Visualizing 3D Design with Ease

By Alyssa
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Designers have been working in 3D software for years, generally reviewing their work on a 2D computer screen.  Even as larger monitors were produced, there were limits to how well a product could be viewed on a flat surface; not all product elements could be seen enough to ensure issues were caught early – critical since that’s when it is a lot less expensive to make changes.

Some large, well-funded companies developed immersive CAVEs (Cave Automatic Virtual Environment): virtual reality environments consisting of a cube-shaped room in which the walls, floors and ceilings are projection screens.  Donning a VR headset, users can interact aided by devices such as wands, joysticks or data gloves.

But not everyone can afford to build a CAVE, and even those that can are limited by the expense of the headsets and by the requirement that users be present at the facility in which the CAVE is located.

In 2016, a new solution for 3D design review emerged: low-cost head mounted devices, or HMDs. This development is opening up an entirely new age of design.  Now, many more designers and engineers – regardless of where in the world they are – can immerse themselves in a design and experience it in a way that makes any issues much more evident.  This saves time and money because changes can be made before the physical product is built.

Check out the latest issue of Compass for an article entitled “Product Design Enters a New Reality.”  You’ll discover examples of how organizations like Embraer and NASA are leveraging this immersive virtuality (iV) technology, and how they expect it to improve their designs and the processes behind them, as different teams can collaborate more easily and see – and resolve – issues in less time.


Images © Embraer and © HTC

Making Lean/Agile Work

By Catherine
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By Catherine Bolgar

Businessman designing a project

Product life cycles are shrinking fast in high-tech industries. Companies face pressure to perform on measures that often are at odds with each other: speeding up innovation, managing increasing complexity and keeping costs under control.

Most companies turn to modular architectures to break complex projects into manageable parts, according to “design rules” that organize the pieces into a hierarchy and allow for governance.

“The set of design rules determines who can access what kind of information,” explains Rick Kazman, professor of information technology management at the University of Hawaii in Honolulu. “Ignorance is strength—that fact that I don’t know, and don’t need to know, how you implement the rules you present to me is a good thing. I can only focus on so much detail. So not having to think about the details of how you do your thing frees up my mind.

Wikispeed, a group of volunteers from around the world, used lean/agile techniques with modular architecture to develop a car with gas mileage of 100 miles per gallon, or 1.5 liters per 100 kilometers. And they did it in three months.

“It was the shortest design cycle ever from idea to road-certified vehicle,” says Joe Justice, chief executive of Wikispeed and president of hardware at Scrum Inc., a Cambridge, Massachusetts, which trains and coaches companies on implementing Scrum techniques. Scrum is an organizational framework for fast software development.

Group Of Designers Having Meeting Around Table In OfficeIt’s an agile way to manage a project, Mr. Justice says, offering companies less complex governance. Though the idea started for software development, “all companies now are software companies,” he adds. Loosely coupled modules allow hardware, as well as software, to be developed in one-week cycles.

At this rate of change, long-term planning requires a shift toward agility, notes J.J. Sutherland, chief product owner at Scrum Inc. “People would lay out a five-year plan and spend hundreds of millions building [the product]. And halfway through, they would realize that what they were making wasn’t what they need. But they can’t change, because of the cost,” he says.

The Scrum framework involves five short, focused meetings a week, each with a specific agenda and participants trained on what they are to do in each meeting.

It’s modeled on professional sports, where everybody knows what they have to do in each play,” Mr. Justice says.

The work is divided into small modules and the teams into small cross-functional groups of three to nine people. The arrangement provides teams with both ignorance—they don’t need to get bogged down in other groups’ work—and also transparency and visibility into what is being built and what is actually going to be delivered and when.

“The act of teamwork makes everything visible. It becomes part of the actual workflow,” Mr. Sutherland says.

Maintaining independent modules allows for them to be changed without having to change the entire system. But that only works if the design rules are respected, and in the real world, many systems have design flaws, Dr. Kazman says.

“Software systems degrade,” he explains. “That means that over time, developers are going to spend more and more time and effort trying to make changes and fix bugs and deal with the accidental complexity that has accumulated. That means less energy goes into the actual business of your business, like adding features that your customers care about.”

programmer profession - man writing programming code on laptopBecause such degradation happens so incrementally it goes unnoticed, then ignored, until it reaches a crisis level that requires a concerted cleanup. “It becomes the new normal and people just accept it,” Dr. Kazman says. “A lot of the time, developers aren’t aware of the problems. They know they have a yucky feeling but don’t know exactly what to fix.”

Tools can help to automatically identify design flaws. Tooling can determine the number of bugs in the flawed part of the system compared with the well-structured part. At some point, continuing development with the bugs slowing everything down will cost more than just fixing the problems.

Architects need to be proactive thought leaders in terms of promoting modularity and design rules,” Dr. Kazman says. “They need to teach, audit and give examples. They need to be the gatekeeper to ensure that the rules are followed and, if not, that there’s a conscious action to fix the problem.”


Catherine Bolgar is a former managing editor of The Wall Street Journal Europe, now working as a freelance writer and editor with WSJ. Custom Studios in EMEA. For more from Catherine Bolgar, along with other industry experts, join the Future Realities discussion on LinkedIn.

Photos courtesy of iStock

INNODESIGN: evolving great design through cloud-based collaboration

By Alyssa
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It’s no secret that today’s consumers are demanding.   They insist on innovative products with interesting design…and their tastes are constantly evolving.  Keeping pace with these fluid desires and needs is among the most significant challenges today’s product-focused organizations face.

im01INNODESIGN, one of the top ten design firms in the world, has a strong heritage of staying on top of consumer preferences and trends.  Knowing that today’s Experience Economy is creating greater demand than ever for new and unique products, the company set off on a mission to improve the ways they shared design ideas and streamline their design processes.

To support an open and collaborative approach to design, INNODESIGN adopted Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform on the cloud and its HT body industry solution experience.  Now, INNODESIGN stylists can generate and evaluate more design ideas and speed their transformation to become engaging products.  One of the ways these solutions help accelerate products to the market is that the CATIA application eliminates manual work by recording design changes within the platform.  Another is that it offers the power to easily communicate design intent to clients by giving them a realistic view of what the future product will look like.

innodesign-02The solutions are also being used in South Korea’s first Design Accelerator Lab (DXL-Lab), which INNODESIGN’s CEO, Youngse Kim, founded in order to provide Korean startups with a place to get their projects off the ground. One of DXL-Lab’s missions is to give these fledgling companies access to world-class technologies and teach them how to use them to develop their projects.  The Dassault Systèmes solutions help meet the Lab’s motto of ‘Design Together’ by offering a cloud-based platform where designers can collaborate to create exciting concepts.

The ­early results are impressive.  The first product created by the DXL-Lab is a foldable electric bicycle with an innovative wheel. The product will be manufactured this year.


To discover more about how INNODESIGN is staying on the cutting-edge of design through digital technologies and inspiring a new generation of creativity, check out our recent video and written case study.




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