Author Archive

Interview: Stephen Clambaneva, VP of IDSA Northeast

GrabCAD had the chance to talk at length with Stephen Clambaneva, who has been organizing the IDSA NE conference in Hartford, Connecticut as well as the very popular Colour-Aided-Design Render Challenge. His primary occupation is working as an industry consultant for DASSAULT SYSTEMES for the consumer goods and retail industry. In a crowded restaurant around the corner from Times Square in New York City, we chatted for a hour about CAD, Colour, GrabCAD, PLM, DIY and the Future of Industrial Design.


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Molds We Love

Sometimes when one is under pressure to get their injection mold tooling done, turning to GrabCAD for a little help is a great idea. When you need 60,000 of something, the mold has to be right, or else you have 60,000 mistakes. There are lots of different designs in our library - many of them made by professionals in real-world applications. Lots of lessons to learn from there. Here are some of our favourites.

Here is a flow simulation by GrabCAD Legend Stefan Varga. Everything was created in Moldex3D and comes complete with a shrinkage analysis.

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Interview with Robert Nightingale – Juror for the IDSA Render Challenge

At the tail-end of the wildly popular IDSA Render Challenge (568 submissions!), I managed to catch up with Juror, Industrial Designer and Marketer Robert Nightingale and talk shop. As a part of WeCross, a huge open-concept collaborative space near Lower Manhattan, Robert and his small firm RBRTNGHTNGL is a proponent of cross-pollennation of talents, fields and processes.


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Models We Love – Rhino

Rhinoceros 3D, known as Rhino is quite an interesting CAD tool. Widely favoured by Product Designers, Architects and Automotive Designers because of its 'free-form non-uniform rational B-spline (NURBS) modeling', allowing the creation of curvilinear designs easy as pie. There are also hundreds of third-party plugins. At the beginning Rhino was distributed freely, allowing a community to spring up to help de-bug and improve newer versions. Sounds familiar, no?


Here is a VTOL Concept by Sönke Dierks, completee with a "turbine in the bottom of the fuselage driving electric motors in the (udf) fan-nacelles, thrust vectoring nozzle on the tip of the tail. fan nacelles 90 degrees tiltable."

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Expanding Our Focus of Design Challenges to Include Personal Wear

The original members of GrabCAD were Engineers, and as such, we concentrated on running Design Challenges to resolve engineering problems. However, we've grown so fast that we have thousands of people in many other fields. There are many companies out there that want new aesthetically pleasing designs, like jewellery for example. The question is: Should we be challenging GrabCADrs to come up with interesting and aesthetically pleasing designs more?


Lots of GrabCADrs take on Design Challenges to improve their CAD skills, earn a little cash on the side, come up with a brilliant idea or simply for fun. In a World where CAD design is be increasingly used in home decor or in personal adornments, do you think that GrabCAD ought to be having more challenges with companies that make this work? We'd love to hear what you have to say - write your thoughts on the comments below!

Models We Love – Circles

It's π Day. The Internationally recognized day of remembrance for our irrational yet mathematically constant friend, 3.14159... So this time we looked for the models that reflected the best usage of π in CAD. That would nearly everywhere, sometimes hidden in plain view. Can you think of a moment when you aren't using π in some small way for a large, obtuse but very difficult Engineering proof?


Sudhir Gill created this Angle Calculator for a Design challenge we had last year. What an amazing idea. By combining the elements of a slide ruler and a protractor, Sudhir came up with an elegant way to calculate angles quickly. Sometimes you only need a little bit of π to do useful work.

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Design and Manufacture with Voxels

GrabCAD is a collection of lots and lots of pixels - and GrabCADrs too. But on your screen, its bit-mapped pixel by pixel. Voxels are essentially the three-dimensional version - a point in space that together forms a shape. Although CAD users are familiar with surfaces, solids, NURBS and meshes, voxels are coming into the picture in design and manufacture, with unexpected consequences.

title voxel

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