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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has more than 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 … More »

3DCIC 2014 Sound Bites and Snippets

June 4th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Last week I attended the 11th 3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress (3DCIC) 2014 as one of the event’s media sponsors. It focused on promoting and improving collaboration and data interoperability throughout the product lifecycle.

Ted Hall, the presenter of the Day 1 3DCIC Keynote Speech is also the inventor of ShopBot desktop CNC machine

Over the course of the three-day event, I heard, overheard, saw, witnessed, experienced, and made the following observations:

  • Relatively small “Mom & Pop” companies (pop-up shops) may well have an increasingly important role in manufacturing for both producing products and as training grounds for future manufacturing employees.
  • Digital techniques will let the small guy compete in the supply chain, not by just disrupting it, but by expanding it.
  • Warranty and recall costs now exceed product R&D costs. If this trend continues, government intervention and regulation are imminent.
  • The majority of practicing engineers still don’t use simulation during the design process – spreadsheets don’t count.
  • Alternate concepts for manufacturing will continue to evolve, and one of the biggest problems might be how to protect IP.
  • Collaboration + execution = results.
  • Requirements before requirements = purpose.
  • All products are systems.
  • Subtractive manufacturing (traditional machining) will be at least as important as additive manufacturing (3D printing).
  • Technology is an enabler, not necessarily the solution.
  • Great simulation apps (SimApps) are coming where access will be more important than ownership.
  • Model-based engineering/environment/enterprise (MBE) is quickly becoming a competitive advantage, and is expected to be as or more important than the transition from 2D to 3D.
  • Ted Hall, keynote presenter was trained as a marine biologist, but developed CAD software and other tools (including the ShopBot below) for building boats in his backyard.
  • Simulation has moved from optional to essential.
  • Simulation is not analysis, because simulation deals with a single point, whereas analysis deals with multiple points.
  • Traditional CAE was referred to as a “desktop prison” because of its restrictions and limitations.
  • New acronym for complex problems – new, unique, and difficult (NUD) problems.
  • Standards are slow to develop, but they are also slow to change.
  • Simulation will increasingly be used to drive design instead of evaluating it.
  • For CAE software developers, smarter to license available existing technologies, such as meshing, optimization, etc. than to try and reinvent them. Sound familiar? Look back at CAD companies that attempted to create their own proprietary geometric modeling kernels when there were ones available for licensing.
  • Interoperability has been coming for many years, and is still many years away.
  • The biggest interoperability problems are the result of proprietary CAD data from myriad vendors.

Although a bit different from what we normally cover, the 3DCIC event was both thought provoking, as well as providing a chance to step outside of the regular MCAD box and comfort zone.


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