The Raving Rabbids: Interview With Olivier Lemaitre

By Remi
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Raving Rabbids, design, 3D

I had the opportunity to chat with Olivier, who designed the Raving Rabbids figurines, a couple weeks ago. I thought you’d like to hear his story and how he designed these… Enjoy! :wink:

Can you introduce yourself?

My name is Olivier Lemaitre and I worked in the industrial design field for 25 years. I’m the head of Nowiew, a design agency, and I’m currently working on the Raving Rabbids figurines.

How did you meet the Raving Rabbids?

I was already working with Polymark on various projects such as Scooby-Doo or Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. They bought the rights for the bobbing head of the Raving Rabbids. Since I like being challenged (we didn’t have much time) I joined the adventure.

It looks like an easy figurine to work on but it’s actually pretty complex. I did my first mockups thanks to computer generated images (with Imagine & Shape) which saved a lot of time. Production took another week and the final product was delivered in the next days, immediately confirmed by my client.

Why did you use Computer Aided Design?

Raving Rabbids, designI can’t work in the industrial design field without CAD software now. The huge advantage is to give clients a real surface to work with… Thanks to that, we don’t stop the digital line. Plus, this line has to start from the very beginning and this beginning is us, the designers.

You were talking about a challenge… Aren’t the Raving Rabbids easy to design?

In my field, I always say it’s harder to make simple things than complicated ones. Clients (and users) will not spend time reviewing all the details of a complex figurine unless there’s a big problem. They will look at how realistic the product is, because it’s full of details. But when you look at the Raving Rabbids, they’re all refined. And that’s where people start judging its curves, which are much tougher than anything else to make perfect. When it’s that smooth, you have no room for mistakes.


Thanks a lot Olivier! :-)



Special Forces Go For Serious Games

By Remi
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RAID Serious Game Gaming Dassault Systèmes 3DVIA

The RAID elite team (the French SWAT if you prefer) are called “when no one else can do the job”. Hostage situations, dangerous criminals and armed gunmen going nuts are their targets and you can bet mistakes cost a lot more than just a few bucks or a broken window… Kind of scary right?

So obviously they want a risk-free training and that’s no surprise they turned to serious gaming to improve their preparation, the army has been doing so for years now.

So what’s the situation like? Basically, RAID people are dedicated to 200 French sites labeled “high risk”, either because they are heavily populated or because an attack can cause extreme material damage. And even if they train regularly, it is not always possible to obtain unlimited access to certain sites – a nuclear station or a train station for example.

The more we understand what’s waiting for us, the faster we can go in and do the job. It considerably reduces the risk to our team and the people we need to save.

So the point of the serious game is to digitize these 200 places and not only the building but also its content (means of access, obstacles, doors, ducts, outer surroundings). All this is under process with the 3DVIA team: with the help of 3DVIA Studio Pro, they create immersive 3D simulations of intervention scenarios.

The RAID team now has a better understanding of the area they have to work in: “team members all confirmed that when they actually entered the ship [they studied beforehand], it was as if they had already been there before.”

The nice thing is that they have different scenarios (and thus tactics), different weather and lighting conditions and so on… in other words, a lifelike experience! :-)

Next step is to update the 3D model in real time as the situation evolves (say hostages are moved to another room) so that it enables RAID people to modify their strategy instantly and tell their troops on site… exciting huh?



3D Design in Nuclear Engineering

By Nikoloz
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ATLAS Detector CERN Dassault Systemes

ATLAS Detector, 3D version

‘Every great advance in science has issued from audacity of imagination’ – John Dewey.

Nowadays, mankind tackles new challenges within the R&D industry. One of the leading places is hold by particle physics and its ambitious project to explain phenomena of the material universe and its origins.

The European Organization for Nuclear Research is the place where people started the quest to find this explanation by constructing the Large Hadron Collider, including its large scale detectors called ATLAS and CMS (ATLAS is 45m long, 25m high, it weighs about 7,000 tons which is almost the Eiffel Tower weigh!). It required high engineering excellence in different areas, but as a major in 3D design, I want to talk about the assembly parts.

The ATLAS collaboration gathered 169 partner institutes from 37 countries with over 3,000 physicists and engineers. Quite a lot of people huh? :) Everything started by developing 3D assembly of the detector which took 10 years and consisted in 10,000,000 sub-assemblies and parts.

3D visualization made a huge impact in calculation of heat transfer for cooling, simulation of stress and dynamical 3D modeling of installation (which in reality is one of the main concerns for engineers). How to place large and complex assemblies below 100m with 50mm clearance?

To give you an idea, the video below shows you a simulation of a 220 tones End Cap Torroid installation. In reality, lifting down such a heavy baby needs a special approach, like stopping it every five meters in order to reduce and avoid its swinging, which could cause significant damage to the surrounding assemblies.

YouTube Preview Image

This is a new field of engineering activity, called nuclear engineering, and it has no major ties with the traditional auto, aerospace or ship building industries. Basic difference is, in nuclear engineering, there are no standards. Thus, 3D design plays a major role as assembly or installation process is unique and based on ‘know – how’.

Does it make you feel dizzy? ^^



Nikoloz Sharmazanashvili CERN CADNikoloz Sharmazanashvili Works at the European Organization for Nuclear Research as a Project Analyst and CAD designer

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