Autodesk x T-Splines x EvD

Published 31 January 2012

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with:

EngineerVsDesigner Episode 27: Matt Sederberg from EvD Media on Vimeo.

Blame it on the post Christmas malaise (hell, blame it on the sunshine, moonlight and boogie), but we completely missed this one when it was first announced: Autodesk has acquired the assets of T-Splines.

If you’re scratching your head wondering what T-Splines is, then Dr Ming put this together a little while ago. Essentially, its a organic surface creation technology without all the fannying around with curves, control points and all that tedious stuff. It’s also been built directly into Rhino and SolidWorks. Now Autodesk has acquired it. I’d say more but the distinguished gentlemen* at have an interview with Matt Sederberg (who’s dad invented the technology) and is now Product Manager for its development at Autodesk.

Personally, I think this is one of the smartest moves Autodesk has made since the acquisition of Alias - specifically when it comes down to raw, pure, modelling technology. And I want this in Inventor Fusion. Now. And on the Mac.

* I say “gentlemen”. What I might also mean is “verbally incontinent gibbons with microphones”. And I love them both for it.

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Sustainability & the tragically discarded Lego

Published 31 January 2012

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: design, prototype, industrial design, sustainability, green design, lego, green, recycling

Last weekend I took a trip to the local recycling centre following a month long attempt to get the garden in some sort of shape for the spring growing season ahead.

In between sorting the scrap metal from the endless amounts of flotsam and jetsam, I had a few broken plastic plant pots to recycle in the bulk plastics skip.

While the ever present council operatives hovered, looking to skim off the good stuff, I looked down and saw the above poking out from the railings that separate you from whatever they do with this stuff. This struck me as a curious thing when considered in the context of design, manufacturing and sustainability.

Consider this: Lego. Age old childhood favourite. One that brings back evocative memories for almost everyone who as a child was lucky enough to have any. My own collection came from my much older brother and was extended on birthdays and Christmases. Now that has passed onto my own 8 year old son.

The eternally pleasurable sound of small hands swirling through a bucket of bricks is something I would imagine most designers and engineers recognise.

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Fashion design edging closer to 3D

Published 30 January 2012

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: dassault systems, fashion, clothing, bluegfx, marvelous designer

With Fashion Weeks around the globe drumming up much fanfare it’s nice to take a step back from the glitz and glamour of those perched on the catwalk front row, and think about the designers.

The industry is devoutly 2D - especially the haute couture of the most desirable labels, being more art than garment - so steps into designing through 3D tools has been a slow one. Last December Dassault Systèmes launched its Fashion Lab, and the engineering software company had previously been working tirelessly with mass consumer brands such as Under Armor in introducing 3D into apparel design.

This year sees a more unlikely source of 3D design influence coming from the games industry, with Marvellous Designer 2.

From what we can tell from the limited information that has accompanied its UK launch by resellers bluegfx, it is a straightforward games character dresser that can be used with most professional rendering programmes to give incredibly lifelike and detailed movement. It seems similar to a few other niche products, however, from its list of ongoing developments, there is nothing to stop it from being a tool to quickly take 2D designs quickly into a realistically assessable 3D model.

We’re contacting them for more information, so till then get practising your air-kisses and champagne quaffing.

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A little Friday diversion: Engineering Heritage

Published 27 January 2012

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: solid edge, triumph, norton, motorcycles, birmingham, bsa, wolverhampton, vincent, nostalgia

I had a chance to head over to Siemens’ office in Solihull earlier today to meet with the Solid Edge guys and the team from Local Motors about their plans for the Solid Edge Design1 - a post will be forthcoming next week once I’ve had a chance to type it up. But on my way back, I took the chance to pop into the National Motorcycle Museum, just outside Birmingham International Airport.

Those that follow me on twitter might be aware that I have something of a perchant for motorcycle design in its many forms, but nothing gets me going (yup. going) than classic British motorcycles.

I’ve lived in Wolverhampton since I was four and the town itself is steeped in the development of the motorcycle industry. In fact, its even mentioned in the introductory paragraphs of the classic but incongruously entitled (first edition in the 40s, last updated in the 70s) workshop manual, Modern Motorcycle Mechanics.

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Made North: Inaugural design conference in Liverpool

Published 27 January 2012

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: design, design council, liverpool, made north

Made North, a design conference ran by Culture North and the Design Council, is taking place at Liverpool’s excellent Foundation for Art and Creative Technology (or FACT) on 22 February.

We’re great advocates of the design industry across the UK getting some recognition - the further away from the Capital the better - so it’s nice to see a new conference for designers in the north of England.

It’s set to celebrate today’s innovators and provides a creative platform for presenting and debating ideas, processes and technology to inspire the future talent emerging from the north as well as new and established businesses.

Speakers include Daniel Charney, curator of the Power of Making exhibition at the V&A London; Alexandra Deschamps-Sonsino, co-founder of Tinker London and Designswarm, and Gareth Williams, senior tutor for the School of Design at London’s Royal College of Art.

You can find more details here, or if you can’t make it DEVELOP3D will be covering the event on the blog and via Twitter.

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Prime Cuts: The platform on which to look good

Published 27 January 2012

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: ptc, automotive, creo, university, sustainable, electric, coventry

This is the ECOMove QBEAK, a Danish company that has been looking into producing a car that was cheaper to run than a standard car – not only by being electric powered, but through sustainable materials and methods.

Despite being ‘visually challenging’ its heart is very much in the right place, creating a versatile, sustainable platform for small electric vehicles, and lets face it, the Model T Ford was hardly a Lamborghini Miura was it?

More importantly, tart it up a bit and it can look like this – the ECOMove Essence concept car, designed in partnership with Coventry University MA graduate Simon Sneftrup.

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Electric blue

Published 26 January 2012

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: automotive, ford, bmw, sustainable, honda, naias, eco, toyota, blue

Volkswagen leads the way with blue thinking

As a bonafide Red it pains me to have noticed that the future of electric cars and the automotive industry is decidedly Evertonian.

Our recent swagger around the halls of the North American International Automotive Show confirmed this, with Volkswagen leading the way with the continuation of its Blue Motion eco theme through its electric offerings. The latest Toyota Prius was bathed in sapphire; the Honda stand - traditionally blood red - was the colour of the sky, and BMW’s electric concept i8 was a mixture of Germanic silver and slices of electric blue.

It’s not often we cover something as base as colours on DEVELOP3D, but we’d like to know when green stopped being the colour of Green, and blue took up the mantle of all that is futuristically favourable to the environment?

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