Fits, offsets, and 3D printing

It’s a common enough scenario. You work late into the evening to get your latest and greatest design iteration queued up for printing overnight and your client is scheduled to visit you first thing in the morning. You need that print to work first time, even if it involves joints and moving parts. How to guarantee success? Read more

The new GrabCAD Library: connected, collaborative, customizable

GrabCAD has always been a community where engineers and designers can share their CAD models, find inspiration for new concepts, and download parts to advance their product design process. From day one, we have been driven by the curiosity and creativity that originally drew many of us to engineering. With that in mind, we have been hard at work on some huge improvements that make it easier than ever to discover amazing CAD models. Read more

Is there place for augmented reality in manufacturing? Yup.

Most people know about augmented reality. If you haven’t heard the precise phrase, you’ve probably heard of Google Glass. Same idea. Sadly, it appears that Google Glass has fallen on its face, ridiculed and tossed aside. But what would happen if someone took the augmented reality concept and focused not on the consumer market, but instead put it to use in the industrial market? Suddenly, aesthetics, price, and ubiquity aren’t as important. Imagine the potential that augmented reality could bring to manufacturing and design communication. Enter DAQRI, an augmented reality company who is looking to do just that. Read more

Software engineering is engineering. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise.

You better unplug your keyboard and turn off your workstation. You shouldn't be designing, modeling, analyzing or coding anything because more than likely you're not an engineer. Go home, you're an imposter. That's apparently the grim news delivered by Ian Bogost of the Atlantic, who narrowly confines the definition of an engineer to the strictly traditional concept of certification and licensure. Software engineers in particular have been thrown off a bridge, it seems. It's the sort of crass judgment that might have you propelling your fist through the nearest display. But before you go off unnecessarily voiding warranties or turning to a career in Russian medieval literature, let's do what engineers do best and assess the problem systematically. Read more

Specialty filaments for 3D printing are on the rise

If you own a desktop 3D printer, chances are you’ve shopped around and tested various plastic filaments from different suppliers. Each offers their own hue of color, tempting buyers with different shades and tones. While printing a household item in neon green or ultra-transparent purple may not go with your current kitchen décor, painting it is always an option. Everyone’s striving for more realism in their prints so it’s only natural that the market responded with an array of specialty filaments for either practical or aesthetic needs. Read more

A better way to describe technical roles

Recently, a publication I respect published a poorly contrived article that makes its author seem hopelessly out of touch (but has probably been a windfall for their ad department). The author of “Programmers: Stop Calling Yourselves Engineers” asserts that programmers aren’t doing the same caliber engineering as engineers who make physical things and are therefore unworthy of the label “engineer.” Now, the internet is aflutter with people agreeing that someone on the internet is wrong. Read more

CAD workstation performance tip: chuck those hard drives in the trash

The age of hard drives has come and gone; the time of solid-state drives (SSD) is upon us. We made this point with our kick-ass workstation recommendations a few months back, but a few of you were understandably skeptical. As engineers we have a special affinity for reliable technology, but such respect is not so easily earned. So are SSDs reliable? Let’s end that debate and understand that it’s well past time to chuck those hard drives. Yep. In the trash. See you in hell, magnetic platter. Read more