engineering, robotics, and other disciplines to create electrical projects starting with 2D system schematics and ending with 3D routing and cabling interconnecting components.

“Preparing future designers and engineers with high quality science, technology, engineering and mathematics education is a core part of our 3DEXPERIENCE strategy,” said Philippe Forestier, Executive Vice President, Global Affairs & Communities, Dassault Systèmes. “More than 25,000 secondary schools and universities worldwide rely on the SolidWorks Education Edition to engage the next generation. We look forward to seeing how these students leverage the applications to make a difference in the world, addressing global challenges like sustainability, clean water and air.”

“We are passionate about providing our community of designers and engineers at every level with the means to expand their abilities through formal training, certification and informal connections with other users,” said Bertrand Sicot, CEO, SolidWorks, Dassault Systèmes. “The latest release of SolidWorks Education Edition helps prepare the next generation of design leaders for their future successes with the tools to allow them to immediately contribute.”

For more information, visit: www.solidworks.com/sw/products/education_products.htm

Published in SolidWorks

General Electric (NYSE: GE) announced that it is launching two global additive manufacturing quests that invite entrepreneurs, companies and institutions to offer their solutions to both challenges: a 3D Printing Design Quest for technologies used in healthcare and a 3D Printing Production Quest for an aircraft engine bracket.

Mark Little, Senior Vice President and Chief Technology Officer, GE Global Research Center said, “GE is committed to leading the next manufacturing revolution through innovative hardware, material and process advancements. This revolution depends on collaboration with external innovators and partners. These Quests will help us to convene and engage this community in meaningful ways and ultimately build an additive manufacturing ecosystem that scales the industry to new heights.”

Additive manufacturing is a key part of the advanced manufacturing revolution. GE has already reduced production times by up to 25% and achieved cost savings without sacrificing performance by putting additive technologies to work on an industrial scale. Continued external collaboration with fabrication leaders will accelerate the application of these technologies to further increase the speed and quality of innovation.

The additive manufacturing quests, which leverage GE’s prior successful Flight and Hospital quests in a new space, are launching with partners GrabCAD and NineSigma. Both are open to the public. The first phase of both quests will be open from June 11, 2013 to July 26, 2013.

3D Printing Design Quest

  • The design quest tasks participants to create the best 3D-printable design for an aircraft engine bracket.
  • The top ten designs from the first phase will win $1,000 each and will be additively manufactured and tested by GE during phase two.
  • The top 8 designs in the second phase will be awarded from a total prize pool of $20,000.
  • GE has partnered with GrabCAD to launch the design quest. During the quest, GrabCAD’s online community of more than 650,000 global engineers will have a chance to submit their CAD design solutions to a panel including some of GE’s brightest engineers.
  • See Official Rules for details. Contest opens on June 11, 2013. Must submit at least one entry by July 26, 2013 to be eligible for phase two. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

3D Printing Production Quest: High Precision and Advanced Manufacturing

  • This quest asks participants to use 3-D printing technology to produce highly precise and complex parts with high precision. Such parts will have potential application in medical imaging and a broad spectrum of other GE businesses.
  • An objective of this quest is to broaden GE’s supplier network of high-end 3D fabricators with sophisticated production capabilities.
  • Up to ten winners from the first phase will be awarded $5,000 and invited to participate in the second phase, which includes prototype fabrication with specified materials. Up to three winning prototypes will be awarded $50,000 each.
  • GE has partnered with Nine Sigma to launch the production quest.
  • This open innovation quest will be judged and tested by industry experts in fields of additive manufacturing and engineering.
  • See Official Rules for details. Contest opens on June 11, 2013. Must submit at least one entry by July 26, 2013 to be eligible for phase two. Must be 18 years of age or older to participate. No purchase necessary. Void where prohibited.

Combining GE’s technology and scale with GrabCAD and NineSigma’s communities of innovators and open innovation platforms will inspire and facilitate the creative collaboration needed to generate new solutions to some of the toughest additive manufacturing challenges.

For more information or to register, visit: www.ge.com/OpenInnovation

Published in GE

CGTrader.com, the e-Bay like 3D model marketplace for 3D designers, is opening up a 3D Printing Competition and calls all 3D artists to start modeling for this rapidly growing technology.

“3D printers need 3D models just like an iPhone needs apps. This technology definitely requires professional-level 3D modeling skills, but there is a surprising gap between 3D printing industry and professional 3D designers.” says Marius Kalytis, CEO and founder of CGTrader.com.

This competition aims to attract these fresh talents and help the 3D designers acquire new modeling skills as well as experiment with designing for 3D printing. Anyone with 3D modeling skills is eligible to participate - the entrants just need to submit their models in .STL format by the end of June.

The entries will be judged based on level of professionalism, creativity, uniqueness, printability and general achievement in design of 3D printed model. Qualified jury from CGTrader will select the winner and two runners-up in the each of category: Best 3D Printable Model and Best 3D Printable Portfolio. Both winners will be awarded with 3D printers provided by Ultimaker. There are also a dozen of other valuable prizes from 3D Print UK, iMakr, Filaco, Sculpteo, and others. Competition deadline is the 30th of June.

Requirements:

  • Uploaded 3D model must be printable and marked as ‘print-ready’
  • Your submission should be uploaded in .STL format
  • The competition is free of charge and open to everyone including teams and legal entities
  • All the entries must be original and not derivable

NOTE: Some of prizes have additional requirements.

For more information or to submit an entry, visit: www.cgtrader.com/challenges-and-competitions/3d-printing-competition-2013

Published in CGTrader

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Tinkercad, an easy-to-use browser-based 3D design tool. The addition of Tinkercad to Autodesk will help broaden the popular Autodesk 123D family of apps and supports Autodesk’s vision to help anybody imagine, design and create anything. The acquisition will also revive the Tinkercad service and community, despite a previously announced shutdown by its founders and creators.

“We are excited to have reached an agreement with Autodesk that will provide a solid home and bright future for Tinkercad,” said Kai Backman, founder of Tinkercad. “We found in Autodesk a shared vision for empowering students, makers and designers with accessible and easy to use software, and with their global reach and expertise in democratizing design, we’re confident in their ability to introduce Tinkercad to new audiences around the world.”

Autodesk intends for the Tinkercad service to remain available as part of its consumer portfolio. The company also intends to incorporate elements of the Tinkercad technology and user experience into the Autodesk 123D family of products as part of its ongoing effort to make 3D design easier and more accessible to everyone. The transaction is expected to close within the next 30 days.

“Tinkercad is a natural extension of the Autodesk 123D family as well as our other apps and services for consumers, as it is already used alongside Autodesk products,” said Samir Hanna, Autodesk vice president, consumer products. “We look forward to welcoming the Tinkercad community to Autodesk and to continuing their mission of accessible 3D design for all.”

For more information, visit: www.tinkercad.com

Published in Autodesk

GrabCAD, the platform for open engineering and home of the world’s largest community of mechanical engineers, is collaborating with Ultimaker in launching a design challenge soliciting designs that can be 3D printed on Ultimaker 3D printers.

With this Challenge GrabCAD and Ultimaker are asking: “What kind of kids’ toys can you create with the Ultimaker 3D printer?” The goal is to get people to be creative and toy around with their design thoughts and submit to GrabCAD.

Entries will be judged based on creativity, feasibility in 3D printing on Ultimaker, and overall coolness. Top 5 places will be each awarded an Ultimaker 3D printer. Judges for the contest include Dan Costa, Editor-in-Chief, PC Magazine; James Woodcock, Group Editor & Conference Curator, TCT Magazine and TCT Show; Eetu Kuneinen, Co-Founder, 3DPrintingIndustry.com with Ground3D and Protospace and Ultimaker teams. The Challenge lasts until June 3, 2013.

Requirements

  • Model parts should fit, be scaled to or be cut into sections of no greater than 21 x 21 x 21 cm.
  • Your submission should be exported in STL and STEP format and preferably include the native file-formats of the CAD-software they were made in.
  • Assembly can be via snap fit, bolts, screws or glue. See www.ultimaker.com for more information.
  • The model has to be 3D printable.
  • Entries will be judged based on creativity, feasibility in 3D printing on Ultimaker, and overall coolness.

For more information or submit an entry, visit: www.grabcad.com/challenges/ultimaker-3d-printer-toy-design-challenge

Published in GrabCAD

3D printers are becoming increasingly common. Architects, technicians, designers and inventors all make use of this technique to create the most beautiful and complex shapes in the blink of an eye. But not only professionals spend their time printing in three dimensions. A growing amount of consumers buy 3D printers or visit ‘FabLabs’ where these printers are publically accessible.

There are websites with countless 3D designs available for download so people can easily print other people’s vase, toy car or iPhone case. But wouldn’t it be more fun to create your own designs? Most definitely, yet designing and printing your own objects requires specific knowledge of complex 3D design programs. Rick Companje, founder of Doodle3D also ran into this problem.

A Media technology graduate and co-founder of Globe4D and FabLab Amersfoort, Rick is at the frontier of many new technologies. In this Dutch Fabrication Laboratory he spends his time lasercutting, CNC milling and working with other digitally driven tools. Though his results with the 3D printer were limited by his little experience with 3D design software.

For this reason Rick started developing Doodle3D, a very simple sketching tool with which anyone can bring their hand-drawn drawings come to life with a 3D printer, but without having the steep learning curve of 3D CAD programs.

It works like this; you make a drawing on a tablet, smartphone or computer, connect the Doodle3D WiFi Box to the 3D printer, and with the press of a button your drawing is sent to the printer. The printer builds, layer for layer, the 3D model out of heated plastic, which immediatly cools and solidifies into a rigid 3D shape. The beauty of it is that your Doodle will be completely unique! But you can do more with Doodle3D. A simple starting shape – like a circle – can be extruded, turned, twisted and bent into a spatial 3D object. This way your flat 2D drawing becomes an interesting 3D object with very few actions.

In order to finish the development of Doodle3D and share it with the world the Doodle3D team is launching a campaign on kickstarter. By pledging for the Doodle3D project backers can receive one of our WiFi Boxes, or a different reward and support the development of this project. The raised money will be used by the team to facilitate Doodle3D’s compatibility with every mainstream OS and every 3D printer, and of course make the rewards a reality! Accessible 3D printing for everyone!

For more information, visit: www.doodle3d.com

Published in Doodle3d

The new Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) Design and Creation Suites offer unprecedented access to the Autodesk 2014 software portfolio spanning the desktop and cloud and allow building, product, plant, and factory design; engineering, construction and infrastructure; and entertainment creation professionals to innovate more. For the first time, the 2014 Design and Creation Suites include new reality capture software and services that more easily incorporate both laser scans and digital photographs of the physical world into the 3D design and engineering process.

The flexible, economical software access provided by Autodesk Suites means designers and engineers have a broader palette of tools to choose from — they can choose the best tool for the job at hand and better respond to changing business requirements. Suites customers on Autodesk Subscription will also have access to select Autodesk 360 cloud services that extend designers and engineers’ workflows to explore more design alternatives, collaborate more effectively and experience greater mobility. Subscription customers now can purchase additional cloud capacity as well.

The 2014 family of Autodesk Design and Creation Suites includes:

  • Autodesk AutoCAD Design Suite
  • Autodesk Building Design Suite
  • Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite
  • Autodesk Factory Design Suite
  • Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite
  • Autodesk Plant Design Suite
  • Autodesk Product Design Suite

Comprehensive Industry Workflows Include Reality Capture

A key addition to the 2014 portfolio of suites is Autodesk ReCap, a family of new reality capture software and cloud services that simplify the process of creating intelligent 3D data of physical objects and environments using laser scans and photos, allowing customers to bring the actual job site or physical objects into their design and engineering process.

Rather than beginning with a blank screen, designers and engineers can add, modify, validate and document their design process in context. For example, a civil engineer can bypass an existing bridge or expand the road underneath digitally and test feasibility with accurate survey data. At construction phase, builders can run digital clash detection to truly understand if existing utilities will be in the way. Urban planners can get answers to specific design questions about large areas, such as how much building roof surface is covered by shadow or vegetation.

The 2014 suites’ industry specific workflows address specific user needs and strengthen compatibility between products. For example, suites containing Autodesk Revit products and Autodesk AutoCAD software enjoy tighter interoperability so when it is time to import forms from AutoCAD into Revit products, the forms retain much greater integrity, or when it is time to output drawings in AutoCAD, users can generate 2D documentation within Revit products. Suites containing Autodesk Revit and Autodesk Inventor software will benefit from tighter interoperability that allows customers, such as building product manufacturers, to simplify and export an Inventor model into a Revit file format for the construction environment without exposing any sensitive intellectual property.

Better Together: Desktop and Cloud

Autodesk 360 extends the suites workflow advantage by connecting the desktop to secure and virtually infinite computing power in the cloud, helping subscribers rapidly design, visualize, simulate, and share their ideas anywhere, anytime.

Illustrating the power of a combining the cloud and desktop, Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite 2014 and Autodesk Building Design Suite 2014 introduce Autodesk InfraWorks software and Autodesk InfraWorks 360 cloud services. These new tools help accelerate the adoption of Building Information Modeling (BIM) and cloud-based workflows for the planning, design, construction and management of civil infrastructure projects. Helping improve the civil infrastructure design process by engineering in 3D from the start, the software and services allow collaboration with a broad set of stakeholders on mobile and desktop platforms, and enables communication in new and visually compelling ways. Autodesk InfraWorks allows civil engineers and planners to design within the context of the real-world environment, helping to deliver projects, both large and small, by more efficiently managing even large-scale infrastructure models.

Economical Access

Finally, each suite offers an economical way for customers to access their primary design software—plus the complementary software and cloud services needed to more effectively complete design, engineering, or entertainment creation tasks. The 2014 Suites, which come in Standard, Premium or Ultimate editions, offer greater value than ever before:

  • Standard editions of all suites containing AutoCAD have added AutoCAD Raster Design software.
  • Autodesk Building Design Suite subscribers gain access to Autodesk Green Building Studio and energy analysis cloud services in the standard edition, as well as InfraWorks 2014 and the Optimization for Inventor cloud service in the Ultimate edition.
  • Autodesk Entertainment Creation Suite customers will benefit from new workflows like the ability to easily generate moving or idle crowds with populate, improved viewport display and shading, and the ability to create production-quality meshes with the new retopologizing options.
  • Autodesk Factory Design Suite includes more than 300 new factory assets.
  • Autodesk Infrastructure Design Suite Premium now includes Autodesk InfraWorks 2014, Autodesk Roads and Highways Module for InfraWorks, Autodesk AutoCAD Utility Design software and for the first time, a single, comprehensive version of Autodesk Revit products that combines tools for architectural design, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) engineering and structural engineering.
  • Autodesk Plant Design Suite Ultimate adds Autodesk Inventor with Routed Systems, and the Plant Design Suite Premium edition now includes Autodesk 3ds Max Design software.
  • Autodesk Product Design Suite Premium now includes Autodesk Inventor Professional, and Autodesk Navisworks Manage has been added to the Product Design Suite Ultimate edition for clash detection. Both Product Design Suite Ultimate and Premium customers on Autodesk Subscription now have access to the Optimization for Inventor cloud service.

For more information, visit: www.autodesk.com/suites

Published in Autodesk

Stratasys Ltd. (NASDAQ: SSYS), announced the winners of its ninth annual Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge. The global contest encourages students to submit an innovative product design, a redesign of an existing product, or an original work of art or architecture.

First place winner, Art & Architecture category "Emergent Automated Manufacturing" by Connor Nicholas, Savannah College of Art & Design. (Photo: Connor Nicholas)

Stratasys is awarding the top three student winners $2,500 or $1,000 scholarships in each of the categories of Middle and High School Engineering, College Engineering, and Art and Architecture. Instructors of each of the three first-place student winners will receive a tablet PC for use in the classroom.

This year's finalists in the College Engineering category also had their designs examined to see if they had potential for a licensing agreement and commercialization by a manufacturer. This process was done in partnership with online inventor community, Edison Nation, which operates the hit TV show, Everyday Edisons. After considering finalist designs, Edison Nation identified one design submission as having strong potential for submission to the licensing search process and a potential future licensing agreement. The company will recommend steps the entrant should take to pursue this possibility.

Designs are awarded based on creativity, usefulness, part integrity and aesthetics. Each submission is required to be a sound mechanical design, be realistic and achievable and include a clear written description of the design. This year's contest also featured the award category, "Engineering a Difference," in which students competed for a bonus prize. Students whose designs were aimed at solving a great societal challenge had a chance to win a $250 gift card.

Winners were selected by a distinguished panel of independent judges from industry. This year's judges were Patrick Gannon, RP+M division of Thogus, Todd Grimm, TAGrimm & Associates, and Ian Kovacevich, Enventys.

WINNING DESIGNS:

College Engineering Category

1st Crawler 2.0; Andrew Roderick/Brian Booth, Andrews Univ., Berrien Springs, Michigan
2nd Multi-Rack; Sandra Wojtecki/Helena Skonieczna, Ryerson Univ., Toronto, Ontario
3rd Snack Cup; Sivan Arbel/Julia Mozheyko, Ryerson Univ., Toronto, Ontario

Art & Architecture Category

1st Emergent Automated Mfg; Connor Nicholas, Savannah College of Art & Design, Savannah, Georgia
2nd Virtual Organic Glasses; Hichang Ki; IDAS, Seoul, South Korea
3rd Running Charger; Max Meaker, Kentridge H.S., Kent, Washington

Middle/High School Engineering Category

1st Magnesium Fire Starter; Josh Ryan, Grand Haven H.S., Michigan
2nd Math Over All Boundaries; Ethan Koeppe/Ethan McMillan, Grand Haven H.S., Michigan
3rd Easy Open Bottle Cap; Zachary Sia, Pittsford Mendon H.S., Pittsford, New York

Edison Nation Pick

Crawler 2.0; Andrew Roderick, Brian Booth; Andrews Univ; Berrien Springs, Michigan

Edison Nation will advise the team of Roderick and Booth on steps they should take to pursue a possible licensing agreement and commercialization of their invention.

For more information, visit: www.stratasys.com/industries/education/extreme-redesign/winners

Published in Stratasys

NASA unveiled an Exploration Design Challenge to give students from kindergarten through 12th grade the opportunity to play a unique role in the future of human spaceflight. The innovative educational opportunity was announced in a special event at NASA's Johnson Space Center in Houston.

The challenge asks students in the U.S. and abroad to think and act like scientists to overcome one of the major hurdles for deep space long-duration exploration -- protecting astronauts and hardware from the dangers of space radiation.

This education-focused effort was developed through a Space Act Agreement between NASA and Lockheed Martin Corp. of Bethesda, Md., in collaboration with the National Institute of Aerospace in Hampton, Va. The goal is to help students see their role in America's future exploration endeavors.

"America's next step in human space exploration is an ambitious one and will require new technologies, including ways to keep our astronauts safe from the effects of deep-space radiation," Bolden said. "That is the focus of this challenge, and we are excited students will be helping us solve that problem."

The announcement took place in front of a full-size Orion replica at Johnson's Space Vehicle Mockup Facility. Orion is the spacecraft that will take astronauts to deep space destinations in the future. NASA Administrator Charles Bolden, NASA Orion Program Manager Mark Geyer, Lockheed Martin CEO and President Marillyn Hewson, and NASA Associate Administrator for Education Leland Melvin were at the event. They were joined by local teacher Amber Pinchback, who offered an educator's perspective on the value of NASA missions and programs and how they benefit science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) in the classroom.

"Space exploration has inspired and fascinated young people for generations, and the Exploration Design Challenge is a unique way to capture and engage the imaginations of tomorrow's engineers and scientists," Hewson said.

The first Orion test mission in space is called Exploration Flight Test-1 (EFT-1). The mission is set to lift off in 2014 from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station in Florida.

Melvin, a two-time shuttle astronaut, explained the details of the challenge and shared why hands-on experience and involvement is an effective catalyst for engaging young minds in the future of America's human spaceflight program.

"Exploration Flight Test-1 is set to launch next year, so participating in this challenge will give the students a real sense of being part of the NASA team," Melvin said. "They will be able to chart Orion's progress as it moves closer to the test launch. That's important because these students represent our future scientists, engineers and explorers."

NASA is planning for longer human space exploration missions outside the protective blanket of Earth's atmosphere and magnetosphere. NASA, Lockheed Martin and other partners are developing the Orion spacecraft to carry astronauts farther into space than humans ever have gone before. To do this, materials must be engineered for the spacecraft that will better protect future space explorers from the dangers of space radiation. In 2017, NASA's Space Launch System heavy-lift rocket, currently in development, will send Orion on a flight test mission around the moon.

NASA's Exploration Design Challenge brings cutting-edge learning to educators and students using standards-based activities, as well as print and video resources developed by leading education experts. Students taking part in the challenge will discover how to plan and design improved radiation shielding aboard the new spacecraft.

Younger students, in grades K-4 and 5-8, will analyze different materials that simulate space radiation shielding for Orion and recommend materials that best block harmful radiation and protect astronauts. Students in grades 9-12 will learn about radiation and human space travel in greater detail. Using what they have learned, they will be asked to think and act like engineers by designing shielding that protects a sensor on the Orion capsule from space radiation.

For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov/education/edc

Published in NASA

The 3Doodler, the world’s first 3D printing pen, has today announced that it has already raised over $150,000 on the first day of its official launch on Kickstarter. The 3Doodler allows limitless design possibilities and presents a new future for the accessibility and approach to 3D printing development.

Priced from just $50 for early backers on Kickstarter, the 3Doodler has been created by WobbleWorks to make 3D creation available to more people. It is compact and easy to use, you simply plug the 3Doodler into a power socket and start drawing anything in 3D within minutes.

Now that WobbleWorks has reached its modest funding goal of $30,000, the team will start work on an initial commercial run, with the first 3Doodlers delivered to backers before Fall 2013.

With over 20 years collective experience developing gadgets and toys, the patent-pending 3Doodler pen is a brand new way of creating 3D objects out of thin air and will be the most affordable 3D printing device on the market.

3Doodler is expected to start shipping by September 2013. You can pre-order your 3Doodler now on the Kickstarter page

3Doodler is not a toy for children. While the plastic extruded from 3Doodler is safe to touch once it has left the pen, the pen itself has a metal tip that can get as hot as 270C. There is no reason for any user to touch the tip while in use, but safety comes first.

The 3Doodler uses ABS or PLA plastic as its "ink". ABS is one of the most common plastics around. PLA is what we call a "bioplastic". It's made from corn, is biodegradable and has a lower melting temperature than ABS. 3Doodler is compatible with 3mm ABS and PLA, and you can also buy ABS and PLA plastic in spools from a variety of sources.

For more information, visit: www.the3doodler.com

Published in 3Doodler

 The Autoweek Design Forum, a public event celebrating design as ultimate differentiating factor that drives consumers' interest and purchase decisions will be held Jan 17, 2013 at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit.

As the 19th anniversary of the event, Autoweek has secured top designers to discuss this year’s theme, “Design for the Next Generation.”

Speakers include:

Kirk Bennion
Kirk’s most recent project needs no introduction: the C7 Corvette. This is your chance to learn about America’s supercar, straight from the source.

Marco Tencone
Why do Italian cars look so good? Guys like Marco. He’s had a hand in everything from the Alfa Romeo 4C to the Maserati Quattroporte.

Lapo Elkann
The industrialist, sex symbol and globe-trotting executive is also a member of one of Italy’s most famous families.

Keynote Speakers: Bruce Leak and Peter Barrett, CloudCar

Peter and Bruce bring decidedly high-tech views and professional successes in human-machine experiences, and combine them with automotive passion to reimagine and  re-create the driver-to-the-world interface to make distracted driving a thing of the past.

Speakers will describe the evolution of design, reflecting on how the past influences current projects and the future of design.

With this year’s admission package, attendees will receive early access and shuttling to the North American International Auto Show during the industry days.

For more information or to register, visit: designforum.autoweek.com

Published in Autoweek

Albright Technologies, Inc. has announced the release of an entirely new version of their popular Silicone Molding Design Manual, a valuable resource used by design engineers in medical and other industry applications.

The Silicone Molding Design Manual 6th Edition, now over 200 pages, is searchable and offers users the most extensive compilation of silicone data in the industry. The manual was downloaded over 2,000 times in 2011 alone by a wide variety of industry professionals.

The 6th Edition manual now features white papers from Nusil Silicone Technology, Applied Silicone and Bluestar Silicones. These white papers include information on factors to consider when selecting medical grade silicones, adhering to difficult substrates with silicone adhesives and treatment systems, silicone molded tubing assembly, as well as a review of the benefits obtained by providing the molder control of the LSR cure kinetics.

Also included in the manual is valuable information from Wacker Silicones and Dow Corning on topics including: short and long term implantable components, silicone gaskets, o-rings and diaphragms, as well as high temperature silicones and vibration dampening silicones.

For more information or to download the manual, visit: www.albright1.com/manual

Published in Albright Technologies

Royal Philips Electronics (NYSE: PHG, AEX: PHI) has scooped an unprecedented 39 awards from iF, one of the most influential design competitions in the world. The internationally renowned jury rewarded products from across all sectors of Philips.

Ten stylish lighting designs picked up awards for Product Design, while three went to healthcare innovations. Consumer Lifestyle products netted the bulk of the awards, with six going to personal care, five to kitchen appliances, two to ingenious garment care designs, and 11 to new entertainment products. Philips also picked up two iF Communication Design awards for the InSight app and the OLED LivingSculptures Online Configurator.

"Winning an iF is an instant seal of approval from one of the most prestigious awards around," says Sean Carney, Chief Design Officer of Philips. "Winning 39 is a clear sign that our design teams know how to make some of the most desirable and high quality products in the world."

The iF awards ceremony will take place on February 22, 2013 in Munich, Germany, where 75 iF Gold winners will be announced.

Now in its 60th year, the iF seal of good design is independent and well known throughout the global world of design and beyond, honor outstanding achievements in product, communication, and packaging design. An internationally renowned jury of 49 experts chose winners from 4,352 entries submitted by 1,920 participants from 51 countries. The awards ceremony will take place on February 22, 2013 in Munich, Germany, where 75 gold iF winners will be announced.

For more information, visit: www.ifdesign.de

Published in Philips Design

The new release of Delcam’s ArtCAM Pro CADCAM software for artistic applications has made it much easier to create complex designs, especially those that include repeated elements that are similar but not identical within the design.

Unlike most other CADCAM systems, ArtCAM Pro is aimed at skilled artisans rather than engineers and requires little knowledge of engineering or computing.  It has been particularly successful in the signmaking, woodworking and engraving industries.  In these areas and in other artistic applications, ArtCAM Pro allows users to increase productivity, improve quality and deliver new designs more quickly, by combining their craft skills and creativity with the power and precision of computer-aided manufacturing.
 
The main addition in the latest release of ArtCAM Pro is a new way of working called ‘Free Relief Modelling’.  This technique allows previously-created reliefs to be selected and then moved, rotated, rescaled and copied, either individually or as part of a group.  Any part of the design can be isolated, edited and then recombined into a group for duplication or further editing within the group.  At any stage in the process, either individual items or a group of items can be saved within ArtCAM Pro’s clipart library for use in future projects.

The overall result is much more natural than simply duplicating a single shape across the design, while also being much quicker than modelling each item individually.  Examples where the technique could be used include creating the feathers in a model of a bird or designing a forest of similar trees without them all appearing identical.

A related development that will also make it easier to create more complex designs allows the interaction between different layers to be viewed in real time.  This will make it much faster to choose the optimum combination of the different layers as the effects of changing the overlap can be seen instantly.

Sketching in ArtCAM Pro has been made easier by giving the designer the freedom to alternate between straight and curved vectors whilst drawing.  Once created, vectors can now be added to or closed, and any nodes within them can be edited or deleted, at any time, either in the 2D or 3D view.

The ability to add textures to designs has always been an important feature within ArtCAM Pro.  This ability has been extended with a new patent-pending ‘Texture Flow’ tool to create more natural organic textures, such as hair, fur and scales.  
    
More natural effects can also be obtained with an addition to the sculpting tools.  Sculpting effects can now be scattered randomly across the design as well as placed systematically.  More control is available over all the sculpting options as these can now be limited to a specific area or to a set height.  Of course, the “undo” option is still available if the results aren’t as expected.

All of these new capabilities can be displayed with even more realistic renders of designs created in ArtCAM Pro.  The software now comes with POV-Ray ray-tracing technology, allowing high-quality images to be generated for customer approval or marketing materials.

For more information, visit: www.artcam.com

Published in Delcam

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) previewed Autodesk Fusion 360, the world’s first comprehensive cloud-based 3D modeling offering, at Autodesk University.

Autodesk Fusion 360 allows design and engineering professionals to more easily create 3D product designs and collaborate with others in the cloud. The cloud technology behind Autodesk Fusion 360 offers anytime, anywhere access, from virtually any mobile device or web browser and puts essential data at the center of the design experience. It also supports an open design environment, allowing designers to readily incorporate and modify CAD data from virtually any source.

“Data is at the center of the product design process, and the cloud frees that data to be accessible anywhere, anytime,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Design, Lifecycle and Simulation at Autodesk. “Autodesk Fusion 360 will give designers and engineers the first powerful, easy-to-use and complete cloud-based design solution.”

Autodesk Fusion 360 leverages the Autodesk 360 cloud-based platform and adds to Autodesk’s cloud portfolio for manufacturers, which includes Autodesk PLM 360, a cloud-based product lifecycle management offering, and Autodesk Simulation 360, a comprehensive set of simulation tools delivered securely in the cloud.

3D Industrial and Mechanical Design in the Cloud

A comprehensive product design tool geared toward small business professionals, Autodesk Fusion 360 capabilities span all aspects of industrial and mechanical design, melded with anytime, anywhere access to data, collaborative and social development capabilities the cloud has to offer. Autodesk Fusion 360 also connects to advanced capabilities such as large scale mockup, simulation, PLM and rendering.

Next Generation User Experience

Autodesk Fusion 360 offers a radically different user experience through an intuitive interface that conforms to the role and level of user expertise. Autodesk Fusion 360 provides built-in guidance to novice users to speed the learning curve, and the ability to turn off guidance and access deeper functionality for design experts. Regardless of their level of expertise, users can start designing in a matter of minutes and begin to leverage Autodesk Fusion 360’s integrated social collaboration tools.

Redpoint Studios, a New England based industrial design and product engineering consultancy, recently adopted Autodesk Fusion 360 to help their clients bring compelling new products to market faster. “The learning curve is phenomenal. In a matter of days I was modeling blends and transitions that would take months, if not years, of skill building to achieve in a NURBS modeler,” said Matthew Harris, Industrial Designer, Redpoint Studios, LLC. “The potential for this product is huge and I can’t wait to see what’s next.”

Availability

Autodesk Fusion 360 will be available on a term basis making it affordable to businesses of all sizes. This delivery model will provide maximum flexibility and eliminate the high upfront costs of software license purchases, as well as the annual expense of software updates and upgrades. It is an ideal fit for professionals and small businesses seeking flexibility to scale their product design tools to fit changing project needs. Autodesk Fusion 360 is expected to be generally available next year.

For more information, visit: www.autodesk.com/fusion360





Published in Autodesk

Firearm manufacturing has come a long way from the days when a room full of gunsmiths was needed to ensure accurate, quality weapons. Nonetheless, manufacturing firearm parts still requires a deep understanding of how the many small parts work together to create a successful weapon.

With the rapid growth in the firearm market, together with trends that are moving toward smaller weapons and those made out of polymer, it is more important than ever that firearm part manufacturing make use of design development, prototyping expertise, and manufacturing innovations.

Firearm springs and stamped parts

Springs and stamped parts make up a large percentage of today’s firearms. There can be as many as 20 springs in a typical weapon, which may include compression springs used to resist applied compression forces or to store energy in the push mode, helical extension springs that store energy and exert a pulling force, and torsion springs with coils that are twisted rather than pulled to store energy. From as small as a compression spring with a .050 outside diameter  to as large as a spring made from .062 wire or a recoil spring that is 2.5 feet long.  The springs are essential to the proper operation of such components as the ejector, magazine, and recoil assemblies. Springs have to perform properly in the extremely limited space available in most firearms, and must be durable enough to sustain repeated use.

Firearms springs can be made with music wire, high tensile rocket wire or stranded wire, and can be made of many materials, depending upon the application. Chrome silicon, stainless steel, 17-7 PH and 17-4 PH are the most frequently used material because of their strength, durability, and corrosion resistance.

Stamped firearms parts include trigger bars and assemblies, slide stops with springs, and safety assemblies. Similar to springs, the stamped parts also have to operate within a very constrained space. Trigger bars must fit within the envelope of the gun and not interfere with the spring. The link from the trigger to the sear (the part of the trigger mechanism that holds the hammer back until the correct amount of pressure has been applied to the trigger) has an extremely narrow profile to operate properly without getting in the way of the trigger bar components.

Process starts with development and prototyping

The key to manufacturing quality firearm springs and stamped parts is engineering and support services, including making recommendations to improve manufacturability throughout the design and development process.

A good design process depends on good communication. At Connecticut Spring & Stamping, after an initial phone or other contact, the customer sends a drawing or CAD and experts offer feedback about the design and the need for secondary operations or machining. There may be several meetings or conference calls, when everyone can look at the screen and make necessary changes. Working through all these changes may take numerous online meetings or face-to-face visits. Prototyping is then used to assist the customer accomplish the right design. During prototyping, two or three variations may be tested at one time.

Many initial firearm spring designs are overstressed, approaching the limit of the spring design capability because designers want to do more than is theoretically possible with the extremely small amount of space assigned for the spring. With an overstressed design, the spring will take a permanent set, losing its length and load. To guard against this, significant development and prototyping is necessary.

For example, one major firearms manufacturer began its design process for a 40 millimeter (mm) pistol recoil spring using standard music wire. Standard music wire often just does not have high enough tensile strength to support load requirements and testing indicated the spring could not take the shock.

During the spring consultation and prototyping phases of the design process, Connecticut Spring & Stamping (CSS), which has a 70-year history and diverse expertise in developing stranded wire and shaped wire springs, recommended the use of chrome silicon flat wire. The chrome silicon material, widely used in the manufacturing of pistons in the automobile industry, can withstand higher heat and shock than music wire. The design process included several rounds of prototypes. The firearms manufacturer adopted the recommendation and the spring made from the chrome silicon flat wire was successful.

A successful development process is also helped by knowledge of the gun industry and experience with the interaction of parts in a weapon. Knowing the variations in how a similar part works across many different models of firearms will lend itself to the next one.

This type of knowledge is important in dealing with the many changes resulting from an important industry trend – the move towards slimmer profile, smaller weapons that are meant to be concealed. Calling on knowledge gained from designing medical and surgical tools, where there is also little room to work, CSS steers firearms customers towards design directions that can be successfully manufactured. Options include using secondary machine operations to make small features.

Another growing trend is the use of polymer in pistols for both cost and weight reasons. In this case, CSS recommended stamped front and rear struts to provide the reinforcement needed for a lighter weight firearm with no steel frame. Stamping the front and rear struts strengthen the polymer frame without the need to machine the entire front of the frame.

Manufacturing processes play an important role in part quality and consistency

It takes a great deal of technical, engineering expertise to get consistency in firearm springs and stamped parts. The 127,000th part must be just like the first, and a firearm must still work if a replacement part is inserted. CSS uses a Cpk (process capability index) to demonstrate that tolerances meet specifications for the parts critical to gun functioning. This involves taking about 30 measurements and inputting them into a software program; some dimensions are monitored directly with probes and lasers. An operator controls the system with lasers and probes, and if the process hits a point where the Cpk is outside of specifications, it shuts down until corrected.

One of the most important manufacturing processes used in developing springs and stamped parts for firearms is heat treating, which is frequently used to alter the parts’ physical properties to make the part shape and size meet specifications. Firearm manufacturers must have an excellent working knowledge of heat treating and processing to ensure that parts end up in the correct shape.

Every part has different requirements and different processes can be used for firearm part heat treating, including atmosphere heat treating in bulk or racks, and non-atmosphere heat treating. The non-atmosphere method is cheaper but it can leave scales that can be unsightly; these can be removed by a post process. The customer may choose to use a less expensive heat treat process, but later pay to clean the parts. Heat treating option selection is frequently price driven.

Heat treating can correct distortion that can occur in a spring due to the extreme stress placed on wire when forming a spring. When magazine springs are formed, they are often intentionally distorted and may not meet the print specification. To correct this, spring manufacturers can intentionally introduce stress into the springs when formed in a distorted fashion, then process the springs in an inline oven to stress relieve them. After they are batch heat-treated, they take on the correct shape.

For example, one customer wanted to use 302 stainless steel for a new gun’s magazine spring. The new weapon was to be made of all stainless steel components so it would be completely corrosion-resistant. CSS engineers determined that the original design was not acceptable for the overall requirements and that they needed more load on the spring. Engineers suggested the use of 17-7PH material, heat treated at 900° to get the required spring properties to take the higher load.

Over a six-month period, numerous prototypes were developed and tested; the design was modified and improved to get the load and compression the customer wanted. Deflection and travel tests were conducted and a short run of parts was made out of both materials to see which would work better. The customer eventually selected the 17-7PH spring; although the ultimate solution did involve a material increase, the gun was released recently to great acclaim.

Heat treating is also used for stamped parts. For example, a trigger bar may be stamped flat but can distort when heat treated; the correct heat treat process must be used to ensure the part will be the correct thickness.

An accumulation of knowledge is definitely important in the firearms industry. Manufacturing quality parts depends upon working towards a solution rather than just giving customers what is on an initial drawing.

Dale Pereira & Pete Marut are at Connecticut Spring and Stamping, a Farmington, CT company with more than 160 firearms industry customers. The company makes every manner of firearm spring, as well as slide-stop assemblies, interceptor latches, magazine tube assemblies, saddle rings, speed latches, action bars, sights and trigger bars for many different hand guns and rifles, including the AR15/M16 rifle platform.

For more information, visit: www.ctspring.com

GE Lighting announces a call for entries for its 30th annual GE Edison Award competition, recognizing excellence and quality in professional lighting designs that employ the significant use of GE lighting products.

A Web-based entry submittal process has been developed to replace the former hard-copy process. Online entries must be received by 5:00 p.m. Eastern time on January 7, 2013. To submit a project, applicants should go to the GE Edison Award website for full details.

The competition is open to professional designers, architects, engineers and consultants for projects completed during the 2012 calendar year. Online entries are judged on the following criteria: functional excellence; architectural compatibility; effective use of state-of-the-art lighting products and techniques; appropriate color, form and texture revelation; energy efficiency and cost effectiveness.

Projects scoring the highest number of points will qualify to receive either Awards of Merit or Awards of Excellence. The GE Edison Award Winner is selected from among the Awards of Excellence.

In addition to these distinctions, an Award for Residential Lighting Design is presented to the project that best exemplifies excellence in lighting design within a residential application, using the same criteria as the other award categories. For this category, judges are looking for designs with innovative application(s) of light and the creative integration of lighting layers and controls.

The Award for Environmental Design gives special recognition to projects that minimize the use of energy, maximize the use of daylighting, control light pollution, and ensure system durability and maintainability.

All qualifying entrants will be invited to an awards ceremony, which will take place Monday, April 22, 2013, in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA, on the evening prior to the opening of LightFair International, the world’s largest annual architectural and commercial lighting trade show and conference. At that time, all winners will be recognized with personalized plaques acknowledging their lighting design achievements.

The identity of the 2012 GE Edison Award Winner will remain confidential until announced at the awards ceremony. The winner will receive a personalized Steuben crystal trophy and continued publicity throughout the following year. A distinctive plaque also will be presented to the owner of the winning installation.

All lighting projects submitted for award consideration must have been completed between January 1, 2012 and December 31, 2012 and must employ significant use of GE Lighting Products.

For more information, visit: www.GEEdisonAward.com

Published in GE

3D Systems  (NYSE:DDD) announced a new smartphone case app from FreshFiber – the FreshFiber Sculpture Case. The app allows users to upload a photo and turn it into a sculptured smartphone case for iPhone 4/4S and iPhone 5.
 
FreshFiber Sculpture App accepts any photo and applies image effects like embossing, shading, and inverting. The App can handle traditional portraits, pictures of nature and landscapes as well as logos and wording. The app creates a tribute to the people, places and things you love from sculpted images of a favorite sports team, a sunset or a family. Cases are made using Cubify® Cloud Printing and ship within 2 weeks, making this a great holiday gift.
 
“We are happy to bring another new app to the Cubify platform, and for the first time, one that empowers users to create a sophisticated 3D printed item for everyday use,” said Cathy Lewis, Vice President, Global Marketing for 3D Systems, “FreshFiber Sculpture Case gives individuals a new way to express who and what they love on one of their most personal and most used possessions.”
 
For more information, visit: www.cubify.com/apps.aspx?tb__create_apps

Published in 3D Systems

Mentor Graphics Corporation (NASDAQ: MENT) today announced its Mentor® Embedded Nucleus® Innovate Program designed to help businesses with less than $1M in annual revenue kick start their embedded development projects. Qualified companies can accelerate their embedded system development with software provided at no cost, including the Nucleus Real Time Operating System (RTOS), the popular Sourcery™ CodeBench GNU toolchain, and an ARM-based board support package (BSP) supporting Texas Instruments Incorporated (TI) Stellaris ARM Cortex-M microcontrollers.

“The Nucleus Innovate Program is another great offering for our customers and a valuable reason why they are making the switch to TI’s Stellaris Cortex-M4F microcontrollers,” said Matt Muse, general manager of Stellaris Cortex-M MCUs, Texas Instruments. “The software package will benefit many small businesses reaching new markets and new customers, and we’re happy Mentor and Stellaris can help them achieve those goals.”

The Nucleus Innovate Program is ideal for applications where small footprint, high-performance, and low power matter. Customers using 32-bit single core or dual core processors, as well as MCUs can use the Nucleus RTOS and Mentor Embedded tool capabilities. Easy-to-use demonstrations and configurations help shorten development time for medical, industrial, automotive and consumer applications—from days to minutes.

“The Nucleus Innovate Program demonstrates our shared commitment with leading semiconductor partners to promote embedded product innovation, particularly within start-ups and other small companies,” stated Scot Morrison, general manager of runtime solutions, Mentor Graphics Embedded Software division. “The advantage to start-up companies is that they can feel confident that their products are being developed with proven tools used by major global companies.”

For more information, visit: go.mentor.com/innovate

Published in Mentor Graphics

SpaceClaim and GrabCAD today announced the winners of the SpaceClaim GrabCAD Challenge. For entries, we asked participants to start with GrabCAD’s collection of models or models from other sources to improve someone else’s design using SpaceClaim Engineer.

First Place - Flaviano Crespi combined many models from the GrabCAD site to create a new automobile concept based on hang glider aerodynamics. The judges deemed this entry to be original and have a high level of detail and modeling complexity. The resulting “formula-mix” design is a good example of how easily new designs can be created from disparate concepts, explored, and evaluated using SpaceClaim. Flaviano is the winner of $3,000 plus a perpetual license of SpaceClaim Engineer.

“SpaceClaim is fantastic,” said Mr. Crespi, “and it was fun to use and I did all this work with no training or technical assistance because SpaceClaim is so intuitive to use. This work would have taken me four times longer using any of the traditional CAD packages. I highly recommend SpaceClaim to anyone who needs to design a complex device quickly,” he added.

Second Place - Victor Terán created a portable pullover rain guard for use when biking in an unexpected rain storm. By re-using supporting models (bike parts, human figure, plus models created with other modeling tools) along with SpaceClaim’s direct editing and creation capabilities, Victor was able to quickly illustrate his original concept. The judges liked his use of SpaceClaim as an early 3D prototyping tool that helped turn his initial concept sketches into 3D models and renderings. Victor is the winner of $2,000 plus a perpetual license of SpaceClaim Engineer.

Third Place - Ismail H. Sanliturk submitted a design for a modified RepRap DIY 3D printer. RepRap printers are designed to be able to print most of their own components. Without access to a 3D printer, however, Ismail wanted to redesign the RepRap so that it could be easily created on a 3-axis milling machine. SpaceClaim made this task easy as it afforded Ismail the flexibility to precisely measure and change any element of the design. The judges especially appreciated his use of SpaceClaim’s drawing capabilities to document the resulting design. Ismail is the winner of $1,000 plus a perpetual license of SpaceClaim Engineer.

“All of us at SpaceClaim congratulate the winners and all of the entrants,” said Chris Randles, SpaceClaim President and CEO. “It clearly demonstrates how SpaceClaim makes it easy to reuse a wide variety of existing CAD data to create new concepts.  These results mirror what our customers do every day: innovate by creating new products that are directly derived from existing work, without remodeling.

Many of these entrants have no prior experience with our product, a further proof-point of SpaceClaim’s unparalleled ease of learning and ease of use.”

For more information, visit: www.grabcad.com/challenges/spaceclaim-challenge/entries

Published in SpaceClaim

Geomagic®, a global company providing 3D technology for digital reality, debuted its newest version of Geomagic® Freeform® 3D modeling software at today’s EuroMold 2012 exhibition (Hall 11. C132, November 27 - 30, 2012). Now including subdivision modeling, Freeform 2013 is the only system that gives product designers the freedom and flexibility to combine four different modeling representations – voxels, NURBS, subdivision surfaces and polygons – in the same model. With Freeform 2013, designers can create highly differentiated products that can be produced in volume using traditional manufacturing processes or customized products that can be produced using newer additive manufacturing methods.

Geomagic Freeform is a unique touch-enabled solution that facilitates fast 3D modeling of highly detailed, organic shapes, which are easily combined with geometric forms, for prototyping or manufacturing. Its integration with Geomagic’s Sensable® Phantom® haptic 3D input devices and its robust modeling environment clearly differentiate Freeform from other 3D modeling programs; users can quickly and intuitively design with virtual clay as if sculpting by hand.

The 2013 version of Freeform enables dramatically more creativity, streamlined workflows, increased productivity, better designs, and faster time-to-market. Because Freeform incorporates different modeling approaches in one integrated modeling environment, users can efficiently create a broader range of forms while reducing the number of software modeling tools required, cutting the time required to learn them, and eliminating unproductive time spent importing/exporting models. With Geomagic Freeform 2013, designers can choose the best modeling approach for each part of the job. They can then create detailed, organic models that can integrate with traditional CAD workflows, and go direct to CNC machining or additive manufacturing.

The addition of subdivisional (SubD) modeling to Geomagic Freeform takes this modeling and sculpting tool even further than any other product on the market. Subdivisional surfacing allows designers to achieve progressively greater surface detail by applying a refinement scheme to polygon mesh surfaces. SubD technology allows users to easily create very smooth forms with good transitions between hard edges.

“Subdivision modeling is an awesome addition to an already powerful toolset,” said Kyle Houchens, president of The Outside Digital Art and Design, a high-tech digital product design consultancy. Kyle is a product and automotive designer specializing in all areas of industrial design, including building hundreds of diecast cars for the toy and entertainment industries. “Most of the models I create are insane organic shapes with areas of miniscule intricacy. They combine elements of automotive-smooth surfaces with jewelry-level detail. With the new subdivision modeling tools in Freeform, I will have the best of both worlds: the blazing speed and gorgeous surface smoothness of SubD with the detailing, texturing and bulletproof rapid prototyping Freeform is already known for. No topology to worry about, no concerns about data transfer or making RP parts. With Freeform 2013, you can dream it, sculpt it, prototype it and tool it all from the same package."

In addition to Geomagic Freeform 2013’s expanded modeling environment, the new software also includes:

Enhanced integration of Geomagic’s geometry engine:

  • Geomagic Freeform is now seamlessly unified with Geomagic’s powerful AutoSurface component, which automatically converts voxels and mesh data into high-quality NURBS surfaces. Once converted, these solid models can be automatically combined with other solids and/or exported in IGES format for use with software tools that demand surface data.

  • Global registration enables automatic alignment of separate data sets. With this new functionality in Freeform 2013, doctors, for example, could rapidly align a CT scan of a patient’s skull with an intraoral scan of the patient’s teeth. It could also be used to quickly change a digital 3D model based on modifications made to a scanned physical prototype, a process that is especially helpful when designing hand-held ergonomic products.

Adding complex patterns to 3D models in record time

  • Users can create patterns along one or two curves, or across broad areas. In seconds, designers can add details, such as zippers along a single curve, or laces between two curves to make realistic designs.

  • Users can also easily pattern existing 3D geometry across a surface, with controlled degrees of randomness. This can be used for adding feathers, scales, spines and other repeating patterns in 3D form.

Texture capture

  • This feature provides a new way to easily create customized textures by automatically converting a sculpted Freeform digital clay model to a bitmap, which can then be used with any of Freeform’s texturing tools.

Easy annotation of models

  • Designers, clients and manufacturing partners using Freeform can each add pointers, comments, image links and web page links to models, thus streamlining collaboration throughout the design and production workflow.

Tools that deliver convenience and speed

  • Geomagic Freeform 2013 includes additions to workflow wizards, new 2D Lattice Deform, enhanced measurement tools and more.

“Today’s product designers need fast, flexible 3D modeling to create highly differentiated products in ever-shorter production cycles,” said Joan Lockhart, Geomagic’s vice president of marketing. “Geomagic Freeform 2013 lets designers switch seamlessly between different modeling representations and provides all the right tools to prepare and output models for today’s varied manufacturing techniques. With this release, designers can really have it all: fast multi-representational modeling, precision, control, texturing, integration with CAD, the tools to create moldable designs, and the output options needed for virtually any type of production.”

Geomagic Freeform 2013 is scheduled to ship starting at the end of January 2013. Customers with current maintenance contracts will receive their software update either from Geomagic or their local reseller. Customers without software maintenance should contact Geomagic online or call 781-939-7457 for options to upgrade their software.

For more information, visit: www.geomagic.com/en/products/freeform/overview

Published in Geomagic

ZWSOFT announced it is holding a holiday design challenge on GrabCAD. Participants use ZW3D CAD/CAM software to design gifts for their loved one this holiday season with a chance to win great prizes, just in time for Christmas!  Visitors are welcome to share or vote for their favorite holiday gift.

ZWSOFT is partnering up with GrabCAD, 3D Connexion and Ponoko to bring designers a fun contest this holiday season that lets them show off their design skills in ZW3D while having a chance to win real prizes that they can put to use. The idea behind this design challenge is to share designs, which comes from the tradition to share gifts with others during Christmas time. ZW3D wants everyone to come up with their ideal Christmas gift, and bring it to life with ZW3D. “We want participants to be creative! Design fun gifts.” Stated Colin Lin, Manager of the ZW3D Technical Department, “Don’t just make a model of Santa Claus – think of something unique and original. A mechanical Reindeer? A Christmas Tree Star made completely of gears? Surprise us!”

The contest takes place from November 1st to 30th and we’ve had a great response from participants. The prizes this year have risen to a new level in the spirit of the holidays and thanks to our sponsors 3D Connexion and Ponoko.

Prizes will be judged on a variety of criteria, including quality (of course) but also creativity, popularity and ease of manufacturing.  “We have seen some great entries so far,” stated Colin Lin, “but I can’t wait to see what else participants will come up with and how they will utilize the features and functionalities of ZW3D.”

Visitor’s like and shares of the entries will also be a reference to judge the prizes. We warmly welcome visitors to come by and find out your favorite Christmas gift.

For more information, visit: www.grabcad.com/challenges/zw3d-design-challenge-holiday-edition

Published in ZWCAD

A team of student engineers at the Institut Superieur de L’Aeronautique et de l’Espace in France won the first-place award in the 2012 ASME (American Society of Mechanical Engineers) Student Design Competition held November 11, in Houston.

The engineering school, based in Toulouse, bested a field of 20 teams in “Energy Relay,” which challenged students to apply the basic principles of alternative energy in the design four self-propelled devices, three of which were capable of transferring energy to trigger motion in subsequent devices positioned on a 12-meter course.

“The Student Design Competition has a long and successful track record within ASME for enabling students to grow their skills in engineering design, teamwork, and problem-solving beyond classroom learning,” said Marc W. Goldsmith, president of ASME.  “We congratulate all contestants for an event which was exciting and fun-filled.”

The Indian Institute of Technology, Bombay, finished second in the competition, while Khalifa University of Science (United Arab Emirates), Hong Kong Polytechnic University, and the University of Wyoming shared third-place honors.

The ASME Student Design Competition was held in conjunction with the Society’s 2012 ASME International Mechanical Engineering Congress and Exposition.

ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.

For more information, visit: www.asme.org/events/competitions/student-design-competition

Published in ASME

Utilizing their cutting edge and visionary design perspective, internationally renowned Italian designers Marco Susani and Defne Koz of Koz Susani Design produce some of the world’s most iconic, emotionally engaging, original products and experiences not only for use today but also for the future.
 
Starting with a cultural exploration of a product or a service, Koz Susani Design develops their designs as complete experiences. Marco and Defne work from concept to implementation on projects, merging their Italian and Turkish design expertise and vision to a variety of projects. Their industrial design products include — furniture, tableware, kitchenware, lighting systems, bath fixtures and tiles; technology; packaging design; interaction/process design; interior design; and craft/jewelry design.
 
Marco’s main interest is in combining high-tech innovation with emotional design, and using his design vision to drive towards a more human future. “I really enjoy creating big picture designs while still paying close attention to the detail and focusing on enhancing the user’s experience while elevating aesthetic quality,” explained Marco. He started his career in Italy with design guru Ettore Sottsass, at Olivetti, Sottsass Associati, and Domus Academy. Later, in the U.S., he created the Motorola Advanced Concept Group, and served as Motorola's Global Vice President of Digital Design. Marco is credited with pioneering design innovation in fields like interaction and strategic design and design of materials.
 
Defne’s idea of design is influenced by three things: her training in Ettore Sottsass' studio in Italy, the combination of her Turkish and Italian cultures, and her curiosity for different product types. “Products and services require more than just a redesign or an incremental evolution, they need to adapt to new individual, social behavior, express new values and propose new aesthetic languages,” said Defne. “The products, and the companies that produce them, need vision, a new type of faith in progress and that’s what we provide at Koz Susani Design.” She has designed best-selling products for various Italian design companies, including Alessi, Fontana Arte and OmniDecor; and she pioneered design in Turkey with products for Delta, Gaia&Gino, Megaron and VitrA.

Koz Susani Design has won numerous awards, including the 2012 RedDot Award for their VitrA 4D tile collection; 2012 Elle Décor International Design Award for Best Furniture Design for their Spessore table; the 2011 IDA Award for their Curva Sofa.

Founded in 2010 by Defne Koz and Marco Susani, Koz Susani Design is an international design studio based in Chicago that designs and develops iconic, emotionally engaging, innovative products and experiences that draw on the firm’s Italian design background. The studio’s projects include industrial design; technology; packaging design; interaction/process design; interior design; and craft/jewelry design. The designers have worked for many high profile companies, such as: Apple, 3M, Barilla, Casio, Fontana Arte, Mitsubishi, Motorola, Nestle, Nissan, Panasonic, Philips, Pirelli, Seiko, Swarovski, Unilever and VitrA.

For more information, visit: www.kozsusanidesign.com

Published in Koz Susani Design

Winners of the 2012 Design for Direct Digital Manufacturing (DDM) Competition were announced at the annual Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) RAPID 2012 Conference & Exposition earlier this year in Atlanta.

Students from around the country were tasked with using their imagination to design a product that was made utilizing unique DDM techniques and materials. This year’s contestants had to design a product that represented a fully working prototype and could be used in another assembly. The geometry of the design was to be defined within a three-dimensional (3-D), computer-aided design (CAD) system capable of producing robust StereoLithography files.

The competition was sponsored by the Direct Digital Manufacturing Tech Group of Rapid Technologies and Additive Manufacturing Community and SME. The Design for Direct Digital Manufacturing Competition is held annually and is open to university and high school students.

For 2013, student designers are asked to go beyond “just parts” to utilize additive manufacturing (AM) for the creation of a machine that performs useful work and produces a product of value.

The result will be a functional mechanism or assembly with moving parts. The geometry of the design must be defined within a three-dimensional (3D), computer-aided design (CAD) system capable of producing robust STL files. The deliverable shall include a complete bill of material/parts list where file transfer enables reproduction of the device.

This year’s challenge seeks to showcase AM in the age of Web sharing and point-of-use manufacture. As the designer, you are only limited by your imagination. Use this opportunity to reveal your Additive Manufactured Machine in a device everyone can appreciate.

For more information, visit: www.sme.org/ddm-competition

Published in SME

The Society of British Interior Design announced Lighting Designer Christopher Thompson and his Studio Lux design team, as the winner of the prestigious 2012 SBID International Design Award. Studio Lux won Best Technology in lighting in the Contract sector for Thompson’s work on the Mercedes Benz Autohaus located in Bellevue, Washington, USA.

“The Studio Lux team is thrilled to receive the prestigious Society of British Interior Design Contract Award for lighting design under Best Technology. The complexities of incorporating LED lighting as the primary source of illumination in a project of this size and nature provided us with an excellent opportunity to showcase twenty-first century lighting design techniques and applications,” said Christopher Thompson. “We offer our sincerest gratitude to the judges for recognizing our work among all of the excellent projects that were selected.”

The winners of the SBID International Design Award underwent rigorous preliminary judging and were chosen from a pool of both leading brands and new talent on five continents in over 27 countries. The award marks a notable achievement for Thompson whose design techniques have been recognized and sought after for exclusive commercial and residential projects in both the U.S and abroad.

Using his ingenuities to weave romance with the calculus behind successful design, Thompson successfully satisfied the desires of the Mercedes Benz Autohaus to make its luxury automobiles shine while simultaneously meeting energy use constrictions set by local city officials. With 80% LED lighting, the project uses 30% less than the allotted watts per square footage.

The SBID Award will join a host of Thompson’s existing awards, most recently earning the IESNA Award in both 2010 and 2011 for International Illumination Design. He looks ahead to several prominent ventures currently in progress, including Energizing Taliesin West, a collaboration with the Frank Lloyd Wright Foundation intended to drive the historic Taliesin West site to sustainable energy. The Lighting Designer is also beginning preparation for an unprecedented build of a LEED Gold hotel in Palm Springs, CA. Construction will utilize the latest in green technologies to assemble and is set for completion early 2013.

From the design projects of Seattle to the architectural wonders of Frank Lloyd Wright, Architectural Lighting Designer and Studio Lux LLC Founder and Principal Christopher Thompson has forged a versatile design style cemented in the tactile relationship between light, mood and audience. This relationship is the driving force behind Thompson’s design concept, which is merging the artistic qualities of lighting effects, his background in the fine arts, and his expertise and degree in electrical engineering that result in the designer’s highly technical side of lighting precision.

Together these elements form a lighting design that encapsulates innovation while redefining the role of traditional lighting décor. Christopher Thompson and his internationally-recognized lighting firm Studio Lux LLC. set out to find the balance between lighting artistry and lighting practicality; a practice that is evident in the company’s lavish portfolio of world-class museums, hotels, institutions, homes and future constructions.
 
The recipient of more than a dozen industry honors, Christopher looks to expand his knowledge of green technologies with a master’s degree in Green Building Design. He continues to design renowned projects for both commercial and private sectors around the world while simultaneously maintaining Studio Lux as an industry leader within a rapidly advancing field.

For more information, visit: www.sbid.org or www.studiolux.com

Honeywell Aerospace, Phoenix, AZ, has received the 2012 Higgins-Caditz Design Award, as part of the Precision Metalforming Association (PMA) Awards of Excellence in Metalforming, for its HTF7000 propulsion systems.  Honeywell Aerospace has more than 38,000 employees at more than 100 sites worldwide and is involved in all aspects of aerospace engine manufacturing.

As part of a combustor assembly in its 7,000-pound thrust propulsion engines, Honeywell uses 16 tiled heat shields.  These are machined from a cast Haynes material.  Honeywell Aerospace project engineer Thomas F. Johnson and staff engineer Ronald B. Pardington redesigned the heat shield to allow it to be stamped.  They worked closely with Cygnet Stamping & Fabricating Inc. in Glendale, CA, to develop the tooling and eventually produce a stamped heat shield.
 
The new stamped part is made from 0.040 inch Haynes sheet, reducing the weight by over 50 percent and the cost by over 85 percent compared to the machined heat shield, resulting in substantial yearly savings.  In addition, the company benefited from a significant engine weight reduction.

The Design Award is one of eight Awards of Excellence in Metalforming presented annually by PMA.  Created by the Worcester Pressed Steel Co., Worcester, MA, and sponsored by The Quarterly Club, the design award recognizes a manufacturing company for outstanding achievement in developing an innovative product design.  Along with recognition in industry publications and at events, Honeywell will receive a $1,500 cash prize, which will be donated to the Challenger Space Center Arizona, a local non-profit organization providing vital science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) programs to students primarily in grades K-8.

PMA is the full-service trade association representing the $113-billion metalforming industry of North America—the industry that creates precision metal products using stamping, fabricating, spinning, slide forming and roll forming technologies, and other value-added processes.  Its nearly 900 member companies also include suppliers of equipment, materials and services to the industry.  PMA leads innovative member companies toward superior competitiveness and profitability through advocacy, networking, statistics, the PMA Educational Foundation, FABTECH and METALFORM tradeshows, and MetalForming magazine.

For more information, visit: www.pma.org/awards

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) introduced Autodesk 123D Design, a free 3D modeling tool that allows users to create a digital model and then 3D print or fabricate their idea whether on the iPad, Mac, PC or via their web browser. Autodesk 123D Design uses natural interactions for creation and editing, allowing makers to easily design things without learning complex CAD concepts.

“For the first time ever, users can create sophisticated, precise 3D models of real objects on their iPad, Mac, PC or via their web browser. People said this couldn’t be done on iPad, and we’re happy to prove them wrong,” said Samir Hanna, vice president of Consumer Products, Autodesk. “We believe that everyone is creative, and we intend to put easy to use design software in the hands of millions of people so they can create real objects, have fun doing it and then fabricate the things they want and need, just the way they want them.”

Eliminate the Dreaded Blank Canvas and Start Designing Fast

Autodesk 123D Design helps users get their projects started by providing base shapes and example models that help move past a blank screen and into the design quickly. Using natural interactions to add objects to the canvas and assemble parts together, users can enjoy the design process and create amazing 3D-printable designs.

123D Design also includes pre-set kits, such as “Robots” or “Houses” that are a fun way to experiment with design ideas or become more familiar with design concepts. More kits are available online from the 123D web site.

Freedom to Choose How and Where to Design and Make
 
123D Design is available on web, mobile and desktop, so users have the freedom to choose how and where they will make something. 123D Design also lets users go from design to 3D print with just a few taps or clicks.

Part of the Autodesk 123D family of apps, 123D Design allows users to take advantage of a connected group of Autodesk software, fabrication services for 3D printing and laser cutting, and a community of like-minded makers focused on making a wide variety of projects using 3D design and personal fabrication. 123D Design, 123D Make, 123D Catch, and 123D Sculpt are directly connected across platforms and products through “My Projects,” cloud storage for all 123D design projects, where users can save and access the things they’ve made, or objects other people have made and shared with the community. The 123D community is home to thousands of models shared by nearly 300,000 members from around the world, and it is growing every day.

The Autodesk 123D family of apps provides users with the ability to capture, design and make their ideas, and connect with other makers around the world for support or inspiration. Users can try Autodesk apps, services and communities to experiment and experience the creative process.

For more information, visit: www.123dapp.com/design

Published in Autodesk

The MedTech Industry’s Premier Design Competition is now accepting entries. Proudly presented by UBM Canon and MD+DI, the Medical Design Excellence Awards program has provided market visibility to over 500 innovative MedTech products that are changing the face of healthcare today. The MDEA also celebrates the achievements of medical product manufacturers, their suppliers, and the many people behind the scenes—engineers, scientists, designers, and clinicians—who are responsible for these groundbreaking innovations.

Entries are evaluated by a multidisciplinary panel of jurors with expertise in industrial design, engineering, human factors, manufacturing, medicine, and other design and healthcare-related fields. Selected products must not only pass design and engineering excellence, manufacturing effectiveness and innovation, but also the overall benefit to the medical and healthcare industry.

Eligibility Requirements and Categories:
    
The MDEA competition accepts entries in ten medical product categories from companies and individuals worldwide involved in the design, engineering, manufacture, or distribution of finished medical devices or medical packaging products. To be eligible for entry in the 2013 MDEA competition, products must be commercially available—able to be ordered or purchased—by December 31, 2012.

Deadlines and Entry Fees:

Standard: December 7, 2012 -$600 (Reduced Entry Fee)
Late: January 11, 2013 – $700

Winners, Finalists, and their Suppliers benefit from:

  • Extensive publicity in connection with MDEA announcements, which are carried on PR Newswire and delivered to hundreds of wide-reaching media outlets.
  • Coverage in UBM Canon MedTech Group’s industry-leading Events, Conferences, and Media products, including publications like MD+DI, MPMN, IVD Technology, PMPN, and EMDT.
  • Recognition of excellence at the live MDEA ceremony, attended by over 400 MedTech industry leaders, held at the Philadelphia Marriott Downtown on June 19, 2013, in conjunction with UBM Canon’s MD&M East event.
  • Exclusive right to use and display the special MDEA logos on their product packaging, promotional materials, advertisements, and company websites.

The MDEA will also be honoring an individual with the prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions over a long career that have a demonstrable impact on technological, business, and cultural advancements in medical devices. This award was given to Dr. Thomas Fogarty at the 2012 MDEA ceremony and was presented to him by industry luminary Dean Kamen.

The MDEA program is endorsed by AdvaMed; the American Institute for Medical and Biological Engineering; the Healthcare Technology Foundation; the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society; the Medical Device Manufacturers Association; and the National Collegiate Inventors and Innovators Alliance. The Medical Design Excellence Awards are underwritten and produced by theUBM Canon MedTech Group.

For more information, visit: www.MDEAwards.com

Published in UBM Canon

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) has named MariCorp U.S. (MariCorp) as the Autodesk October Inventor of the Month for using Autodesk PLM 360 to streamline project management and Autodesk Inventor 3D CAD software as part of Autodesk Product Design Suite to improve their designs.

“Each project is different and fully custom, so building a technology platform that makes it easier to rapidly create high-quality designs is our best approach and that’s where Autodesk has really come into play for us.”

As a result of implementing Autodesk software, the fast-growing company — founded by its 25-year old CEO Scott Fitzpatrick while he was still in college — has been able to respond to bids more quickly, execute designs more effectively and efficiently scale its organization.

“Nationwide, there are maybe a dozen large marina projects available for bid each year, and we need to win a few to distinguish ourselves and drive new growth,” said Kyle Wilkerson, COO of MariCorp. “Each project is different and fully custom, so building a technology platform that makes it easier to rapidly create high-quality designs is our best approach and that’s where Autodesk has really come into play for us.”

Digital PLM Processes Drive Efficiency

Autodesk PLM 360 — a cloud-based product lifecycle management solution — has made project management and collaboration across the MariCorp organization much more efficient. The engineering department receives all the forms, images and notes for each project as attachments inside PLM 360. In return, the sales team can clearly see how the dock designs look and be absolutely clear when requesting changes. Requests for proposals that once initiated a week of frantic design activity now routinely wrap up in three days.

MariCorp estimates that the use of new design tools combined with easy access to accurate project information has helped reduce rework tenfold. Designs are noticeably more complete at the outset, leading to substantially less confusion or second-guessing from the manufacturing shop floor, all the way to final installation.

“MariCorp is comfortable working in the cloud and, in addition to pursuing implementation of Autodesk Inventor iLogic, looks forward to maturing our design practices further to embrace cloud services like Autodesk 360 Optimization and to becoming even faster at creating more competitive and compelling designs,” said Wilkerson.

Replacing its legacy design tools, MariCorp retooled its engineering processes around Autodesk Inventor software to build its dock designs and AutoCAD software to complete its drawings.

The company also uses Autodesk Showcase software to create photo-quality 3D illustrations of new design concepts. These renderings help customers to see a dock design in the context of its surroundings and understand the benefits and tradeoffs of the proposal more clearly than by viewing 2D sketches or blueprints.

“MariCorp’s rapid growth wouldn’t be possible to scale without multiple functions in the organization working more effectively — from design and engineering, to marketing and sales,” said Brenda Discher, vice president, Manufacturing Industry Strategy and Marketing at Autodesk. “By standardizing on Autodesk software, MariCorp gained effective tools to help clearly communicate their design ideas and project progress to suppliers, customers and to each other.”

Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the users of Autodesk Inventor software, which takes manufacturers beyond 3D to Digital Prototyping. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and groundbreaking innovation.

For more information, visit: www.maricorpus.com or www.facebook.com/adskinventor

Published in Autodesk

Uformia AS announced today that it has launched a KickStarter campaign for its new modeler, MeshUp. Based on volume modeling, MeshUp is set to overcome the many limitations of existing polygonal and surface-based modelers, particularly within the realms of 3D printing and fabrication. MeshUp is a stand-alone product with features including mesh repair, mesh combining, microstructures and watertight STL and slice generation.

"CG artists and designers know very well the limitations and tediousness of modeling with polygons," explains Turlif Vilbrandt, CTO and joint founder of Uformia. "Mesh models tend to have all kinds of problems such as cracks, holes and self-intersections. This is due to a disconnect between the real world being represented and the modeling software's attempts to represent real, volumetric, complex and “messy” objects by only surfaces."

MeshUp allows users and 3D printers to fabricate directly without the need for the complex, multistage fixing process that is usually required with traditional polygonal approaches. MeshUp is based on the same volume modeling framework that powers Uformia's existing product Symvol, which is available as an add-on for Rhino. Every object in Uformia's system is a true 3D volume (not voxels or parametric surfaces), because the software reduces each object to a mathematical function. This inbuilt definition of a model's volume makes the system ideally suited to modeling objects that are destined for 3D printing.

MeshUp offers a number of features that are of interest to the 3D printing and broader modeling communities. Users can load and combine meshes without having to worry about vertices and polygons. Meshes can be converted to a shell and microstructures can be added quickly and easily. MeshUp will also offer STL and mesh repair techniques, including a rounded repair method that attempts to take into account any missing volume. Then, when it's time for physical fabrication, MeshUp will export clean watertight STL files or slice data for 3D printing.

MeshUp will be available for Linux, MacOS and Windows. Symvol for Rhino is available as a free and feature limited Maker version while the Community version is available for €190 or approximately $246; both work on Windows and require Rhinoceros® version 4.0 SR8+. MeshUp is now a live project on Kickstarter, accepting donations.

Uformia is an international north Norwegian company who aims to develop a new kind of 3D software that will solve many of the problems of today's software, especially in the field of digital fabrication.

For more information, visit: www.uformia.com

Published in Uformia

PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC) today joined more than 70 partners on Capitol Hill to kick off the 2012-2013 Real World Design Challenge and announce the themes for this year’s challenges: Unmanned Aircraft Systems and Next Generation Truck Design. The event was hosted by Senator Jeanne Shaheen of New Hampshire and the students from last year’s national champion teams, the Kansas Tornadoes from Baldwin City, KS and Team Xavier from Middletown, CT.

Students that participate in the 2012-2013 Aviation Challenge will work to design an unmanned aircraft system that can locate lost children. Additionally, the students will need to submit a business plan that makes the system financially viable for 50 rescue missions. Students who participate in the Surface Challenge will be tasked with designing a next-generation truck with highly-enhanced fuel efficiency in order to protect fuel and energy reserves in the United States.

The Real World Design Challenge is a national design competition with more than 7,800 high school students run by a public-private partnership with the goal of inspiring interest in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields and careers. PTC and its partners, including Cessna Aircraft Company and the Federal Aviation Administration, are focused on transforming and enhancing STEM education in the American educational system by providing science, engineering and learning resources that allow students and teachers to address actual challenges confronting the nation's most important industries.

“The Real World Design Challenge offers students the chance to experience the pride and passion of designing something that could be used in a commercial environment for the benefit of others,” said John Stuart, senior vice president education, PTC. “PTC is proud to be working with our partners to get students across the country interested in careers in engineering.”

The winning teams from the participating states will be notified in February 2013 and will receive an all-expense paid trip to Washington, D.C. to compete at the National Challenge Event in April 2013.

"Being the coach for the Baldwin High Tornadoes in the Real World Design Challenge competition has been the high point of my educational career,” said Pam Davis, Coach of the Kansas Tornadoes. “The chance to use engineering software and the opportunity to work with professional mentors has helped my students secure scholarships as well as get accepted into our nation’s best engineering schools."

PTC provides technology that transforms how customers create and service products, including PTC Creo® CAD product design software, PTC Windchill® PLM software and PTC Mathcad® engineering calculation software, to teams participating in the Real World Design Challenge. PTC also provides connections and access to mentors from its partner organizations across America who are participants in the competition or program management for the competition.

To register a team or to sign up as a mentor go to the Real World Design Challenge website. The deadline for teams to register for the Real World Design Challenge is November 18, 2012. The solution submissions are due February 6, 2013.

For more information, visit: www.realworlddesignchallenge.org

Published in PTC

Silgan Plastics is a leader in the design and manufacture of plastic bottles, jars, tubes, caps and fitments for the food, health care, personal care and household markets. Silgan Plastics is an operating company of Silgan Holdings, a leading manufacturer of consumer goods packaging products with annual net sales of $3.1 billion in 2010.

When Cargill made plans to introduce a spoonable version of its Truvia™ zero-calorie natural sweetener, it asked the Silgan Plastics’ Creative Design Services group to develop an innovative container. Cargill was looking for a 9.8 ounce rigid, recyclable container that would allow consumers to conveniently dip, spoon or sprinkle Truvia in quantities of their choosing. The package needed to fit the average retail shelf and be sufficiently distinctive and attractive so that consumers would want to display it on their table or countertop.

The Silgan Plastics design team evaluated dozens of possible alternatives using sketchpads and design software and finally decided on the 10 best design concepts. In the past, Silgan Plastics would have hired a subcontractor to fabricate plastic models from a thermoformed mold or machine them from a suitable material. The cost for each prototype would have been about $750 and the leadtime to produce all 10 prototypes would have been roughly one month.

“Our customers want to get their products to market quickly and begin generating revenues,” said Stephen Kocis, Creative Design Services Manager for Silgan Plastics. “We invested in three Stratasys Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM®) machines because FDM prototypes provide the accuracy and detail needed for evaluation by customers of alternative concepts,” Kocis said. “FDM machines are also affordable and can easily be used in an office environment.”

Silgan built FDM prototypes of the 10 design concepts over a 48-hour period at a cost of $30 in materials and $270 in FDM machine time and overhead for each. The Truvia team visited the Silgan Plastics design center where they viewed and handled the prototypes. The team narrowed their selection to a few designs and suggested refinements. “FDM models make it much easier to visualize and evaluate the functionality and ergonomics of a proposed design,” Kocis said.

Silgan Plastics revised the designs and made new FDM prototypes. Tweaking and discussions continued until the Truvia team selected the final package. As the design was finalized for production, Silgan Plastics used the FDM models to check container size and fill levels, evaluate decorating methods, validate distortion in the shrink sleeve graphics and evaluate the moldability of the design.

Consumers and retailers have responded well to the new package. At fabfindfoodie.com, one reviewer said: “I love the new Truvia spoonable container. It’s so handy to just pop the top and grab a spoonful of Truvia for my morning coffee or a glass of iced tea in the afternoon. Now instead of having to open a packet every time, all I need is a spoon.” Kocis concluded: “FDM models take the guesswork out of the design process.”

For more information, visit: www.uprint3dprinting.com or www.silganplastics.com

Published in Stratasys

An environmental consciousness is rising in the occupational mindset of engineers, who are showing a heightened interest in incorporating energy-saving and other green initiatives in product design projects, according to a survey conducted jointly by ASME (the American Society of Mechanical Engineers) and 3D design software company Autodesk.

Eighty-seven percent of mechanical engineering practitioners and mechanical engineering students responding to the 2012 ASME/Autodesk Sustainable Design Survey indicate they are “extremely or somewhat” interested in sustainable information and causes.  And 75 percent of the respondents indicated that their organizations are involved or extremely involved in sustainability, with most of these organizations focused on reduced energy consumption and reduced environmental emissions in products and systems.

“Sustainability is clearly establishing itself as part of the mechanical engineering culture,” says Thomas G. Loughlin, ASME Executive Director.  “This is yet another example of the vision and commitment of engineers around the world to improve the quality of life for all.”

Industrial firms, however, find it more difficult than individuals to embrace sustainability, due in large part to financial constraints and corporate goals to enhance the serviceability of products, according to the survey. Yet, 75 percent of respondents believe that sustainable designs produce greater product innovation.

The ASME/Autodesk Sustainability Design Survey is drawn from the responses of 4,500 engineering practitioners and 1,900 engineering students.  The survey reveals that 19 percent of students are “extremely involved” with sustainability projects and initiatives.  Mechanical Engineering magazine published an analysis of the ASME/Autodesk survey in the October 2012 edition.  As stated in the article in Mechanical Engineering: “Mechanical engineers expect to see a greater emphasis on sustainability in the future.”

Among other key findings of the ASME/Autodesk survey:

  • 70 percent of respondents said their companies are involved on projects that reduce energy or emissions or that comply with environmental standards and regulations
  • 29 percent said their companies would invest in green design if it does not add to cost
  • 55 percent of students indicated that elective classes on sustainable engineering are available
  • 90 percent of students believe that sustainable designs foster greater product innovation

ASME helps the global engineering community develop solutions to real world challenges. Founded in 1880 as the American Society of Mechanical Engineers, ASME is a not-for-profit professional organization that enables collaboration, knowledge sharing and skill development across all engineering disciplines, while promoting the vital role of the engineer in society. ASME codes and standards, publications, conferences, continuing education and professional development programs provide a foundation for advancing technical knowledge and a safer world.

For more information, visit: www.asme.org

Published in ASME

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ:ADSK) deepens its investment in sustainable operations, opening five new green office spaces this year in San Francisco, Milan, Beijing and Farnborough, UK. The company is targeting LEED certification for its new facilities, which would bring Autodesk’s total to 13 LEED-certified offices, covering 25 percent of its 1.8 million square foot real estate portfolio.
 
“By using our own software to design and build these spaces, we’re not only reducing our greenhouse gas footprint, but also providing real working examples of sustainable design for our customers.”

“At Autodesk, we are focused on accelerating sustainable innovation, and one way we do this to use our own facilities and operations as a testing ground for new ideas, workflows and solutions,” said Joe Chen, vice president of corporate real estate and facilities at Autodesk. “By using our own software to design and build these spaces, we’re not only reducing our greenhouse gas footprint, but also providing real working examples of sustainable design for our customers.”

New Spaces Feature Reduced Energy, Green Power and Repurposed and Recycled Materials

Each of the new office spaces is a major contributor to Autodesk’s environmental impact reduction strategy; most are powered by green energy, bringing renewables to nearly 30 percent of the company’s energy use. The office designs include reduced lighting energy requirements of up to 35 percent and increased ventilation efficiency of up to 30 percent as compared to American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air Conditioning Engineers (ASHRAE) standards. Many of the new spaces feature efficient plumbing fixtures, which can reduce water use by more than 40 percent over conventional fixtures. And all offices prioritize re-used, recycled and locally sourced materials and furnishings, as well as utilize low- or no-VOC finishes. The spaces were all designed to meet or exceed LEED certifications.

Reducing Carbon Impacts through Sustainable Design Choices

Autodesk uses its own 3D design software to design collaborative, open office spaces for its more than 7,000 employees worldwide. Partly through the use of sustainable design in its real estate portfolio, Autodesk has been able to help reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 33 percent since 2009.

In the company’s newly-opened San Francisco Steuart Tower space, cloud-based energy analysis powered by Green Building Studio within Autodesk Revit software helped ensure efficient design. In the UK’s new Farnborough office, an environmentally-focused design helped Autodesk save $1M in overall costs every two years. The project’s design partner used Autodesk 3ds Max Design visualization software to help create photorealistic renderings that helped educate employees about the new space, resulting in more working from the space than in previous offices. And in Beijing, the company’s new offices were designed with daylighting in mind, which will be modeled in Autodesk Ecotect Analysis to supplement the LEED submission process.

For many of the new office spaces, Autodesk and its design teams employed Building Information Modeling (BIM), an intelligent 3D model-based design process. BIM provides insight for creating and managing building and infrastructure projects faster, more economically, and with less environmental impact.

For more information, visit: usa.autodesk.com/ecotect-analysis

Published in Autodesk

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) is calling on innovators with expertise in designing and engineering drivetrain and mobility systems to collaboratively design elements of a new amphibious infantry vehicle, the Fast, Adaptable, Next-Generation Ground Vehicle (FANG). Registration is now open for the FANG Mobility/Drivetrain Challenge, the first of three planned FANG Challenges, which is set to kick off in January 2013. The winning team will be awarded a $1,000,000 cash prize and will have its design built in the iFAB Foundry.

Each of the three planned challenges will focus on increasingly complex vehicle subsytems and eventually on the design of a full, heavy amphibious infantry fighting vehicle that conforms to the requirements of the Marine Corps’ Amphibious Combat Vehicle (ACV). In the course of the design challenges, participants will test DARPA’s META design tools and its VehicleFORGE collaboration environment, with the ultimate goal of demonstrating that the development timetable for a complex defense system can be compressed by a factor of five.

“FANG is applying a radical approach to the design and manufacture of a military ground vehicle while seeking to engage innovators outside of the traditional defense industry,” said Army Lt. Col Nathan Wiedenman, program manager in DARPA’s Tactical Technology Office. “By tapping fresh ideas and innovation, we are striving to fundamentally alter the way systems are designed, built and verified to significantly improve DoD’s capacity to handle complexity, something that has rapidly outpaced DoD’s existing 1960s-era approaches to managing it.”

Many current approaches to the development of heavy military vehicles have proven inadequate for the timely delivery of much-needed capabilities to the warfighter. FANG’s primary goal is to fundamentally alter the way systems are designed by decoupling design and fabrication and using foundry-style manufacturing to compress the development process timeline.

The second FANG Challenge, which will focus on chassis and structural subsystems for survivability, is expected to take place in late 2013. The third and final FANG Challenge, which should result in a full vehicle design, is anticipated for 2014. In addition to receiving a cash prize, the winning team in the third and final challenge could have its vehicle tested by the Marine Corps alongside ACV prototypes in operational testing.

For more information or to register, visit: www.vehicleforge.org

Published in DARPA

Altair ProductDesign today announced that it is partnering with Edison2 to assist in the design of the new Very Light Car 4.0 (VLC 4.0), the next generation version of the innovative, light weight, fuel efficient vehicle entered in the Progressive Automotive XPRIZE in 2010. The original Edison2 vehicle, operating with a one-cylinder internal combustion engine, won the $5 million prize for the Mainstream Class.  The VLC 4.0 is an all-new vehicle that will achieve unmatched fuel economy results by retaining the same attributes of ultra-light weight and extremely low aerodynamic drag in a four-passenger vehicle.

During the program, Altair ProductDesign will conduct a three-phase engineering study targeting suspension sensitivity, vehicle impact strategy and structural optimization. To facilitate the vehicle’s development, Altair will provide computer-aided engineering optimization and crash-safety engineers, multi-body dynamics engineers, subject-matter experts and senior technical specialists. They will assist the Edison2 team in executing each of the study’s three phases and accelerating the development of the prototype for the VLC 4.0.

“Our engineers will focus on using optimization in the beginning of the design process to anticipate structural loading requirements with a minimum mass structure,” said Mike Heskitt, Chief Operating Officer of Altair ProductDesign. “We will be identifying the critical load paths in the design space, brainstorming concept design solutions and using detailed optimization to refine those solutions for a minimum mass footprint.”

Other aspects of Altair’s work with the Edison2 team will analyze ride and handling, steering sensitivity and noise-vibration-harshness (NVH).

“Altair’s HyperWorks simulation suite will be used to validate Edison2’s novel suspension concept for the type of performance expected on a passenger car,” said Heskitt. “Multiple attributes will be optimized for the tradeoffs typically encountered in suspension design.”

In the XPRIZE competition, the Edison2 VLC set numerous records, including 110 mpg for the Mainstream Class vehicle, the lowest drag ever recorded at the GM Aero Lab for a multi-passenger car and the competition’s lowest greenhouse gases emissions at 82.6 g of carbon dioxide.

“Our mission remains to pursue an era of global automobile efficiency focused on lightweight, safe, yet performance-centric vehicles. Altair ProductDesign, with our other high-tech partners, is helping us get there through its proven systems engineering approach, expertise and technology gained in the automotive industry and beyond,” said Oliver Kuttner, CEO of Edison2. “We recognize the value that Altair’s simulation-driven design method has brought to companies worldwide. By partnering with Altair engineers very early on in the design phase, we expect to uncover new approaches to a successful design for our next- generation Very Light Car.”

Edison2 won the top prize ($5 million) in the 2010 Progressive Insurance Automotive X Prize with the Very Light Car, an unprecedented combination of light weight and low aerodynamic drag. Weighing 830 lbs. and with a drag coefficient of 0.160 – lowest ever recorded at the GM Aero Lab – the VLC recorded 110 MPGe (EPA combined) at the X Prize, using a 250 cc internal combustion engine.  Edison2 then set a new record for electric car efficiency, with the four-passenger eVLC obtaining 245 MPGe on the EPA five-cycle test.  Underlying the achievements of the Very Light Car is a new automotive architecture. A patented in-wheel suspension enables superior aerodynamics, simplified connection points, better structural load paths and a design that is lightweight using conventional materials.  It also allows a lightweight car to be safe, through a chassis that deflects on impact and an architecture that provides additional crushable space.

Currently a stunning new version of the Very Light Car is being designed and built in Edison2’s Lynchburg, Virginia, facility. The next-generation VLC is a completely new vehicle, using the same architecture and virtues of efficiency that won Edison2 the X Prize. It is designed to meet regulatory requirements – integrating bumpers into the wheel fairings, for example – and will have production-car fit-and-finish, safety, comfort and handling.

For more information, visit: www.edison2.com

Published in Altair

Have you ever thought that your iPhone could also be a 3D drawing tool? Have you ever imagined your favorite place or the profile of your loves ones on your phone? Shouldn’t your iPhone case match your personality? If you've answered yes to any of these questions, I'm sure you'll love 3DP Case.

3DP Case is an App and a website which enable you to make an iPhone case in 3D, which fits according to your creativity. Sculpteo's team developed the tools to make your own mix, engrave some text or logos, crop, cut out, distort, thicken as you like!

Your 3D model comes to life in front of your very own eyes in less than a minute, and you will receive a case which matches your style. Designed by you, inspired by the geek side we all have, and printed in 3D, they're all a bit of fun!

For more information, visit: 3dpcase.sculpteo.com/en

Published in Sculpteo

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced today the immediate availability of Cubify® Bracelets another personalization app designed specifically for printing on its Cube® 3D printer. Cubify Bracelets makes it possible for anyone to create and 3D print their own individualized bracelets at home.
 
Designed to be stylish, chunky and colorful, Cubify Bracelets come in three sizes and sixteen styles so kids and adults alike can enjoy customizing and accessorizing. Adding a whole new meaning to friendship jewelry, now everyone can create secret messages or place their name on the inside or outside of the bracelet along with special characters and symbols.
 
“Cubify Bracelets is another fun and playful app that unleashes everyone’s creativity to instantly make and print custom jewelry that expresses their personality and style,” said Cathy Lewis, Vice President of Global Marketing for 3D Systems.  “With every new app, our rapidly expanding Cubify community gets to celebrate their creativity and share their amazing tags, rings, bracelets and earrings with their friends and family.”
 
Be the first to register and start making your custom bracelets on Cubify today.

For more information, visit: www.cubify.com/store/app.aspx?app_url=http://www.apps.cubify.com/CubifyBracelets

Published in 3D Systems

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) launched Autodesk ® SketchBook® Pro 6 for Windows and Mac, the latest release from the company’s popular SketchBook family, which has more than 11 million downloads to date. This new version of the award-winning SketchBook Pro software features a streamlined interface, multi-touch navigation, French curves, synthetic paint and smudge brushes, plus even more brush controls to customize.

“The latest SketchBook Pro really builds on the qualities that have made the product so adored,” said Chris Cheung, product line manager, Autodesk. “The new brushes bring a more traditional feel and versatility to the application, but equally important are the enhancements we’ve made to performance and user interface. SketchBook Pro 6 is going to be exciting for new both new and experienced users!”

The new streamlined user interface in SketchBook Pro 6 delivers an unobstructed and discoverable environment, increasing productivity by keeping artists focused on their creative process. Updates include a new Brush Palette, Color Editor, Layer Editor, pucks, and Toolbar to create an easier and more efficient work flow. Also added are a number of Guide tools, including new French curves to help artists draw smoother and more precise lines.

SketchBook Pro 6 includes more than 100 preset brushes, featuring familiar tools, such as pencils, paintbrushes, markers, airbrushes, erasers, flood fill tools, and smudge brushes. Brushes can be further adjusted and customized to produce a wide variety of character. Settings to randomize spacing, rotation, size, and opacity can be used to provide a myriad of options for the artist.

The new synthetic paint brushes included in SketchBook Pro 6 behave more like traditional paint mediums. These brushes allow artists to adjust the paint load on the brush at the beginning of each stroke and dynamically blend the colors on the canvas. The new smudge brush allows artists to brush over existing colors to blend them. Additional brush settings allow artists to control the variation of color, hue, saturation, and brightness of each stroke they make.

"For several years, SketchBook Pro has served as part of the foundation for our digital workflow. From the elegant interface to the robust drawing toolset, SketchBook has allowed us to stay focused on what matters most: crazy monsters!" said Greg Baldwin, CreatureBox. "SketchBook Pro continues to serve as the critical transition between traditional and digital workflow and we're excited about the new features offered in SketchBook Pro 6. The remarkably responsive brush engine paired with French curves, ellipse guides, and symmetry tools has allowed us to elevate our design process to new levels."

Autodesk SketchBook Pro is professional-grade sketching, painting, and drawing software that can transform a computer into an essential artist toolkit. Featuring an intuitive user interface, users can access a host of tools and features, including pencils, markers, brushes, colors, guides, layers, and blending effects. SketchBook Pro is specially designed to work in companion with pressure-sensitive tablets to deliver an authentic drawing experience.

For more information or to download a trial, visit: usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet/pc/index?id=6848332&siteID=123112

Published in Autodesk

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced the immediate availability of Cubify® Rings, the third in a series of wearables apps designed specifically for printing on its Cube® 3D printer.  Cubify Rings makes it possible for anyone to design their own rings and 3D print them at home.
 
Simply choose a shape, then drag and drop characters, symbols and letters onto it for a unique, inspired design. These custom rings make a personal statement and are great for everyday wear and will brighten up any outfit. Cubify Rings can be printed in five different sizes so everyone from your eight year old daughter to your husband can enjoy the custom jewelry.
 
“We are excited to bring another fun fashion app to Cubify. Girls and boys of all ages can instantly make and print jewelry true to their personal style and share the experience with friends,” said Cathy Lewis, Vice President of Global Marketing for 3D Systems.  “Our enthusiasm continues to build with each amazing and creative new app we introduce to our growing Cubify community.”
 
Be the first to register and start making your custom rings on Cubify today.

For more information, visit: www.cubify.com/store/app.aspx?app_url=http://www.apps.cubify.com/CubifyRings%3ftoken%3d

Published in 3D Systems

3D Systems Corporation (NYSE:DDD) announced today the Cubify® Challenge design contest. The Cubify Challenge begins today and runs through September 14, 2012 and is open to Cubify registrants of all ages worldwide. Participants are invited to upload their best creation for review by a panel of 3D judges that will select the best of the best. The prize-winner will take home their very own Cube®3D printer.

The Cubify Challenge invites participants to showcase their signature design or art piece, the work that truly represents their skills and style as an artist or designer. The most creative design will be printed in 3D and recognized on cubify.com, and its creator will get a Cube 3D printer and a copy of Cubify Invent, 3D design software optimized for 3D printing. Three runner-ups will also receive a copy of Cubify Invent and will be highlighted on cubify.com.

Submissions will be judged by two world renowned designers: Janne Kyttanen, whose work has been featured in the Museum of Modern Art, and Scott Summit, whose work has won numerous international design awards such as IDSA, IDEA, and Core77.

"We are very excited to kick off the Cubify Challenge at Siggraph," said Cathy Lewis, Vice President of Global Marketing for 3D Systems. "Whether you're a designer, animator, artist, or a student just starting out, you are competing for recognition, work, clients, positions and bragging rights. Through participation in the Cubify Challenge, we can help you win the recognition and exposure you deserve."

For more information or to submit a design, visit: www.cubify.com/challenge

Published in 3D Systems

Today Spark announced that the first group of designs have been submitted to the five ongoing Spark competitions. This includes Communication design (graphics and web), Spaces design (architecture and interiors), Product design, Concept design (primarily students) and Mobility design (vehicles and transportation).

"The exuberance of this work is further proof that the economic crisis has not dampened the spirits or creativity of the design community," said Spark Founder, Peter Kuchnicki. " We are seeing everything from soaring, ambitious, mega-scale work, to intimate pieces that address small, heart-felt needs."

Spark reports that current entries represent about one third of the total expected. "August 1 marks the half-way point in our campaign," Spark Strategic Director, Clark Kellogg stated. "Then the deadlines in September and early October kick in and cause a flurry of entries. It makes things interesting around here!"

"The entries can be early-indicators that show what most concerns designers, and what problems they feel need urgent attention and creative solutions," Kuchnicki said.

Here are four trends he pointed out:

  • Many designs address high-density living
  • Thinking-systems are being applied to everything from living spaces to shipping containers
  • New materials are being applied to old solutions and products, revitalizing their functionality
  • There is great concern for safety, survival, emergencies and adapting to severe conditions

"This is a key pattern to watch carefully," Kuchnicki said. "Designers can be the proverbial canary in a coalmine. They are on high alert. Their antenna are up. And they will help us all adapt to the changing conditions we face. These problem-solvers are vital to society."

Jury Criteria

  • Does the design Spark? Break new ground? Is it a new idea? Creation or refinement? Does it communicate well? Are the graphics clear and compelling? Does it pop!

  • Does it improve the quality of life? Contribute to understanding, efficiency, longevity, progress? Does it sustain our Earth’s limited resources?

Call For Entry In Effect

All designers from all disciplines may enter after registration.

For more information, visit: www.sparkawards.com/call-for-entries

Published in Spark Design Awards

Recently, students from universities across the country traveled to the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory (JHU/APL) to participate in the first annual Field-Reversible Thermal Connector (RevCon) Challenge, sponsored by the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA) and the Office of Naval Research (ONR).

The RevCon Challenge asks undergraduate and graduate students to develop a novel design concept for a field-reversible, low-resistance thermal connector, which could be used in military electronic modules. The goal is to encourage science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) education and inspire future innovators to consider thermal management techniques and the key role they will play in tomorrow’s electronics.

Today, DARPA and ONR announce the second RevCon challenge. The program is managed by Avram Bar-Cohen, DARPA program manager and Mark Spector, ONR program officer. Student teams are invited to design a thermal connector with the chance to receive DARPA and ONR support for building their design and testing it at Johns Hopkins. Participants are asked to develop a novel field-reversible, low-resistance, thermal connector that could improve upon the presently available “wedgelocks.” Such thermal connectors are ubiquitous and critical components in high power, military electronic modules, where they serve to transfer heat from the edge of a printed circuit board to the water-cooled or air-cooled wall of the electronic module.

“This is a great opportunity for students looking for an idea for their fourth year design project,” said Bar-Cohen. “Participants will gain experience developing, assembling and demonstrating a potentially transformative technology. Finalists will have the unique opportunity to travel to Johns Hopkins for testing and to engage experts from DARPA, ONR and industry.”

During last year’s challenge, four teams from across the US were chosen to travel to JHU/APL to present their RevCons to a Government and industry panel and demonstrate their operation on an APL test rig. As results were displayed real-time on a large screen, the panel provided feedback to the students on their designs and shared their experiences and perspectives on the potential use of the student RevCons in actual military systems.

All four RevCons were evaluated with the JHU-APL test rig and all four exhibited better thermal resistances than the baseline commercial connector. The judges’ panel took special note of the diversity and creativity of the concepts implemented during the challenge. Prizes were awarded to the teams in the following categories:

Most Creative:
University of Missouri, Columbia: device based on magnetic force and ferrofluids University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign: device based on linear actuators

Lowest Resistance:
Georgia Institute of Technology: device based on a copper plate with hydraulic fluid

Easiest to Implement:
University of California, Los Angeles: device based on a temperature-sensitive spring made of Ni-Ti compound

DARPA and ONR anticipate teams completing their designs during the fall semester, with final demonstrations occurring in the spring.

For more information, visit: www07.grants.gov/search/search.do;jsessionid=vmcJQGJGMnxxhtp0WXYnhNqZMvl5b3hT1LmHT8G58m1D2l7C5BTJ!487209127?oppId=184154&mode=VIEW

Published in DARPA

Louisiana Robotic Machines has developed an innovative, all-pneumatic robot hand that uses Zipper-style cable carriers in its finger joints. The design won the "Special Design" award in the igus® vector® 2012 competition, which sought to honor those implementing polymer cable carriers in unique and challenging ways.

Louisiana Robotic Machines designs, develops, and builds robotic manufacturing machines. Recently, the company embarked upon the design and development of its DigitL Pneumatic Hand: an all-pneumatic hand intended for educational environments. Since the robot hand is for instructional use, it had to be easy to assemble and disassemble. The company opted to use five Zipper Energy Chain® cable carriers from igus® to build out the fingers and thumb, which resolved design challenges that Louisiana Robotic Machines had previously encountered, such as too much weight and a lack of durability.

Small cylinders in the Zipper chains carry out the movements, bending and stretching the fingers. The zip-up principle of the Zipper Energy Chains® makes fitting and servicing the cylinders effortless. The chain’s polymer material holds its strength under stress and the chains themselves allow visual observation without restricting the moving, mechanical parts. By reducing the number of parts involved from 75 to 25, the company also reduced assembly and disassembly times.

Zipper Energy Chains differ from the typical Energy Chain design, which features side-links and crossbars: instead, they are constructed with interconnected lids.  These lids pull back like a zipper, removing the top section of the Energy Chain in one, uniform piece at any point along the length of the carrier.
    
Zipper chains enable fast and simple cable installation and removal — in particular for those cables pre-assembled with connectors — because the unique design eliminates the need to snake cables through the carrier. Instead, cables and hoses can be laid out along the Energy Chain in easily accessible compartments.  

Zipper Energy Chains are ideal for applications requiring an economical solution, little to no noise, high accelerations and travel speeds, high stability, long service life, and an aesthetic design. Sizes range from an inner height of .35 inches to 1.26 inches and an inner width of .24 inches to 3.94 inches.

Louisiana Robotic Machines saved thousands of dollars in injection molding and tooling by integrating the igus Zipper Energy Chain cable carriers into their design. The fact that the Zipper chains are readily available also contributes to a LEAN Just-In-Time (JIT) manufacturing package for the company.

The Digitl Hand won the Special Design award in the vector® 2012 competition, which received 162 entries from 27 different countries. KUKA Systems, located in Augsburg, Germany, received the gold vector award for their design of the KUKA Cobra: a faster, lighter and more compact robot system for press automation, which increased output while combining a dynamic linear axis with unique flexibility.

Joury van Gijseghem from DEME, in Antwerp, Belgium, received the silver vector for the Amoras project. Brackwater from the Port of Antwerp is routed into large tanks and the sludge suctioned off by pumps on the bridge for treatment. These pumps can be moved across the entire span of the 492 foot bridge using a System E4-350 Energy Chain from igus, which is wear proof, maintenance free and resistant to seawater and mineral oil. The unique design allows the entire plant to operate around the clock without the need for maintenance.

The SCM Group S.p.A., from Rimini, Italy, received the bronze vector for its use of igus’ TwisterBand Energy Chains to manufacture a custom woodworking machine. The machine is able to carry out numerous different movements as it follows the contour of the workpiece, including rotating around its own axis with an overall rotation of 1,440 degrees in both directions. The igus TwisterBand was a lightweight and low cost solution for SCM.

The vector award is a worldwide joint initiative between igus and MM MaschinenMarkt. The judging panel also includes engineers and scientists representing the German Central Association of Electrical Engineering, the Electronics Industry e.V., and the Machine Tool Laboratory at RWTH Aachen.

For more information, visit: www.igus.com

Published in igus

An ambitious British expedition to Lake Ellsworth in Antarctica is using Autodesk digital prototyping software to help discover new answers about the evolution of life and effects of climate change.

British Antarctic Survey (BAS) engineers will transport equipment overland for three days to the sub-glacial lake, where they will use a hot water drill to melt a 2.2-mile hole in the ice covering the submerged lake to extract water samples. The team will have a very short window of 24 hours to gather their samples before the hole re-freezes.

This exploration of one of Antarctica’s subglacial lakes has been planned for 15 years, but the team lacked the right tools to adequately try and test their plan to ensure they could gather the samples they need in the timeframe allowed. Through the use of Autodesk’s digital prototyping and simulation technology for sustainable design; BAS engineers can create a digital model of the drill; simulate the conditions under which they will work; test and analyze their approach; and make necessary adjustments before they embark on their expedition.

“This is hot water drilling on a scale never achieved before,” said Andy Tait, the BAS engineer managing the design of the hot water drill. “Because everything will have to be done so quickly, it is vital that we create an accurate 3D model of the entire drilling operation and simulate its performance because there will be no room for error once we are out on the ice.”

As a participant in the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program, designed to help groundbreaking environmental projects such as this, BAS received Autodesk’s digital prototyping portfolio, including Autodesk Showcase, a visualization tool, and Autodesk Inventor Publisher for technical documentation. Tait will use Autodesk Inventor Publisher to visually and interactively communicate how the drills and its components work to colleagues and partners. He also believes that Autodesk Showcase will be invaluable for developing stunning presentations and other visualizations to help explain the technology to wider audiences.

Autodesk Inventor automatically coordinates changes across the digital model, streamlining the analysis, experimentation and eventual optimization of a design. This has been important to this project, not just because of because of need to carry out the operation within a tight timeframe, but also because of size, weight and strength parameters. The equipment must be transported over great distances and, therefore, needs to be strong, lightweight, and capable of withstanding extremely low temperatures.

“When our technology is being used to make this ambitious project successful, it gives me great confidence in the collective power of talented people working together to solve problems that otherwise could not be solved in isolation,” said Lynelle Cameron, Autodesk’s senior director of sustainability. “We’re delighted to be partnering with the BAS team on their unprecedented expedition.”

For more information, visit: www.ellsworth.org.uk

Published in Autodesk

The Industrial Designers Society of America (IDSA) unveiled the winners of the 2012 International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA®) program—a celebration of design excellence in products, sustainability, interaction design, packaging, strategy, research and concepts. Out of 660 finalists, 35 were honored with the Gold Award, while 71 received the Silver Award and 123 merited the Bronze Award. IDSA will reveal the Best in Show, Curator’s Choice, People’s Choice and the Sustainability Award at the IDEA ceremony on Aug. 18 at its 2012 International Conference in Boston.

The top corporate winners were Samsung claiming seven awards, Belkin securing four and Coway and LG Electronics receiving three each.

Among design firms: IDEO received 13 awards; Smart Design captured six awards; Teague, fuseproject, Nectar Inc. and NewDealDesign LLC earned four each; and frog, New, Ziba and Ammunition won three respectively. Art Center College of Design, in Pasadena, Calif., topped this year’s list of college wins with eight awards.

“I believe the diversity of experts and opinions within this year’s jury shaped the debate and ultimately made a statement—not only about the best design of 2012, but also setting a clear direction for the future,” said IDEA’s 2012 Jury Chair Rhys Newman, head of advanced projects at Nokia. “This year's jury awarded products that brought together hardware, software, service and experience. While there are many well-designed, innovative products, the exciting future is in the convergence of disciplines and expertise that span the digital and physical divide, ultimately resulting in useful and beautiful products for people.”

“In deliberating on the Best in Show, the important bellwether for where the cutting-edge concerns of the profession are, we witnessed the jurors turn from products that demonstrated great experiences to those that combined all the elements of new digital experiences into solutions that can transform behavior,” said IDSA’s Chair George McCain.”

Comprising the IDEA 2012 jury, 19 international design experts from design consultancies, corporations and universities spent weeks previewing entries online and two-and-a-half days of face-to-face debate and hands-on evaluation of the entries at The Henry Ford in Dearborn, Mich. Judging criteria focused on eight areas of industrial design excellence: innovation; benefit to the user; benefit to society; benefit to the client; visual appeal and appropriate aesthetics; usability, emotional factors and unmet needs for the design research category; and internal factors, methods, strategic value and implementation for the design strategy category.

The awards were chosen from the following industry and design categories:  bathroom, spa and wellness; commercial and industrial products; communication tools; computer equipment; design strategy; digital design; entertainment; environments; gardens and outdoor; kitchens; leisure and recreation; living room and bedroom; medical and scientific products; office and productivity; packaging and graphics; personal accessories; research; service design; social impact design; student designs and transportation. Entries came from 30 countries, including Australia, Austria, Canada, China, Colombia, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Hungary, India, Iran, Israel, Italy, Japan, Jordan, Korea (North), Korea (South), Liechtenstein, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Singapore, Spain, Sweden, Taiwan, Turkey, United Kingdom and the United States.

The partners and media sponsors for this year’s awards are Core 77, Curve magazine, facesofdesign.com, Microsoft and Yanko Design. This is the third year that The Henry Ford will house the IDEA winners in its permanent collection as it continues to tell the story of innovation.

For detailed descriptions, photos and contact information on this year’s IDEA winners, visit: www.idsa.org/idea-2012-gallery

Published in IDSA

What are the architectural implications for the future of organic structures? That’s a question that Sunil Kumar has considered for some time now. It’s a long ranging concern that he’s been researching not through the weight of his school’s assignments, but on his own. “I’m curious about understanding and experimenting with complex geometries that border on the organic, while still offering structural integrity,” Sunil said.

To proceed on his ideas, Sunil produced some designs using Rhino, then tried to expand on those designs using 3D max. “Originally, I was interested in increasing my knowledge of a different software system,” he said. “What I realized though was how difficult it is to maintain the integrity of a complex structure in some programs. Especially structures like my Twisted Tower design.”

Maintaining the integrity in CAD is one thing, but producing an actual model is another. Sunil realized that he’d need to produce a prototype to really see how the structure worked out. For example, was he sure that all connections were accurate, or that they provided the proper thickness. He also wanted to investigate outside sources for his designs. The school has its own rapid prototyping equipment, but there are many other pieces of equipment to work with, and many other services available. He ran across ZoomRP on the Internet. The company offers the lowest costs and the fastest turnaround in the industry.

“I contacted ZoomRP to try out one of my first 3D max designs,” Sunil said. “I thought I had all the geometry straightened out but wanted some solid proof. The software appeared to make the geometry fairly straight forward, although it took some work going over it to be sure.”

The final product was uploaded to the ZoomRP website to go through the fabrication process then overnight delivery. Sunil had no plans or need for post prep work like sanding or painting because the whole idea was to see how well the structure could be produced the first time out.

According to Sunil, ZoomRP worked out extremely well overall for the trial. The accuracy of the SLS (Selective Laser Sintering) white prototype allowed even the most fragile sections to turn out well. “Some areas were a little on the thin side, but that was due to the geometries put into 3D max,” he said. The structure did prove to be very strong, which is what he was looking for. “The CAD geometry needs to be tightened up, but I have to do that myself,” he said.

SLS is an additive rapid manufacturing process that builds 3D parts by using a laser to fuse a powdered material. Once a CAD file is uploaded to the ZoomRP site it is mathematically sliced into 2D cross-sections. The part is then built layer-by-layer until it is complete. These parts can be created from a range of powder materials, including Nylon-11 and Nylon-12 polyamides, or nylons with fillers such as glass beads, aramid or carbon fibers, and metals such as tool steel, stainless steel, and cobalt chromoloy, as well as other alloys.

The strength of the material, as well as the accuracy of the SLS machine allows complex structures to be tested for their strength and functionality. SLS prototyping and manufacturing equipment can be used for shapes that are too complex for machining. Internally complicated structures can easily be built using additive technologies where other methods cannot compete.

Sunil plans to continue his research on producing a cleaner CAD file to eliminate some of the thin areas, and plans to produce other prototypes in the future.

For more information, visit: www.zoomrp.com

Published in Solid Concepts

Alcoa's Kawneer business and The American Institute of Architecture Students (AIAS) announce today the Enlightening Libraries: Student Design Competition. Sponsored by Kawneer and administered by the AIAS, this competition will challenge students to redesign a dated public library that is an effectively urbanized, collaborative community space appealing to all generations and integrating the most recent technologies. Total prize money is $7,750, including $3,000 for the first place winning design team.

The competition, now in its seventh year, challenges students to learn about building materials and techniques, specifically architectural aluminum building products and systems, while demonstrating an understanding of sustainable design. Participants are required to integrate a variety of Kawneer products, from entrances and framing systems to windows and curtain wall systems as they relate to efficient community spaces, to develop a new-age library that embraces an atmosphere of enlightenment and learning.

A jury of four architectural professionals will evaluate submissions based on ingenuity and originality as well as design clarity and the ability to create an aesthetic that compliments the community and environment. Appropriate use of materials, including light shelves and sunshades that enhance natural light, will be key factors in the evaluation and selection of winning designs.

Developed to engage architecture and design students from schools worldwide, contest submissions can be the work of an individual or a group of up to four students. Students interested in participating in the competition must register no later than October 14, 2012. Submissions must be made digitally via the competition website on or before November 29, 2012. Winning entries will be published in the Spring 2012 issue of Crit, Journal of the AIAS and will be on display at the 2013 AIA Convention and Design Exposition in Denver, Colorado, June 2013.

For more information or to register, visit: kawneer.aias.org

Published in Alcoa

Sierra Nevada Corporation (SNC) Space Systems has successfully completed a preliminary design review (PDR) of the design, architecture and performance of its Dream Chaser orbital crew vehicle. This marks a new milestone in the company's effort to develop transportation for astronauts to low Earth orbit and the International Space Station.

SNC is one of several companies working to develop commercial crew transportation capabilities under the Commercial Crew Development Round 2 (CCDev2) agreement with NASA's Commercial Crew Program (CCP). The goal is to help spur innovation and development of new spacecraft and launch vehicles from the commercial industry to develop safe, reliable and cost-effective capabilities to transport astronauts to low Earth orbit and the space station. The Dream Chaser is designed to carry as many as seven astronauts to space. It is the only spacecraft under CCDev2 that uses wings and is designed to land on a conventional runway.

"As CCP’s partners meet these critical milestones, we are moving in the right direction in our combined effort to advance commercial capabilities that could eventually transport NASA astronauts,” NASA CCP Program Manager Ed Mango said.

This marks the 17th milestone to be completed by SNC during CCP's initial two development phases. The PDR included a review of the entire orbital flight program, including the Dream Chaser spacecraft, and associated mission and ground systems. The company also reviewed the spacecraft's compatibility with its initial launch vehicle, the United Launch Alliance Atlas V rocket.

"Our program includes 12 industrial partners, 7 NASA Centers and 3 universities from over 20 states who helped us achieve two major program milestones this week. With the completion of PDR and the beginning of our vehicle's flight test program, the Dream Chaser Program has now entered the next phase of its development. We are proud to be included with the other CCDev companies in developing a US crew capability to low earth orbit," said Mark Sirangelo, Corporate Vice President and head of SNC's Space Systems.

The final PDR board meeting was conducted shortly after the company successfully completed a captive-carry test of its full-scale Dream Chaser test flight vehicle May 29. The flight met all its test goals and moved the program a step closer to preparing the vehicle for an autonomous approach and landing test scheduled for later this summer.

All of NASA's industry partners, including SNC, continue to meet their established milestones in developing commercial crew transportation capabilities.

NASA also is developing the Orion spacecraft and Space Launch System (SLS), a crew capsule and heavy-lift rocket that will provide an entirely new capability for human exploration beyond low Earth orbit. Designed to be flexible for launching spacecraft for crew and cargo missions, SLS and Orion will expand human presence beyond low Earth orbit and enable new missions of exploration across the solar system.

For more information, visit: www.nasa.gov/commercialcrew

Published in NASA

Objet Ltd., the innovation leader in 3D printing for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, today announced it is cooperating with world-leading consumer products company Keter Plastic Ltd to create an exhibit of 3D-printed art pieces as part of an innovative project to highlight young designers' talents and support at-risk youth.

For the project, 70 art pieces were designed by d-Vision, the design internship program by Keter Plastic and then 3D printed by Objet. The art pieces will be exhibited at the Holon Design Museum, one of the leading museums for design and contemporary culture, on May 30th. The art pieces will be auctioned at a special gala event to benefit ELEM and 'Mifalot Chinuch Chevra', both non-profit organizations that seek to help at-risk youth.

The designers at d-Vision developed their concepts in 3D CAD software and then 3D printed them on Objet's 3D printers. Created in rigid opaque materials, Objet's high resolution 3D printers were able to precisely create real-life 3D renditions of the designs - creating true works of art.

"This project brings together many elements that are central to d-Vision: outstanding design and art, advanced technology, and commitment to our community," said Professor Ezri Tarazi, head of the d-Vision program. "We were delighted to see how our young designers' artistic ideas turned into spectacular reality through the high-quality 3D printing capabilities of Objet. We are looking forward to seeing how our combined efforts will eventually help make a difference in young people's lives, through the money raised by auctioning the art pieces for ELEM and Mifalot Chinuch."

Commenting on the project, David Reis, CEO for Objet said: "We are delighted to be participating in this very prestigious design project and proud to be contributing to the commendable work of ELEM and Mifalot Chinuch in working to ensure a better future for our youth. By pairing d-Vision's innovative and artistic designs with Objet's advanced 3D printing technology, we have created a powerful platform to expand the boundaries of art and design while contributing to the betterment of the community."

d-Vision was established in 2005  and is a unique internship program  and the first of its kind in Israel, for product development and design. The project was envisioned by Sami Sagol, owner and chairman of Keter Group, with the aim of integrating between Academy in industrial design, product engineering and technology to the needs and future development of industry. Its focal point is to fill the missing link between Academia and Industry, with the aim of cultivating the next generation of excellent young designers and product developers that combine creativity with technology application.

Every year 15 outstanding design graduates are selected from the Design Academies in Israel: Bezalel, Shenkar, Holon Institute of Technology and Hadassa.  During the two year program they get professional experience in product development for the international market.

The interns also develop innovative concepts, new and cutting-edge technologies are introduced to renowned designers and visit professional international fairs.

d-Vision exhibited in international fairs such as Salone Satellite in Milano, in the Dutch Design Week and others.

Prof. Ezri Tarazi and Ms. Tzipi Kunda head the program.

The program includes sponsored Masters Degree in Designing and offers job positions in Keter to the graduates of the program.

The program also promotes contribution to the community and each team engages in a special community project. This year the program managers decided that the contribution will focus on two organizations: "Elem, Youth in Distress" and "Education and Social Projects".

Published in Objet

Like other professionals, architects have used computer-aided design (CAD) software in their work for decades. Typically, the resulting digital files are converted to hard-copy plans, which are then used to support traditional construction practices.

Researchers in the College of Architecture at the Georgia Institute of Technology are now automating some of the processes by which computer-based designs are turned into real world entities. They're developing techniques that fabricate building elements directly from digital designs, allowing custom concrete components to be manufactured rapidly and at low cost.

"We're developing the research and the protocols to manufacture high-end customized architectural products economically, safely and with environmental responsibility," said Tristan Al-Haddad, an assistant professor in the College of Architecture who is a leader in this effort. "We think this work offers opportunities for architectural creativity at a new level and with tremendously increased efficiency."

In one recent project, Al-Haddad and a College of Architecture team collaborated with Lafarge North America to fabricate an award-winning building-element concept called a "Liquid Wall." The Georgia Tech team employed digital techniques to help construct a prototype wall, using ultra high-performance concrete; the result was displayed by the New York Chapter of the American Institute of Architects (AIANY) in the "Innovate:Integrate" exhibition.

In another Lafarge-sponsored project, Al-Haddad and a College of Architecture team are developing a complete free-standing structure using ultra high-performance concrete elements fabricated directly from digital designs.

The Liquid Wall, originated by Peter Arbour of Paris-based RFR Consulting Engineers, won the 2010 Open Call for Innovative Curtain-Wall Design competition conducted by the AIA. The concept advanced a novel approach to curtain walls, which are building coverings that keep out weather but are non-structural and lightweight.

RFR's plans called for the Liquid Wall to be constructed of stainless steel and Ductal®, a light and strong ultra-high-performance concrete (UHPC) that is produced by Lafarge. Moreover, the new building enclosure was conceived as an entire system, including integrated louver systems, solar shading, integrated passive solar collectors and other advanced features.

Georgia Tech became involved in the Liquid Wall project when RFR decided to built a full-scale prototype of the complex concept. RFR asked Al-Haddad to help turn Arbour's original parametric sketches into a manufacturable design.

Supported by the College of Architecture's Digital Building and Digital Fabrication laboratories, the researchers refined the geometry of the original sketches for manufacturability and developed the techniques required for fabricating a full-size curtain wall.

Then, working from their digital models and using a five-axis CNC router – a device capable of machining material directly from a digital design – the Georgia Tech team milled a full-scale model of the wall. The model was made from a lightweight polymer material, expanded polystyrene (EPS) closed-cell foam, which was then given a polyurea coating.

The digitally milled foam model created an exact replica – a positive -- of the final wall. The lightweight positive could then be used to produce a negative capable of forming the actual prototype. In this case, the collaborators used the positive to produce a rubber mold – the negative – from which the final wall was cast.

The foam positive was shipped to Coreslab Structures Inc., a large corporation that specializes in industrial-scale casting. The Georgia Tech team then worked with Coreslab to identify the best techniques for creating the rubber mold and for pouring in Ductal to form the concrete wall.

"It was a very collaborative process – the four major players were Peter Arbour and RFR, Georgia Tech, Coreslab and Lafarge," Al-Haddad said. "And we had all of three weeks to finish the work before the exhibition deadline – so it was pretty intense."

Other College of Architecture people involved in the collaboration included graduate student Andres Cavieres, associate professor Russell Gentry and professor Charles Eastman, director of the Digital Building Laboratory. The resulting full-size Liquid Wall prototype was installed at the Center for Architecture in New York City as part of the AIANY's "Innovate: Integrate" exhibition, and was on view for several months in 2010 and 2011.

The Liquid Wall project was challenging, said Eastman, who holds joint appointments in the College of Architecture and the College of Computing. The process involved not only producing rubber negatives using wall-form designs created with CAD and parametric-modeling software, but also required identifying the right production procedures and finding effective ways of installing a completed full-size wall on a building.

"When you're creating a completely new process like the Liquid Wall, you're faced with developing a whole new manufacturing process for this kind of material," Eastman said.

A future project, expected to be about 20 by 20 feet square and 15 feet high, will be built using Ductal UHPC, principally or entirely. A central technical challenge will involve molding the many custom elements so that all edges fit together and form a structure that is stable, practical and esthetically pleasing.

"We understand the structural side of a project like this quite well -- the difficulty comes in the actual manufacturing of the elements," Al-Haddad said. "We want to advance the use of digital parametric models with custom molding systems, and create a free-form manufacturing system that can produce many variations quickly and accurately."

For more information, visit: www.dbl.gatech.edu/dfl/liquid-wall

Published in Georgia Tech

element14, the first collaborative community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts and a part of global electronics distributor Premier Farnell LON, has teamed with CadSoft Computer GmbH to invite engineers to take part in the EAGLE Design Competition between 01 May to 31 August 2012.

Electronic design engineers and enthusiasts will need to submit their innovative design projects to win prizes with a pot value of $7000. The competition, which is powered by Microchip and hosted on the element14 Community, aims to bring the most innovative design engineering communities together using CadSoft EAGLE’s Version 6.

To enter the competition applicants must ensure that all designs use EAGLE Version 6 and that a Microchip MCU or DSC is integrated in the design. After registering on the element14 Community, users can submit a screenshot of their layout and add a description of their project on the competition page. Users who do not have an EAGLE license can download a free 30-day trial version on www.element14.com/eagle-freemium to participate in the contest.

“EAGLE is an established PCB design software tool in the engineering community used globally by customers from large companies to students and individuals,” said Thomas Liratsch, General Manager of CadSoft. “A large number of universities, schools and colleges have an EAGLE license in place and numerous well known brands love and use our award winning software every day. This gave us the perfect reason not to limit the competition to a special target group or topic. We have varied users with great ideas and are excited to see their submissions.”

“The choice of MCU remains critical to most product developments so we are delighted to partner with CadSoft in the EAGLE Design Challenge,” said Mike McGlade, Channel Manager of Microchip. “Microchip’s extensive range of 8/16/32-Bit MCUs/DSCs will cater for both novice and expert entrants in this contest.”

The prizes:

  • DELL Alienware M17x r3 + EAGLE version 6 Professional incl. all three modules
  • MICROCHIP - DV164037 - KIT, EVAL, ICD3 W/ EXPLORER 16 & DM163022-1 8-Bit development board + EAGLE Version 6 Professional incl. all three modules
  • EAGLE Version 6 Standard incl. all three modules

The outcome of the competition will feature peer-voting from the element14 community. Members of the leading global technology community can “like” entries and comment on the submission. Based on the community “likes” and comments, a judging panel consisting of CadSoft, Premier Farnell and Microchip representatives along with independent EAGLE expert Prof. Dr. Francesco Volpe from the University of Applied Sciences in Aschaffenburg will pick the winners.

Judging criteria include clarity in description of the product, the electronic concept, the design complexity, the design quality and the functionality.

For more information, visit: www.element14.com/eagle-competition

Published in element14

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) has named Israel-based clean technology company HydroSpin as Autodesk Inventor of the Month for April 2012. The company used Autodesk Inventor software and other Autodesk Digital Prototyping tools to develop a micro-generator solution that produces energy from the flow of water inside distribution pipes, saving hundreds of hours of development time and hundreds of thousands of development dollars.

The generators power a wide range of “smart water” devices that monitor the movement and quality of water, along with other parameters, throughout the distribution network. In turn, the devices transmit data that might indicate a leak or a broken pipe, helping to prevent waste of one of the world’s most precious resources.

“The demand for safe and clean water is growing exponentially. With the help of Autodesk design and simulation technology, we are creating a solution that enables water monitoring devices to be deployed in locations that do not have ready access to an electrical supply,” said Gabby Czertok, CEO of HydroSpin.

Simulating Performance Through Digital Prototyping

As a member of the Autodesk Clean Tech Partner Program — an initiative that provides Autodesk Digital Prototyping software to emerging and established clean tech companies — HydroSpin was able to access a variety of Autodesk tools that sped up the product development process, while local Autodesk reseller Omnitech provided training and support.

HydroSpin used Autodesk Inventor software to support the design of its generator — which is similar in appearance to a fan-like turbine — so that it fit precisely within the confines of the Israel national water company’s detailed specifications without disrupting the flow of water. This helped avoid the “head loss” that could cause customers to experience weak water pressure.

Using Autodesk Simulation CFD software, the design team was able to perform extensive stress tests and flow simulations on the generator to ensure that it could withstand the flow of water at a variety of pressures over an extended period of time.

The company reports that Autodesk Simulation CFD was able to provide insight on the long-term performance of its generator within a matter of hours — a process that otherwise would have required an actual generator to be placed inside of a pipe for hundreds of hours at a cost of several hundred thousand dollars.

“Clean technology companies like HydroSpin save significant time and money when they incorporate Digital Prototyping tools into their workflow. This kind of efficiency enables more resources to be dedicated toward innovations that can have a real impact and create a better world,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Design, Lifecycle and Simulation at Autodesk.

Founded in 2010 and based in Israel, HydroSpin has developed a unique solution that incorporates in-pipe generators for generating electricity from the flow of water inside pipes and powering smart water monitoring and transmission devices.

For more information, visit: www.hydrospin.net

Published in Autodesk

When it comes to the manufacture of designer furniture in small batches, more and more providers are relying on 3D print technology, which can be used to produce spectacular designs at economic production costs, as evidenced by the Batoidea chair.

Batoidea, or stingray, is the name of a designer chair created by Belgian star designer Peter Donders. One look at this refined piece of furniture reveals the idea behind the name, as the design really does conjure up the image of an elegantly gliding stingray, visualising lightness and airiness, and impressing with its elegance. The production of this chair, which breaks with convention and is made of aluminium casting, would have been virtually impossible in terms of economic aspects without the use of 3D print technology.

Peter Donders was able to implement his unconventional ideas inspired by nature on a technical level using a computer and the well-known Rhino3D modelling program. The great advantage of this progressive work method: The CAD data set required for 3D printing was automatically available upon completion of the work on the computer.

The production of the generously sized chair with its complex stingray design required a total of five sand mould parts, which were manufactured at voxeljet's service centre in Augsburg. The largest mould part measured 1,105 x 713 x 382 millimetres – a size easily handled by voxeljet's high-performance printers. The largest voxeljet 3D print systems can accommodate shapes with a maximum volume of eight cubic metres.

The chair production process places great demands on 3D printing and the cast, as the design consists of a very thin-walled aluminium cast structure. The casting process is followed by grinding and polishing work, before a high-quality varnish is applied to the Batoidea chair.

For more information, visit: www.morphs.be or www.voxeljet.com

Published in voxeljet

PTC (Nasdaq: PMTC), a Founding Member of the Real World Design Challenge®,(RWDC) today announced that the Kansas Tornadoes representing Baldwin High School won the 2011-2012 National Finals Competition in Aviation and Team Xavier representing Xavier High School won the 2011-2012 National Finals Competition in Surface Transportation. PTC and the RWDC partners congratulate the Kansas Tornadoes for designing a light sport aircraft that enhances performance and Team Xavier for designing a next-generation motor coach that enhances fuel efficiency.

The Real World Design Challenge is a national design competition for high school students run by a public-private partnership with the goal of increasing the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) workforce. This year marks the fourth year of the aviation competition and the first year of the new surface transportation competition.

After a year-long competition, the best and brightest of student teams from 45 states and 6 U.S. territories came to compete in the national finals on Saturday, April 21st in Washington, D.C.

"President Obama is committed to investing in an America built to last; in order to achieve that vision, we need smart, hardworking young scientists and engineers like the students here at the Real World Design Challenge," said Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood. "This competition is a great way to inspire the young men and women who will build the modern transportation systems we need to keep America competitive in the global economy for years to come."

“Engineering is an important part of our country’s future, and the Real World Design Challenge is a program that offers software and technology to learn these design and engineering skills in a real world scenario,” said Dr. Ralph K. Coppola, program director, PTC. “Students have the opportunity to take advantage of a program designed specifically to encourage critical thinking. PTC is proud to provide support for the 2011-2012 competition.”

The RWDC problems were designed and supported by a team of engineers from government and industry including Cessna Aircraft Company, Rockwell Collins, the Department of Transportation and others to enable students to create the exciting technological advancements of the future.

As a founding member of the RWDC, PTC supports the program on multiple fronts. PTC provides program management, software to each participating school, including Creo® design software, Windchill® collaboration software and Mathcad® calculation software, introductions and connections to industry partners, team support and technical and administrative support.

This year, nearly 5,000 students from across the country participated in the RWDC. Every student participated at no cost to themselves or their schools with partners donating more than a billion dollars to schools since the RWDC’s inception. More than forty partners from industry, government, and academia have come together to make this a reality.

For more information, visit: www.realworlddesignchallenge.org

Published in PTC

Objet ltd., the innovation leader in 3D printing for rapid prototyping and additive manufacturing, is to be an official sponsor of the ‘Multiversités Créatives’ exhibition at the Centre Pompidou, Paris, starting May 2nd 2012. The exhibition features pieces from Neri Oxman, Artist, Architect, Designer and Assistant Professor at Massachusetts Institute of Technology, whose work has been created using Objet multi-material 3D printing – a capability unique to Objet Connex technology.

The Centre Pompidou is one of the most visited attractions in France with some 3 million visitors every year. This year's ‘Multiversités Créatives’ exhibition (May 2nd – August 6th) focuses on the future of industry and deals with new creative tools. Visitors will be drawn by 15 different projects created by a new generation of young designers exploring the intersection of technology and art.

“The sponsorship of this exhibition is momentous for our business as a broader awareness of 3D printing technology is key to the industry’s future rapid growth,” states David Reis, Objet CEO. “The 3D printing industry has the potential to invigorate how we think about product design, art and engineering. The process enables artists, designers and engineers to rapidly create whole assemblies, unique artistic geometries and functional prototypes straight from a 3D design.”

Objet is inviting the media to attend its Private VIP Media Event on Friday 4th May, which includes a guided tour of the‘Multiversités Créatives’ exhibition, accompanied by Neri Oxman. Taking place from 8.30-11.00am at the Centre Pompidou, the event starts with a VIP breakfast buffet in the Restaurant Georges on the 6th floor, with panoramic views of the Paris skyline. The Objet Media Event is by free invitation only; as number of participants is limited, to get your personal invitation early registration is required*:

For more information, visit: www.objet.com/pompidou-media-event

Published in Objet

Dimension 3D Printing, a brand of Stratasys Inc. (NASDAQ: SSYS), today announced the winners in its eighth annual Extreme Redesign 3D Printing Challenge. The global contest encourages students to submit an innovative product design, a redesign of an existing product, or an original work of art or architecture.

Dimension 3D Printing is awarding each of three student winners $2,500 or $1,000 scholarships in the categories of Middle and High School Engineering, College Engineering, and Art & Architecture.

Designs are awarded based on creativity, usefulness, part integrity and aesthetics. Instructors of the three first-place student winners will receive an Apple iPad for use in the classroom. With this year’s awards, the contest will exceed the $100,000 mark in scholarships granted since the contest’s inception. This year’s contest also features a bonus award category: Students who incorporated a school-spirit theme into their designs competed for a $250 gift card.

Winners were selected by a distinguished panel of independent judges from industry and the engineering media. This year's judges are David Mantey, Editor at Product Design & Development magazine, Ian Kovacevich, VP of Engineering at Enventys, LLC, Patrick Gannon, Engineering Manager at rp+m (a Thogus partner), and Todd Grimm, Editor at Engineering.com.

For full descriptions and supporting artwork of designs, visit: www.dimensionprinting.com/extreme-redesign/2012-Winners.aspx

Published in Stratasys

ZWSOFT, a leading supplier of 2D and 3D CAD/CAM solutions to the AEC and MCAD industries, announced today that it will partner with GrabCAD to present a 3D CAD model challenge. This contest wants CAD users to create imaginative and intricate 3D models that are designed in ZW3D CAD/CAM software. The winning entries of this challenge, will receive cash and other prizes, as well as a chance to be featured on the cover of a ZW3D 2013 brochure.

In this 3D CAD model challenge, participants are encouraged to run wild with their imaginations and create something extraordinary. Entries can be any object designed in ZW3D CAD/CAM, from a nice mobile phone to a sports car. For those who are new to ZW3D, it is easy to learn the CAD/CAM software with its built in show-n-tell tutorials.

“ZW3D is an amazing CAD/CAM product for modeling, mold design and machining. It offers top-notch design experience,” says Colin, Manager of ZW3D Technical Support Department, “now with this powerful software teaming up with GrabCAD, there will be a multitude of creative minds working, and I believe that this challenge will unleash new innovation in 3D design.”

This challenge will have a total of 6 winning entries, out of which one will have the chance to be on the cover page of ZW3D 2013 brochures. The first place winner will receive $500 USD and a 3Dconnexion SpacePilot™ Pro 3D Mouse which is valued at $399 USD. The second place winner will get $300 USD plus a 3Dconnexion SpaceMouse™ Pro 3D Mouse valued at $299 USD. The challenge is open to everyone. To enter, go to Grabcad.com, sign up and submit your design.

For more details on this challenge, visit: www.grabcad.com/challenges/3d-cad-model-challenge

ZW3D can be downloaded for a free 30-day trial from: www.zwsoft.com/en/products/zw3d.html

Published in ZWCAD

The award winners in the 2nd International Plastics Design Competition (IPDC) sponsored by SPI: The Plastics Industry Trade Association span a wide range of applications, and many of them embody innovative use of technologies in support of sustainability goals.
 
Culminating at NPE2012, the competition attracted 32 product entries whose details and images were posted online many weeks prior to NPE on the IPDC site. An international panel of nine judges evaluated the entries in advance of NPE2012 and in a special exhibit at the show itself. In addition to awards presented by the judges, there was a “Peoples’ Choice” award based on online and at-show voting open to anyone in the industry.      
 
The awards presented were:
 
Best in Show: the 111 Navy Chair, designed by Emeco and gas-assist injection molded from recycled PET supplied by BASF. The product also won the Buildings & Furnishings award and the Sustainable Consumer Product award.
 
Peoples’ Choice: the Zip Zester, for removing zest from citrus fruits; designed by Grass Roots Industries for brand owner Zip Zester; molded by Cashmere Molding using Battenfeld equipment, materials from EMS Grivory, and tooling by Questech Unlimited and China Monicom.
 
Automotive & Transportation: the all-plastics Tigris airline catering trolley, designed by ProMolding, molded by Bemis Manufacturing using tooling from VinylTech International, machinery from Milacron, and resin from Solvay Advanced Polymers. The product also received the Innovations in Plastics award and the Project award.
 
Consumer Products: the Purist Hydroflo Water Bottle, designed by Harbor Fluid Products for brand owner Specialized Bicycle Components.
 
Medical & Scientific: Mobilegs, an alternative to the traditional crutch for disabled people, designed by Studio + Weber for brand owner Mobi. BASF supplied the resin, and Illinois Tool Works did the toolmaking and molding.
 
Packaging: the 1-Seal container and lid product molded by Arta Plast from material supplied by Spartech Corp., for brand owner The Better Bean Company. Machinery for the project was supplied by Packline West.
 
Emerging Technology: 3D IML with MuCell, a 3D in-mold labeled packaging tub injection molded of expanded PP through use of the MuCell process. Brand owner, designer, and molder was PACCOR Packaging Deutschland. Netstal supplied the machinery and Plastisud the tooling.
 
Single Part: an injection molded component for a water outlet assembly, designed by MPC for brand owner Nissan, using material from Solvay, machinery from Demag, and tooling from Industrial Molds.
 
Sustainable Part: the Genesys Fluid Pump, designed by Millennium Mold Design for brand owner Multi-Duti Manufacturing, molded by Ci-Dell Plastics with material from Bulk Molding Compounds and tooling from Moldcraft.
 
Sustainable Process: Poly-Lactic Foam Article by brand owner and designer Sekisui Plastics, which was also responsible for materials, machinery, tooling, and molding.
 
Judges’ Awards: There were two winners: 1) Calibowl foodware by brand owner and designer Simplewave, with materials, molding, and tooling supplied by Jatco and machinery from Toyo Injection Molding Machines; 2) IML Syringe Barrel, designed by Tech Mold, CBW Automation, and Moldmasters, with machinery from Milacron and materials from PolyOne.
 
For more information or to view the winning entries, visit: www.plasticsdesign.org

Published in NPE
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