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The power of the image

Published 07 May 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: rhino, mcneel

I could wax lyrical about the use of visualization tools as an aid to competitive advantage - the benefits of having photorealistic imagery of your products before they’re even getting near a physical manifestation, but I think these images, say it all.

Gulfstream rendered these in HyperShot and launched the 650 - its not due to be delivered until 2012.

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EFD updated by Flomerics

Published 07 May 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with:

Flomerics has launched a new rev of its Engineering Fluid Dynamics (EFD) fluid flow and thermal simulation product family. If you’re not familiar with the company, Flomerics have a range of CFD based tools that serve a range of markets, for architecture, mechnical and electronic design. The EFD tools are the result of the aquisition of Nika a little while ago. The concept behind EFD is that its based on the same mathematical Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) principles as all the other codes out there but is embedded in CAD.

Updated goodies in this release are an optimised mesher that’s less hardware intensive for larger models, Vista recognition, a brand new interface (yup - ribbons a go-go) and more porting of Flomeric’s electronics knowledge. One thing that’s intriguing me is Feature Recognition. The press release says: “unique functionality by recognizing features and parameters on an imported solid body. Therefore, users maintain all the benefits of parametric-based solid modeling and can easily modify geometry parameters to take advantage of effortless “what-if” testing regardless of where the solid model was created.” So, are they reconstructing features and allowing you to play with the parameters? that’s pretty impressive.

UI Rant

One thing I did notice is that with the rise of the Ribbon tool bar, the old days of saying that all these systems DID the same thing, is now compounded by the fact that they all LOOK the same. Look at the screenshot above - what’s that, is it SpaceClaim, SolidWorks, EFD? And is this a good thing? I’m not entirely convinced it is. The workflow of design and engineering, 3D modelling and interaction with geometry is NOT the same as filling out a spreadsheet and writing a word document. Should we be following the same user guidelines? Perfect example is AliasStudio - the interface is unlike anything else and never has been. And there’s a very good reason for that: you’re working with conceptual surfaces or class A surfaces.

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Bob’s got a Blog

Published 06 May 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with:

Why didn’t I know this before? Bob McNeel has a blog. Its updated regularly by himself and Carlos - Bob’s the founder of McNeel, developer of amongst other things, Rhino, Brazil, Accurender and all manner of other stuff that sells by the bucket load at a very reasonable cost and Carlos runs the European operation from their Barcelona office.

And as anyone who’s been to a Rhino event will know, this company has a following which other CAD vendors can only dream of. I don’t know if anyone has a Rhino tattoo, but its only a matter of time.

I was lucky enough to get to go to their DIMe event in Mexico last year and I was blown away - here, hundreds of Mexican design students gathered together, largely at their own cost, to learn about the process of design from some really big names in the game - and I don’t mean the 25 minute pitch of “how to innovate” nonsense you get at other user events, but hour long, in-depth details - and they listened.

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Matt Lombard’s Surfacing book is out

Published 06 May 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: solidworks, book, reading

Matt Lombard has a well known SolidWorks blogger, known for a distinct inability to pull his punches. He’s also a prolific author and his latest tome is out for your surface modelling joy. Having been writing about this technology for the last 45 years combined, we’re in awe of anyone that has the ability to sit and write that shear amount of content - personally, it gives me the fear.

In Matt’s words:

This book explains some of the elementary concepts of surfacing, and goes on to talk about tools and techniques. The last part of the book has several tutorials done in a conversational style, where I go through how I modeled parts, including how the decisions were made to use various features. This is not just a “do this do that” tutorial where you get the instructions to make a complex shape but never understand why you would do this or do that.

The book is $50, which includes shipping in the US. The rest of the payment and shipping details available here.

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