Professor Plum with the Wrench? Abaqus FEA Knows

By Tim
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No, it’s not the famous game “Clue”. It’s the use of realistic simulation to perform forensic studies of skull fracture.

While, for the average person it is a bit gruesome to think about, medical examiners and police investigators are often faced with the need to determine how and why skull fractures occur.

Was the head injury caused by an accident or was the injury caused with the intent to murder the victim?

Researchers at the Institute of Forensic Medicine at the University of Copenhagen, in cooperation with the Technical University of Denmark (DTU), are using using technology from Simpleware (a SIMULIA partner) to transfer CT-scan data into SIMULIA’s Abaqus FEA software.  This allows them to gain a deeper understanding of the mechanics and forces that cause severe skull injuries.

While the researchers consider their current studies as preliminary, these represent a critical step on the path to developing a general tool for supporting medical examiners with easy, achievable and accurate numerical simulation to support their judgment regarding the cause of death.

To get more details, check out the complete case study in the latest issue of INSIGHTS magazine  here.

Are you as surprised as I am that Abaqus FEA software (traditionally used to study the performance of mechanical systems in cars and airplanes) is being used in forensic head injury research?


Blowin’ in the Wind: Michel Desjoyeaux

By Richard
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Michel Desjoyaux arrival in Pointe-à-Pitre - photo © Yvan ZEDDA / Team FONCIA, used by permission

How many seas must a white dove sail
Before she sleeps in the sand
The answer my friend is blowin’ in the wind
(Bob Dylan)

Michel Desjoyeaux, the skipper of the 60ft. FONCIA monohull, is known to take music with him when he’s sailing. I don’t know whether he brought that song with him, but no doubt that the wind was the great issue during this 9th Route du Rhum – la Banque Postale.

Basically, it goes like this: when you’re crossing the Atlantic, you have to bypass the Azores High, a high pressure zone where there’s little or no wind. And of course there are two paths you can go by: North or South. And unlike what another song goes (Yes there are two paths you can go by, but in the long run, there’s still time to change the road you’re on – Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin), this is a strategic choice that cannot be changed during the Route du Rhum.

While most monohulls chose the North road, Michel (along with Arnaud Boissières) chose the South road, the good old Trade winds road.

Unlike the other boat categories, the IMOCA skippers are on their own with the weather forecasts. They are not allowed to be helped by their team ashore, it ‘s strictly forbidden to even allude to the weather and wind forecasts when the skipper and the team communicate. Therefore, the skipper must get the weather forecasts and try to figure out what’s going to happen all by himself, while still skipping the boat of course. A great challenge!

Well, this year it seems Aeolus was in a rather tongue-in-cheek mood, as the wind forecasts didn’t match reality at all. While the northern monohulls had to face hard weather and sea conditions, the two southerners didn’t find the expected Trade winds, which prevented Michel to fight for the fist places. Who knows, but he might have another Dylan’s song on his mind: Idiot Wind

Anyway, the boat went fine, Michel hadn’t any problem with it (I opened the toolbox just once for a small allen key to tighten a small screw on the rudder) , and when he finally found some decent Trade winds, he fought til the end, finally arriving this morning in 6th position after 15 days, 13 hours and 37 minutes at an average speed of 9.47 knots.

As he told himself during the race, a beautiful boat and Michel’s great experience may not be enough if you don’t find the good wind conditions. A good reminder that Nature remains stronger than all our technical excellence and hunger for victory…

Anyway, congratulations to Michel for his race in those rather quirky conditions and on to his next challenge: the Barcelona World Race which starts on December 31st!

Meanwhile, don’t forget the online 60ft. FONCIA 3D visit, we’re constantly improving it.

Michel enjoys a well-deserved Ti'Punch upon arrival in Pointe-à-Pitre - photo © Yvan ZEDDA / Team FONCIA, used by permission

You can see Michel enjoying the traditional Ti’Punch welcoming the skippers in Pointe-à-Pitre. And as we began this post with a song, let’s close it with an appropriate sea shanty:

Fifteen men on the dead man’s chest–
…Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
Drink and the devil had done for the rest–
…Yo-ho-ho, and a bottle of rum!
(Treasure Island – Robert Louis Stevenson)

Stay tuned, and keep 3D-ing!

Richard BreitnerRegards,


Richard Breitner, Passion for Innovation Program Manager

Frank Gehry Shares CATIA Secret

By Kate
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Eighty-one-year-old Frank Gehry has rightfully earned his label as “the most important architect of our age,” as was voted in the 2010 World Architect Survey.

I had the honor of meeting Gehry in early 2009 and got to ask him questions on his views on the future of architecture and 3D as an innovation tool.

And today I’m proud to share with you another Gehry video, although much prettier and professional than mine, where Gehry talks specifically about how Dassault Systèmes CATIA software is key to his architectural realizations.

Some of my favorite quotes include:

“We’ve got powers that architects don’t usually have.”


“You can’t do it without any other software out there.”

So here’s your chance to hear from the master himself some of his secrets . . . and enjoy the beautiful footage.

YouTube Preview Image

Many thanks to Elodie and Karin for allowing me to put this video extract onto our YouTube channel.  The Gehry video is part of an online video-cube presentation on the Dassault Systèmes group.  It’s worth a tour, so please check it out when you have a chance.

Meanwhile I’ll get back with you soon with other of my favorite extracts.

And BTW . . . what do you think?



N.B. Also Discover Digital Project solution

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