Last week some of the solidThinking team went to Orange County, California. We weren’t there for the sandy beaches or Disney Land, but for the 2013 Americas Altair Technology Conference.
After a great training session for some new Inspire users on Tuesday the Conference got into full swing on Wednesday. Altair Chairman and CEO, Jim Scapa, opened the event with a presentation of how Altair is changing the way organizations design products and make decisions. This included the Begin Here: solidThinking Inspire introduction movie. After Mr. Scapa, Robert McIntosh of The Boeing Company spoke about the choice of composites as the primary material for the 787 Dreamliner and implications that had on the development process. This was fascinating and stressed how optimization has replaced old “rules of thumb”.
Before lunch, James Dagg gave a glimpse into the future of not just solidThinking software, but Altair software as a whole. We will be adding more capability that will continue to change the expectation of design exploration software for our customers. As we have more specifics to announce we’ll post it here.
After lunch, the conference divided into breakout sessions and restarted the next day with speakers from Honeywell Aerospace, General Motors and Toyota. All of them re-enforcing the importance of simulation, especially optimization, in product design.
In the second afternoon, Rick Kerner from Polaris described how Inspire has allowed him to move from concept to design verification in half the time of his previous process. Polaris has used Inspire extensively to generate new structural designs for snowmobiles.
After that we packed our bags and headed home without visiting a sandy beach or Disney Land…
solidThinking was a sponsor of the IDSA’s recent 2013 International Conference in Chicago (Aug 21-24). The theme of the event was “Breaking the Rules”. That was quite literal for us when half of our booth didn’t turn up and we just had to improvise – apparently somebody broke the rules and took it from the hotel loading dock! Despite that we had some great conversations with the IDSA members who came by to see us, thank you.
A personal highlight for me was spending time with one of the speakers at an evening event. It isn’t often in our business that you get to sit down and chat with a gold medal-winning athlete. Blake Leeper is not just an impressive sportsman but also a great guy to hang out with. Blake is a bilateral below-the-knee amputee and has been using prosthetics since he was 9. In 2009 he got his first pair of running “blades” and since then has earned the American records in the 100m, 200m and 400m. In 2012 he competed in the 2012 Paralympic Games in London where he won the Silver medal in the 400m and the Bronze in the 200m. You can watch his inspiring talk on the IDSA website.
Another popular speaker was a former Altair colleague, Jim Couch. He didn’t so much talk to the conference as preach to them. You can watch his sermon, also on the IDSA website.
The winners of the International Design Excellence Awards (IDEA) for 2013 were announced at the event. The top IDEA honor went to the Tesla model S winning the Best in Show. Another big winner was the Nest Learning Thermostat, 2nd Generation won both a Sustainability Award and the People’s Choice Award.
You can find sketches by Craigton Berman and Stefani Bachetti with highlights from talks delivered during the conference here.
Our friends at Dimensions, Inc. in Indiana have used Evolve in their design process for a number of years. Here are a few of the hundreds of renderings they’ve created during that time…
The Altair University Team has launched a design challenge for students to re-design an every-day object of their choice. This is open to student members of our Inspire and Evolve community.
The team is looking for projects that demonstrate a simulation driven the product design process. The result should show how the new design solution improves the objects ergonomics, performance, functionality, manufacturability, or sustainability.
With the deadline for submissions on January 31, 2014 you’ve got plenty of time to finish, but don’t waste time getting started! This is where to find details of the challenge rules.
Adel Matar visited the University of Ferrara, Faculty of Architecture and Design, for the awards ceremony for second year students. Earlier in the year Adel had taught an Evolve class to the students and was happy to see the use of Evolve in the school projects. It was great to see that more than one student had also used Inspire to create their models even though they had no training in the application.
Our thanks go to course director Raffaello Galiotto and all the students!
solidThinking Inspire got a great response from the additive manufacturing community at the Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing International Conference hosted by Additive Manufacturing & 3D Printing Research Group (3DPRG) , based at the University of Nottingham, and the additive manufacturing consultancy Econolyst Ltd . Delegates gathered July 9-10 to hear some of the world’s most innovative artists, entrepreneurs, designers, manufacturers, and business leaders address subjects ranging from manufacturing processes and business strategies to process modeling.
The full press release is here, but our graphic gives you the highlights.
“solidThinking Evolve is the software I use to design worlds for the films I work on,” says top Hollywood concept artist Ron Mendell. “When I started working with solidThinking (Evolve) in 2004, they had the only viable NURBS modeling software available for a Mac. Today Evolve continues to move forward in leaps and bounds, improving upon something I didn’t think could get much better.”
Mendell continued, “At one time, a huge bulk of my work was building physical models for film and television. As they were replaced by full CG (computer generated) elements, I moved my toolset into the virtual world. Now, with today’s 3D printing technology, those CG elements can quickly become a physical model again. The demand for this virtual-to-physical process is becoming commonplace and Evolve is my go-to tool for making this happen.”
Today Apple revised the “Java for OS X 2013-004″ and “Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 16″ updates that shipped last week.
If you have previously installed the xM4508 version of these updates and encountered an issue installing a solidThinking product please upgrade to Apple’s fixed xM4509 release by manually installing:
<http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1572> (10.7, 10.8+) <http://support.apple.com/kb/DL1573> (10.6-only)
You can check if you have installed the xM4508 versions by running:
/usr/libexec/java_home -v 1.6 -exec java -version
If you have not installed “Java for OS X 2013-004″ or “Java for Mac OS X 10.6 Update 16″ already, you should receive this fix automatically through Software Update / App Store.
You can read the press release or just check our quick summary of what’s new here:
solidThinking Inspire changes the way product designers and structural engineers approach design.
“Inspire demonstrates solidThinking’s innovation and profound understanding of how companies develop products,” says Dr. Keith Meintjes, Practice Manager for Simulation and Analysis at CIMdata, Inc. “It is a tool that precisely addresses the needs of product-responsible design engineers. The straightforward user interface is easy to learn and use and helps designers quickly create efficient and often dramatically lighter structures.”
Meintjes adds, “Inspire provides an early indication of the effects of material placement on product performance, up front in the development process. It is a great example of how simulation can be democratized and made usable without the requirement to understand the details of the underlying technology.”
Here is a great description of Inspire in the German language :K CAD CAM Blog http://cadcam-blog.k-magazin.de/?p=6571 or as my colleague in Stuttgart said “Hier eine schöne kompakte Beschreibung von Inspire in der :K CAD CAM Blog”.