Manufacturers in chaos should take a look at CoCreate's OneSpace 2006 3D modeling software, suggests Product Marketing Manager David Szostak. "Chaos can be a sign of a healthy design environment if it means that there is a lot of interaction among members of the design team, and no restrictions placed on creativity," he says.
Built on a Microsoft platform and integrated with Microsoft Office, OneSpace enables manufacturers to leverage the technology they already have, whether in an Office for data gathering and communication, or an ERP system for manufacturing. It provides a 3D, lean, product development environment with a build-and-check methodology versus the stop-and-go associated with stage-gate processes. OneSpace targets manufacturers whose design teams face intense time-to-market pressures and have to accommodate unanticipated changes in response to customer/ market requirements. Those conditions result in rapidly-evolving designs and a need for continuous innovation. Szostak contends that history-based CAD tools are ill-suited for such environments. "History-free modeling has advantages of speed, flexibility and the ability to adapt to change," he says, adding that changes can be made more easily, more frequently, and later into the design process. "This allows a more responsive product development process that can adapt to new information, so the right product gets to market on time." That degree of adaptability requires "true team design," which means all team members "not just modeling gurus and CAD jockeys" can make significant contributions. Szostak says the OneSpace learning curve is dramatically shorter than that for history-based CAD programs — four-to-six weeks to full productivity, as opposed to four-to-six months. Adapting to change also requires that team members be able to pass designs back and forth quickly and easily, and to repurpose designs — extracting elements of a design and morphing them into the next generation of a product. OneSpace allows engineers to import designs from any other 3D environment and edit them as if they were created natively. Interoperability and repurposing are key characteristics of dynamic modeling, the capability that defines OneSpace, according to Szostak. The product's Model Manager provides a secure database for storing design data. "It supports the creative process — and true team design — by making it easy for team members to find existing designs to reuse or repurpose," he notes. "Members of the team can see who has what revision." OneSpace.net facilitates collaboration among team members. For more information, go to http://rbi.ims.ca/4917-636. View larger product image
More from our Golden Mousetrap Awards Best Product Finalists Engineer of the Year Readers Choice Awards Building a Better Mousetrap
More often than not, with the purchase of a sports car comes the sacrifice of any sort of utility. In other words, you can forget about a large trunk, extra seats for the kids, and more importantly driving in snowy (or inclement) weather. But what if there was a vehicle that offered the best of both worlds; great handling and practicality?
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.
Focus on Fundamentals consists of 45-minute on-line classes that cover a host of technologies. You learn without leaving the comfort of your desk. All classes are taught by subject-matter experts and all are archived. So if you can't attend live, attend at your convenience.