Enter the Lego 3D Experience Revolution!

By Olivier
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Did you notice how assembly instructions are often more like brain teasers than real user’s manuals? Often coming in leaflets illustrated with 2D representations of the object, they generally depict consecutive steps with two pictures and let the user wonder himself what has changed between the two.

Instead of this “spot the difference” game, we thought that the best way to give all the information to the user is to give the possibility to manipulate a faithful 3D reproduction of the object, so that he or she can see every single element.

Significant progress has been achieved with the creation of 3D applications meant to facilitate the assembly of LEGO bricks. Though resulting from a good idea, those 3D manuals happen to be mere 3D representations of the final LEGO assembly. 2D paper manuals have only been taken to a three-dimensional level and the developers have stopped right in the middle of the real (r)evolution.

3DS Education Lab went further and decided that a revolutionary 3D assembly instruction should offer a natural, progressive path and that the user should be able to actually see the parts being assembled before his eyes. Beyond 3D representations, this is why we created our own 3D assembly instructions.

Jordan, a third-year student at the University of St Quentin-en-Yvelines (France), is doing an internship at Dassault Systèmes where he is in charge of the development of 3D Virtual Learning Environments. Thanks to 3DVIA Composer, he developed in a couple of hours a 3D instructions manual for a LEGO Mindstorms Education robot. Available on 3DS Academy, this groundbreaking animated 3D manual allows people to interact and see any side of the robot, at any step of the assembly. The user has the possibility to rotate, pan and zoom the model, thus reducing misunderstandings.

See a short presentation of the 3D animated assembly manual in use:

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Thanks to clear and concise assembly instructions, the user is now able to assemble his robot in no time and can thus rapidly turn to more advanced functionalities. His mind is free to focus on more complex disciplines such as systems engineering or mechatronics.

Furthering the revolution of 3D animated assembly manuals, 3DS Academy Lab indeed decided to propel LEGO into a brand new experience by creating a smartphone application allowing to drive both a physical robot and its 3D virtual avatar in CATIA V6.

Clement, another intern at Dassault Systèmes, used Android technology and CATIA V6 to develop an application that enables the user to control simultaneously via Bluetooth a real LEGO robot and a virtual robot. In addition, the application allows real-time interaction between the robot and its avatar.

Through this lifelike experience, students are able to learn an emerging technology through the ones they are already familiar with (smartphones, LEGO bricks).

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Olivier and Laura work in the Dassault Systèmes Education (3DS Academy) team.

Win 3 Augmented Reality 3D Experience Comic Books!

By Aurelien
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As a follow-up to previous post “The Missing Piece between Comics and Animation”, here are the three questions for you to win 3 Augmented Reality 3D Experience Comic Books by François Schuiten “La Douce”:

  1. What is the name of the industrial designer of the Type 12 locomotive? (expected answer : first name + last name)
  2. What is the year when the 12.004 locomotive was in service for the last time? (expected answer : four-digit year)
  3. What is the name of the Belgian consortium who built the Type 12 locomotive? (expected answer : name)

You may answer by replying on this blog post (as a comment), on our Facebook page, or to our twitter account @Dassault3DS. First (chronological order according to timestamps) to give the right answer for each of the questions will win a comic book :)

Hint: all answers can be found in the previous post (and in links within the post) ;)

Note: Dassault Systèmes’ employees are not entitled to win.

Good luck!

Edit 5/4 @ 15:14 : game over, all 3 comic books were won on Facebook (see post), congrats to the three winners!

The right answers were:

  1. André Huet (source). It was not Raoul Notesse, who was actually the engineer, not the industrial designer.
  2. 1985 (source). It was not 1962 but 1985 the very last time the restored 12.004 ran before being kept at the museum.
  3. Cockerill (source). The gold plaque on the locomotive says “Consortium belge de constructeurs de locomotives COCKERILL – 1939”

The Missing Piece between Comics and Animation

By Aurelien
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If you’re a fan of Belgian comics, you probably noticed the recent introduction of “La douce”, François Schuiten’s latest piece of artwork. But did you notice that the author’s editor Casterman partnered with Dassault Systèmes to transform the comic book into a 3D augmented reality experience? Better than any amount of words, check out the video below and you’ll instantly get what I’m talking about. Definitely the missing piece between comics and animation! :)

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Now the beauty is, it’s not just about plain 3D animation. A passionate team of volunteers at Dassault Systèmes accurately modeled the 12.004 locomotive starting from 2D drawings all the way to the final 3D mock-up including kinematics. Knowing that only 6 of the Type 12 locomotive were ever produced and that the 12.004 is the only one left today (kept in a museum in Louvain), this is an amazing way to give this incredible piece of engineering work a new birth.

If you stay tuned, I’ll come up very soon with 3 questions for you to WIN 3 comic books “La douce”! OK, those will be in French (translations pending) but the 3D experience goes beyond the barriers of language, doesn’t it? ;)

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