The most creative engineers in the world are in the U.S., and all the breakthroughs in new technology come from here.
Wrong, of course.
Certainly, U. S. engineers are among the first to take a chance with new technology. Just ask software developers. They’ll tell you that most often it’s Americans who will try the latest CAD innovation first. 3D solid modeling software, for example, has taken off faster here than in Europe and Asia. Still, a closer look reveals some interesting insights:
CATIA, long one of the major CAD programs in the world and among the leaders in adding new functionality, is developed in France by Dassault Systemes, a subsidiary of IBM.
Open CASCADE, the recently commercialized software architecture of Matra Datavision, is also a product of French origin.
Frammasoft, another innovative software package, is based in France.
OneSpace, one of the pioneering web-enabled engineering collaboration tools, originated in CoCreate’s German offices.
SYSNOISE, among the leading finite element analysis programs for predicting vibroacoustics, is developed in Belgium for LMS.
FALANCS, another LMS software product for predicting durability and fatigue, is developed in Germany.
MICROCADAM, another important CAD package is developed in part in Japan.
And we haven’t even touched on some of the other important engineering technologies that originate outside the U.S. For example, such leading and innovative companies as Schneeberger, NTN Bearing, NSK, NMB, and SKF, among others, all have major product-line-development arms on other continents. And each one, like the software companies, is noted for the quality of its technology and technical support.
You’ll find many other examples of innovative engineering work in this special International Issue of Design News. It all points to one of the prime realities of design and manufacturing today:
Engineering genius is truly a global phenomenon—more now than ever before.
During a teardown of the iPad Air and Microsoft Surface Pro 3 at the Medical Design & Manufacturing Show in Schaumburg, Ill., an engineer showed this "inflammatory" video about the dangers of maliciously mishandling lithium-ion batteries.
Science fiction author Isaac Asimov may have the best rules for effective brainstorming and creativity. His never-before-published essay, "On Creativity," recently made it to the Web pages of MIT Technology Review.
Much has been made over the potentially dangerous flammability of lithium-ion batteries after major companies like Boeing, Sony, and Tesla have grappled with well-publicized battery fires. Researchers at Stanford University may have come up with a solution to this problem with a smart sensor for lithium-ion batteries that provides a warning if the battery is about to overheat or catch fire.
In this new Design News feature, "How it Works," we’re starting off by examining the inner workings of the electronic cigarette. While e-cigarettes seemed like a gimmick just two or three years ago, they’re catching fire -- so to speak. Sales topped $1 billion last year and are set to hit $10 billion by 2017. Cigarette companies are fighting back by buying up e-cigarette manufacturers.
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