SWW09: Monday General Session (Part 2: products to make the world a better place)

Though Monday’s General Session only had two speakers, the content was jam packed.  Jeff Ray gave several examples of SolidWorks being used to design new products that have the potential to improve our world.

The first invention mentioned was a wind turbine by MicroWind Technologies, LLC.  This innovative technology is meant to be installed right at the home or business.  Each turbine produces 3Kw of power derived from the wind.

He followed up that environmentally friendly device with one that has already saved hundreds of lives.  It is a device that is able to recover 100% of the tissue from a donor’s bones.  With current technologies, the process of cleaning bone tissue producers a high percentage of damaged material that cannot be used.  Regenerative Tech’s new machine allows a much higher recover rate.  It even enables the used of the chips and dusk from the grinding process to be used a binding for the core material when implanted into the patient.  This means that the material from one organ donor can be used to save or improve the lives of over a 100 individuals.

From this Ray described how a cable TV salesperson realized that small villages do not have safe drinking water.  This salesperson, named Hank, discovered a technology that bombards water with UV light in order to sterilize it.  His company, Trojan UV Tech, is preparing to install a 56 unit site in New York to produce 2.2 billion gallons of water per day.

At this point, most in the audience was feeling pretty good about being associated with these inventions through the software used to design them.  However, Ray bested even these examples.  He described Design That Matters innovation.  The amazing non-profit organization that developed a method to make infant incubators from salvage car parts that can be maintenance by someone with car mechanic skill set.  This is most valuable in the 3rd World countries where modern incubators may have been donated but have since fell into disrepair due to the lack of qualified individuals to maintain them, and parts to keep them working.  If enough of these incubators are made, there the potential to save millions of infants each year!

This one innovation hit close to home for the Keynote speaker, Sir Richard Branson.  More on that later.