Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
Monday, October 27th, 2014
In our younger, more impressionable years there seemed to be a mystique surrounding the neighborhood tree house. Whether it was in your backyard or that of your buddy’s, kids just seem to flock to that box. Some were just a collection of repurposed refuse while others were well-planned construction masterpieces. But they all seemed to be consistent in a couple of features; elevation and imagination.
Elevation: I am not sure if that aspect was overcompensation for the height-challenged youth or just because it was super cool to keep something off of the ground. Plus it gave us a reason to create stairs, rope pulls and the ever-coveted fire pole! The elevation also gave us a great way to increase our view of the world.
Imagination: Many kids have spent countless hours dreaming of different worlds. Some were playing knights defending castles of medieval times. Others piloted space ships who were exploring distant planets. Fire trucks, stage coaches and battlegrounds were all envisioned by its occupants. It’s amazing how those small boxes could invoke such an imaginative environment.
Monday, October 27th, 2014
This post contains spoilers so be sure to have watched our new 3D printed stop-motion short, SHeLvEd, before reading: SHeLvEd: GoEngineer YouTube
When I was first approached about creating a stop-motion film using 3D printed characters I immediately accepted. “It would be fun,” I thought “…and it will be easy.”
Well the very first thing I learned about filmmaking is that it is not easy. Before I even made it to the technically difficult parts, I was confronted with the surprisingly tough artistic challenges:
- What is the storyline?
- Who are the characters and what do they look like?
- How many explosions should we add?
- Is the ending happy, sad, confusing, a cliffhanger or all of the above?
Friday, September 19th, 2014
Using SOLIDWORKS Mechanical Conceptual for the first time is like the first time you used an iPhone after having that state of the art flip phone. Stepping into the Single Modeling Environment (SME) is like seeing your favorite games, email, calendar, and music on the same screen for the first time. The SME allows you to switch from a multi body part to an assembly with the click of a single button without the interface really changing at all. As a long time CAD user with all of the preconceived notions of what a file or assembly structure should look like, I am not sure that I really grasp the intricacies of what this change in thought process can actually provide. I have tried to force myself to expand my thought process into how this would change my daily workflow, but feel as though I am just barley scratching the surface. It plays very well into the intuitive pillar; you don’t have to think about file structure as part of the design process. When you have spent so much time concerning yourself with sub assembly structure this is a concept that may take some time to fully understand.
Thursday, August 14th, 2014
Many of our GoEngineer customers already know me; I’ve been helping you with your Data Management issues for years. There is much more to Data Management than Revision Control, Change Processes, and Collaboration, it is also about organizing and finding your data.
One of the biggest challenges with the massive amounts of data generated by companies and individuals these days, is that it can be very tough to organize, and even tougher to search. You inevitably end up making multiple copies of your files (compounding the size of your dataset) and probably have them saved in various locations – perhaps one copy in your PDM system, another copy on a network drive for the shop floor, and a 3rd PDF that’s stored and managed in your PLM system.
It’s great that you’re already using tools like PDM and PLM, but there hasn’t been a way to search all 3 sources simultaneously, in the same interface, without building a homegrown/custom search tool to do so.
Thursday, July 17th, 2014
I’m not much of a baker, but I can follow instructions reasonably well. If I wanted to bake a cake, I could find a recipe, buy the specified ingredients, mix them together and bake for the recommended period of time. By following a recipe, I would increase the chances that the end result actually looks and tastes like cake! Just as a recipe provides the detailed instructions to make a quality cake, Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) systems provide the information and instructions to design quality products. Whether your company makes medical devices, industrial equipment, laptops, cell phones or other consumer products – PLM provides a secure, centralized database to manage the entire product record into a “Single Record of the Truth”. This ensures you can design and manufacture high quality products and get them to market fast and efficiently.
Agile PLM allows companies to aggregate all the components, documentation, software, engineering drawings and Bill of Material (BOM) into one system. The BOM can be thought of as the product recipe for your finished product. It may include off-the-shelf and custom parts, software and firmware, documentation, and both mechanical and electrical CAD drawings so that every aspect of the product configuration is controlled. Within the BOM view of Agile, users gain immediate insight into whether there are attached documents, pending change orders or quality issues against any level of an assembly. Users may quickly traverse the BOM to view any of the associated records or attachments. User-defined security roles and privileges ensure adherence with corporate security policies, configuration management practices and regulatory compliance initiatives. Internal and external collaboration is enabled to allow individuals, departments and partners the appropriate level of access to product information.
Monday, June 16th, 2014
The Pioneer Spirit Prevails!
For hundreds of years, ordinary people have forged new paths, pioneering ahead of the masses to find new ways—explorers, innovators and entrepreneurs. Every field of study has those special individuals who show us better & brighter ideas. Some of my revered pioneers are a little eclectic: Leonardo da Vinci, Eli Whitney, Thomas Edison, Henry Ford, Erle Halliburton, Ray Kroc, Ed Malzahn, among many others.
I am proud to say that I’ve had the opportunity to work for companies founded by two of these greats. (more…)
Thursday, May 22nd, 2014
Engineering is all about problem-solving.
One of my favorite design problems involved a small encoder mount for a mixing system. The encoders were used to count rotations on a screw that metered dry product into a mixer.
Operators of this equipment were breaking encoders at an alarming rate and they were expensive to replace—not to mention the equipment downtime.
After determining the root cause of the issue, it was clear that a better mount had to be produced; we designed seven pieces of laser-cut stainless steel that fit together like a puzzle. But the tricky part was how to hold all of the puzzle pieces into a sturdy mount.
The very seasoned electrical engineer working with me on the project suggested—out of the blue—a simple hairpin. I thought he had lost his mind, but after giving his idea some consideration I later discovered he was right!
Innovative solutions might seem risky and even a bit crazy at first—that’s what makes them exciting.
This is part 2 of a 3-part blog series. Today, we will be looking into how engineering-centric companies can tackle the challenges of new technologies.
Tuesday, April 22nd, 2014
We fear change!
Have you ever come home to find that someone has moved your favorite recliner? (Shouldn’t be a big deal, right?) But your first slightly irritated reaction may have been: “Why did this move?”
Humans are creatures of habit.
The truth is that we’d like some things in life to be concrete and not to move or change. According to popular personality testing, there are 4 personality types and three of them fear change—that means the majority of humanity fears change!
Over the years, I’ve had the opportunity to observe how companies of different sizes tend to adopt new technologies. From my perspective, engineering and manufacturing companies can be grouped into three general types: production-centric, engineering-centric, and business-centric.
I will explore each of these types in this 3-part blog series, starting this week with production-centric companies.
Technology Perceptions (more…)