Mike Campbell is an executive VP for CAD at PTC. He's also a member of the Design News Advisory Board. When I met with Mike a few weeks ago (oddly, we live/work fairly close to each other, but met in Germany), he sent over a few links to videos that PTC had created to highlight the features of its Creo design software.
I agreed to look at the videos. But to be honest, I get lots of these types of video where a vendor is pitching his product, and didn't have high expectations. The first two (of three) videos were really well done. However, they still fell into that "pitch" category. However, the third video really made me sit up and take notice. It still talks about Creo and how it was used by this OEM, but it was really compelling. It's a video about a company called College Park. Based in Detroit, they develop high-tech prosthetics.
The video looks at a few individuals who have made use of the College Park product to lead perfectly normal lives, if you consider motorcycle racing, snowboarding, and mountain climbing normal. It's a five-minute video, and I think you'll be glad you watched.
What an inspiring video. This has to be the most rewarding field of engineering. Not every engineer can have a job with such an immediate visible payback, but the engineers who do this work can easily see the difference they make in people's lives. Great video.
Speaking of rewarding; the design aspect alone is inspiring, indeed. I remember when I first started out, I made a promise that I wanted to work in a field that helped people, (as opposed to weapons & munitions which was an opportunity I decided to pass)
But beyond design inspiration, I was amazed at the images of the production facility at College Park. I mistakenly imagined prosthesis centers as little labs with a small staff of designers hand-crafting the elements; but that place was like a automotive production center. The operations manager talked about the multiple combinations of elements (stated 460,000 differentiation's possible!) Impressive logistics as well as inspiring design.
The video is excellent but the star is Reggie Showers "World's Fastest Amputee". He is very well-spoken and has an unbelievably great attitude. What an example of overcoming adversity. Wow. Thanks for the link.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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