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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…