Who says 3-D CAD is just for mechanical design and engineering. SensAble Technologies’ FreeForm 3D modeling solution was the engine behind a group of artists making the leap from the physical medium to the digital world. As part of the SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project, 14 artists tapped FreeForm to create works of art ranging from a feathered French horn to a forest-scape-each using an all-digital system. The works of art were displayed at an exhibit showcasing the convergence of art and technology at the annual Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME) RAPID Conference and Exposition (SME RAPID 2020). The SculptCAD Rapid Artists Project is an effort to demonstrate how advanced digital design technologies can afford artists speed and creative freedom. One artist, Heather Ezell, said of her bronze “A New Leaf” sculpture, that it would have taken two months to carve one leaf, versus around 12 hours using FreeForm.
In other news, SensAble’s FreeForm 3D modeler also found a way to help a faucet manufacturer be more creative. PFISTER Custom Faucets, a SensAble customer and a division of Price Pfister Inc., is using FreeForm to design high-quality faucets and coordinated accessories on-the-fly in seconds at trade shows to demonstrate its design expertise and ability to bring custom faucet designs to market quickly.
The designs are quickly created using FreeForm’s digital clay to create curves and organic shapes as opposed to dealing with the constraints of parametric CAD tools, PFISTER’s eight-to-nine week concept-to-final design process is now three days. The designs can then be exported to traditional CAD/CAM software for further engineering, tooling and manufacturing.
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.