Alan Turing, Another #DDay Engineering Hero

By Aurelien
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Alan Turing60 years ago died Alan Turing, a great mind considered to be the father of computer science. On this occasion, the University of Reading announced that they passed the famous Turing test (although leading to much debate and controversy as one could expect).

But Alan Turing is also known as playing a key role in the resolution of WWII, in particular his contribution to the effort at Bletchley Park. There, he created an incredibly efficient signal intelligence operation to simplify the reading of messages encrypted using the German Enigma Machine. The Allies had to know if Germany was taking the bait on the many deceptions being deployed, such as Operation Fortitude, a deception strategy to let Germans believe that the landings would actually happen in North of France instead of Normandy. As many other engineers who contributed to the incredible innovations of the D-Day, we should pay tribute to Turing for the same.

Of course, Alan Turing also has a special connection with us, as a scientific software company.

Put simply, Alan Turing’s test could be summed up in this quote:

A computer would deserve to be called intelligent if it could deceive a human into believing that it was human.

What I like in this definition is how it relies on human perception to assess whether a machine is declared intelligent or not. In fact, it has a lot of commonalities with 3DEXPERIENCE itself. Indeed, if you’d transpose this definition of artificial intelligence to realistic visualization and simulation, you’d end up in a definition of what a Lifelike Experience can be:

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A visionary mind, Turing envisioned a digital world where computers could not only simulate lifelike experiences but could even be a part of those experiences, as he mentioned during a not well-known lecture broadcast on the BBC:

It might for instance be said that no machine could write good English, or that it could not be influenced by sex-appeal or smoke a pipe. I cannot offer any such comfort, for I believe that no such bounds can be set.

Check out this nice infographic about Alan Turing, courtesy of Jurys Inn Manchester Hotel:

Alan Turing Infographic courtesy of Jurys Inn Hotels

Three Years of 3D Perspectives

By Kate
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There are moments in life that call for particular reflection:  birthdays with a zero, weddings, etc. 

As I’m experiencing one of these moments, moving on to new professional adventures, I’d like to share my perspective on some topics we’ve been discussing on this blog the past three years. 

How have the worlds of 3D and product innovation evolved since 2008?

For sure 3D has become more mainstream, although the ultimate sign will be when kids use 3D software to design their Mother’s Day decorative vase gifts and print them—both actions from home.  Some signs that we’re getting closer to widespread adoption, take LG’s recent Optimus 3D announcement.  Optimus 3D is a smartphone with a glasses-free 3D screen and 3D recording camera.  

Or what about 3D food printing?  And I’ll bet you at least thought about asking Santa for a Sony 3DTV last year . . . but you probably changed your mind because the quantity and quality of 3D content isn’t ready yet.  Rest assured it will be as soon as enough creatives have embraced 3D as their expression medium. 

I’m not sure innovation is something that can evolve, but I do feel comfortable saying that the processes to capture and manufacture innovation have progressed.  With social computing platforms bleeding into the workplace, new fangled ideas are digitally captured, commented on, morphed into even crazier but ingenious concepts, and sometimes, when a business model can be agreed upon, produced and sold. 

As Orange Labs Sociologist Dominique Cardon said at our recent Design in Life event, “Bottom-up innovations must be local and personal, and because they are personal, their inventors are driven to share with others.  This is when the innovation process begins.”  Personal innovations for the greater good. 

With mobile technology conquering our hearts and pocketbooks, smartphones and tablets are slowly replacing the pulp-constituted idea notebook.  Armed with them at all times, we can now plug our ideas directly into the digital grid, rather than first writing them down on that sheet of paper that may get lost with our socks. 

I’d say how we consider reality has definitely changed.  Virtual is no longer considered fake or marginal.  We’re starting to trust it.  So much that we’re opting to test agricultural innovations, the safety of new mobility concepts, and Dr. Seuss-like building designs as real-life dress rehearsals.  Lifelike experience

We’re using devices to augment our physical world experiences and obtain complimentary information, even as urban tourists in some cases.  Digital has changed our notion of what’s really possible, and what you see is not only what you get.  Your cereal box is not just about cereal. 

When the likes of Oracle start taking interest in Product Lifecycle Management, I’d say we’re up to a new level.  This technology is no longer just for IT geeks. 

PLM is C-level strategic.  And once the boardroom decides to go for it, designers, engineers, purchasing, marketers, the supply chain, consumers, and, IT geeks all find their place and solution within the PLM network.  PLM, the united colors of making stuff.

I will miss you once I’m gone.  But rest assured there are great people that will keep 3D Perspectives alive and feisty.  And most important there’s YOU. 

Like my High School Principal Dr. Jewel always said at the fall welcome assembly, “What you get out of Needham B. Broughton is a direct correlation to what you put into it.”  So replace my alma mater with 3D Perspectives and go for the purple and gold.  Oops, sorry, a pep rally slip.  Just go for the gold. 

I wish you the best and look forward to our next encounter, online or offline.

Warmest regards,


Twitter @KateBo

Not Your Father’s Drafting Table

By Cliff
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delmia post3D post 3D draftsight cocreation crowdsourcing soliworks 3DS dassault systèmes systemes systems catia enovia simulia 3Dvia delmia 3D modeling PLM 2.0 CAD simulation digital manufacturing design engineering regulations collaboration co-create product creation innovation

WARNING: Old-School Alert! This article will be talking about old-school design work… yes, designing before the use of 3D software…when we drew on paper, and created prototypes by hand.

Long before 3D Printing…before I was in the 3D software industry, and even before I used 3D software on a regular basis, we built prototypes by hand.  I can vividly remember one project, in my first job fresh out of college.  I was freelancing for a very small product design firm.  We were up against a deadline on a proposal for a potentially large project, working late nights on a scaled model, which would have taken us probably 2 days, or less, if we had a 3D Printer.  I remember finishing this fragile model the night before it had to be shipped across country.  The prototype sat in my back seat, cushioned with blankets, as I drove it to the airport to ship, because this was after delivery truck hours.

I’m sure plenty of old-school Product Designers out there remember these stresses, the smells of the model glue, and countless Xacto knife cuts on your fingers.

The Evolution of Prototyping…

Then along came 3D CAD, which made designing must faster, and being able to see products in 3D, on the screen.  Rendering these 3D models was usually an overnight computing process, but it was better than markers and pens (and more headaches).  The next step in visualizing 3D models, was 3D Printing.  Seeing a live model in your hand was a huge advantage to a rendering, however, 3D Printing often requires Xacto blades and painting.

Today, I rarely use an Xacto knife, and have many less headaches from the model glue, and NEVER have to run to the FedEx for overnight prototype shipping.

In 2011, almost every designer uses a computer. Shipping a prototype across country, or the world, can be replaced with placing a 3D design on the web, and sharing a link.  The ability to share data instantaneously is a huge advantage for business.  However, for Product Designers, seeing a model on the web is still not as pragmatic as seeing a design in person.  Being able to walk around a new product and seeing it from every angle requires a physical prototype.

This was the reason 3DVIA created Post3D.  It is the first product which allows Product Designers, and Consumer Product companies to see a product in-context, in a real setting, before any physical prototypes have been built.

If you haven’t had a chance to try Post3D yourself, I encourage you to go for it!

And if you have, what did you think? Does it match our old glue smell memories?



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