Posts by Al Dean

PTC’s plans for social analytics with Plug-In 76 acquisition

Published 05 July 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: design, iot, ptc, visualisation, manufacture, product design, social media, big data, analytics

While at LiveWorx earlier this summer, amongst all of the talk around industrial IoT, Industry 4.0 and all the usual subjects that PTC focuses on these days, one little snippet came up in a press conference that piqued our interest: Social media.

During a Q&A session, one of the executive team made a passing remark about how it had acquired a new startup with the aim of bringing social analytics into the ThingWorx environment, but that was all that was said, particularly once CEO Jim Heppelmann said that they weren’t quite ready to talk about the acquisition yet.

We’ve learned that the acquisition is a small Swedish startup called Plugin-76, who have been developing a set of tools for PTC’s Retail, Footwear and Apparel (RTA) focussed FlexPLM product line for some time.

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Autodesk’s Generative Design tools to be built into NetFabb

Published 22 June 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: simulation, engineering, design, autodesk, manufacturing, topology optimisation, generative design, topology

Autodesk has announced that its generative design technology will make its appearance as a commercially available product inside of its Additive Manufacturing (AM) suite, NetFabb. For some years now, Autodesk has been showing off its set of generative design tools at various trade shows and user conferences.

While details have been scant, the company has made great stock of several public facing projects (with Airbus and others) that showed the potential for machine learning and artificial intelligence (A.I.) in the design world. What hasn’t quite so clear was how the company intended to bring it to market and turn it from technology into a tool that can be used by a wider audience.

Those that follow Autodesk’s work will be aware that the tools have been linked to Fusion 360, to a research project called Dreamcatcher and a few other instances and while much has been demonstrated, actual news on where this technology would appear, as a commercial entity, have been few and far between.

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New Balance partners with Formlabs and Nervous System for customisable footwear

Published 08 June 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: simulation, design, 3d printing, manufacturing, product design, materials, new balance, sportswear, sport

Following on from the unveiling of its Fuse 1 sintering machine, Formlabs has announced a partnership with global sportswear brand, New Balance, to bring 3D printing to large-scale manufacturing.

The relationship between the two Boston-based companies includes the development of footwear-specific materials, as well as printers to create products to improve athlete performance.

Continuous production using the new materials and machines is expected to begin in 2018, and will presumably be powered by Form 2 in an industrial, automated configuration called the FormCell, which links multiple Form 2 SLA machines with a robotic gantry and automated wash and cure stations.

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Formlabs unveils breakthrough €10k SLS 3D printer

Published 05 June 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: cad, design, 3d printing, 3d systems, materials, formlabs, sls

Formlabs has announced its latest 3D printer, a desktop-sized SLS machine, priced at €9,999, that looks to bring the benefits of stronger parts built using sintering technology, typically reserved for the more industrial end of the additive manufacturing spectrum, to the desktop.

Formlabs, which has built its reputation on bringing SLA to a wider, more cost conscious market, unveiled the Fuse 1 at the company’s Digital Factory event in its home town of Boston.

Offering a build volume of 165 x 165 x 320 mm, the Fuse 1 launches with Nylon PA 12 and PA 11 materials, both of which have been the long standing benchmark materials for sintering from the likes of 3D Systems, EOS and many others.

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Alibre 3D CAD to make a return following its divestiture from 3D Systems

Published 05 June 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: solidworks, cad, design, 3d printing, industrial design, 3d systems, product design, cloud, alibre, onshape

It looks like the low-cost parametric modelling system Alibre is about to make a return to the market and active development after its ‘wilderness years’ at 3D Systems.

A low-key post on the Geomagic Design/Alibre forums earlier this month showed that there was some news on the horizon.

The post, from former Alibre VP of marketing Max Freeman, informed users that “Myself and several ex-Alibre employees have created a new company called Alibre, LLC, and we have entered into a definitive agreement with 3D Systems to transfer Geomagic Design to our company for sales, support, development, etc.”

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Fusion 360 gets TraceParts integration

Published 18 May 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: cad, autodesk, manufacture, traceparts, fusion 360

While there’s already a number of standard parts integrations built directly into the Fusion 360 interface (perhaps most notably the slick integration with McMaster-Carr), there’s now a new one on the block.

Autodesk and TraceParts have announced that the Fusion 360 format is now available from TracePart’s standard and manufacturer specific parts library.

What that means is that there isn’t a need for a plug in, you have your Fusion session running, your browser open, find your part, select the part configuration you want, select the Fusion 460 format from the drop-down list and you’re presented with two options - to insert it into a new document or to insert it into the window you’re currently working in.

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Optis looks to integrate rich VR with haptic feedback and audio simulation

Published 16 May 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: simulation, design, visualisation, nvidia, aerospace, vr, optis

Looking to bring together the visual richness of VR with sound and feel, visualisation specialist, Optis has launched a new product, HIM 2017 Human Ergonomic Evaluation.

If you consider the rapidly advancing state of truly immersive VR capabilities we have now and how far that’s going to extend in the future, it’s interesting that most vendors are focusing on the visual aspects.

When we conduct a design review, there is much more than pure visual properties and feedback at play. There’s the sense of feel from holding and interacting with a product. There’s how it sounds as well. How many times have you found a product satisfying, not because of how it works, but also how it looks, sounds and feels?

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