Back Up - Back Up - Back Up

Published 27 April 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: backup, human error, eejit

Time for a public confession; I’m hoarder of digital stuff. I’ve keep all those MP3s that I never listen to, I’ve keep all my research that I’ve done for 10 years worth of writing about technology, design and whatever else I’ve done. And I back up, every single week. Of course, just because you back-up, doesn’t mean that human error is going to come along and kick you directly in the seat of your trousers. So, this weekend, while rebuilding a laptop, I deleted a partition, started it off reformatting it – it took sometime. When the machine rebooted, I was surprised to see that the same old version of Windows was running. I checked. Yup, the backup disk I had connected, with 10 years worth of research, photos, mp3s and pretty much everything, had gone - half a Terabyte of it – gone. Just goes to show – even a back up is worth nothing when you put an idiot in charge. Arse. Now, where’s my copy of “Enter the 36 Chambers” – I need to re-rip it.

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Icona takes on Bunkspeed

Published 26 April 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: visualisation, bunkspeed, hypershot, tolerance, aesthetica, icona solutions, quality

If you haven’t come across Icona Solutions before, it develops a system called Aesthetica which allows both quality engineers and stylists to gauge the effect of manufacturing variation; but does so using a technology which allows both parties to do so using the tools and terminology they are used to. Quality engineers can measure gap and flush and all that good stuff, while the stylists and those responsible for aesthetic quality can inspect the different variants of a product using photo realistic visualisation.

What Icona has done is swap out its existing rendering engine for Bunkspeed’s HyperShot, which makes a huge amount of sense.

“This agreement with Bunkspeed enhances our market-leading perceived quality solutions by giving our users the ability to instantly produce photographic-quality images of product variation, with minimal effort but stunning effect”, said Tim Illingworth, commercial director, Icona Solutions. “We look forward to working with Bunkspeed in all those manufacturing sectors where improving a product’s perceived quality and the need for high quality images are critical to market success”, he added.

Version 3 of aesthetica, including the HyperShot integration capability, is scheduled to begin customer shipments in a couple of months time. Oh and HyperShot, if you haven’t seen it, is a rendering tool that rocks.

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Siemens PLM steps up its game..

Published 25 April 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: siemens plm, solid edge, nx, velocity series, future of cad

If you haven’t seen these videos, watch them. They’re pretty amazing. I’d make comments on this technology, but I want you to see it before I do. There are two parts on youtube, but there’s a high-res version worth downloading on the Siemens PLM web-site – looks pretty bloody amazing… Watch this space…

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CircuitWorks gets sold to SolidWorks

Published 25 April 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: solidworks, electronics, idf

OK, we’re working on a bit of a catch up here, so what’s been going on over the last few months. One of the stories that I loved over the past three months is the acquisition of CircuitWorks. Not only does it mean that SolidWorks gets control of an application that provides some pretty essential technology and tools for people that work with electronics and PCBs as a part of their mechanical or industrial design, but it also means that the two guys from Priware get the recognition they’ve deserved for a while. Nice job gents.. Sadly it does mean no more trips to Bristol or Much Wenlock (also the home of the modern olympics) or afternoons spent in the pub. Of course, CircuitWorks Lite has been part of SolidWorks for sometime but, according to the press release, CircuitWorks as a full product will now become immediately available as a component of SolidWorks Office Premium. It will be provided to existing Premium customers at no additional charge.

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DEVELOP3D goes public

Published 25 April 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: design, presentations, design theory

Well, we finally got to the point where we wanted to tell everyone about what we’re doing - many knew already, a few didn’t. Whatever the case was, they do now. the team sent out the following message to everyone we knew this morning - and if we missed you out, apologies, its been one of those weeks.


It’s with a huge excitement that I can announce the launch of DEVELOP3D, a brand new Product Development and Manufacturing venture from publishing start-up X3D Media ltd.

DEVELOP3D comprises a groundbreaking new monthly magazine and dynamic website which will keep the Product Development and Manufacturing community informed of all the latest technologies, processes and trends.

DEVELOP3D’s goal is to give the greatest independent insight and advice on the creation and reuse of 3D product data, wherever it touches the product development process; from conceptual design, through design and engineering, simulation and analysis and into manufacturing and production and beyond.

DEVELOP3D will also address issues surrounding the business of product development, innovation, and globalisation and green issues.

With Greg Corke, Martyn Day and myself heading up the Editorial team we have very broad ambitions and decades of in-house, industry-respected knowledge. We are continually sourcing additional contributions from industry analysts, community bloggers, customers, readers and technology experts.

We will offer a fresh approach to covering this industry, looking deeper and broader to give our readers a real cutting edge and competitive advantage in an increasingly tough global market.

I have included our media pack, which includes concept covers and article layouts to show you the bold new, contemporary design. Our first issue, mailed to 15,000 named individuals, comes out mid-June, with a combined July/August edition and then DEVELOP3D will go monthly from September 2008.


Al Dean,

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Starck @ TED

Published 27 February 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with:

Philippe Starck.. if you’re into design, then you know monsieur Starck. Phil, a good friend (Champ, not Starck), a close advisor on all things design and a man I rely on to keep it real when I fly off at a tech-tangent, commented on this with “Starck speech was interesting… Can never quite make up my mind between genius or arsehole.” you tell me? Starck: Arsehole or Genius?

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VW commit to Teamcenter

Published 26 February 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: automotive, plm, teamcenter, pdm

Siemens PLM Software came up with some interesting news, that it recieved a major order from Volkswagen Aktiengesellschaft for Teamcenter and its implementation. VW will use Teamcenter throughout its vehicle design and manufacturing process to “create transparency in its processes, so that obligatory information on product maturity, productivity and cost will be available at any and every point in the process.”

The product data management project (known as K-PDM ) at Volkswagen is laid out over several years and will include up to 45,000 users in the final implementation stage. According to the press release, the essential goals are to establish “efficient and consistent processes within the global development and planning network through the entire product development process – with K—PDM as central point for the product process within the Volkswagen group.

Contributing to the success of the program are several elements – accurate data and a synchronous supply for all brands, locations, individual sectors and levels, including suppliers and development partners. The K—PDM project also encompasses the existing IT landscape, which will be consolidated and the costs optimized. The goals will be achieved through a specific Volkswagen change project that is based on a unified company wide product data management solution.

VW states that “The decision to standardize on the Teamcenter portfolio was based on the software’s ability to integrate and provide a consistent solution beyond PLM, the market maturity of the software and Siemens PLM Software’s experience in the market.”

The project will be executed over the next few years in committed car projects and different levels throughout the entire Volkswagen group. Following the successful completion of phase 0 and the “Go Live” decision in November 2007, Teamcenter will be used in production for future vehicle projects at Volkswagen and Audi.

This is an interesting insight into the work that organisations like VW and Audi are going through – while many still don’t understand the concept of PLM, this is changing and changing at a rapid rate. Call it PLM, call it PDM – what matters is that organisations are using the wealth of tools avialable (from Siemens and its competition) to drive out inefficiencies and costs from their processes, by working more intelligently – something we can all learn from.

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