Can 3D Technology Spawn Better Athletes?

By Alyssa

Sports performance

Over the last few decades, technological advancements in sport have been moving the benchmark of human limitations. Some ways are easy to understand: fiberglass poles became more flexible allowing vaulters to reach new heights; replacing wooden tennis rackets with ones made of fiberglass and graphite improved accuracy; swimming bodysuits were developed to reduce drag.

But while these advances may have been game changing at the time, a new era of technology has arrived that seeks to lift the lid off the secrets to our biomechanics and help push both professional and amateur athletes to greater heights.

In every sport, and at every level, companies are now supplying equipment, clothing and gadgets in a bid to revolutionize the way professionals and amateurs train, compete and recuperate.

Personalized Footwear

Sports performance

As an example, in recent years, a growing consumer appetite for customization has seen sports brands embrace technology in order to create the perfect footwear for individuals. While it is already possible to go online or into a shop to choose the color and design of shoes, 3D modeling and printing technology is now being used to mold and shape footwear for customers to create the definitive personalized design.

Next Up: 3D Modeling for the Masses

3D modeling sole

Although professional athletes have greater support and access to use and trial these kinds of technologies, Susan Olivier, vice president of consumer goods and retail at Dassault Systèmes, believes 3D modeling techniques will soon be readily available to the public.

“The cost and size of 3D scanning is going down dramatically. I can imagine in three to five years that before shopping we will visit a booth that scans our feet and other body parts. Then we can take the scan to our favorite sports outlet who will be able to design equipment, clothing and footwear to our specifications,” says Olivier.

Want to learn more? We invite you to watch the video below that shares some specific stories of  how technology is helping both professional and everyday athletes race towards perfection.

YouTube Preview Image

You can also read more in an article that includes examples such as how Olympians like Usain Bolt are benefitting from 3D technology mapping human motion to help athletes gain split second advantage and at the same time protect themselves from injury.

NOTE: The video and article were first published as an Advertisement Feature on bbc.com running from 27th June 2014 to 5th September 2014, and was created by the BBC Advertising CommercialProduction team in partnership with Dassault Systèmes.

Making a Better World Starts in Your Kitchen

By Zoe

Welcome back! This is our fourth post in the Leapfrog Project series.  Today, we’ll take a look at another success story with Duc Thanh company as part of the Sustainable Product INnovation (SPIN) project we’ve been supporting in Vietnam.

The company

Duc Thanh LogoEstablished on May 19th, 1991, Duc Thanh is one of the leading manufacturers in Vietnam specializing in producing wooden kitchenware, household utensils, home furniture, children’s toys and other customized products.

Duc Thanh Company asked the SPIN experts for technical assistance on both market ant sustainability aspects, to develop a sustainable design collection for their business in 2014.

Hoang TRANThe new collection is indulged with the trend of sustainable design to reduce the environmental impacts of our products. By supporting the environmental protection, we would like to contribute our humble changes to our ecological system

said Ms. Duong from Duc Thanh Company.

To achieve this ambitious goal, Duc Thanh worked with Hoang TRAN, a young SPIN designer supported by SOLIDWORKS Sustainability to design a range of products that is not only sustainable, useful but also beautiful.

The products

The new collection is a range of 7 kitchen items. They should be all functional, but also contemporary and with a timeless style.

The design concept was to create objects that are “Sharp with clever design that is not heavy, bulky and rounded, and uses the available material in an optimal way.” says Hoang.

The target was a mid-market customer, so a bit higher segment than Duc Thanh is now supplying to.

The Sustainable Design Dimensions

Hoang, together with the company’s designers and stakeholders decided to focuses their design on 4 main sustainable design dimensions.

Sustainable Material

  • Using Recycled Material: Most of Duc Thanh Company products are made with rubber wood, recycled after rubber production.
  • Local Material: Duc Thanh wants to create a Vietnamese brand based on Vietnamese plantation wood. However, due to lack of side material suppliers, they still need to import from China or Taiwan while looking for more local suppliers for other materials.

Eco-design

  • Material Reduction: The design had been though in order to use the materials as economically as possible. For example creating designs that fit the wood sizes Duc thanh can buy to create least leftovers. They also worked on using the leftovers from bigger products for smaller ones. Finally, they designed products by minimizing the thickness of the parts, so the amount of material is reduced and the product is weight-lighted for transportation.
  • Simple Parts: The products designs are mostly rectangular flat pieces of wood, saving many manufacturing steps, material and making them easy to manufacture, preventing working accident.

Green Manufacturing

  • Energy Efficient: Duc Thanh is still working on saving electricity in production by replacing new machines that uses solar energy for example. They also work on calculating and preparing sufficient materials and labor force to use full capacity of the machines in production to save time and energy, in a safe process.
  • Reduce transport: The different suppliers are located near the assembly manufacturing workshop, in Vietnam or South East Asia region, which reduce the transportation steps and distances.

Ethical

  • Preserve Local Culture: Vietnamese traditional culture of wood handicraft is sustained and employees are encouraged to do research, give ideas to improve the production into an effective process.
  • Responsible Customers: Social and environmental aspects are considered along the entire life cycle of the products to raise awareness from workers to consumers. Duc Thanh also clearly explains to their customer: “that we do use the wood economically so as to keep the best price for them and create least leftovers, they are totally agree and support our methods.” said Ms. Duong.

 

A Jump ahead with the Leapfrog Project

Based on these sustainable dimensions and the first designs made with Hoang, I went to Duc Thanh company to help them using SOLIDWORKS Sustainability to assess the environmental impacts of their design choices.

Eco-Designer Using SOLIDWORKS

For each product of the collection, we used SOLIDWORKS Sustainability to make environmental assessments. Here are the results we got:

Hexagon cutting board with groove: 62% CO2 reduction

Hexagon cutting board with groove LCA

Tangram cutting board with hole: 55% CO2 reduction

Tangram cutting board with hole 390x195x24 LCA

Rectangular tray with 20 holes and 2 handles: 65% CO2 reduction

Rectangular tray with 20 holes and 2 handles LCA

Salad set: 61% CO2 reduction

Salad set LCA

Wine rack with 8 floors: 59% CO2 reduction

Wine rack with 8 floors LCA

The entire collection has been shown at the Ambiente fair, in Germany last February, part of the sustainable design booth. The calculation made has been used to create marketing content and awareness for customers.

Duc Thanh At Ambiente FairDuc Thanh At Ambiente Fair

After this experience, Duc Thanh shared with us:

With sustainable design and practices, we can reduce the price and improve the quality of products. Our customers are very happy and satisfied with this practice, so it is the success that we have achieved and will maintain during our journey.

Finally, we also want to communicate our vision and mission to our customers gradually. It is not an easy road to go, but it is necessary if we want to protect the world for our children. Each product contains our will and trial in making a better world.

So making a better world could really start in your kitchen… tell us what you think?  And stay tuned to the Leapfrog Project series :-)

Zoe BEZPALKOZoé BEZPALKO is an Eco-Design Specialist at Dassault Systèmes

Why do Fashion brands and Retailers have to adopt an out of the box PLM solution?

By Celia

Fast fashion, right fashion, on-time fashion, think global, act local, these are not just buzz words, they are real challenges big and not so big fashion brands must meet to satisfy consumers. The fashion landscape has changed because consumer buying habits have undergone a tremendous swing from the 1980s when clients used to shop at departments stores all stocked with the same product offering. These temples of fashion, which enjoyed a comfortable 10% share of the retail market at the time, have since lost their shine (attaining only a 2.6% share in 2011) in favor of smaller, more intimate specialty channels that cater to the specific tastes of the local consumer.

So what happened?

Fashion Collection for SMBPeople are tired of the global, impersonal model and want to be taken for who they are — individuals. The popularity of mobile technology and social networks confirm this individualization.  So, if brands want to reach these new consumers, they must speak their language so to speak, get closer to them, and cater to their local cultures, their likes, and their “individual-ness”. In an article published this month on whichPLM the author mentions another trend in which consumers long for a return to the friendly and available local shopkeeper of yesterday. The challenge is therefore twofold: on one hand brands can no longer exploit one channel with a uniform offering and hope to satisfy a global population that has become ever so ”individual” and on the other, they need to take into account a consumer’s desire for a more personal and intimate shopping experience. SH Lee, chairman of Tesco’s Korean Home, declared the “age of imperialism” over and urged retailers to tailor their offer to local cultures. And bingo! Focusing its efforts on the Korean consumer helped propel his company from 12th to 2nd largest retailer in Korea.

Keeping a profitable balance, however, between producing en masse but with a local twist is not easy. Not only do brands have to manage local differences in their product offerings, they have to turn out new collections fast to satisfy consumers’ desire for renewal. Success depends on whether brands and retailers can stay in touch with consumers’ changing needs and interests. PLM technologies can give brands better visibility when managing consumer feedback as well as assortments, designs, suppliers, manufacturing, and merchandising. As a matter of fact, industry experts predict fashion brands will invest billions in technology. IDC foresees that as product assortment refresh cycles quicken, 25% of mid-sized retailers will initiate new PLM or sourcing projects in 2014. And according to Just-style.com, the PLM market, “could grow up to 40% annually by 2014” boosted by medium-sized apparel firms that are planning to implement this technology.

Big vs. not so big

Fashion Collection for SMBAs speed to market and evolution in consumer tastes accelerate, apparel companies will need the power of PLM technology to  survive. But are all PLMs equal? Can large brands and not so large or niche players use the same PLM? When faced with the  question “to PLM or not to PLM”, how does one choose? When it comes to investing in PLM technology, big and not so big  brands pay attention to different things. 5 years ago a Tech-Clarity study had already pointed out that SMBs have their own wish  list for PLM that includes ease of use, rapid implementation, pre-defined templates, built-in best practices and a solution that  evolves as they grow. Yet today, PLM can still scare some SMBs away because they think it is too complex or too expensive to  implement. They do not have the same resources the big players have. But if the PLM in question is powerful yet packaged as an out-of-the-box pre-configured solution, it levels the playing field by reducing investment and cost of ownership for an SMB whose limited cash flow is not uselessly invested in functionalities that are too broad for its needs. Fashion Collection for SMB is for those not-so-big fashion companies that want to have the power of a PLM solution but scaled to their requirements. This out-of-the-box solution is also easy to learn and implement –a critical factor for user adoption.

The numbers speak for themselves

Brands that have adopted the 3DS solutions have produced some pretty impressive results: 200% increase in technical design productivity for a European outdoor brand that is able to review and approve 5 times more samples in the same amount of time or a medium size ready-to-wear apparel company that experienced threefold growth in product breadth and overall product lines. So if you are an SMB looking to grow your business and strengthen your brand, Fashion Collection for SMB is your door to PLM.

Learn more about Fashion Collection for SMB.

Celia NEWHOUSE is a member of the Consumer Goods Industry team.

 



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Beyond PLM (Product Lifecycle Management), Dassault Systèmes, the 3D Experience Company, provides business and people with virtual universes to imagine sustainable innovations. 3DSWYM, 3D VIA, CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, EXALEAD, NETVIBES, SIMULIA and SOLIDWORKS are registered trademarks of Dassault Systèmes or its subsidiaries in the US and/or other countries.