Healing Broken Hearts on Valentine’s Day

By Kate
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In honor of Valentine’s Day, a time when people celebrate the love in their lives, I’ve got a kind-of related blogpost to share.  We’ve must literally take care of our hearts in order to be around for those hugs and long-stem roses . . .    

Tim’s post focuses on “dedicated researchers [that] are helping to develop amazingly innovative and effective treatments that are truly capable of ‘mending broken hearts’.”  And they’re using realistic simulation software to do it. 

Please read more here

And Happy Valentines Day !

Kate

Sunlight on Imagina 2011

By Michael
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Monaco in the south of France is an attractive venue especially this time of the year when people living in places further north are hungry for some Mediterranean sun beams.

During my one day here I not only was able to see trees filled with oranges during what elsewhere is called winter (see my iPhone shot for a proof), I also had the pleasure to visit the Imagina 2011 event and exhibition, and to get updated on the latest news in 3D simulation and visualization solutions.

I wanted to share with you my personal impression and what stood out for me during my technofair walk-around:

1.) Convergence of the Physical and Virtual Content

During the visit of the vendor exhibition I’ve seen solutions targeted to digitize real objects, and to transfer them into a virtual environment – for augmenting the value of such application.

Objects range from whole  landscapes (for geo localization systems), houses to whole cities (in architecture and construction, city development), any industrial object (for reverse engineering) and also living objects (for health care applications).

To illustrate the point I choose a company called Topcon. They offer scanning solutions to digitize physical objects up to the size of a mountain range with an equipment in a fixed position.

In contrast to the statical use above, the equipment also can be mounted on a car and thus become a mobile data acquisition unit.

When cruising a city the whole environment can be digitized in 360° (other than Google’s service which consists of patch-worked 2D images) and the data are used to create a full 3D model of the recordings.

Imagine how a digitized environment of real 3D can add value to a virtual experience. It just gets more real.

See the video to understand how that works:

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Looking at the the digital environments and virtual worlds presented to visitors at Imagina I have seen many efforts to let the 3D scenarios and characters show a maximum of realism. 3D geometries, colors and surfaces, human-like movements. Everything is done to convey the perception that the “virtual is real“, to draw the user into the scenario.

Most realistic presentation of virtual content makes use of  stereoscopic projection (needs glasses) and 3D screens (without glasses, and more and more convenient to look at), enabling power of graphics accelerators, innovative combination of standard hardware components to accomplish user immersion (AMD/ATI Eyefinity, can be visited at Dassault Systèmes Campus in Vélizy), and finally immersion by multi-touch navigation or full body use.

Dassault Systèmes runs a partnership program with leading manufacturers of devices and technologies which helps to drive this integration of physical and virtual environments. Lifelike experience needs the means to accomplish interaction of users and virtual applications.

2.) 3D Industry Applications

Imagina, as I was told, used to be a show for artists, designers and movie makers. Now my impression is that those are outnumbered by people who are interested in solving challenges in key industrial processes, such as design, simulation, manufacturing – with the help of 3D virtual environments.

Further, there is the application area of 3D simulation which allows for behavioral studies of objects in environments. Examples are traffic simulation in urban environments, or the analysis of panic scenarios in underground transportation for security optimization.

Applications in virtual learning, also called serious gaming, are used for service simulation and enable the use of products before they are physically available. Trainees are able to experience an environment which is not yet real, in a distant location or not readily accessible. Instead, trainees can visit the virtual copy.

As an example I’ll show an example for such a learning experience on an oil rig (built with 3DVIA) where the crew can be prepared for what awaits them there:

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3.) Dedicated Solutions

This may be neither surprising nor new – but generally good news:  there is no general “one size fits all” 3D solution to meet all objectives at once. With the increasing capabilities of today’s 3D applications there is an increasing focus on users: what they need, what they can handle, what they do not want.

It’s all about using 3D as a media. But applications are very different dependent on which industry segment is served, which are the application domains (ranging from engineering to marketing communication to artistic use) and last but not least who are the people who become users.  As people are vastly different there is a rich variety of solutions specializing on different uses of 3D. Clients need good guidance to find what is right for them.

Dassault Systèmes has been at Imagina 2011 as a platinum sponsor with our 3D solutions to support human-centered sustainable innovation and development. Some of our alliances partners were present too: AMD, ESI, Immersion, Noomeo, nVidia, Optis and Wacom.

P’tit bonbon for you: Trailer of the TRON legacy movie which was projected during the Wednesday evening party at Imagina. Unfortunately you’ll not have it in 3D (yet).

The original TRON dates from 28 years ago and presented this crazy idea of bringing a guy, via laser scan, into the virtual environment created by a “computer system”. At Imagina 2011 I could see that we are not so far away from making this a reality.

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Thanks for stopping by.

Best,
Michael

Lighter, Tougher, Greener with Composites

By Michael
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What sounds like the appraisal for a world-saving superhero turns out to be the promise of a super modern material used to build products which are targeted to withstand ultimate conditions – called composites.

Most of us have been in touch with fiberglass materials for hobby purposes or for touching up minor damages on the car. This technique has been around for almost a century and used for sculpturing free-form structures up to the size of a sailing boat.

Well, this type of layered mix of solid fibers and first liquid then solidifying resin today has well advanced to become a compound which overtakes metal in terms of material properties, i.e. durability, toughness, while maintaining a significant lower weight per volume.

Typical tensile strengths of some materials (from Wikipedia)

MaterialUltimate strength
(MPa)
Density
(g/cm³)
Stainless steel AISI 302 – Cold-rolled8608.19
Structural steel ASTM A36 steel4007.8
Carbon steel 10908417.58
Steel (AISI 1060 0.6% carbon) Piano wire2,200-2,4827.8
Titanium alloy (6% Al, 4% V)9004.51
Aluminium alloy 6063-T62482.63
High density polyethylene (HDPE)370.95
E-Glass3,4502.57
S-Glass4,7102.48
Carbon fiber5,6501.75
Aramid (Kevlar or Twaron)2,7571.44
Human hair380
Bamboo350-5000.4
Bone (limb)1301.6
Diamond2,8003.5

No question that the combination of strong and light can offer major advantages for anything that is moving, such as transportation vehicles. “Less weight = less energy consumption = less carbon footprint” is a formula which counts if we want to advance an environmentally conscious approach. No wonder why the new generation of passenger aircraft from Boeing and Airbus are designed using 50% of composites materials for their structural parts!

Although those aerospace examples are the most prominently visible, the use of composites is spreading out to many other industries, including sports & leisure (e.g. bikes, golf clubs), energy (e.g. wind turbines) and architecture (pre-fab construction panels).

This recent newsflash talks about German car manufacturers’ hot trend for carbon materials to comply with EU regulations regarding weight and CO2 targets. Such light “Mega City Vehicles” built with composite materials and E-drive (heavy batteries) could define a new vehicle type from 2013 already.

With the widespread use of composites the production processes need to abandon the purely manual stage, to become digitally controlled – engineered to manage the complex fiber lay-up and resin application process, and to run it efficiently on an industrial scale. Transforming the composites industry from what has been called “Black Art” to an industrial discipline is the objective of the partnership between National Institute for Aviation Research at Wichita State University in Kansas USA and Dassault Systèmes.

Manufacturers that target composite technologies to give them the competitive edge for their products are confronted with the challenge to build the competencies to master equipment and methods, required to successfully control a composite design and production process.

Dassault Systèmes has taken a leadership role in composites with an integrated PLM solution that encompasses design, simulation and digital manufacturing solutions, and that helps manufacturers to master the challenge to control and run composites production end-to-end (read more). The 3DS solution is now running on the unique V6 platform, thus adding live collaboration and experience features to support global teams working together. Have a look at the interview to hear what my colleagues Philippe Savignard and Laurent Delsart have to say about the composites industry status quo and future potential.

Check out the videos to learn more about the 3DS PLM composites solution.

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But that is not all. For the evolution of the composites PLM solution and related know-how the 3DS team relies on a truly vivid collaboration with customers, research facilities, industry consortia and a network of selected solution partners. Already five partners have signed in to develop their applications on the V6 platform and thus complete and extend functionalities of the global PLM V6 composite solution: Simulayt Limited, Magestic Systems Inc., Coriolis Composites SAS, Cincinnati Machine LLC. and Ingersoll Machine Tools Inc.

Find out more on the Dassault Systèmes partnerships and description of these solution partners on our website.

Soon more from the wonderful world of engineering.

Best,
Michael



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