Chair made from WEEE

Published 05 November 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: solidworks

A chair made the recycled plastics of redundant video game consoles is helping reduce the amount of Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) from our nations gaming habit heading to landfills.

The design of Sprout Design, the REEE chair incorporates the plastic from 9 Playstation2 consoles, each chair preventing 2.4Kg of plastic entering our already crammed landfill sites. Using Solidworks to tweak individual components and construct the final design, the team at Sprout expect to ship 3,000 chairs (equivalent to 7.5 tonnes of recycled plastic) in the next year.

Engineer Guy Robinson, said “The final design is quite complex, though each component by itself is fairly simple. There were a lot of details to get the geometry and ergonomics right, such as how the stiffness and flex of the ribs responded to the body, and how to make the clips tamperproof yet easy to disassemble, etc. Solidworks allowed us to tweak the design of the individual components while showing how this affected the whole product to get it right. We would have abandoned this concept early on if we didn’t have that flexibility.”

The chair is the brainchild of Christopher Pett, founder of sustainable product development company Pli Design Ltd. Sprout used SolidWorks SimulationXpress to ensure the chair would be strong enough to support sitters without over-engineering the amount of plastic in the seat’s ribs, reinforcing the sustainable design theme. Both Pett and Robinson hope the Reee Chair sets a precedent for electronics manufacturers around the world.

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Wicked article on EOS DMLS

Published 04 November 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: prototype, rapid prototyping, direct manufacturing, eos

I’m trying to work out how much designers and engineers are aware of rapid prototyping and direct manufacturing processes and stumbled across this article by the team at MindTribe’s blog. Check it.

What I’m pondering is whether users are aware of the new techniques, new processes, new materials and such that are rapidly coming out, advancing and developing and how they can both be used as part of existing design processes or used to create something new, something exciting? Leave a comment and let me know what YOU want to know, how and what.

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Sloppy Marketing #2: SpaceClaim pull another one

Published 28 October 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: spaceclaim, sloppy marketing

You have to love it when a 3D company gets all comfortable and happy. Silly things start to happen. Last time I posted about SpaceClaim was to talk about its somewhat foolish crediting and usage of imagery on its web-site, which was at best misleading to say the least. I was pointed back at the web-site with the words “what’s going on?” What’s all the fuss about? well, simply, the company is claiming to be the “first 3D Direct Modeling system.”

Now, I get that marketing is often about stretching things a touch, but do the powers honestly believe that people are going to buy it? Yes, SpaceClaim is a Direct Modelling system, but claiming to be the first? Seriously? The new CEO (Chris Randles) sold MathCAD to PTC. PTC also own CoCreate, one of the handful of Direct Modelling applications out there. There’s also IronCAD and CADkey.

SpaceClaim is an impressive system, but the complete and utter lack of clarity, and to be honest and more increasingly, lack of truth surrounding the product, is doing it NO favours whatsoever.

Just thought I’d add Blake’s (one of the founders of SpaceClaim) comment to the front page:

As I mentioned on SpaceClaiming, “this mistake was caused by an overaggressive search and replace on a recent web site update and has been corrected. Thanks for keeping us honest, Al! We are well aware that SpaceClaim is not the first direct modeler, but we are confident that we are the fastest and most capable.”

Thanks again,
-Blake

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Shortfall shown in PLM user group activity

Published 28 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: plm

As the time of year for surveys crashes upon us, some interesting figures are showing that only six per cent of PLM user group cooperation actually taking place.

Subsequently, 39 per cent of PLM user groups are now defunct, with fewer than 10% of the remainder having any activities planned. The survey from the Product Lifecycle Management Interest Group (PLMIG) offers reasons for the decline that include the workload placed on unpaid officers, and the lack of relevance and interest in the agenda.

A spokesperson for the PLMIG, said: “This represents a major lost opportunity for PLM implementers, because the more significant and intractable problems in PLM can be resolved only by effective exchange of ideas and methods between experienced users.”

In response to their findings the PLMIG are conducting a two-day user forum in Reading on 13-14 November, giving delegates the opportunity to present an overview of their own PLM environment as input to the discussions and generate the common material they need.

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Skinny HP unveiled with CAD in mind

Published 27 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: hp, workstations

HP has unveiled its latest slice of technology designed with the CAD market in mind, the trim ThinClient workstation, based on the AMD Turion Dual Core 2.3-Ghz processor.

Roberto Moctezuma, vice president and general manager, desktop solutions organization, HP, said: “This latest technology from HP removes one of the last remaining barriers to transitioning to a virtual client infrastructure for customers who require the highest levels of processing power or high-quality multimedia capabilities.”

The gt7725 is shown as viewing multi-display, two- and three-dimensional MCAD designs, engineering simulation results for computational fluid dynamics and rendering images. Advanced system performance is also promised through configured dual channel memory with optimized data throughput.

Available from January, this could be a useful addition for designers wanting to work from home, pushed for space and needing a light workstation; they can also take advantage of the pre-installed HP remote graphics software. Allowing the user to work closely with remotely in a secure, collaborative environment, the system should eliminate the need to upgrade to an expensive 3D graphics card on each user’s machine.

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Big bird

Published 27 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: cad managers

Far be it from us to stand in the way of all things art, but having seen the scale of this shiny, rather fragmented, black bird, we felt implored to comment.

This work from Mexican-based artist Carlos Amorales was completed with the aid of technology and engineering design firm Concurrent Design using technology from ZCorp printing.

Built in their Alton offices for the opening of the Yvon Lambert Gallery in London, Concurrent Design, the Bird Sculpture by Amorales is a giant piece of work. Having had a chance to handle a gleaming wing segment, we can vouch for the size of this birdy, of which the larger segments are said to be the size of a surf board.

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Tell us where it hurts…

Published 24 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with:

Are you a hard working CAD manager? Finding the office life a grind with no support, increasing numbers of staff to boss, and spending too much time converting files?

Well all of this has been noted by the fifth annual CAD Managers Survey Report that lists the major issues for the modern day CAD manager (unless you’re very happy, with a well trained tight-knit team utilising your software package to its limits – in which case why didn’t you return your survey?).

Evolve Consultancy’s report highlights five main areas of the CAD Manager’s role: management, software, support, training and CAD standards, and finds that managers have seen an increased level of responsibility in 2008, managing more staff, implementing more software packages and supporting an increased number of users than before.

Support is apparently a major bottleneck in the industry, with the average call to a support provider taking 39.3 hours (nearly five working days) to resolve. Investment in training is critical and 70 per cent of respondents noted that their main support issue was due to a lack of ability or understanding of the CAD software.

However, a key grumble taken from the report files the need to “identify and implement standard methods and procedures that can help reduce the unnecessary time compiling, formatting, translating and issuing data.”

Does this sound like the common list of woe that is tossed around between you and your fellow managers? Let us know what gets your goat.

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