GrabCAD user Daniel Herzeberg has an interesting account of a model he has shared with the GrabCAD community. A model of a valve that just so happens to be firmly implanted his chest, keeping his blood a'flowin'.
Less than two months ago, Daniel underwent open-heart surgery to have the heart valve you see above put into . After the surgery he followed up on his new implant to find out a little more about the the technology keeping his ticker going. What he found out turned out to be a series of related and interesting finding that made the 3D CAD software he uses even more meaningful.
We have just launched the latest challenge where you have to come up with a new skateable art or an obstacle. Best one will get an Archos 7 Tablet.
Challenge is held by ARC (American Ramp Company) who is the world largest skatepark provider. They are looking for new designs for obstacles to use in their skateparks all around the world. Be creative, don't hold back. They need new ideas and skaters need new obstacles to pull more and more crazier and cooler tricks.
All the details about this challenge can be found on our new challenge page.
If creativity is not your strongest skill then don't worry they have an engineering problem that needs solving as well. ARC wants to install a halfpipe on a sloped, grassy area. But they need ideas on how to anchor it into ground with adjustable supports. Goal is to install a halfpipe from a kit in one day. Solve this on and you could be a winner too!
The past couple of weeks have kept us busy working on the new challenges section functionality. It's been launched and live now since yesterday, to make the following, submitting the entries, organizing challenges and checking out any updates easier than it has been with our blog.
All the upcoming challenges will be posted under the Challenges tab and include all information necessary to work on the project and submit the entry. It's also much easier to browse the active and finished challenges with their respective entries as all of them are listed on one page.
If you are a manufacturing, design or any kind of product development company and think such competitions would bring in innovation at a completely different level, you can now also leave your idea for a challenge via the submit form.
Simply describe your idea briefly or in as much detail as you find appropriate, add a sketch or a picture what needs to be engineered and send the information to our staff. We will contact you directly and put together the whole challenge package (see example below) for all the engineers.
The challenge page itself includes the following new sections:
Description - summary of what needs to be done, relevant background information and any pictures of current solutions or examples.
Prizes - what are all the goodies or cash that the winner and runner-ups get
Rules - all applicable conditions for the challenge
About the jury and the company endorsing the challenge
Statistics box with main prize, deadline and number of submitted entries
Requirements - all 'musts' and 'shoulds' that the participating model has to comply with
Specification button to download all files needed to start working
Upload - it's highly recommended to submit your entries via the challenge page. As with most cases, it's all about the details and entering the challenge via the correct form includes the participating model in the official list of entries. It is also necessary that the participants accept the intellectual property and invention terms and conditions.
Entries - can be viewed both under the dedicated tab at the top or in the thumbnails section under the Requirements.
Results - the winning model and runner-ups with brief explanations of their superiority.
All in all we hope the new functionality makes things much easier and usable for both the engineers and the companies taking part in the challenges. If you have any suggestions for improvement, then drop us a line, we'd be glad to hear opinions!
Meanwhile, check out the latest challenges and do not hesitate to participate. The projects itself are cool, as are the prizes.
GrabCAD helped to redesign the fenders of an electric scooter Exo Neutrino by organising CrowdCAD challenge.
Exo Neutrino is a tiny electric scooter that handles like a bike, accelerates like a pocket rocket, drives you 40 miles / 60 kms in one go, and fits into the elevator. Designed with the environment in mind it’s the perfect urban companion.
The challenge was to redesign the plastic fenders on ExoBike. They were manufactured using the extrusion technique and were too fragile and not the best looking. The goal of the competition was to design and engineer new fenders using ABS plastic that will be manufactured by the common molding method. ExoBike team was not happy with the existing fenders and had been puzzled with the new design concept for a long time already. CrowdCAD was an effective and attractive way to take advantage of the power of GrabCAD's network of over 18 000 engineers and solve the design challenge without having to burden their own engineers.
ExoBike and GrabCAD teams together compiled the specification, requirements and procedures of the contest and GrabCAD announced it on July 8th. The deadline was set to 3 weeks to have enough time for the community engineers to develop the new concept.
GrabCAD engineers came up with the new designs and uploaded the files in the library. The competition encouraged engineers to try their best and exceed their skills. ExoBike team was satisfied to select the winner among 24 works and the winning engineer was given a prize chosen by ExoBike team.
ExoBike also got all results of the competition and can implement them in production later if desired.
The competition helped ExoBike to receive a selection of design solutions from which to pick the most suitable, all that in a matter of three weeks.
ExoBike took away:
Large selection of practical solutions for the design challenge
Unique, high quality results that are above standard concepts and exceeded expectations
Saved time and company's own engineering resources
"Exo team was positively surprised to find that in the middle of hot summer our CrowdCAD contest created so much excitement and attention.The proposed number of designs were surprisingly high and we felt that the competition entries were thought-out and really caught ExoBike''s essence. The design of the fenders has been quite a challenge for the Exo team. Thanks to the competition, the team received lots of ideas for further development. We definitely plan to implement the best entries in manufacturing. As ExoBike is constantly evolving, we plan to launch new challenge soon."
Marko Mand, Production Development Manager, ExoBike
In summary the CrowdCAD competition proved to be again ideal way to improve or redesign a part of the machine with the help of the experts in GrabCAD global network. Follow Lauri on Google+
Outsourcing CAD and engineering services sounds like too much of a hassle, there are the technical aspects, specifications plus normal concerns related to using outside help for certain functions of the company.
However, the fundamental points of what’s important in outsourcing are the same no matter the area and industry. Making outsourcing work isn’t rocket science. Here are my top 10 tips for successful outsourcing.
#1. Know your reason to outsource.
Knowing and remember whether if you outsource to save money, to focus on core competence, to balance out seasonal highs and lows? Remember your reason as this will help you later answer questions like "How much can I pay for it?" and "Is outsourcing solving my problem?"
Staying focused on your core expertise is the key to success and when you’re employing highly paid engineers then you want them to work on things that really matter. Instead of spending their time on repetitive routine drafting and file conversion let them work on product development and innovation. Leave the routing engineering tasks to GrabCAD.
There are questions that keep coming up when we discuss using outsourcing CAD services with different companies. We’ve taken this feedback and addressed the issues to turn a weakness into a strength.
"Intellectual property is our competitive advantage and we must keep in in-house"
GrabCAD takes intellectual property very seriously. We’ve built a process where only engineer who has signed an NDA can get access to client projects and related materials. The sole purpose of this NDA is protection of the intellectual property of our clients. We also track all engineers who have been attached to any project so at any time we know the circle of people who have viewed any materials.
It is worth stating that client project files will not be added to the CAD library that our members maintain, and all project related documents are located on a secure server.
"We don’t have the time to outsource, it takes too much time explaining and we have too much work to do"
Outsourcing, like delegation, takes effort but it pays off in the end. Just like you need to delegate your tasks to be able to focus on the important things and stay effective, you need to take the time required to start outsourcing successfully. It helps to split the task up into small steps.
GrabCAD is here to help you outsource the routine engineering work - repetitive tasks that can be explained once. Preparation in the beginning pays off - this means less questions and mis-understandings, and eventually better results.
We have one promise - deliver work in 48 working hours. So even if you invest a little more time upfront preparing the instructions, the speed of delivery and ease of scaling the work pays off really fast. Our simple order form answers all the necessary questions to get us going and online project management tool ensures you have good overview of the progress of each of your order.
GrabCAD’s engineers are placed around the world and we deliver work 24/7. Think of us as the always-on virtual engineer.
"Does your engineer have the skill, knowledge and experience needed for my job?"
One of the key advantage we have is the large pool of engineers we can use for any job. Our database contains the details of over 2700 engineers (as of 25th of April, 2011) so when an order comes in we can match it to the best engineer(s) based on their location, software skills, industry, experience, rating, language skills, previous performance.
Large community and good understanding of each members skill set is one of GrabCAD’s key advatages.
Our customers have said, that GrabCAD is of major help when their own engineers are too busy with new projects and certain jobs just need to get done. We make CAD services in 48 hours possible.
Several other important questions have been answered in our Frequently Asked Questions page. If you want to hear more about our customer’s experience, case studies or discuss specifics of your company and work then please get in touch.
There is a lot of inventing going on in the world. The U.S Patent and Trademark Office granted 219 614 patents in 2010 alone. This is 602 patents a day, 25 patents and hour, one patent almost every other minute. Americans are the champions, but there are thousands of inventors from Japan, Germany, South-Korea, France, Canada, Taiwan, UK that go through the usually long and painful process of filing a patent every year.
While it probably isn't surprising that big corporations such as Sony, Samsung, Nike, Canon, the computer giants or automobile monsters have teams of experts specifying and writing hundreds of patents every day, almost third of all granted patents go to individual inventors. If I were living in San Jose, Rochester, San Francisco, New York, or Orange County, inventing something at the moment? would be my staple question while networking at conferences or helping a neighbour to move in. These are the places many inventions are coming from, according to the numbers at least. The same goes for studying either in UCLA, MIT, CIT, Stanford or Texas (the top patenting universities in the U.S).
Then again, if you are reading this and work in semiconductor, transistor, internal-combustion engines, optical systems, metal working or land vehicles industries, you likely have a patent or two on your name already and are familiar with the process.
For those concepting the new wheel, the long, often painful (and expensive!) sequence of activities looks something like this: you describe your invention, do a patent analysis to make sure no one else has already come up with the same idea, draw a picture of your product, apparatus, device, system, article, process or method, write up the list of claims about your invention, let the patent attorney formalize the application and file it. Then hold your breath for a year or two and if all goes as planned, eventually have a patent infringement-free sleep.
The good news (or where GrabCAD is making the inventors and patent lawyers' lives easier, if just a little bit) - we do proper patent drawings based on any sketches or ones that might have already been included in the provisional patent applications. Simply go to the ordering page and get the technical drawings needed in 48 hours.
Naturally, we care about the quality and confidentiality and how to best guarantee them. To have the most frequent questions answered, read more on our FAQ page.