Car manufacturers have been deploying 3-D simulation to aid in car design for years. Now one car company-General Motor’s Buick division–is enlisting 3-D simulation technology to digitally test some of the world’s toughest road surfaces in yet another attempt to eliminate design flaws at the earliest stages of development.
Leveraging work done by Mine Tasci, a team of Buick engineers have built a road scanner, which works with cameras and a laser to make a micro-detailed 3-D digital representation of a road surface down to 1mm of fidelity. The engineering team is testing out the technology on a road leading to Mexico’s Cerro del Cubilete shrine– a twisting, rocky path that Tasci says will bring out any vibrations, rattles or other problems with a vehicle design. By recreating this road via simulation, the Buick team is then able to test digital 3-D representations of early Buick models on the digital roads to examine quality and reliability before actually building physical prototypes and subsequently road testing them on challenging terrain.
Just like CFD, FEA and other forms of computer-aided simulation, Buick’s innovative use of 3-D road testing is just another example of how virtual prototyping and simulation are helping engineers refine product designs far earlier on in the process, therefore reducing their reliance on costly physical prototypes and accelerating time to market.
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.