Historically I think manufacturers have given a great deal of focus to magazines and other groups that have "ranked" there products because they saw a great deal of consumers that were using these tools to determine what to buy. As more and more consumers move to using blogs and internet sites for communicating about the quality of products and which products to buy, it will not be long before comanies will start to review this material just as much if not more than traditional print. Just look at the struggle traditional new media is having as more and more people get their news on the internet instead of the newspaper.
Ivan: You're right. Public discussion is more likely to get a meaningful response (even though it hasn't worked on this site yet). My experience has been that if you write to them directly, you get a form letter in return. "Thank you for your correspondence..."
I would really like to find a way for this kind of feedback to be presented to the manufacturer. It does little in the way of helping them if we only gripe about their designs. Here we have a large and varied collection of Engineers, Designers and Users that are willing to offer good and potentially actionable feedback on the design work of some of the largest and most important firms in the world.
Perhaps we can start collecting an email address or some contact information so that these posts and the responses can be forwarded to the manufacturer for comment and or action.
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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