More than 100 manufactured products including cars, airplanes, snowboards, widgets and toys are featured on the floor at SolidWorks 2008, held this week in San Diego, CA.
SolidWorks representatives say the company is always proud of its users and views the event as an opportunity to showcase the wide variety of products created and manufactured using the software.
One of those products, the Big Belly solar-powered trash can, was demonstrated during Monday morning’s keynote address. The Big Belly uses solar panels to automatically compact trash and litter and can hold six to eight times more trash than a standard can. SolidWorks CEO Jeff Ray says it can save up to 1 billion gallons of diesel a year simply by cutting down on trash pickups.
A surprise keynote presenter was Danny Forster, host of the Discovery Channel’s “Extreme Engineering.” Forster, a trained architect, focuses his TV shows on understanding how big buildings are built, but also on how engineering and architecture have to link together to create buildings successfully.
The final presenter at the keynote was Theo Jansen. Described as an artist and kinetic sculptor, Jansen uses genetic algorithms to create mechanical “beasts” that propel themselves along his local beach powered by wind. The machines are built from inexpensive cable piping. Jansen tests the designs by limiting them to the wet sand area on the beach between the water and the soft, dry sand.