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Archive for November, 2016

Looking Ahead: 2017 MCADCafe Editorial Lineup

Thursday, November 24th, 2016

It’s almost the end of November, so with just over a month left of this year, it’s not too early to start thinking about what we’ll be covering in 2017. The calendar below reflects what we perceive as some of the most important topics today, as well as feedback from our readers and other supporters.

The main theme for each month will be covered in an extended article or series of articles so that the topic can be covered in a more comprehensive way. We’ll also be covering some of the major MCAD events throughout the year, reporting what we see and hear from vendors, partners, and attendees.

We’ll also be covering some of the major MCAD events throughout the year, reporting what we see and hear from vendors, partners, and attendees. All of the events we attend will include daily written coverage and Tweets throughout event days, as well as video and audio interviews.

If you have any thoughts of topics you would like to see covered in 2015, feel free to contact me at jeff@ibsystems.com or 719.221.1867.

We look forward to an exciting 2017and providing you with the MCAD content you want most for improving your design, engineering, and manufacturing processes.

Keep MCADCafe.com your source for all things MCAD because 2017 is going to be a great year!

2017 MCADCafe Editorial Calendar of Monthly Topics

January 2017 – CAM Trends

February 2017 — Cloud Computing with MCAD Applications

Show Coverage — SolidWorks World 2017

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Are We Finally Witnessing the Future of Making Things?

Thursday, November 17th, 2016

Along with almost 10,000 other attendees, I was in Las Vegas this week at Autodesk University and am still trying to comprehend if I’ve just seen the future of manufacturing.

To a large extent, Autodesk’s vision for the future of making things stems from what it calls generative design.

So what is generative design? According to Autodesk’s official definition, generative design mimics nature’s evolutionary approach to design.

AU 2016 2

AU 2016: The Future Of Making Things

In the digital realm, designers and engineers input design goals into generative design software, along with parameters, such as manufacturing methods, materials, and cost constraints. Using cloud computing, the software quickly explores all possible permutations of a solution, generating design alternatives. The software then tests and learns from each iteration what works, what doesn’t, and what works best.

In other words, with generative design, there is not necessarily a single solution to a problem, instead, there are potentially thousands of solutions that address the initial problem.

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MBD Finally Gaining Momentum for Smart Manufacturing

Thursday, November 10th, 2016

A couple of weeks ago, I attended a very interesting event called the 3D Collaboration & Interoperability Congress 2016 (3D CIC) that was hosted by our colleagues at Action Engineering. The actual conference event was two days, but was preceded by a SOLIDWORKS user group meeting that focused exclusively on model-based definition (MBD) for an entire day. Myself, along with about 60 other attendees got a good look at MBD, not just SOLIDWORKS’ perspective, but a broader view, as well.

I was fortunate to sit next to Oboe Wu, product manager at SOLIDWORKS who is a huge proponent of MBD. With SOLIDWORKS MBD, you can communicate product and PMI directly in 3D, bypassing time-consuming 2D processes, in other words, drawings.

SOLIDWORKS MBD sets data such as product models, dimensions, geometric tolerances, surface finishes, welding symbols, bills of material (BOM), callouts, tables, notes, Meta properties, and other annotations within the SOLIDWORKS 3D environment in 3D PMI. Because all the information needed to guide the operation is integrated with the 3D models, traditional 2D drawings are no longer needed (at least in theory).

With MBD, 2D drawings become less necessary and meaningful. Instead of having a 3D model and a 2D drawing in a traditional workflow, the model is the drawing in an MBD workflow. The MBD approach provides a direct connection and single digital data thread from design to engineering to inspection.

SOLIDWORKS MBD 2017

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One Year In, HP Inc. Continues To Reinvent Itself

Thursday, November 3rd, 2016

If there ever was a company that has struggled to reinvent and find itself, as well as its former stature in consumer and commercial technology, it’s HP.

There was a time when HP had no equal in several product segments, such as test & measurement, calculators, pocket PCs/personal assistants, etc., but those days are long gone. Sure, the company reigns in printers, and their desktop and mobile workstations are good, but not nearly as compelling as in the good old days.

HP’s reign as the world’s largest manufacturer of personal computers came to an end in the second quarter of 2013. At the time sales figures showed that Chinese PC manufacturer Lenovo shipped more computers during that period than HP, which had held the crown as the largest PC maker since at least 2006.

In an attempt to return to its former glory days, HP split into two public companies with one side focusing on its cloud and enterprise market (Hewlett-Packard Enterprise), and the other on personal systems (computers) and printers (HP Inc.). To make this happen, the company also cut thousands of jobs in the process.


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SolidCAM: Patented Wizard to optimal feeds & speeds



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