Yes, Nancy, it's petty cool. Part of the reason simulation is used more these days is because it's now possible to do simulation without crunching data for days, weeks, and months. Processing power is making simulation easier to use.
Regarding your coment on choice, see the excellent book "The paradox of choice - why more is less" byr Barry Schwartz. Though, judging from the full text of you post, I would guess that you have already read it.
Rob, my husband is always telling our teenage son that too many choices is what is wrong with the world. We had one choice of phone color and that was black. We were so excited when white phones came out and we could choose between the two. Henry Ford said you can choose any color you want for your car, as long as you choose black. Fewer choices result in simpler and less expensive lives. I hate buying peanut butter anymore. I used to have to decide between smooth and crunchy. Now, I have to think about do I want smooth with some crunch, crunch with some smooth, crunchy with jelly, smooth with some jelly, crunchy smooth with some jelly, organic smooth, organic crunchy, organic smooth with jelly, organic crunchy with jelly, super duper peanutty...it is a market being driven by advertising with so many choices - its hard to imagine why consumers want even more...but they always do.
The fact that simulation can effectively see inside the device to watch how the component are responding to the impact...
Rob - I still have trouble wrapping my mind around that one - to have that capability is mind-boggling. I can also see applications where you wouldn't want to engage in drop testing due to perhaps cost or environmental factors but would like to know the effects of stress. Amazing what simulation can do and how it allows designers to try things that they would not have been able to afford or accomplish otherwise.
I'm not so sure about that Battar. For the young engineers raised on video games, the simulation may be more fun than dropping things. Remember, these kids put aside toy guns in order to play with simulated guns on the video screen.
I'm right with you in cringing at the disposability of small smart devices, but the market just loves the new model, and the competition is all geared toward new features. I blame my teenage daughter. Six months after getting the newest model she starts salivating over new features on the newer models. Doesn't make sense to me. I have a many-years-old Blackberry. Quite uncool and very few features.
Thanks for the comment, Nancy. Yes, simulation is working wonders these days. The fact that simulation can effectively see inside the device to watch how the component are responding to the impact may eventually make simulation more valuable than actual drop tests. Simulation certainly did wonders to land the Mars Rover.
While I agree with your sentiment wholeheartedly TJ, it seems like the way of the world. I was shocked when my printer died at 2 years old and the salesman told me that was its typical life expectancy. Actually, I have experienced shorter and shorter life spans with all of my electronics and appliances. I recently purchased some audio equipment at Best Buy and bought the extended warranties (which I had never done with past purchases) because I had a queasy feeling that I had to and I was spending a good chunk of change - something I would never have done in the past. I feel cheated that everything seems disposable nowadays and sadly that is the paradigm being instilled in the next generation. Longevity is no longer a design imperative.
I agree Nancy. With the variation in every component size, fit, weight. hardness, etc., this is useable up to a point. It looks like it will save a lot of time with initial testing, restricting physical testing to later, near finished designes.
At this year's MD&M West show, lots of material suppliers are talking about new formulations for wearables and things that stick to the skin, whether it's adhesives, wound dressings, skin patches and other drug delivery devices, or medical electronics.
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