Mechanical Design

Every Engineer’s Dirty Little Secret? The Stigma of 2D

A couple weeks ago, I attended Solidworks World over in San Antonio. While I was there, I got updates on several products and got to have some very frank conversations with users. Overall, it was a very good event. But the most poignant moment for me, thanks to the goodness of social media, didn’t happen in real-time or even face-to-face. It’s when I saw a picture of the back of a t-shirt someone wore at the show. It was tweeted and retweeted again and again on twitter. Here’s the link to the picture posted on Jeff’s Tool Shed blog, but to make it short, it said:

2D is for Sissies

Integrating Simulation and Test: From Conflict to Collaboration

There’s nothing quite like a good old war between departments, is there? As disruptive as it can be, conflict between organizations happens all too often. And engineering’s had more than its fair share. But instead of focusing on how engineering’s agenda might be at odds with another department like manufacturing or procurement, I’d like to hone in on a dynamic within the engineering organization between the simulation office and the test lab.

The State of Paperless: More Feasible Than Ever?

Going paperless. What a vision, right? Some ten years ago, the concept of taking product development completely electronic seemed like some far off and unobtainable goal. But fast forward to today and it doesn’t seem quite so far out of reach.

The Intersection of Engineering IT and the Cloud

Seems nowadays its hard to read about engineering IT without coming across something about the cloud. And while it’s definitely an interesting concept, it hasn’t necessarily been explicitly clear what advantage or value it providers to designers, engineers or analysts. With ideas of IT related issues that have plagued engineering in the past, I started to think hard about the cloud.

What is the Killer App for the Modern Engineer?

A couple weeks ago, I asked a question that has been on my mind for a while: do engineers have the broadest reach within the enterprise? I’ve always thought there’s been a little bit of a misconception that an engineer’s sole focus is on new product development and more specifically, design work. Instead, just about every day for an engineer is a firedrill where they’re scrambling all over the company to resolve issues across a number of product’s lifecycles. So after coming to that conclusion, I started thinking about another question: what technology would best enable engineers to do their job?

Is Teamwork the Key to Simulation Driven Design?

Back at the beginning of December, I published a post titled The Very Real Skillset Challenges of Simulation Drive Design. It identified four main areas of knowledge or skills needed to really make a simulation driven design initiative successful including. It also looked at some typical engineer roles and their ability to gain and keep these four types of skills or knowledge.

PDM-less PLM: Is It Pragmatic or Just Problematic?

Since PLM was first conceived, it has almost been inseparable from PDM. The majority of PLM deployments included PDM as part of the PLM deployments. However, more recently, the idea that PDM must be deployed with PLM has been eschewed. Some new PLM solutions only offer plug-ins or integrations to 3rd party PDM systems, all of which is optional. Is this a good or bad idea?

The Very Real Skillset Challenges to Simulation Driven Design

It feels like we’ve been talking about simulation driven design for a really really long time. Doesn’t it? The whole idea is to setup and run simulations of a product’s performance early in the design cycle and base design decisions off those results. This approach is in contrast to using simulation towards the end of the design cycle, prior to prototype and testing or even just prior to design release, to validate and verify product performance. It might seem like a nuanced difference to some, but theoretically it can make a huge difference.

Engineering Executive Chris Weiss on Knapheide’s Selection of Solidworks

Today we’re going to hear from another manufacturer about their selection of a different CAD application: Solidworks. I had a chance to talk with Chris Weiss, the VP of Engineering at Knapheide Manufacturing, about a number of issues. In the following excerpt, he talks about the decisions process his organization went through selecting Solidworks.

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