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.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
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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