Here’s a clever use of social media. SolidWorks has just launched what it’s dubbed “an interactive Web series” with the intent of rallying the engineering and design community around SolidWorks-led design projects.
Called “Let’s Go Design,” the site employs a blend of social media, including blogs and Twitter, along with Discovery Channel-like programming to invite engineers (and regular viewers) to vote on product ideas and provide their own design input to a SolidWorks team as they work on completing a finished product. Hosted by 18-year design engineering veteran and SolidWorks employee Jeremy Luchini, the site currently asks viewers to vote on a product idea that Luchini will build first. Their choices: A CAD chair (what they’re calling a CAD control center); a breakfast maker that can prepare eggs, bacon, toast and coffee all in one fell swoop; or a self-leveling construction workbench that plugs into a trailer hitch.
In addition to being able to cast their vote for a project, viewers will be able to contribute their own design ideas via social media tools, which Luchini will coordinate and incorporate into the design. Luchini will keep everyone up-to-date on the design progress via his blog and Twitter feed, along with video that will showcase the on-going design efforts. In addition, the site will also serve up viewers’ tweets and blog comments, a valiant attempt to keep everyone engaged in the new social media community. If all goes well, SolidWorks is hoping to sponsor as many as four “Let’s Go Design” segments this year.
It’s yet to be seen if the effort will produce the next big design innovation. But it’s certainly breaking new ground in leveraging social media tools to foster community among engineers.
Truchard will be presented the award at the 2014 Golden Mousetrap Awards ceremony during the co-located events Pacific Design & Manufacturing, MD&M West, WestPack, PLASTEC West, Electronics West, ATX West, and AeroCon.
Robots that walk have come a long way from simple barebones walking machines or pairs of legs without an upper body and head. Much of the research these days focuses on making more humanoid robots. But they are not all created equal.
The IEEE Computer Society has named the top 10 trends for 2014. You can expect the convergence of cloud computing and mobile devices, advances in health care data and devices, as well as privacy issues in social media to make the headlines. And 3D printing came out of nowhere to make a big splash.
For industrial control applications, or even a simple assembly line, that machine can go almost 24/7 without a break. But what happens when the task is a little more complex? That’s where the “smart” machine would come in. The smart machine is one that has some simple (or complex in some cases) processing capability to be able to adapt to changing conditions. Such machines are suited for a host of applications, including automotive, aerospace, defense, medical, computers and electronics, telecommunications, consumer goods, and so on. This discussion will examine what’s possible with smart machines, and what tradeoffs need to be made to implement such a solution.