The Engineering Manager’s Field Guide

Great engineering managers are always looking for ways to become really great engineering managers. On one hand, a manager has to keep the skills they learned on the way up as sharp as possible. Otherwise, how can they expect to direct a team with any real credibility? Read more

Multidisciplinary Decision Making: Not Everything You Need to Know Lives in a Data Repository

Product managers, design engineers, procurement officers, supply chain planners and other participants in designing new products and taking them to production face complex tradeoff decisions almost on a daily basis. And, as evident by frequent schedule slips, budget overruns, manufacturability problems, subpar product quality, and others mishaps, they don’t always make the right decisions. Why do organizations fail to make effective decisions? Read more

Möbius Gears: a Step Beyond the Involute

I don’t know what you do with your free time, but, left undisturbed, I often find myself trying to code up some geometry. Nowadays, I am typically trying to 3D print some fancy piece of abstract math that has no business being projected into our default world of 3D Euclidean geometry. Every once in a while, however, I do something that might actually turn out useful. Read more

It’s Time to Get Over IGES

About five seconds into your average conversation about CAD translation, someone will invariably mention one of the venerable and long-held neutral formats: STEP or IGES. Neutral CAD formats are the great equalizers of CAD interchange; the old stand-bys of an increasingly multi-CAD world. They provide the bridge to migrate geometry from one proprietary CAD system to another. While direct translation or newer direct modeling techniques now often preempt the use of neutral formats, chances are high you'll need to rely on them at one time or another. But a word of caution: while STEP and IGES are often grouped together in the same breath, they are certainly not equivalent. In fact, if formats were horses, it's probably time to send the IGES pony to the glue factory. Read more