Great story, Beth. Now that the simulation is finished, is there a feeling that they would still need to build a physical prototype, or can they go straight to building the first system? I know many people in the auto industry who do both: They use simulation to study it, then build a better physical prototype.
There are obviously strong arguments on both sides. That was partly why Dassault Systems liked the project, according to the person I spoke to there. Given that there were environmental considerations both for and against Mougin's vision, they felt it was a perfect candidate to exploit 3D simulation to see whether or not the concept was even feasible.
Interesting idea. If you can afford to try it, go for it. I wonder what the environmentalists are going say. Dragging big "ice cubes" out of the polar regions might speed up "global warming" though....
Agreed 100% Loring. I'm not sure whether the simulation effort does more to prove out the power of Dassault's virtual prototyping suite, including CATIA, as you well note, or the potential of Mougin's vision. In either case, it makes for an interesting story, especially when you get the first-hand glimpse of what's possible in the virtual 3D world.
Dassault was an interesting choice for a company that could implement this kind of project. Still, I'm always a bit skeptical of large-scale geo-engineering projects for solving various global-warming, carbon-capture, water-transport issues, as they often fall victim to the old Law of Unintended Consequences! Still, a worthy demonstration for the power of CATIA.
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From design feasibility, to development, to production, having the right information to make good decisions can ultimately keep a product from failing validation. The key is highly focused information that doesn’t come from conventional, statistics-based tests but from accelerated stress testing.
There’s a good chance that a few of the things mentioned here won't fully come to fruition in 2015 but rather much later down the line. However, as Malcolm X once said, "The future belongs to those who prepare for it today."
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