Companies often deploy SolidWorks solutions into the core of their product development processes to decrease costs, accelerate innovation and improve efficiency. While these advantages are beneficial to every organization, some enterprises use SolidWorks to develop sustainable, environmentally-friendly products.
Albea, a global packaging company with a wide range of products for the make-up, skincare, fragrance and personal and oral care industries, recently chose SolidWorks Sustainability software. The company expects the technology to help it better accommodate the sustainable product development needs of the packaging sector.
"These tools are essential for a large number of our employees, whether they are draftsmen, designers, salespeople or marketing professionals," said Jean-Claude Jammet of Albéa. "They enable us to take a proactive position with our customers and respond rapidly to the needs of our market, while taking care to design products that meet sustainable development requirements.
Jammet said Albea implemented six SolidWorks Sustainability software licenses, all tools that should improve efficiency. The sustainability solutions will enable Albea to provide customers with eco-friendly packaging design alternatives.
SolidWorks offers several other products that easily integrate with sustainability software, such as 3D computer aided design (CAD), simulation and product data management (PDM). The consumer products sector is one among many using SolidWorks software and resources to develop innovative designs for a fraction of traditional costs.
In today's business world, it's essential for enterprises to develop innovative products in a timely, cost-effective manner to gain an advantage over their competitors. Looking to gain the cost-cutting and efficiency benefits of 3D design, product lifecycle management (PLM) and simulation software, many businesses deploy SolidWorks products into their core design processes.
SolidWorks continues to release state-of-the-art solutions for automotive, aerospace, medical and other enterprises, but at the heart of the company is a wide range of talented engineers with a passion for design, according to a recent The Next Web report. The news source spoke to Rick Chin, a 3D design expert at SolidWorks, who said that he creates software "products that matter" and helps innovators bring their ideas to life.
Although computer aided design (CAD) and PLM were traditionally about designing products on desktop computers, the industry is in the midst of a shift to cloud-based solutions, Chin said.
"The cloud just makes a lot of sense," Chin told The Next Web. "Things don't happen in one place anymore. We've got the industrial design going on in Southern California. We've got tool design going on in Helsinki, and we have production being done in China."
Several experts and recent research studies have commented on the trend of CAD and PLM providers now developing cloud-based and mobile products, allowing companies to improve flexibility while reducing costs and driving innovation.
Enterprises in the automotive, industrial equipment, construction and other industries increasingly use computer aided design (CAD), product data management (PDM) and simulation tools to speed up the design process and reduce costs.
Rick Chin, the director of product development at SolidWorks, a 3D design and PDM solutions provider, recently spoke with the Boston Globe regarding CAD software and how it has changed during his 20-year tenure in the industry.
"Back in the 1990's, solid modeling programs cost thousands of dollars per seat, and were only available on expensive Unix workstations," Chin said. "SolidWorks took very powerful drawing tools, made them easier to use, moved to the Windows desktop, and created 3D for the masses. Today, SolidWorks has capabilities that include various simulations that can test motion capabilities, fluid-flow and thermal analyses as well as 3D printing and much more."
Chin told the news source he creates innovative products by understanding customers' interest and focusing on developing technological solutions for current design problems. He added that he's even used SolidWorks for personal projects, once designing a sun room in his home by modeling how furniture and other objects would fit throughout the space.
In a recent MCADCafe interview, SolidWorks CEO Bertrand Sicot revealed the company's vision for the future and its upcoming products. According to Sicot, SolidWorks is working to develop greater cloud-based and mobile applications, enabling designers and engineers to collaborate on projects from any location and device. He also said the company is becoming better integrated in Dassault Systemes with each product release, and SolidWorks currently accounts for roughly 20 percent of Dassault's total revenue.
Designing consumer electronics, industrial equipment, automobiles and other products increasingly involves collaboration between several stakeholders, such as engineers, marketing teams, business executives and manufacturers. For any electronic product, printed circuit board (PCB) design is an integral part of the production process, making it important for designers to include input from various other resources when building PCBs.
Altium, a leader in unified electronics design software and services, recently announced it has expanded its partnership with Microchip Technology, a microcontroller, analog and Flash-IP solutions provider. The new agreement will update and add new Microchip components to AltiumLive, an online content delivery system for Altium Designer users.
"Close collaboration between Altium and parts manufacturers like Microchip ensure this next generation of design IP is more than just another CAD library. This translates to content our customers can trust and content that makes the process of designing with Altium Designer faster and easier than ever before," said Rowland Washington, content development manager for Altium. "We are pleased to be working with Microchip to create this latest set of updates, with more to come in the near future."
The Altium Content Development Center, in collaboration with Microchip, developed the board-level components, providing AltiumLive users with a new wave of state-of-the-art microcontrollers. Using AltiumLive, PCB designers can log into their account through any internet browser and subsequently access component libraries, design content, part pricing and manufacturer and vendor data. Remote access to such information and content allows designers to work in a flexible and efficient environment, reducing costs and increasing productivity.
Altium recently unveiled its latest product, Altium Designer 12, a comprehensive electronics design program that supports cloud-based collaboration between all stakeholders during the project development process. The company said the upgrade will give users better control in high-speed designs.
Seemingly every business professional and consumer has a smartphone these days, and as they rely on such mobile devices for more and more everyday tasks, most users have opted to purchase protective cases. As with many other products, some manufacturers are now designing smartphone cases using computer aided design (CAD) and product lifecycle management (PLM) software.
GID Development Corporation, a provider of design and development engineering, recently used Dassault Systemes' 3D Experience solutions to quickly and efficiently create a new vibration and shock-absorbing iPhone 4S case. GID leveraged Dassault's popular CATIA 3D design product to develop the BodyDock Cellphone Armor system.
"We are seeing first-hand just how powerful Dassault Systemes' solutions are at bringing ideas and an innovative new consumer experience to life," said GID founder Jim Grimes. "GID normally works for clients to realize their innovative ideas. This time, with our own idea, it has been an interesting experience for us to use CATIA to bring our own product to market, rather than our client's work - and I'm sure this 3D experience will benefit our client work in the future."
In addition to using CATIA for 3D design, GID uses Dassault's ENOVIA product to manage its increasing amount of data and 3DVIA Composer to communicate designs to the company's China-based manufacturers. GID said the Dassault solutions also helped them collaborate globally, increasing design speed and accelerating innovation.
Dassault and its subsidiary SolidWorks offer comprehensive 3D design, product development and simulation solutions to companies in numerous sectors, such as aerospace, automotive, consumer products, industrial equipment, medical and many others. SolidWorks CEO Bertrand Sicot recently discussed the company's current and future priorities, revealing it's developing cloud-based and mobile applications for users to improve flexibility and collaboration.
According to the Quad City Times, middle school students in Davenport, Iowa, were recently introduced to computer aided design (CAD) software through one teacher's unique "Gateway to Technology" course. Armed with the 3D design software, the students were tasked with virtually creating pencil holders.
Sixth grade teacher Jackie Leonard admitted to her students that the project would be difficult, according to the source, but as an educator, she sees enormous value in this one of a kind program, designed to draw more students to science, technology, engineering and mathmatics - or STEM - fields at a younger age.
The source reports that school officials are considering a partnership with local CAD professionals to help introduce students to the technology from a professional perspective.
"The students would get some good role models and see people who really do this for a living," Leonard told the source.
According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the highest 10 percent of mechanical drafters and designers earned more than $71,000 annually, as of 2008. The BLS expects the field to increase in employment by about 4 percent by 2018.
Engineers, designers and manufacturers continue to use advanced computer aided design (CAD) and product lifecycle management (PLM) tools to develop innovative products, reducing production costs and accelerating time to market. However, according to some experts, the CAD and PLM market could be in the midst of a fundamental shift.
In her latest column, Design news contributing editor Beth Stackpole discussed a major industry trend presented at SolidWorks World 2012, an annual conference that recently took place in San Diego. Stackpole said it was clear that 3D software and PLM providers like Dassault Systemes and SolidWorks view internet-based programs as the future of product design. This type of software enables enterprise stakeholders to collaborate across numerous devices and locations with a wide range of people, all containing different skill sets.
"This is an amazing way of working," Bernard Charlès, Dassault Systemes CEO, said in his keynote speech, as reported by Design News. "What is happening is this level of collaboration between different disciplines. It's the definition of the new world of collaboration, where people can benefit from different sources of knowledge. This is the future of design innovation that will impact the way all of you work every day."
According to Stackpole, it seems like CAD and PLM providers are focusing software development efforts more on integrated, collaborative products than traditional modeling and lifecycle management programs. Although this represents a change in the industry, she acknowledged that online-based programs could enhance innovation by bringing more ideas to the design process and increasing production speed.
Dassault Systemes offers customers a 3D Experience platform, enabling designers, engineers, marketing managers and consumers to collaborate on product design ideas through social media and technologies. Dassault recently acquired internet companies Netvibes and Exalead, part of the company's launch of its 3DSwYM social innovation brand.
Computer aided design (CAD) and similar 3D technologies have been in existence for decades, but only now are designers and manufacturers mastering certain techniques to bring out the full potential of CAD programs.
The automotive manufacturing industry has been among the leading sectors using CAD and computer aided manufacturing (CAM) software to enhance innovation and shorten the production process. A recent Financial Times report detailed the example of McLaren, which often takes design ideas from nature and other products and subsequently implements them in their own automobile models. According to the report, it has become common industry practice to use computer modelling tools to make fast, efficient design changes.
"It's a great time to be a designer," Frank Stephenson, McLaren's chief designer, told the news source. "The limit is your creativity, or how far you want to push the envelope."
The report said CAD technology is one of the most significant additions to automobile designers' collection of available tools in recent years, and design teams are just now gaining enough CAD knowledge and skills to effectively leverage the technology. Furthermore, the integration of CAD software into the automotive production process has allowed manufacturers to quickly adjust designs, reduce costs and accelerate innovation.
Many automotive companies deploy SolidWorks 3D design, product data management (PDM) and simulation solutions to build stylish, state-of-the-art cars, motorcycles and other vehicles.
Electronic computer aided design (ECAD) software helps electronics and printed circuit board designers efficiently build innovative products for a low cost. However, a new software may make the design process even simpler, increasing productivity and further reducing costs.
Altium, a provider of advanced electronics design software and services, recently announced the release of Altium Designer 12, the newest version of its award-winning product. The company unveiled the software during an industry conference in Nuremberg, Germany, one year after launching Altium Designer 10.
The new, cloud-based version contains several features that can help designers and engineers create products and collaborate with other stakeholders regarding project development. Key to this advantage is Altium's unique delivery model, which enables the company to roll out constant software updates, bug fixes and improvements without disrupting customer use. Altium said the program also provider users with greater control in high-speed designs.
"Impedance controlled routing is an integral part of managing signal integrity for critical signals on a PCB. The algorithms, which calculate the track width based on the PCB layer stack, include more physical parameters of the PCB to produce better results," the company said.
In a recent column for Electronics Weekly, technical marketing director at Altium Europe Frank Framer said cloud-based ECAD solutions allow designers to collaborate in real time, making processes more efficient and innovation a cooperative operation.
Designing, testing and manufacturing automobiles has become an increasingly complex process, one that involves collaboration between engineers, computer aided design (CAD) experts, marketing professionals and management. BMW, one of the world's leading automotive manufacturers, has mastered the art of leveraging integrated 3D design and product lifecycle management (PLM) solutions to build innovative models.
A recent BMWBLOG.com report detailed the company's design process, from the initial drawing stage to the detail work. According to the article, designers first draw ideas then build a so-called tape model - a full-size grid map of an automobile - by attaching flexible tape to a board. When this phase is completed, BMW designers collaborate with CAD professionals to create a virtual 3D proportional model of the new product.
The source said design phase includes ironing out critical components, such as the wheelbase, luggage compartment size, range of engines and interior width, among others. Additionally, BMW uses CAD software during the latter stages of the design process, helping the firm's Detail Design team adjust exterior and interior elements for the final time.
"In the design process I aim to coax the maximum creativity from my team. Every single designer is invited to deliver their own take on the brand or the relevant project, in words and images. My job is then to select the best of the numerous opinions and proposals. For me that’s one of the most exciting moments in the entire design process." said Adrian van Hooydonk, senior vice president of BMW Group Design, as reported by BMWBLOG.com.
In February, Dassault Systemes, a leader in CAD and PLM solutions, announced BMW is using the company's V6 PLM products to develop it's embedded software architecture for automobiles.