By Matthew
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DitaoEComing this April 11-12 in Milan, Italy – join colleagues and like-minded design-focused professionals from around the world as they converge on what will be a blow-out global conference.  For two days, come and be inspired by solutions delivering disruptive 3D experiences for designers around the world. Let’s imagine together the future of Design and Engineering, connecting the dots from FICTION to FUNCTION, and innovating across roles on Dassault Systèmes.

ENOVIA will be at this event and we invite you to join our breakout sessions planned that we hope you attend.

April 11
Day 1:

  • Brand CEO Breakout Session

April 12
Day 2:

  • Accelerating Market-Driven Product Development with Garth Coleman VP of ENOVIA Brand Marketing (9:30am)
    Learn how to get the best ideas from the market and enable requirements-driven
  • Keeping complex projects on time with Invisible Governance with of ENOVIA Brand Marketing Howie Markson (10:15am)
    Learn how to provide global teams with accurate, realtime information to keep design deliverables on track and respond to ever-shrinking product lifecycles
  • Harness the power of 3DEXPERIENCE and CATIA V5 with Howie Markson (11:30am)
    Learn what exciting and unique 3DEXPERIENCE® applications can be leveraged by CATIA V5 data to enhance your design capabilities and improve your productivity
  • Disruptive Engineering using Data Driven Design with Sameer Arora of ENOVIA User Experience (1:45pm & 2:30pm)
    Learn how to quickly capitalize on multiple market opportunities to capture market share and significantly improve design productivity

1_ENOVIA 3DConfigurator

  • Move to 3DEXPERIENCE with Sameer Arora (4:00pm)
    Transition & Coexistence approaches for CATIA V5 users moving to the 3DEXPERIENCE platform


The day will have the other Dassault Systèmes brands on site with engaging and exciting content.  Additionally, plan to check out the 3DEXPERIENCE Playground where you will be able to enter virtual universes where you will discover how the 3DEXPERIENCE platform helps companies innovate in the age of experience and shape the future.

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We look forward to you joining everyone at this event.

HERE’s a LINK to the detailed agenda and all the relevant info for the two days can be found on the landing page HERE.

See you in Milan!

Additive manufacturers lead a design revolution

By Catherine
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Written by Catherine Bolgar
3D printer

Additive manufacturing—industrial-strength 3D printing—is shaking up the world of industrial design.

The global market for additive manufacturing (AM) grew 35% in 2014, as companies increasingly find new ways to use the process. AM builds up objects layer by layer, as opposed to conventional, or subtractive, manufacturing methods, which cut or grind down a solid piece to the desired form.

As a result, AM is capable of producing new shapes that would have been difficult to create using conventional methods. It can also fashion new internal architecture that’s hollow or contains lattices, instead of being solid. This not only reduces the amount of material used, it also makes the end product lighter. And it allows us to rethink design.

Additive technology has opened up the door for us to conceive shapes and designs,” says Joshua Mook, engineering manager, additive technologies, at General Electric Aviation in Cincinnati. “Shapes are now free, complexity is free, so we can go satisfy the physics and the shapes in the way they want to be satisfied.”

Cooling devices, such as car radiators or laser cooling systems, can now be designed with interior channels that aren’t possible when using conventional manufacturing tools.

3D printer concept“Designers can take technologies that were mature before and now can add functionality,” says Matt Wraith, group leader, defense technologies engineering division, at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in Livermore, California. “A good designer is going to think about the manufacturing process when designing a part, but you have [far] fewer restrictions with additive. It’s a challenge for some technical staff, because they have to forget all the things they learned in the past.

The new mindset is leading designers to seek inspiration from nature rather than manmade structures.

“Historically we have handled problems like high loads by transferring some of the load to another member or out into the airplane,” Mr. Mook says. “All our solutions used to look like textbook solutions, with beams, right angles, things that are easy to cut.

In the future, ”they’re going to look more like bones in the human body,” he adds. “They’re not going to have constant cross-sections or predictable or recognizable shapes. They’re going to look much more freeform.”

AM is particularly suited to evolutionary structural optimization, a design idea from the 1990s based on removing non-load-bearing materials, allowing structures to be hollowed out as much as possible.

These new geometries can affect a material’s properties.

Engineer working on a 3D printer“In many cases, you go from molten to solid very quickly. That has negatives and positives. If you truly understand it you can use that to your advantage and generate materials that are stronger than in the past, like in a cast that solidifies very slowly. If you don’t understand it, it can lead to cracking and weakness,” Mr. Mook says. “Just as forging and casting are different, we treat AM materials differently from materials from other processes. We do extensive testing.”

Internal passageways also can alter a part’s performance. GE Aviation used AM to make a jet-engine fuel nozzle, which has many passageways for air, fuel and thermal isolation. “Fuel comes in ice-cold from the wing tanks,” Mr. Mook explains. “Inside the jet, it’s extremely hot. When you have extreme cold and extreme heat next to each other, it produces thermal stress. That has limited designs for a long time. Now, we can do a better job of getting fuel where we want it and air where we want it, and the parts can have longer lives.”

AM also offers the unique ability to change the density of a material within a single piece, though the technique is still at the research stage.

On a simpler level, AM is democratizing design. “You can reverse-engineer an item,” says Mr. Wraith of Livermore Lab.

If you have an existing part, you can just scan it. There’s no need to design it.”

Online databases contain open-source designs, while other designs can easily be bought.

“That’s the future,” Mr. Wraith says. “You download the design for a part and print it and you’re good to go.”


Catherine Bolgar is a former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe. For more from Catherine Bolgar, contributors from the Economist Intelligence Unit along with industry experts, join the Future Realities discussion on LinkedIn.

Photos courtesy of iStock

Disposing of the disposable economy

By Catherine
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Written by Catherine Bolgar

The modern economy’s cycle of production, use and disposal—also known as the churn model—is under strain. “It could continue, but without closing the loop of the circular economy it isn’t feasible,” says Manbir Sodhi, engineering professor at the University of Rhode Island in the U.S.

But the alternative supply chain—which involves repairing, recycling or disassembling as part of the circular economy—can’t match the current system’s economies of scale for creating new products. “The volumes are too widely scattered,” he says.

The throwaway mentality of today’s consumer evolved from early-20th-century demands for better hygiene. “The earliest disposable [man-made] products were paper towels or napkins,” Dr. Sodhi says.

Instead of using cloth materials that had to be washed, the hygienic replacement was disposable products. Since then, we’ve gone to the phase where the efficiency of production makes it difficult for lasting products to compete.”

However, a new design approach might challenge this mindset. “If you want people to keep products for a longer period of time, you can try to stimulate emotional bonds to the products,” says Ruth Mugge, associate professor of consumer behavior at Delft University of Technology in the Netherlands.

“One way to do that is personalization,” she says. “If you personalize a product, you put effort into it in a way that suits your personality and your identity.

iStock_000020125423_SmallDr. Mugge’s research compared the attitudes of cyclists who painted their bikes with those who didn’t. “If you look at the functional aspects, like whether the bike is still working properly and whether it was worth the money, both groups were equal,” she says. “If you ask whether they bonded with their bikes, those who personalized felt much more attached to the bike than the other group did.

But customization carries risks. If consumers are entirely free to make alterations, companies risk losing control of their brands. “It’s important to give consumers some freedom, but the company is still making the big design choices,” Dr. Mugge says.

Furthermore, though often treasured for years, “bespoke products are really expensive,” says Danielle Applestone, chief executive of Other Machine Co. in San Francisco. “We have to decide we want products that last, but products that last have to be made more cheaply. If you only have $50, you can’t pay $500” regardless of how well that product meets your personal needs.

To bridge that gap, Other Machine Co. produces small-scale manufacturing tools, such as milling machines that make prototypes and customized or small-batch electronics.

“Desktop manufacturing lets you make smaller batches, Just in Time,” Dr. Applestone says. “It cuts down on waste, and you can provide customization at a price point that people can afford.”

Moreover, customers appreciate knowing a product’s origins. “It gives products a story and meaning, so people will want to keep them,” she says.

Similarly, heritage or heirloom design creates sentimental value. People tend to hold on to possessions such as watches, jewelry, paintings or furniture that tell a personal story.

“The tricky part is that while they should be able to last a long time, some you can’t keep a lifetime,” Dr. Mugge says.

New regulations could help extend a product’s life. The Brussels-based European Consumer Organization suggests ways to improve durability and repairability through new product-standard legislation, better consumer information, longer guarantees, greater availability of spare parts and more digital support. Meanwhile, the European Union’s Ecodesign Directive has set minimum durability standards for such goods as refrigerators, lighting and vacuum cleaners.

One appliance maker set its own unconventional benchmark when it advertised its washing machine with a wedding dress, and a strapline suggesting that its machines could outlast the average marriage.

Another way to extend durability is by changing a product’s dimensions or using new materials. This might “make a product more expensive, but if it lasts longer, it will give the brand a positive image,” Dr. Mugge says.

Alternatively, manufacturers could make it easier for customers to access a product’s inner workings or simply replace the batteries. Companies might not intentionally make it hard to fix their products, but the miniaturization trend—especially in electronics—often means that consumers need specialized tools to do so, Dr. Sodhi adds.

“It’s really an issue of consumer mindset,” he says. “People don’t have time or capability to do repairs. At the same time, they have enough money to buy new things. In societies where people don’t have money, they will repair.”


Catherine Bolgar is a former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe. For more from Catherine Bolgar, contributors from the Economist Intelligence Unit along with industry experts, join the Future Realities discussion on LinkedIn.

Photos courtesy of iStock

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