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This week’s Spotify-powered SolidSmack Radio Playlist brings an entirely new face-smack of great music to help propel you through those laborious, tedious design tasks for the next few days. This week we’re celebrating the release of Damon Albarn’s first-ever solo release! You’ve heard him before as the mastermind behind Blur, Gorillaz, The Good, The Bad…

SolidWorks World already seems like it was in the distant past, but in reality, it was just six weeks ago. However, now’s your chance to experience SolidWorks World all over again, or maybe even for the first time. Each and every break-out session and presentation that took place at SolidWorks World 2014 is now available to consume at your own rate, directly from their website.

Having an obsessive, deeply-rooted, and somewhat inexplicable passion for everyday objects is practically a required character trait in every Industrial Designer. For that reason, the task of renovating, reinventing, refining, and reforming the most common objects is one of the greatest and most enjoyable challenges for aesthetics visionaries. For millennia, domestic housewares, like furniture, have…

One year ago, Madrid-based architecture and design studio Kawamura-Ganjavian introduced their Ostrich Pillow concept to the masses on Kickstarter. After crowd-sourcing nearly three times their original $70k fundraising goal, the company brought their head-enveloping pillow to market, and some might argue, laid seeds to revolutionize the world of napping. But they didn’t stop there—K-G Studio…

CSIRO, the “Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization” of Australia, announced recently that it has successfully 3D-printed the first pair of horse shoes. Using laboratory-grade 3D scanning and printing methods, scientists scanned each foot of the pilot horse and set-off to print a custom titanium shoe for each foot, which the team did in one…

Several months ago, the world was presented with the “3Doodler”—at the time, a conceptual analog device proclaimed to be the world’s first 3D printing pen. After achieving much notoriety, esteem and extensive international press coverage, the small Boston-based upstart behind the project, WobbleWorks LLC, shattered its now comparatively-modest $30,000 fundraising goal to make the device…

Shapeways recently announced a new material, a ‘Maker-only’ material called Elasto Plastic–high strength, high flexibility, low detail and smoothness. I was intrigued. What wondrous creations could be manufactured with this wondrous material? Having created many other items with many other materials via Shapeways, there was definitely a lot of possibility for a more flexible material.…

Continuing improvements in workstation graphics processing units (GPUs) allow users to dramatically increase interactivity with SolidWorks by upgrading existing workstations with the latest NVIDIA Quadro graphics. For example, a Dell Precision workstation running a current Quadro GPU, based on NVIDIA Fermi architecture, can deliver up to three times the performance of previous generations.

The universal challenges faced by Trek in creating a new generation racing bike apply to many companies today: Create products that are sturdy yet use lightweight materials, spot design defects earlier in the design phase and reduce time from sketch to physical prototype.

Specking out a new fixed or mobile workstation for your CAD work can be a challenge. First, you need to identify the type of work where you really spend most of your time. For example, do you model simple parts, complex assemblies, or both? Do you do first-pass or complex FEA or structural dynamics analyses?

Ah, the project scope. The crucial document many of us follow as a guideline while we’re designing or engineering the next greatest thing. Its entire existence is to keep the focus by describing in detail the new product’s soon to be features, costs, and milestone dates. Love them or hate them, many of us couldn’t…

Take a change of pace with me and see a completely different side of manufacturing. A side where designers don’t worry about being first to market or appealing to the largest consumer base possible. I’m talking about a side where products are produced specifically for individuals who appreciate the novelty and the art of the…

Guest post by Bradley Derry from bradleyderry.com Design is details. Design is the tiny elements in a product that work their way into final production from hours of sketching, prototyping, and CAD. Details are what the designers agonize over and what the manufactures spend so much time trying to get just right. This post is…