Desjoyeaux’s Crash Box and 3DVIA Composer

By Marc
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Ten days into the Barcelona World Race (a doubled-handed race around the world which started on December 31st), Michel Desjoyeaux called his technical team in France to inform them of a problem on his boat. He and his sailing mate François Gabart had hit an Unidentified Floating Object (UFO) which ripped the carbon material off the boat’s crash box.

The crash box is a relatively new addition to offshore sailboats. It’s a watertight box filled with high density and extremely resistant PVC.  Normally  in the case of such a frontal collision, the crash box  would protect the boat’s lower stem from damage.  This is important to prevent leaking, and ultimately sinking.

UFOs pose an increasing problem for boats at sea, so the crash box works as a bumper. However Michel Desjoyeaux and François Gabart had to repair their crash box to avoid any further problem that could’ve forced them to abandon when entering the South Seas.

Michel and François were not too far from Brazil when the problem appeared, so they quickly decided to organize a ‘pit stop’ in Recife. Within 48hours, part of the technical team arrived in Recife to prepare all the logistics. They needed to find the best place to lift the boat and repair it. At the same time, a brand new PVC part was manufactured in case they needed to replace entirely the crash box.

The technical crew planned two repair options. If the PVC part was damaged, the whole crash box would be replaced. If only the carbon material was damaged, then they would simply cover the existing foam with new carbon material.

Thanks to 3DVIA Composer, the video below was sent by Michel Desjoyeaux and his team to the press so they could understand what exactly was planned to fix the boat. 3DVIA Composer could also have been used between Michel and his team to share and better understand the problem or even to train the Brazilian correspondent on how to repair the crash box. This is a good example of how 3D can be a universal language!

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Eighteen hours after their arrival in Recife, Michel and François were back into the race with a “new” boat nose. And within just 5 days, they were leading the race, having gained 9 positions in the ranking!

If you want to learn more on how Dassault Systèmes helped Michel Desjoyeaux, check out the dedicated website at www.3ds.com/desjoyeaux.

Thanks to 3DVIA Virtools, you will also have the opportunity to get on board the 60 foot monohull in real-time 3D and even participate yourself to the Barcelona World Race with Michel Desjoyeaux in a 3D experiential serious game.  We will tell you more about this serious game soon and in the meantime, you can follow Michel Desjoyeaux’s ranking in the real race.

Best,

Marc

Marc Pavageau is Dassault Systèmes’ online marketing and communication director.

Khufu Reborn Project Is Top Secret

By Kate
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Some things remain Top Secret even when you’re on the inside.  This is the case for me and Khufu Reborn, aka Kheops Revealed Part Two. 

Next Thursday morning I will attend Jean-Pierre Houdin’s and Dassault Systèmes’ conference at La Géode.  I’m told we’ll learn more secrets about how The Great Pyramid of Kheops was built. 

Top Egyptology bloggers like Keith Payne and Marc Chartier will be with us, digesting, analyzing and blogging about the presentation as only experts can.

Quoting Keith’s latest post, here’s a hint of what’s to come:

“Team Dassault Systèmes have put much effort into determining whether or not [Houdin’s] theories could work and whether his interpretation of the evidence fits into the physical and technological world of Hemienu, Khufu’s Overseer of Royal Projects.”

See the full article here.  It’s also an excellent Kheops Revealed recap.   

Stay tuned for more, and please let me know if you have any specific questions for Jean-Pierre, Mehdi or Richard regarding the project. 

Best,

Kate

Pivots Are the Answer for Product Innovation

By Kate
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Marty Cagan has driven product innovations at eBay, AOL, Netscape, HP and others, and now works as Silicon Valley Product Group’s product management consultant.   Today he spoke at an internal Dassault Systèmes event, and I’d like to serve up a bit of what I learned. 

Have you ever heard of “pivots” in relation to computer software roadmaps?  Probably not, because they’re not roadmapable.  You never know when you’re going to encounter one or what it’s going to be.  Even so, you should consider making room for, accepting and incorporating pivots into your product development process.     

According to Marty, pivots are “little bits of change” that make for winning business concepts. I’ll give you three examples:

  1. Flickr started out as a multi-person game.  It was too difficult and people didn’t like it.  But they DID like the image-sharing part.  The team noticed this and expanded the concept into “Share your photos. Watch the world.”   
  2. PayPal began as a concept to exchange money via Palm Pilots, but it just didn’t take.  What people liked was the concept to send money online, thus today “The world’s most-loved way to pay and get paid.”  
  3. YouTube started out as a video dating site concept.  You make a video of yourself, saying why people should date you, and then you share it with the world and hope someone will actually want to.  People didn’t feel comfortable exposing themselves this way, but they loved the idea of sharing other types of videos online.  Thus, “the largest worldwide video-sharing community.”

“Be open to pivots!”  said Marty.  But how? 

The tip is in Steve Blank’s refrain, which goes something like, “No facts exist inside the building; only opinions.”  (building =s company)  Going further, Marty pointed out that “the bigger your company, the truer this is.”  You’ve got to “distinguish vision from illusion.”

Product managers should be obsessed with validating their ideas with real users.  And Marty considers person-to-person interactions necessary at a minimum of three per week.  Every week.  Like for Flickr, PayPal and YouTube, this is where the pivots begin.  More about pivots here

Is your company open to pivots?  What organization and processes do you have in place to facilitate this? 

Best,

Kate



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