The world’s definitely going mechatronic

The products we design, produce, and ultimately consume are getting smarter, more versatile, and undoubtedly more complex. You need only pick up your phone to witness a marvel of carefully integrated mechanical, electrical, and software design. But tightly integrating multi-disciplinary design across so many tools, processes, and data management methods has always been especially challenging. That's starting to change dramatically. The world's finally going mechatronic. Read more

How can you generate 170 product design ideas in a few weeks? GrabCAD Challenges.

There are a number of ways to design a new product. You can ask your designers. You can hire a design agency. Or, you can sponsor a GrabCAD Challenge and ask 1.8 million members for help. Last year, AirPatrol challenged our members and got over 170 new ideas for their wireless controller. That product recently launched and I asked Daniel Dordett, CEO and Andre Altjoe, Business Development at Airpatrol about this new way to design consumer electronics. Read more

Workbench now supports peer-to-peer CAD collaboration

About fifteen years ago, the internet was abuzz with peer-to-peer file sharing technologies. Napster spread throughout college campuses as music enthusiasts with vague ethics discovered that they could move data anywhere in the world with no central authority. Today, BitTorrent is responsible for about a third of internet traffic in Asia-Pacific. That's not insignificant. Plus, P2P can be used in perfectly ethical instances. Like, say, transferring CAD files between team members. Read more

The small team advantage

When I set out to write this blog series, the overall idea was to look at engineering organizations within large product companies and discuss practices and tools that would benefit engineering teams in small companies. Smaller organizations often feel that small team size and direct communication among engineers reduce the need for complex formal product data management software, and that such tools might even reduce the agility and flexibility of engineers. Read more

GE seeks open innovation from the GrabCAD Community

Today we launched another great GrabCAD Challenge with GE. I talked to Lisa Ralph, Open Innovation Leader & Global Strategy at GE, about this Challenge to give you more details on their engineering problem, so you can create the best entry possible. This Challenge, ending March 9, has a prize pool of $10,000. The winners will be announced by June 8, after thorough testing and evaluation. Read more

CAD modeling etiquette: Do your colleagues need a refresher?

I hear it every day from other engineers: “I could use that model in my assembly, but it's so bad. I might as well just remodel it.” Bad modeling techniques and a lack of solid expectations (or standards) in the hardware industry have driven the majority of us in product design at least a little crazy over the course of our careers. Unfortunately, for many, “bad models” are an everyday reality. Trouble is, the definition of a “good” model depends on who you ask. That's probably not how engineering should work. Read more