Reinventing Design

A Playbook for Getting Biomimicry Right

Drawing inspiration from nature for novel design concepts is one thing, but turning those gems into something resembling a workable product is quite another story, especially if it involves particularly complex shapes and structures. The practice of biomimicry, officially coined in 1997 by American biologist and author Janine Benyus, is the idea that natural elements […]

Education – Paying it back

I’m not entirely sure when you got that itch for design and engineering, but having spoken to countless designers and engineers, it seems that there’s a common thread. Alongside the liking for Legos, there seems to be a universal desire to understand how things work – or more specifically, how things come apart (and never […]

Taking Design Cues from Mother Nature

They say Mother Nature knows best, and when it comes to product design and engineering, that is often the case. Taking cues from nature has a long connection to product design, going back as far as Leonardo da Vinci, who studied bird flight as inspiration for his proposed “flying machines.”  Centuries later, those designs were […]

The Internet of Things: New Challenges, New Opportunities

In the last column, we talked about Big Data and the challenges that it might present the designer and engineer  in the near future (if not already). As part of that, we touched on how much of this might be driven by the Internet of Things. And the fine folks at PTC have asked me […]

Design Best Practices Are a Big Deal for SMBs

Building better products at less cost in a shorter time-to-delivery cycle is a universal challenge, regardless of the size of the company or the complexity of its products. Industry leaders in sectors like automotive, high-tech electronics, and ship building have made great strides leveraging cutting-edge technologies to turbocharge their engineering processes and optimize designs. Among […]

Creating a Successful Roadmap for the Model Based Enterprise

Most engineers are living in a 3D world. The CAD models they build as part of the design process are 3D as are the simulations that prove out those concepts and the realistic prototypes output with, you guessed it, 3D printers working off the same 3D data. Yet outside of engineering—in manufacturing departments, throughout the […]

The Search for Push Button 3D Printing

If you were to believe the mainstream media, you obtain a 3D printed part by loading up the part, sending it to the printer, and a few minutes later, it pops out. Presumably with a little “ding” noise. The reality is that there is a lot of preparatory work needed to ensure that you not […]

Getting Design Collaboration Right

When it comes to perfecting product development, it’s usually the fundamentals that are often the single hardest thing for engineering organizations to get right. Take the simple act of collaboration, for example. It’s a challenge today because the engineering landscape has changed so dramatically. It’s not enough for engineers to get in a room and […]

Big Data: There’s More to It Than Size

One term that has had me stumped for a while has been Big Data. I always looked at the term and looked on, still slightly baffled. Not anymore. I’ve recently managed to get a handle on things and finally found a good analogy to help explain it and some examples to show where it fits […]

Corriere Comunicazioni: “Marriage of IoT and CAD”

It is no coincidence that Rob Gremley was chosen to head the new Internet of Things (IoT) business unit at PTC. Gremley is an expert in CAD software (the core business of the Needham-based company) and the manufacturing sector. After observing a growing demand to link physical machines back to their design processes, PTC began acquiring companies specializing in analytics for IoT and integrating them together. The next […]
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