Al Bunshaft, Dassault Systemes Senior Vice President for the North America region, was recently interviewed by Motley Fool, covering a range of topics. SolidWorks and its 2 million end users are mentioned, but the interview focuses on Dassault’s role in the rise of 3D Printing in recent years. Bunshaft states, “our software is the engine of the 3D printing industry”. He also talks about several real world examples of successful uses of Dassault Systemes software within industry. The complete article can found on the Motley Fool at What’s Next for Dassault Systèmes, And How It Profits Off 3D Printing, including the video of the interview.
Objet and Rob Rodriguez teamed up recently to produce a 3D model and a 3D print of the famous Fenway Park in honor of its 100th anniversary. Rodriguez talks about this challenging task in a recent posting on his blog, Axis Cad Solutions Blog,
I was approached by Objet to create a solid model of Fenway Park for the centennial celebration (1912-2012). …Having lived in New England all my life, being a Sox’s fan and knowing that Fenway was/is an iconic part of baseball history I’d [couldn’t] say, “no”.
I’m not a Red Sox fan, but I can see the love New Englanders have for their team and the Fenway Park venue. For the past month, there’s been nonstop chatter about Fenway Park and the idea that this is a “building” year for the Red Sox team.
In Rodriguez’ article, you’ll find an eDrawings version of the model (very cool), plus links to Objet’s article about the 3D printing of the park.
Solido has announced that they will introduce a new commercial 3D printer that will sell for “considerably less than $5000″, at SolidWorks World 2010. If the announcement holds true, this has the potential to be a game changer in the industry.
Helping Solido to showcase their product are Scott Harris, co-founder of SolidWorks, and Terry Wohlers, president of Wohlers Associates. This will be at a press conference on Monday, February 1st (day 2 of SolidWorks World 2010).
Solido states that their goal for this product is to provide casual 3D printing of CAD models, just as one might print out a paper document. They claim that their product, called Solido SD300 Pro, will print models quietly, accurately and inexpensively right in the office with no toxic or messy materials.
They also claim that the SD300 Pro is suited for all stages of production with accuracy within .004”, including flexible living hinges. Printed parts could be drilled and finished, all without any outsourcing. Hopefully, I’ll get a chance to check out their product and claims.
I brought two pairs of shoes with me to SolidWorks World, black dressy pair, and sporty comfortable New Balance atheletic shoes.Â I wore the dressy pair to the General Session.Â I’m wearing New Balance shoes right now, for two reasons.Â First, they are more comfortable for all the walking around.Â SolidWorks Worlds are expansive, with sessions spread out over the entire site.Â Comfortable shoes are a must.Â The second reason?Â Jon Hirschtick showed us several customer visits he recently conducted.Â Â The first company profiled was New Balance shoe company.Â
It was amazing to see the level of integration of SolidWorks within the rapid design process at New Balance.Â Since shoes are attached to the fashion industry, quick time to market is essential.Â New Balance is able to go from a SolidWorks model to actual shoe prototype in just a couple of days.Â Before New Balance used SolidWorks in their design process, it took fifteen days to create 2D drawings in CAD.Â With SolidWorks, they are able to produce 3D models in just 5 days.Â Their models average about 1300 features, with one model reaching 1800 features.Â Speed and accuracy seem to be very important as each design of shoe will eventually require over 1000 different molds and dies to support 176 unique shoe sizes.Â During their design process, they use 3D printing to produce rapid prototypes.Â It is not uncommon for them to produce a hundred or more 3D printed prototypes per month.
Sony EricssonÂ was then introduced by Hirschtick.Â His visit to their site revealed they used rapid prototyping, both SLA and 3D printing processes.Â In fact, they produce 4000 rapid prototype models per year.Â It is common for them to produce prototypes for phones after only 2 to 3 hours of SolidWorks modelling time.Â In the mid-1990’s, they switched to 3D CAD and have since seen a 75% drop in the design cycle time.Â They went from producing 4 designs a year to over 30.Â
I am impressed byÂ seeing the type of rapid concept to prototype design processes being employed by Sony Ericsson and New Balance.Â I’m also more appreciative of my New Balance shoes, though I already know these are well made and very comfortable shoes.