How To: Tow an Iceberg Pt.1

By Cedric
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Georges Mougin tow iceberg newfoundland canada canary islands tugs 3DS dassault systèmes

I’ve already talked about it earlier (here): Georges Mougin has this crazy idea of bringing back an iceberg from Newfoundland, Canada to the Canary Islands. It would then provide fresh water to local people for much less money.

This is such a vast topic it would take ages (and very specific knowledge) to discuss it all. So I decided I would cover something easy, fun and surprising. Very surprising actually… ;)

Indeed, one of their main challenges was to test Mougin’s idea and its feasibility:

  • How many tugs would be needed?
  • How powerful would they need to be?
  • How much fuel would they consume?
  • In how much time?
  • Which route should they follow?
  • What time of the year?
  • What steering strategies would be appropriate?

In just a few clicks using CATIA Systems software, the 3DS team could enter the GPS coordinates corresponding to the starting location for the iceberg off Newfoundland (37°N, 15°30’W) and the end destination (the Canary Islands), choose a departure date for the convoy (say 3 February) and the number of tugs required to tow the iceberg, as well as their power (two tugs with 130 tonne traction for example), and even select the general steering strategy that would be adopted by the captain in real life (“full power towards its final destination”).

It is then possible to observe what happens at any instant, and analyse the causes and effects produced by the various parameters. The team eventually finalised an integrated drift model, designed to consolidate all criteria involved in the iceberg transportation operation, among them:Georges mougin ice dream iceberg tow tug newfoundland canada canary islands dassault systèmes

  • Meteorological and oceanographic data (sea currents, swell, winds, etc.) that the convoy could be subjected to at any time and in any location, and the impact of such data on its journey.
  • Physical phenomena, regardless of their complexity: the general drift of the iceberg and the convoy under the effect of the various natural forces (winds, currents, swell, etc.), the traction force generated by the tug and the resulting fuel consumption, the application of the phenomena of air and water drag with the iceberg and the tug, the Earth’s rotation, etc.

During the following posts, you will be surprised with the simulation results as they’re not what you could expect them to be. Stay tuned! ;-)



cédric simard dassault systèmes 3DSCédric Simard is Project Director at Dassault Systèmes.

Behind the Scene: Michel Desjoyeaux Serious Game

By Remi
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Michel Desjoyeaux Serious Game catia barcelona world race 3DS dassault systèmes sailing 3dvia virtools composer

Agnès and I.


I had a chance to catch Agnès, the one who’s in charge of Michel Desjoyeaux serious game. Marc blogged about it earlier and I thought you guys would enjoy a sneak look at what’s happening behind the curtain.

The game was developed with 3Dvia Virtools from the original CATIA design of Michel’s boat. So, if you’ve already visited it, now you know it’s the real one! ;-)

Plus, if you look closer at the game, you’ll realize Michel actually uses 3Dvia Composer to communicate with his team onshore when an issue pops up: they’re able to identify exactly which component has to be fixed.

Anyway, I’m not holding you longer, let’s hear what Agnès has to tell!

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Did you learn something about how a serious game like this one is done? I personally did! :-)



Digital Intellectual Property: Follow Up

By Remi
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legal, law, printer, 3D, innovation, PLM, V6, LifeLike, CATIA, Solidworks, enovia, 3DS, 3Dvia, Simulia, swym, Dassault, Systèmes, Systemes, system, delmia, customer, value, engineer, engineering, design, industrial, draftsight

Last week  after publishing Bernard Charlès’ interview on IP at Hannover Messe, we received an email from one of our readers (thanks Patrick!) suggesting we look at this article. It covers what is perhaps the first intellectual property complaint ever on a 3D design.

Ulrich Schwanitz came up with a 3D design of the Penrose Triangle, famous for being impossible to create. He started selling his model via an online platform but soon after that, someone else (Artur Tchoukanov) recreated it and uploaded instructions on how to make it. Schwanitz then filed a complaint against Tchoukanov and the story went on so that he’s now called “the inventor of copyright threats over open 3D repositories.”

What’s new, you’re going to ask? Well, indeed, this is the first time someone gets a complaint for creating (not copying) a 3D model from an open 2D drawing. Was Schwanitz right? Is there any copyright to his 3D model? Or is it just not possible?

As Bernard Charlès stated last week, we have to come up with a proper legislation on digital Intellectual Property. So, what are the options? If we look at the music and movie businesses, such questions are still not answered. However, something I think we’ll all agree upon is Bernard’s quote: “when we encounter a conflict, we need unified ways to resolve issues.”

When it comes to industrial product creation, the issues go beyond those of the movie and music industries. This is because we’re talking about the creation of physical products that people use in their everyday lives. How about 3D printers? I know they’re pretty expensive at the moment… but can you imagine in a few years time, they will be democratized, powerful and you will find online CAD files for anything!

Say your door handle is broken… you will be able to reproduce it from scratch with your 3D personal printer! Take a look at this video if you doubt it:

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Do you think physical product sellers will like this? I personally don’t think so. There is an urgent need to do something legally speaking. But again, this is still blurry…

So… what do you think?



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