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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has almost 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the design … More »

3DCIC 2014: Driving Product Development with Collaboration, Simulation, and Integration

 
June 2nd, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Last week I attended the 11th 3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress (3DCIC) in Colorado Springs, CO as one of the event’s media sponsors. The three-day event focused on promoting and improving collaboration and data interoperability throughout the product lifecycle — from concept through retirement.

For the first time this year, NAFEMS (the international association of the engineering modeling, analysis, and simulation community) held its fourth NAFEMS Americas conference, co-locating and coinciding with 3DCIC 2014.

CIC distinguishes itself by being a vendor-neutral event that addresses collaboration and interoperability across several industries for product development, simulation/analysis, manufacturing, and overall business purposes.

The theme of 3DCIC 2014, which attracted more than 250 attendees, was “Driving Product Development with Collaboration, Simulation, and Integration.” Progressive organizations have realized that the integration of design, analysis/simulation, manufacturing, downstream processes, and the supply chain are vital components for keeping them competitive and profitable. It’s really the underlying basis of the sought-after nirvana of PLM. This was also the focus of 3DCIC 2014 – the notion that collaboration is totally dependent on interoperability between disparate groups and processes.

Although it was challenging to carve away time during the conference, I was able to sit down with David Prawel, Founder and President of Longview Advisors and 3DCIC for his take on the conference, as well as the current state of collaboration and interoperability.

David Prawel

David Prawel, Founder and President of 3DCIC

He said the main purpose of the conference was to disrupt accepted norms and help mold 2-5 year strategies for issues surrounding collaboration and interoperability. It is a vendor neutral, application and industry agnostic event that provides an independent perspective on how diverse groups and industries solve similar problems that they all share in common.

He said that although he felt it was a risk to merge and co-locate 3DCIC (more business oriented) and the NAFEMS (more technically oriented) conferences, he was pleasantly surprised at how well things worked, primarily because both groups have many of the same problems.

Some of David’s biggest take-aways from the conference include:

  • Properly focusing on and addressing the collaboration problem is essential for getting people to work together.
  • Cultural issues (corporate culture) are the most difficult to solve and effect change.
  • For building a competitive engineering workforce, there is an essential need for trained people who understand the science, math, and physics of simulation and analysis for correctly interpreting results.

Beyond his work with 3DCIC and Longview Advisors, David also relatively recently earned his Ph.D in Biomechanical Engineering from Colorado State University, and is closely involved with its Idea-2Product Lab.

CSU’s Idea-2-Product Lab (I2P) is a public-access facility for rapid-cycle product design and development – a “3D Make Lab”. I2P provides powerful additive manufacturing and related tools, rich expertise, and an easy gateway into CSU’s huge talent pool and research and development capabilities, enabling companies and individuals to accelerate their path to commercial success.

Employees in CSU’s Idea-2-Product 3D printing laboratory have developed a protective liner that will be worn by a paralyzed Brazilian adult who, with the help of a robotic exoskeleton, will rise from a wheelchair, walk to the center of the field and kick a soccer ball to begin the games.

The demonstration, known as the Walk Again project, will take place during the opening ceremony June 12 in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Below is a video of the project that David was involved with.

Walking Again at the World Cup with Help from Colorado State University

The 3DCIC 2014 was very worthwhile attending for what I learned, because without interoperability, there is no collaboration.

In the near future I will be detailing some of the significant presentations I sat in on, and some of the interesting vendors I met with.

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