Next Generation Product Development Tools, Part 9

One reason for the current level of relative application complexity is the segmented, proprietary CAD market and the gated communities which form around a particular application. As we saw with SolidWorks some time ago, a productivity enhancing user interface combined with competitive pricing can breach insular walls and drive “volume” migration/adoption. The consequence of course being that competitors are forced to respond in kind.
Continue reading

Next Generation Product Development Tools, Part 8

In my previous entry the migration of digital tools in general was discussed; in particular, advancements in both usability and collaborative capabilities. In this and a couple of follow-up entries, I want to apply those filters to 3D CAD applications.

The Inevitable Fall of the CAD Priesthood

With any difficult to master skill there usually arises a group of experts who, over a period of time, too often take themselves a bit too seriously. The CAD community has plenty of these priests. And they’re not especially interested in giving up their lofty positions. That’s why I’m not surprised to read some of what I find being posted online by old school CAD experts; a significant portion of which amounts to “this new-fangled stuff will never work, I tell you”.
Continue reading

Next Generation Product Development Tools, Part 7

To cover the gap between this installment and my last entry:

  • In Parts 1 and 2, I covered the current low-end and hints of the future high-end potential for augmented reality.
  • In Parts 3 and 4, I touched upon both current mass production methods and emerging rapid manufacturing technology.
  • In Parts 5 and 6, I linked tangible to virtual (via “Digital Direct Manufacturing”) and discussed both virtually-created and physically-sampled three-dimensional objects.
  • In this section I’d like to do one thing: call attention to technology migration and the accelerating pace at which this migration is occurring.
    Continue reading

    Next Generation Product Development Tools, Part 6

    In the previous installment I focused on tools that help designers create virtual models. In this entry I want to focus on other ways to generate virtual models (in all their varying glory).

    The word “sampling” is probably most often associated with music, but it’s not at all limited to that application. Physical models are sometimes sculpted and their shape digitally sampled, or a previously existing reference might be digitized and used as a scaffold for building a new, virtual model. Or something entirely unrelated can be sampled and turned into a virtual 3D model {Note: had to add this excellent example: “spam architecture” – Link}. Once digitized, there’s not much that can’t be done with digitally sampled information.
    Continue reading

    Next Generation Product Development Tools, Part 5

    As the previous two entries were very much about the meatspace side of the equation and there was basically no discussion regarding the digital in “digital direct manufacturing”, I want to address that now. In addition, I want to expand from the relatively limited idea of “manufacturing” (which has certain connotations) to the broader idea of creating for the physical world; from artificial hearts to architectural wonders, from accessories to aircraft.

    Rather than talk about the digital component that unites all these endeavors, I’ll rely on videos to show some of the different ways digital information is integrated into various development processes.
    Continue reading