DUT Students Put Carbon Inside Race Car, Not in the Air!

By Olivier
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 Have you ever heard of the Formula Student  competitions?  They’re run by the The Institute of Mechanical Engineers .  The objective is to:

[Build] future engineering talent by [having students] design and produce a single-seater racing car, not just in design and manufacture, but in many of the management, marketing and people skills so vital in the modern world, across all sectors of employment.

Amongst the European universities involved in designing, building and running cars for the Formula Student competitions, one team stands out as the  a serial winner.  Their reputation?  They’re high performers known for doing things differently.

The Delft University of Technology (DUT) Racing Team and their latest winning project, DUT08, in a few words:

DUT_2_01– 60 enthusiastic students
– More than 1600 parts designed with CATIA
– 90 % of the parts are produced by the team
– More fuel-efficient, better and faster car
– Known for its very lightweight and agile single cylinder engine
– Runs on E-85 (85% bio-ethanol)
I had the opportunity to interview some members of the DUT team. Their race car was exposed dressed with its beautiful coachwork and painted with the original Delftware pattern.

Nothing seemed unusual from the outside until I asked to see under the hood.

Here is what makes the DUT Racing Team famous across the continent and beyond:  While many teams tended to increase the power of their cars, the Delft students designed their car as aerospace engineers would design a flying machine.

Their first target was weight optimization and adjusting the power solution to achieve this goal. This strategy has led the Delft students to accumulate a world-class knowledge on carbon fiber technology.

DUT_7_02The lightweight car body in combination with its 1-cylinder engine is so efficient that the fuel consumption is 2-3 times lower than that of the other teams!
The DUT success story began in 2008, when the team won all the prizes for the most fuel efficient vehicle, using  Bio-Ethanol. A well-deserved reward for their innovation and research… Congratulation guys!

I think the DUT Racing Team’s  work proves that we can combine sustainability and performance.  You can find the full story and interview here

Are automotive OEMs making similar progress?  Will they be ousted by the DUT students?  ;-)

What do you think?



OlivierOlivier Ammoun works in the Dassault Systèmes education team.

DSCC09 – Day 2: The Future is 3D and Lifelike, but for now I’m Okay with “Semi” Cool

By Rick
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I work for a company that does some pretty neat stuff. Here at the Dassault Systèmes Customer Conference we’ve been able to see into the future of how products will be designed and brought to market. But, even though I work for DS, I have to admit that I’m jealous. Yup, jealous. Does that sound strange?

After all, we have some pretty cool technologies out there. It’s clear that the vision of the company in how to use 3D to create lifelike experiences and online collaboration is different than most other PLM vendors. We’ve shown some really neat things, from iPhone applications that allow you to mix 3D models into true-life images, to virtually designing and manufacturing complete products before ever applying any physical resources and how to bring PLM to consumers with experience modeling and behavioral planning. So, why am I so jealous? Because I’m primarily focused on an industry that, at the moment, doesn’t get to interact directly with the consumer to offer a lifelike experience.

Don’t get me wrong, the semiconductor market has its share of cool technologies. We’re constantly on the leading edge of technology and functionality; most of the cool electronic products that you see including the 3DVIA Mobile application on the iPhone (http://www.3dvia.com/mobile) are enabled by the computer chips living inside of them. If you think about transistors as “parts”, we have products that have exceeded 2 billion parts and are approaching 3 billion. But in our products, those parts are so incredibly small that it’s measured at an atomic scale.

Bernard Charles demoing the 3DVIA Mobile app at DSCC 2009

Bernard Charles demoing the 3DVIA Mobile app at DSCC 2009

But Semiconductor doesn’t have the same type of awareness in the consumer market as other industries. After all, you don’t go to your local department store and shop for IC’s by walking up and down the aisle. You typically don’t look at the chip and envision how it impacts your life. You typically don’t build the chip by looking at cool 3D models of the intellectual property (IP) and pulling them over a palette the way that you would graphically design the interior and features of a luxury jet. I just can’t play with the fine Corinthian leather!!!!

At least…”not yet”. Bernard Charlès, CEO of Dassault Systèmes said something that has been echoing in my head for the last couple of days. In his typically energizing style, Bernard said that he wakes up every day with the approach of being the CEO of a $2B startup company. How great is that?!?! With that clear vision, level of energy and obvious commitment, you have to be excited about the promises that tomorrow brings and how you can change the world. I’ve worked for a startup and completely understand that approach.

OK…so maybe the shopping experience may not be a focus for semiconductor for a while. But the marriage of semiconductor design with virtual design, simulation, digital manufacturing and 3D experience technologies from DS will come. And that’s exciting.

DSCC09 – Day 1: Harnessing the Spirit of da Vinci

By David C.
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DSCC09 WebBanner1The first day of the Dassault Systèmes Customer Conference in Orlando opened with an homage to Leonardo da Vinci and his spirit of innovation (see video below). His commitment to pushing the boundaries and challenging conventions provides a great reminder as to why we’re all gathered here in Florida.

In his time da Vinci relied on pen and paper to capture his ideas, many of which proved to be centuries ahead of their eventual development. However, beyond his immediate circle of friends, contemporaries and benefactors he had a limited ability to immediately communicate and collaborate with, and then influence the world at large.

Fast forward to the 21st century and, while harnessing the power of inspiration and innovation has remained the same in many respects, how we communicate and share ideas has been transformed beyond all recognition.

We now stand at the crossroads of technology and consumer behavior with the potential for a major disconnect between providers and consumers. In a world where everything seems to be getting smarter (cars, phones, buildings and clothes, for example), how do we ensure that we’re not leaving the consumer behind in our pursuit of developing the next “great invention”?

The concept of Social Innovation was a theme that Bernard Charlès explored in great detail during his presentation today. As a loose definition, Social Innovation focuses on how companies can harness the latest developments in online technology to better understand the consumers’ emotional investment when placing value on new products.

To do this effectively, Bernard Charlès discussed how, in order to create an emotional attachment for a product in an online environment, we have to create a true, lifelike consumer experience. In addition to being easy to use, it has to also behave like and comply with real life. This will enable a consumer to make a true emotional investment and become fully engaged in the online experience.

Taking the opportunity to demonstrate the recently announced 3DVIA Mobile application for the iPhone (http://www.3ds.com/company/news-media/press-releases-detail/?tx_dastypressrelease_pi1%5Buid%5D=2265&tx_dastypressrelease_pi1%5Bcmd%5D=single&cHash=34c3b7f3f4) Bernard highlighted the strides DS has been making to bring the promise of PLM2.0 to life. While still at an early stage, it’s these types of applications that will help to promote a greater understanding and foster a stronger emotional investment amongst consumers who want to actively participate in a broader community and the innovation of new products.

What does this mean for the future? Unlike Leonardo da Vinci, who often had brilliant ideas in splendid isolation, we are now on the verge of being able to capture the collective genius of a truly global community in the process of innovation. Perhaps we’re about to enter another golden age of human innovation – only time will tell!!

Disclaimer: A customer asked us to edit out a few seconds of the video, so I’ve taken it down until it’s ready.

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