Planet SolidWorks

August 16, 2018

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

DIY 3D Printed Camera Dolly

Shooting great moving shots with a camera can be done with super steady hand but sometimes that’s not enough. Sometimes you need a mount to help get those shots to be steady and precise. Unfortunately some if this equipment can be really expensive for someone starting out and can creating videos as a hobby. So we designed this awesome DIY dolly using some Skateboard wheels, Solidworks and 3D printing. We used this technology to create an affordable alternative to the expensive dolly’s on the market.

 

 

To design this we wanted to use the same shoe as the one used in our tripod. This can allow us to mount the shoe on the camera and quickly switch it to the dolly if needed.

We started in Solidworks by reverse engineering the tripod shoe. From this we created a little prototype to see of the shoe fits. We printed out the prototype and it fits like a glove… or sock… for the shoe.

 

 

 

From this model we were able to build the dolly. We decide to use two gears so that when you turn one axel the opposite one will mirror that allowing you to create smooth turns. When spacing the wheels to ensure there the turning circle is large enough we used a pattern rotate on the wheels. This allowed us to see what the wheelbase should be. We then added the final details and sent the parts to print.

 

 

The first version we printed didn’t work too well. The tolerances were too loose and the axles wobbled a lot. So we added some slots to to the gears to make them more stable. We printed this new version and it worked out great. The version on the left is the first version and the right is the final version.

 

 

We then assembled the parts. We used threaded rods as the axles and used nuts to fasten the wheels in place. It’s a real easy assembly and we are ready to roll. We got our camera out and took it for a test run. We just took some test shots before setting up a back drop and creating some glamour shots.

 

Using solidworks and 3D printing we are able to create affordable accessories to create new and different shots with ut breaking the bank. 3D printing is allowing users to create their own unique take on products they wish to own which are either too expensive to purchase or they need to adapt it to a certain use that they need. To view the shots we created, watch the video below.

 

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Author information

SOLIDWORKS
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.

The post DIY 3D Printed Camera Dolly appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at August 16, 2018 09:00 PM

SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – August 2018

Hello to all,

Welcome to this new edition of the SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News, co-authored by members of the SOLIDWORKS Technical Support teams worldwide.

Upgrading a Cubicle Hook with SOLIDWORKS Simulation Topology Study

By Brad Phillips

I recently purchased a small 3D Printer at home and it is really fun to use the power of SOLIDWORKS to design and print little things that are useful in everyday life. At work, I recently needed a hook to hang my coat on which would hang in my cubicle. Online I found a cubicle hook that matched the dimensions of the grooves of a standard cubicle. I decided to print it out and see how if it worked. It worked fine but I knew I could use SOLIDWORKS to improve it. Make it stronger, lighter and more organic looking.

The original model & original model printed

Topology Study Mesh & and creating a thin extrude from a sketch of the topology study

Using a SOLIDWORKS Simulation Topology Study and the original model I generated the mesh above. From that mesh, I was able to create a thin extrude from a bunch of splines that were traced. After a little cleanup, the new topology optimized hook was ready to be printed.

Final Model & Final 3D Print

The final print was able to cut the weight of the hook by over 10% which also decreased the amount of filament required for the print. The final hook also feels much stronger and has much less flex when a coat or bag is hanging on it. This was a fun, practical use of SOLIDWORKS Simulation Topology study. If you would like to download and print out the hook for yourself, here is a link to download the STL.

Advanced Troubleshooting of task based on SOLIDWORKS PDM Task Add-In (SWTaskAddin)

By Petr Sadlo

Have you ever encountered a failing task in SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional? Here is a little summary how SOLIDWORKS PDM tasks work and some pointers in troubleshooting tasks.

SOLIDWORKS PDM tasks are an API add-in that can run on a remote client(s), on demand, triggered by workflow or scheduled. The task is triggered on the client, queued up in the database, then processed on ‘Task hosts’. Since the task is based on API anything you can do to file(s) via API, you can do via task as well.

The SOLIDWORKS PDM add-in ‘SWTaskAddin‘ delivered with SOLIDWOKRS PDM is a VB based Add-In and it offers an exposed script allowing user modification.

The script is evaluated during a runtime and passed into the SOLIDWORKS application as a SOLIDWORKS macro. If the task fails, there are few techniques on how to troubleshoot it.

What to focus on when a task fails?

If and when a task fails, there will be an indication of what caused the failure in the ‘Task List’ of the Administration tool.

In addition:

1. If a log file was produced – check the task log for more details and reason of the failure

Example of failing task log:

~In this example the reason for failure is self-explanatory, the user is lacking permissions in the target folder.

2. If there is no log file, it may indicate that the script was never processed, likely due to the syntax error introduced by user modification – in this case compare with the default task (copy the current script into text file then ‘Reset’ the script and copy the ‘clean’ script into another text file – compare them, look for places where the scripts differ and focus on the changes)

3. Define ‘SOLIDWORKS version to use’ in task ‘Advanced Scripting Options

 

4. Make sure you can run the macro manually in SOLIDWORKS. In order to do that you will need to capture the evaluated script/macro. (In order to do that you will need to insert ‘Debug.Assert False‘ statement into the existing script, right at the beginning on the Main routine, this will break the execution of the script and you can then access the final macro that would be otherwise passed to SOLIDWORKS.

This will allow you to save and run this macro manually in SOLIDWORKS line by line until you find the place where it fails.). Once the MS Visual Application interface (pictured above) appears, save the macro and close this interface. Then open SOLIDWOKRS and run the macro via ‘Tools’ > ‘Macro’ > ‘Run’.

5. If there is no problem manually executing the macro and the task is still failing, try different task host, keep in mind that a user MUST be logged in on the task host

Summary

There are numerous reasons why a task can fail, and the VB based SWTaskAddIn allows us to capture the evaluated script and walk through the macro execution in SOLIDWORKS directly. There has been a lot written about troubleshooting tasks and the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base contains a number of solutions that may explain a specific reason for task failing.

Noteworthy Solutions from the SOLIDWORKS Knowledge Base

icon - SW How can this behavior be addressed: SOLIDWORKS® does not launch; stuck on loading registry, running Activation Wizard hangs when activating automatically or creating an email activation request file?
For more information, see Solution Id: S-074683.

In a SOLIDWORKS® Electrical integration with SOLIDWORKS PDM, when I click ‘Check in’ for a project, can I delete the files from the electrical database at the same time?
Yes. Using the ‘Check In’ dialog box for all of SOLIDWORKS® Electrical projects, drawings, 3D models, reports, and data files, you can select the ‘Remove local copy’ option, see Solution Id: S-074966.

Icon - EPDM In the log file for the Migration XML Import tool, why do I see the error ‘Failed to load XML file. Error code 0x80004005, reason ‘Unspecified error, Error processing resource ‘ePDMimport.dtd’. ‘ in source line ”. Line=0, position=0’?
For more information, see Solution Id: S-074893.

Has access to the SOLIDWORKS® Simulation Offloaded Simulation functionality always required active Subscription Services (maintenance) for SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium?
Yes. The following requirements are in effect since the initial availability of the SOLIDWORKS® Simulation Offloaded Simulation functionality, See Solution Id: S-074707.

In SOLIDWORKS® Flow Simulation, what is the “Directory for external databases” and how do I use it?
For more information, see Solution Id: S-074743.


That’s it for this month. Thanks for reading this edition of SOLIDWORKS Support News. If you need additional help with these issues or any others, please contact your SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller.

Also, comments and suggestions are welcome. You can enter them below.

Author information

Bradley Phillips
Sr. Technical Customer Support Engineer, SolidWorks, NAM at DS SolidWorks Corp.
I have been a Tech Support engineer for SOLIDWORKS products since 2013. I now handle the SolidWorks Support Monthly News blog.

The post SOLIDWORKS Support Monthly News – August 2018 appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Bradley Phillips at August 16, 2018 07:04 PM

End of Life…for Windows 7

Have you seen this message when installing SolidWorks 2018? With each major release it’s important to check the system requirements before installing.

Windows 7 is currently the most popular operating system, with about 68% of PCs worldwide using this OS! But did you know it’s currently past “mainstream” support? As a Windows program, SolidWorks will discontinue support for that operating system, so as you’re choosing new systems keep that in mind!

From the Windows website:

*Support for Windows 7 pre-service pack 1 ended on April 9, 2013. Be sure to install Windows 7 Service Pack 1 to continue to receive support and updates.

https://support.microsoft.com/en-us/help/13853/windows-lifecycle-fact-sheet

Here are the SolidWorks dates for Windows 7 support going forward:

So what does this mean to SolidWorks users? Customers running 8.1 should plan on migrating to Windows 10 to install SOLIDWORKS 2019 or newer. Windows 7 will need to migrate if installing SolidWorks 2021 or newer.

Also remember to check Windows Server product compatibility before upgrading (PDM, SolidNetwork Licensing, etc.)

SOLIDWORKS Server Products

Operating System SOLIDWORKS 2016 SOLIDWORKS 2017 SOLIDWORKS 2018
Windows Server 2016 (2017 SP2)
Windows Server 2012 R2
Windows Server 2012
Windows Server 2008 R2, SP1

 

And be sure to stay up-to-date with all the system requirements.

Author information

Unitec
Unitec, Inc. is a Technology/Engineering based sales and consulting organization that has been servicing the engineering community since 1988. Our goal is to use our extensive background with engineering software and bring that information to our prospects and customers. We pride ourselves on providing our customers with the best prices, support and training for all the products and services we offer.

The post End of Life…for Windows 7 appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Unitec at August 16, 2018 03:00 PM

SolidSmack

Watch a Brilliant Stop-Motion Filmmaker Bring His Favorite Robot Toys to Life

Robot Toys

Sure, everybody and their grandma loves Pixar’s Toy Story, which came out a mind-boggling 23 years ago. Since then, two more sequels (and an upcoming fourth movie) have capitalized on the wonders of computer animation and the fear (or joy) of having your childhood toys come to life.

YouTube creator Rihito Ue is no Pixar alumni, but he does make a number of toy models come to life using stop motion animation, camera effects, and a lot of imagination. Just take a behind-the-scenes look at one of his Gunpla (short for “Gundam plastic model”) videos:

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What’s particularly amazing is how he manages to make it look like the video is done in one continuous shot. If you have even a little knowledge about how stop-motion animation works, you’ll know how it compiles a number of images to make it look like one seamless video. This enables stop-motion animators to bring inanimate objects (i.e. toys) to life.

Gunpla Stop Motion Animation

Apart from the one continuous shot, Rihito Ue also uses the aid of a green screen and turntable to add shadows, rotating camera angles, and the fancy looking beam effects which emanate from the Gundam’s blasters and beam saber.

Gunpla Stop Motion Animation

One really cool trick shown in the video is the reflection of the figures on the background mirror. By superimposing the layer, he can make the mirror show the Gundam’s side of the fight before turning to a dramatic shot between the two figures.

Gunpla Stop Motion Animation

The final shot is done by taking stop-motion images of the actual background and pasting it onto a green screen. Since the two figures are stationary for this shot, it becomes less of a task to animate and allows Rihito Ue to focus on the camera angles.

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The completed video lasts less than two minutes, but you can already tell a lot of effort was put into making a simple living room into a miniature battleground. Rihito Ue has tons more stop-motion animation videos, both Gunpla-related and non-Gunpla-related on his YouTube channel.

The post Watch a Brilliant Stop-Motion Filmmaker Bring His Favorite Robot Toys to Life appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 16, 2018 12:08 PM

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

Creating a Model for Water Ripple Effect with SOLIDWORKS xDesign

In order to succeed in the product design industry, you need to have hands-on experience with design software, and rudimentary knowledge of 3D printers, laser cutting, etc. As a graduate student at the Purdue School of Engineering, I was looking for an opportunity to get more hands-on industry experience and started an internship at SOLIDWORKS.

My role in Product Management working on the new SOLIDWORKS xDesign includes tasks such as modeling in xDesign, giving feedback on software improvements, and training documentation. I also have had an opportunity to use the company’s FABLAB to manufacture whatever I design.


Design Inspiration: Water Ripples

I think it’s fascinating to see ripples in the water. I searched a little bit over the internet for ideas and came up with cam and following mechanism ideas to test my modeling.

Here’s my model of water ripple!

Let me walk you through the design process I used in SOLIDWORKS xDesign. First, I created the base and top mounting plates with holes in them for vertical support structure. The base mount has two extra holes for fasteners. Top mount has 25 holes for follower’s translation motion. I certainly want to tell you about an interesting feature I came across while sketching. You can create polylines, arcs with same command when you hover over the endpoints.

Next up is Rod Support Structure, which has extended boss extrude for restricting downward motion top mount plate. In the middle portion it has hole for a camshaft. This camshaft has extended arm handle for rotational motion, which was converted by Circular Cams to translational motion of ripple fringe plates on top.

Here’s comes the complex part: after designing the circular cam with mount hole. In this model, I have used 25-inch cams + 25-inch followers; all of them have separate coordinate systems and planes. I had real trouble in assembling these cams with relative alignment mates. The centermost cam is 180 degree phase out to adjacent cams. Further, as we move away from center, the next cam is leading by 30 degrees to previous cam. With all those planes, alignment….whooof….I had to be patient. The software saves your part or assembly file as component, therefore you can create multi-body parts and save it. Whenever you need them you have to follow an amazingly simple procedure. Drag and Drop from “my contents.”

I also modeled followers with circular head and ripple fringe plates as per the spacing needed. That was a cakewalk. As this software is still evolving, there are some limitations with motion constraints in assembly. xDesign doesn’t have cam and follower motion constraint (for now!). Thus, I have used tangent constraint between circular cam and follower head. Hence I could convert the rotational motion from handle to cam to followers in translational motion.

I guess, this resulted ripple could have been better with different cam alignment. What do you think guys?

<iframe allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="641" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/k-SvxkYaKAM?feature=oembed" width="1140"></iframe>

I was also able to use SOLIDWORKS xDesign anywhere and on any device because it’s cloud-based. Just need an internet connection! Check it out for yourself at https://www.solidworks.com/how-to-buy/join-xdesign-lighthouse-program.

Author information

Nikhil Potabatti
Nikhil Potabatti
Nikhil Potabatti is pursuing his masters in Mechanical Engineering from Purdue School of Engineering and Technology,IUPUI. He has previously worked at Spike Aerospace as Aerospace Design Engineering Intern where he spent time designing components for supersonic business jet. He is passionate about creating designs, analyzing them with Structural and CFD Study. In his free time, he likes to play Tennis, do yoga, go for run! He is huge follower of Formula 1 motorsports.

The post Creating a Model for Water Ripple Effect with SOLIDWORKS xDesign appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Nikhil Potabatti at August 16, 2018 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

How SOLIDWORKS PDM Processor Site Licenses & Client Access Licenses work together

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional license are available in two basic formats, Processor Site Licenses (PSL), and individual Client Access Licenses (CAL).

Client Access Licenses are available as a single CAD Editor, single Contributor license or in 5 packs of Viewer licenses.  The client installation must match the CAL license version that is available on the SolidNetWork License Manager.  So for instance if you accidentally set up a client to use a Contributor license but you only have CAD Editor CALs, the user will be presented with an error when trying to log into the vault because that license type is not available.  To resolve this, the license type on the client would need to be modified.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional license

SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional license

If you purchased a SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional PSLs however, it can provide a license to any client installation of SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional, whether that installation is set to use CAD Editor, Contributor or Viewer license types.

You can also use a combination of PSLs and individual CALs on a single SolidNetWork License Manager (either merged onto a single PDM Serial Number or using multiple serial numbers).

When a combination of PSLs and individual CALs are being served by a single SolidNetWork License Manager, by default the client will try to acquire the individual license first, and then if that is not available, it will look for an available PSL.

Processing a License Request

So, for instance, if a client is set to use SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional CAD Editor and the user tries to log into the vault the following steps will occur:

  1. First, it will check if a CAD Editor license is available on the SolidNetWork License Manager.  If there is a SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional CAD Editor license available, it will take that license for the user.
  2. If no CAD Editor license is available, it will then look for a SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Processor License (PSL) and take one if available.
  3. If neither license types are available it will report to the user that no licenses are available and they cannot log into the vault.

Changing the License Order

If you wish to change the default license order, this is very easy to do using the SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager Client on the user’s computer.

Simply go to the “License Order” tab and select the SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional Processor License and click “Move Up” to move the PSL above the SOLIDWORKS PDM Professional CAD Editor license so that it will take the PSL first.

SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager license order

SOLIDWORKS SolidNetWork License Manager license order

The post How SOLIDWORKS PDM Processor Site Licenses & Client Access Licenses work together appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE at August 16, 2018 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

SolidSmack Radio | The Buffed Edges (Powered by Spotify)

solidsmack-radio

Get that stretch out of your system with this week’s Spotify-powered SolidSmack Radio Playlist. It’s fashioned up, ready to make you pull your shoulder blades back and knock out another week of meaningful work while you bob your head to the beat. Whether you’re in the shop milling aluminum, sketching the latest product prototypes or modeling up a 3D storm, consider these tracks as a tool for your process.

This week on SolidSmack Radio we’ll get the groove going with “I’m Set Free” from Ultimate Painting before diving into irresistible tracks from Real Estate, Sugar Candy Mountain, Mild High Club, and others before wrapping up with “You Are The Right One” from Sports. Ready? Let’s Rock!

Have suggestions? As always, let us know what you listen to, what you want to hear and what tunes get you through the week. Shoot us an email or leave a comment down below!!

*Note: if the embedded playlist below doesn’t work for you, try this.

<iframe frameborder="0" height="775" src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/evdmedia/playlist/4DuAHtAYvqtka81Ts0Myun" width="100%"></iframe>

The post SolidSmack Radio | The Buffed Edges (Powered by Spotify) appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 16, 2018 11:52 AM

August 15, 2018

SolidSmack

Bedchill is An Overbed Table Which Never Wants You To Get Out of Bed

Bedchill

Unless you’re some kind of overzealous morning person, no relationship has had a worse breakup than someone who is separated from his bed. Even though more and more folks are working from home, most still have to get their sorry butts out of bed to get the job done.

Bedchill might change that. This isn’t the first overbed table, by a long shot, but it does have features a normal work table doesn’t have.

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Both the Bedchill and the Bedchill Plus have four gliding casters which can be customized depending on your floor type to make sliding them over your bed a lot easier. Once the wooden overbed is over your lazy body, you can change the height manually by adjusting the table legs.

Bedchill Bedchill

While both versions of the Bedchill come with two desk drawers and raised edges to make sure objects like your laptop – and more importantly, your coffee – don’t accidentally come sliding off, it’s the Bedchill Plus which comes with features to make it seem like you’ll never have to leave the bed other than to use the bathroom (and that’s arguable).

Bedchill

For starters, the Bedchill Plus comes with actual power outlets and USB ports. Each corner has two power outlets (which can be customized depending on the power wattage your country uses) and two USB ports (which are all the same no matter where you are in the world). It also has two adjustable LED lights (one on either end) to make sure you don’t burn your retinas while watching Netflix shows in the dark.

Bedchill

Speaking of Netflix, two Bluetooth stereo speakers integrated into the Bedchill Plus can be accessed using a remote control. The remote also manages the brightness and color of the LED lights, and (thankfully) doesn’t allow you to control the overall movement of the overbed table like some possessed piece of furniture. These electrical components are powered by a retractable electric cable which comes out of the table’s interchangeable legs.

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It takes some patience to assemble (especially if you’re still in bed), but it seems easy enough that an overly-active child with a twitching eye can do it. The Bedchill and Bedchill Plus come in a variety of sizes, colors, and power outlet types to hopefully satisfy even the most finicky bed workers. The project already has exceeded its Kickstarter goal of $22,842 (it currently has a funding north of $275,000), which must mean there are A LOT of people who really love their beds.

Bedchill

You can find more specifics on the Bedchill and Bedchill Plus over on Kickstarter as well as the official Bedchill webpage.

The post Bedchill is An Overbed Table Which Never Wants You To Get Out of Bed appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 15, 2018 09:35 PM

BGU’s RSTAR Sprawling Robot Can Change Shape to Overcome Obstacles

An unusual robot designed by professor David Zarrouk at the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev is capable of changing its shape to overcome obstacles, allowing it to roll around on wheels, crawl like a turtle, and even flip itself over to traverse difficult terrain.

The RSTAR (Rising Sprawl-Tuned Autonomous Robot) features sprawling wheel-leg assembly, which allows its body to move separately from its legs, thus changing its center of gravity to overcome obstacles and even climb walls.

According to Zarrouk, “The RSTAR is ideal for search and rescue operations in unstructured environments, such as collapsed buildings or flooded areas, where it must adapt and overcome a variety of successive obstacles to reach its target.”

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The 3D printed RSTAR robot is outfitted with a four-bar extension mechanism, giving it the ability to extend the distance between its body and legs, hence the “sprawling” movement. It can also extend both its height and width three-times over and shift its mass forward, backward, and vertically. Depending on the terrain, the robot can be outfitted with wheels, spoked legs, or a combination of the two, and uses a pair of worm gears and conical gears to adjust their position.

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_97134" style="width: 1100px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">RSTAR is capable of shifting its weight and adjust its limbs to climb vertically.</figcaption></figure>

As seen in the video, Zarrouk and his team are already in the process of developing a bigger version of the RSTAR, allowing it to climb over larger objects, including stairs. It’s also able to carry four pounds of sensors and supplies and can even haul a smaller version of the robot on its back for deployment in hard to reach or confined areas. The team also plans on incorporating machine learning algorithms into the design, giving the robot a level of autonomous control for simple navigation

The post BGU’s RSTAR Sprawling Robot Can Change Shape to Overcome Obstacles appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Cabe Atwell at August 15, 2018 09:11 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional launches as the Standard version?

Users of SOLIDWORKS network license that includes SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional may find that despite SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional license being available in the License Manager, SOLIDWORKS CAM starts as the Standard edition.  Users of Simulation Professional and Premium licenses may have similar issues.  When two levels of the same product are present in the same SOLIDWORKS network license, users need to set their preference in the License Order tab of the SolidNetWork License Manager Client.

Move up SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional in the License Order tab

Move up SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional in the License Order tab

When CAM Professional is placed above CAM Standard in the license order, CAM Professional license will be requested first.  Only if CAM Professional is unavailable, a CAM Standard license will be used, if it is available.

The post SOLIDWORKS CAM Professional launches as the Standard version? appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Sanja Srzic at August 15, 2018 12:00 PM

August 14, 2018

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

xDesign Tips and Tricks…valuable knowledge for even the newbie!

There are a several workflow scenarios that you can do in xDesign, that do not exist in SOLIDWORKS.  Some of these workflows and functions have made their way into SOLIDWORKS as well, like the Shaded Sketch Contour and Breadcrumb features.  The former function was created in xDesign and the latter was conceived in a 3DExperience platform product and debuted in SOLIDWORKS in 2016.

 

 

Here is a list of other features and workflows that exist in xDesign that have more capability and functionality than in SOLIDWORKS.  Which features or workflows would you like to see in SOLIDWORKS?

  • Full Round Fillet by selecting multiple faces and edges

 

  • Creating fillets (in one feature) to multi body parts

 

  • Super feature subset and options

 

  • Super feature in use

 

  • Snapping sketches to other sketches

 

  • Design Guidance tool in xDesign

 

  • Quick Fillets

 

  • File ownership locking feature

 

  • Interactive Triad

 

  • Creating planes

 

In addition to the above workflows and capabilities, xDesign has a limited set of keyboard shortcuts compared to SOLIDWORKS.  This list will grow with each update, below are the shortcuts available to users today.

Spacebar: View cube

ESC: Exits

F1: Launches the help

Ctrl+S: Save

N: Normal To

F: Zoom to Fit

L: Line commandl

Arrow Keys: Rotate the model in that direction

Control + arrow keys: Pans the model in that direction

Shift + arrow keys:  Spins the model 90 degrees in that direction

Control+Z:  Undo

Control+Y: Redo

Want to try #xDesign to try your favorite feature?  Click this link xdesign.solidworks.com to join the xDesign Lighthouse Program.

Author information

Ed Gebo
Ed Gebo
Owner & Designer of Digital Detail & Design. Lover of Life! I can talk craft beer just as good as I can SOLIDWORKS. Follow your passion and make a difference!

The post xDesign Tips and Tricks…valuable knowledge for even the newbie! appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Ed Gebo at August 14, 2018 09:30 PM

Dissolving Sketch Text

It is common place to stamp or etch machined parts, so they can be identified easily on the shop floor. As many users know, SOLIDWORKS has a sketch tool that can be used as the basis of modeling a feature like this: Sketch Text. Sketch Text is a fairly simple tool that can lead to a wide variety of results! It can support practically any TrueType font, and more can be installed. The tool even has a selection box to accept curves!

Sketch Text Sample Text along Spline

I’ve put together this small example of some text going along a spline. Let’s try to extrude this text to see what happens. When we hit the check to accept, we get this message:

SOLIDWORKS Error Message-Intersecting Contours

This message is pretty clear. There are intersections somewhere in our soon-to-be extrusion. When we inspect the sketch text further we see the issue. The word “spline” is on the inside bend of a curve, so all the letters are bunching up and causing intersections, shown in red in the figure below.

Zoomed In Image of Sketch Text Intersection Issue

So normally when we encounter this message, we have 2 options: either pick a contour from the intersecting regions or fix the sketch so that it doesn’t have intersections. Let’s try the first option!

If you click into the “selected contours” box on the property manager then try to click the sketch text, you find that nothing happens. That’s because Sketch Text is a little bit different than your regular sketch entities. Due to the nature of TrueType fonts and how they are rendered, SOLIDWORKS is not directly able to calculate the intersections of each of the letters.

Let’s go for the second option: fixing the sketch. As many of us know, a good way to take care of intersecting contours is to use our trusty trim tool. But you may have noticed, if you try to directly hack away at it with the trim tool, the text seems to be immune to that too. The reason is the same as above: we can’t directly calculate the intersections. What are we to do?

Notice my wording from before: While we can’t directly work with it, that doesn’t mean we are out of options! TrueType fonts work by storing an outline of each character in a font file as Bezier curves. Wouldn’t it be nice to extract these Bezier curves? As it turns out, there is a specific command to do that: Dissolve Sketch Text.

To access the command, right click on the sketch text itself (wait for the font “A” to appear next to your cursor), and the Dissolve Sketch Text command will be in that menu:

Dissolve Sketch Text Command

At this point, you will notice that all the contours became shaded (if you’re running 2017+, that is). The curve data was converted to SOLIDWORKS Geometry! Most of the time, it uses splines to approximate the shape of the letters, but we can see that this blocky font turned into a bunch of lines. SOLIDWORKS considers these as just regular old contours and so they are subject to practically all the sketch tools available to us, including Trim!

Let’s do just that! Grab your Trim tool, and you will find that you can finally slice through the parts of the letters! Make it such that the intersections are no more! A good way to check if this was done correctly is see if the contours are shaded. If you have the option enabled, and the contour is still not shading, something is wrong with the intersections of the sketch. Otherwise, Repair Sketch is your best friend! You can see how mine came out below.

Successful Repair Sketch

Once you are certain that the intersections are removed, head back to the extrusion tool (or whatever tool you were trying to use sketch text for).

Sketch Text with Extrusions

You should now find that your text extrudes with no problems! Keep in mind that once you dissolve sketch text, you will not be able to resize the font, or change the font itself for that matter. It is as if you had sketched it; the command just makes a handy shortcut. Hopefully, that helps with your texting woes! Thanks for following along!

Check out more blogs like this one here. You’ll find helpful articles and educational videos on a wide range of engineering and manufacturing topics to help you maximize efficiency in your job role!
And don’t forget to follow us on FacebookTwitter and LinkedIn to stay up-to-date on our latest blogs, videos, promotions, and more!

Author: Robert Maldonado, Application Engineer at DesignPoint

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DesignPoint
DesignPoint is passionate about building solutions that help product design, engineering and manufacturing companies maximize their potential. By developing trusted partnerships, we help our customers achieve game-changing results and support them in their journey as they strive for more. With DesignPoint, More is Possible.® Our solutions include SOLIDWORKS 3D software, 3D Systems and MarkForged 3D printers, technical support, training and more. Contact us today at design-point.com!

The post Dissolving Sketch Text appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by DesignPoint at August 14, 2018 03:00 PM

SolidSmack

What Is 3D Audio Tech? The Unbelievable Startup Story of Hooke Audio [Interview]

Hooke Audio

We talked with the founder of Hooke Audio, Anthony Mattana, in a crazily candid interview on July 27, 2018. His invention, the Hooke Verse, brings binaural 3D audio recording capability to all of us consumers. Read on to learn more about 3D audio tech and hear how Anthony bootstrapped the %*&# out of his HW startup. If you work in hardware, in a startup, or just need some serious inspiration in general, do yourself a favor and listen to his story!

<figure class="wp-caption alignright" id="attachment_96736" style="width: 290px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Bluetooth Enabled Hooke Verse Paired with Mobile Phone App</figcaption></figure>

Special Offer

Hooke Audio exists to bring affordable 3D audio recording capability to the masses, and Mattana is making it even more affordable for SolidSmack readers because you’re awesome. For a limited time, you can get 15% off the Hooke Verse headphones by using the coupon code below when you order directly on HookeAudio.com. Offer expires August 20, 2018.

Coupon code: BINAURAL

Listen to the Full Interview Here

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What is Binaural 3D Audio?

ERIN: “First off, let’s get everyone introduced to what binaural 3D audio is so that they know what we’re talking about here. It’s definitely something I had never heard of before I met you — at least as far as a consumer product is concerned. I didn’t know it was something accessible to all us lay people. And you sent us a video here that we’re going to share.”

[The following video is different from the clip in the interview. The one shown here gives a comparison between video shot using the normal iPhone mic and then with the Hooke Verse. Put your headphones in for the full effect!]

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ERIN: “So you just walked around our heads as you were speaking and we could not only see you but also hear you also feel you . . . We could feel you walking around our heads. What’s going on there?”

ANTHONY MATTANA: “We hear the world in 3D. We don’t just hear sound to the left and the right. We hear sound above us, below us, in front of us, behind us. And we’re able to localize where a sound source comes from mainly because of the shape of our ears. If we didn’t have ears and have their ability to reflect acoustic pressure waves when they hit our heads we wouldn’t be able to exactly tell where a sound source was coming from.

“So what I like to tell people is, when someone is speaking directly behind you, say they’re like, speaking right at the back of your head, acoustic pressure waves are emitting from their voice and they’re hitting the back of my earlobes. And with the basic physics of sound, the first thing to go when a sound wave — or an acoustic pressure wave — hits a surface, is that the high frequencies are absorbed from that surface . . .

“So when that sound source arrives at my ear, I’m actually hearing your voice a little duller, right? A little bit of the high-frequency sort of rolled off. So my brain can tell me, ‘oh, that person is speaking behind me.’

“When you put a microphone very specifically in your ear, and you utilize the way the ear naturally absorbs and reflects that sound, then you have a recording that was a little dull.

“So when you listen back on any pair of headphonesand that’s the really amazing thing about binaural 3D audio . . . your brain kinda plays a trick on itself and it says, ‘that person is behind me.’ So that’s why you can watch that YouTube video with a regular pair of headphones and not only feel me to the left and right, but to the front, the back, the front left, back right, all the way in 3D.

Mattana’s Background Before Hooke Audio

ERIN: “So tell us about your background because — you invented this, you brought this all together but your background is not hardware engineering. What have you been doing before Hooke Audio?”

The story on Mattana’s background picks up here:

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ANTHONY: I was making sound effects for Broadway musicals. And when I wasn’t writing sound effects for Broadway musicals, I was touring around the country writing underscore on like, original music for straight plays . . .

“I went to school for it. I went to Carnegie Mellon and got a degree in Sound Design for Theater and immediately moved out to New York after that and started working in theater. And so I had, you know, basically, all of my experience was telling stories through sound . . .

“. . . But what happened was, I witnessed firsthand not only the very, very limited knowledge my audiences had over the true power that great audio brings to storytelling, but I was very surprised to find how little knowledge my directors and my producers — essentially the people who are responsible for the end result of the production and how it looks and sounds — had over it . . .

“So when the directors would . . . talk to the costume and the lighting and the scenic designer, they would use very intelligible terms. Like they would talk about color temperature and brightness and saturation and focus . . . then they’d come over to the sound table and they’d go, ‘ahh, can we just put like, a whoosh in there? . . . Maybe just like with a wind blow?’

“They just saw sounds as being like, ‘whoosh — next scene.’

“I was . . . a soundscape man living in a wind-blow world. And I was like, ‘how do I stop making wind blows?’ . . .

“ . . . It kind of dawns on me . . . the directors that I worked with . . . they have all these really easy-to-use consumer tools to make their visuals look better . . . But when it comes to recording sound we can’t do anything. We can’t do anything at all; we can’t even adjust the mic gain.

“So . . . when a director can have the same phone as me and capture a 10-second video right next to me, at the end of the day, she can make her video look a lot better, but she can’t make it sound a lot better. And for me, it said, ‘Well no one cares about this because no one knows what it can be — it could be a lot better . . .’

“. . . Maybe I can stop any future sound designer . . . having to ever make another ‘wind blow’ on Broadway if I launch a consumer electronic 3D-audio microphone company. And so that’s what I did!”

History of Binaural Audio

ANTHONY: “I experienced binaural 3D audio for the first time working as a sound designer in theater.

“What’s interesting about binaural 3D audio is it’s been around since the late 1800’s. It’s been viable and accessible for over 100 years.

“The first iteration that we’ve seen with binaural audio being used is in Paris in the late 1800’s when they used a device called the Théâtrophone. . . It’s . . . this head-looking apparatus that had 2 microphones at the lip of the stage of the opera theater in Paris and they transmitted the signal so that listeners at home, they would put 2 telephone like receivers to each of their ears, and they would hear the sound of the opera on a telephone line, and they would feel like they were there in the opera . . .

“The next big iteration you see of it is when Bell Labs around the World’s Fair, I think it’s in the early 1900’s . . . I believe it was in Chicago in the early 1920’s. (Author’s note: according to this link it was the 1932 World’s Fair). And ‘Oscar’ was, again, it was sort of this dummy-head thing. It . . . had eyes and eyelashes and hair and stuff like that but it had microphones in each of the ears. . . “

Get Mattana’s full history lesson including mention of Disney’s Fantasia, Fantasound, surround sound, and the Neumann KU100 dummy head microphone starting here:

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Hooke Verse’s SW and HW Development

ERIN: “So what did you think was originally going to be involved in the R&D? Basically that? Just slappin’ it in some headphones and it should be pretty easy, or . . . ? Did it end up being harder than you thought?”

ANTHONY: “Ha. HA! Yeah. So I had a theater degree . . . I had my BFA starting into the world of electronics. I thought PCB was a cleaning product when I started building this product. And yeah, I kinda had no concept of it . . . Also — anyone who says they knew what they’re were doing when they try to create anything that’s new is a total liar and will not exist. Only the people who understand what they don’t know . . . so that they can ask the people who do. And that has been my biggest asset through all of this. I knew what I wanted to make, I knew that I didn’t know how to make it, and I knew how to ask for help. And that was the biggest, biggest thing. You have to be able to know how to ask for help . . . 

“But when I started it . . . at a time when most of our phones saw headphone jacks. . . So the first . . . step I came up with was . . . ‘you know, I might be able to make this wired and you can just go right into the headphone jack.’ That stopped pretty quickly when I learned that the headphone jack on all smartphones is a mono input. And the binaural 3D audio has to be a 2-channel output. Cuz it’s your left and your right ear. So, you can’t go wired into the headphone jack.

<figure class="wp-caption alignleft" id="attachment_97176" style="width: 342px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Hooke Verse Guts. Source: facebook.com/hookeaudio</figcaption></figure>

“Then, if you can’t do that and you need to be working on both Android and iOS, they’ve got different connector types. So, do you make something that’s like a Y-cable and that goes into a lightning connector and then goes into USB-C? At the time, too, I heard rumors about Apple wanting to get rid of the headphone jack and it kind of made me thinking, you know, the connectors on these phones — I can’t trust them. And it’s funny, right? In the pro-audio world for so many years, all we can trust is ‘wired’. Wireless actually became a more trusted technology. That was the safer route. Which was never the case! It’s like, ‘you’re always safe — run the mic from the mixer right to the mic with a bull cable. Can’t lose. If it’s wireless, there can be a problem.’

“And so, I kind of felt, it was like — if I want this to keep being able to iterate, I know that no matter what they do with the phones it’s always gonna have Bluetooth, but it might not have the same connector. And then the trend was pushing towards Bluetooth tech so I said, ‘okay I’m going to make these Bluetooth.’

“So then when I did that, you know, I went to look to browse the shelves of Bluetooth codecs out there and came up probably with our biggest roadblock which was realizing, ‘oh my God. There’s never been a device that wanted to send 2 channels of audio — let alone high-quality ambient audio, like 20-20 kHz audio — over Bluetooth to a phone. It’s never been done before.’ There’s never been a product . . . there’s not even been a Bluetooth microphone on the market . . .

“So that was real bad. That was like, oh man, we gotta build an entire Bluetooth recording codec.’”

ERIN: “So yeah, a normal human at that point woulda been like, ‘ok. I guess we can’t do this.’ But not you.”

ANTHONY: “It’s just going to cost more money and it’s going to take longer but I don’t really have anything else I want to do. I don’t want to go back to making ‘wind blows’. So I was like, ‘alright, I’ll try to figure it out.’

“So I end up, basically, getting in touch with the man who wrote the programming language for our Bluetooth chip . . .”

ERIN: “You say ‘got in touch,’ but you hunted him down.”

ANTHONY: “I completely, completely hunted. Took him about a month to respond. And even at that point, I have to use this chip, I don’t know anyone who knows how to do this And then it took us about 2 years.”

Listen from the start of his development story here:

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HW Development

ERIN: “So when did you do the hardware?

ANTHONY: “. . . also about finding people on the internet. So again, our Bluetooth chip is very specific. And in headphones, it’s got a ton of stuff. Right? There’s no headphone cable. Like, think about the cable that runs on our headphones — the one that runs behind the neck. That cable has 2 microphone cables, 2 speaker cables, a power cable, and a data cable all inside of it. It has — I think it has 6. The standard headphone connector cable has just got 2 cables for power and the driver. . .

“So I was like, ‘wow. There’s not a lot of engineers with experience with our Bluetooth chip and certainly not a lot that I can afford that are this good at miniaturization. That’s when I find our electrical engineer . . . in Virginia on the internet.

“He’s like, ‘I think I can figure that out.’ And he’s just a wolf. He’s a total wolf.

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_97173" style="width: 438px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Sweet, sweet prototyping skills. Source: facebook.com/hookeaudio</figcaption></figure>

“So we get him a 3D printer, we get him anything he needs . . . I go to his basement in Virginia and we just, like, hack it out. We try to figure this out. So we’re working on all the electronics at the same time we’re working alongside the firmware engineer, who is working with our mobile app team to try to explain to them what the mobile app needs. . . 

<figure class="wp-caption alignright" id="attachment_97175" style="width: 343px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Exploded View of the Hooke Verse. Source: facebook.com/hookeaudio</figcaption></figure>

“The headphones are your standard headphones with microphones inside, and there’s some special electronics, but it’s getting them that small . . . and you know, we can get ’em smaller, and that’s what companies do, but they do it with a lot of money. We’re like, ‘how do we do this after raising $160,000 through Kickstarter?’ We knew that when we went to a factory . . .  We needed to come to them with a fully realized product. . . .

“Our factory that we work with is unbelievable, is so awesome . . . But every factory in China will go, ‘oh yeah, we have extensive experience making 3D audio recording Bluetooth headphones.’ And you’re like, ‘that doesn’t even exist! That literally doesn’t even exist!'”

The full story on HW development begins here:

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Apps and the MFi Certification Roadblock

ANTHONY: “We submit it to the Google Play store and the thing’s available in like, a day . . . Apple was a very, very, very different story.

“So then, Apple comes back and they see that this app has been submitted. And they go, ‘we see in your app description that this app works with a product, it works with like, a piece of hardware. If have hardware working with an app in the iOS store, you need to have your hardware made for iPhone-certified — you need to have a made-for-iPhone (MFi) certification. And when that happens, any tech hardware/startup/entrepreneur realizes, ‘Oh s*&#, I’m about to basically design an Apple product.’

“. . . because that’s what you have to do. You follow this 386-page document set out by Apple with all of these unbelievably specific hardware constraints, hardware modifications, pieces of tech that have to be used, that you want to basically be adhering to when you start developing the product — not having the whole product already developed . . .”

Want to hear this first-hand story about a HW startup wrestling with getting MFi-certified? Start listening here:

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And Then His Body Breaks

ANTHONY: “Oh, this is totally going to be at least a year . . . until I figure this out. . . I’m not going to make any money for a year . . . I need to shack up in my parents’ basement as I wait out this arduous MFi process . . .

“My friend takes me on this snowboarding trip . . . I end up completely shattering my shoulder. I break my clavicle, I sprained my AC joint . . . I have to have total, fully reconstructive surgery. So for the first 7 months of 2016, as I’m living in my parents’ basement, I’m in a splint with my arm, I’m barely able to even type . . . And then my father gets diagnosed with cancer . . . We’re all just this sickly group in this suburban home . . . Everyone’s fine now. It’s pretty awesome. . .

“But 2016 was like, ‘Hey, you want to have a dream? This is how it dies.’”

Listen from this marker for more on Anthony fighting the temptation to give up:

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Hands-Free Calling Restricted on Apple App

ANTHONY: “They come back to me, and they tell me. . . your MFi accessory is categorized as a headset . . . MFi certified headsets are required to incorporate a 3-button array . . . At that point, I have no money to completely retool and redesign all the headsets with the 3-button array . . . you’re talking an additional year . . . and at least a half a million dollars . . .”

Hear more details on this roadblock here:

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Disaster Strikes at Chinese Factory

Anthony decides it would be pretty cool to hand-deliver the first Hooke Verse to his friend, who happens to be an industrial engineer for Harman living in Shenzhen. It’s a good thing he did.

ANTHONY: “. . . She’s like, ‘hey, I think this is broken.’

“. . . 90% of the units all have wiggling batteries inside. So the option is to . . . order completely new plastics . . .  as well as all the new parts . . . we’re talking a 9-month delay . . . And I’m at a loss for words of what I can do here. . .”

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_97174" style="width: 334px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Source: facebook.com/hookeaudio</figcaption></figure>

Find out the full SNAFU story and what Mattana’s ingenious hack was here:

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Who’s Recording with the Hooke Verse Now?

YouTube Best Hooke Verse Playlist — Tag your Hooke Audio recordings with Hooke Audio to be added to the playlist.

  • Journalists: making podcasts or going out in the field and recording
  • Film Makers
  • Bedroom Musicians
  • Audio Engineers
  • Record ProducersFree Plugs coming from Tchad Blake, multi-Grammy Award-winning producer who worked with Sheryl Crow, Beck with the Neumann head, Mix with the Masters
  • New Parents
  • The Blind Community

The Blind Community

Here, Anthony Mattana discusses when he discovered his product brings huge value to the blind community and the development of an app specifically for the blind to use.

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Other Ideas For Where to Record with the Hooke Verse

  • Sound therapy for/from hippiesit’s a thing. Normally you have to physically travel somewhere to experience it. . . . but 3D audio could make the experience at home exactly the same.
  • Audubon society – learning bird calls or anywhere you need to train your ears. Content should be recorded the way you actually hear it!
  • Solving the case of who shot JFK – and possible uses in other crime scenes
  • Bringing audio to sharing muscle cars online – seeing gorgeous cars is only part of the splendor. Hearing them is another big part.
  • Sharing well wishes. Sending caring words to far away loved ones is wonderful! Making them feel like you’re right there with them as you say those things is Even More Wonderful.

What recordings do you think 3D audio would make 100 times awesomer? Comment below with your ideas!

Other Audio Tech Emerging – Immersive Audio, VR, Platforms & Hearables

Anthony Mattana mentions: Perfume Genius; Soundbars from Sennheiser, and Comhear; 3D Sound Labs; Dolby Atmos; the Bragi Dash and more.

Check out Hooke Audio’s infographic on 3D audio products updated monthly.

What about platforms?

Twitter and YouTube support stereo audio, which is all that’s needed to support 3D audio.

According to Anthony, Twitter has the best video and audio compression algorithms. It’s barely compressed.

Instagram and Facebook were never able to support stereo audio until a month ago — now apps for both with Android devices support stereo. That means they support binaural 3D audio. Apple apps with stereo support aren’t here yet, but are hoped to be coming soon.

Skip to here for Anthony’s full overview on audio tech today:

<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RaRqcxaL-SY?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;start=4097&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="640"></iframe>

On OSSIC – The Rival Startup That Failed Hard

ERIN: “Ossic was a company that was trying to make a really crazy VR-kind of 3D audio device. And they crowdfunded on 2 different platforms. One got over $3 million worth of funding, the other one got over $2 million worth of funding. And with your Kickstarter, you only asked for 100k and you got, like, 160k . . . With their over $5 million, Ossic totally closed its doors just this year. And you, with your $160k, succeeded.

I thought this sounded like a >$5 million-level of the Engineer’s Curse which I wrote about recently (involving hyper-OCD tendencies us engineers experience). Here was Anthony’s take on it:

ANTHONY: “Ossic let ‘perfect’ get in the way of ‘good enough’.”

Oh, snap.

Listen to more of Mattana’s unfiltered thoughts on Ossic here:

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Final Takeaways from Mattana

Check out the blog on Hooke Audio for tons of content.

ANTHONY: “3D audio is best experienced in person, so much that if you buy the headset, we offer a 14-day, no hassle, money-back guarantee. I want to be in everyone’s living rooms to demo this headset, but this is a way to get people to do it. So you buy it, you go, ‘eh, it’s not that cool.’ Send it back to us — I’ll give you a full refund. But you have to hear it. Take a chance on us. Take an opportunity to see what this is. You will not be disappointed. Your ears will thank you. I promise.”

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_97172" style="width: 560px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The Hooke Verse – Use Wired in cameras/GoPro/etc. or with Bluetooth over Android or iOS.</figcaption></figure>

Special Discount for SolidSmack Readers

Again, that limited-time offer Hooke Audio is extending to SolidSmack readers is 15% off the purchase of Hooke Verse. Hurry, it expires August 20, 2018To redeem, use coupon code “BINAURAL” when ordering directly from this website: https://hookeaudio.com/product/hooke-verse/

Links Mentioned in the Interview:

The post What Is 3D Audio Tech? The Unbelievable Startup Story of Hooke Audio [Interview] appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Erin McDermott at August 14, 2018 02:40 PM

The Centauro Search and Rescue Robot is a Modern Engineering Marvel

Centauro Robot

Even though they’ve come a long way in a short amount of time, no search and rescue robot can truly replace the skillset of a human fireman—at least, not yet. Apart from better decision-making skills, humans aren’t as clumsy when it comes to lifting heavy loads off of disaster victims. Still, they are only human, and with this limitation comes the inability to traverse overly hazardous terrain and carry more than the human body is capable of.

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Created by the Humanoids and Human Centered Mechatronics Lab at the Italian Institute of Technology, the Centauro project is a four-legged, anthropomorphic robot controlled by a human operator using a telepresence suit that provides situational information including audio, visual, and upper body haptic feedback.

As if feeling like you are the robot isn’t enough, AR technology allows the driver to see suggested actions based on the current situation. Say an identified human is stuck under a pile of rubble; the Centauro will post suggestions as to where and how to best remove the debris without putting them in more danger.

Autonomous robot skills for navigation and routine manipulation are being developed for the project to compensate for latencies in communication between the Centauro and the driver, while also making the task of controlling the giant robot easier.

But you want to know what the Centauro can do, don’t you?

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Apart from its outward appearance looking like a robot centaur (hence the name), the Centauro navigates uneven and debris-filled terrain using compliant actuators and its four strong wheeled legs. It can climb stairs, traverse rubble, and move through partially collapsed areas to reach its point of rescue.

Centauro Project Centauro Project

Once it reaches its destination, the robot can use its heavy-duty arms to carry and manipulate various objects: it can lift your standard 6kg cinder block, connect hoses to water valves, open doors, and most importantly, karate chop the living daylights out of any piece of wood that gets in its way.

Thanks to its sturdy body, the Centauro doesn’t need any prior fireman or martial arts training to do the things it does. And since the project was fully funded by the European Union’s Horizon 2020 Programme, it could just be a matter of time before rescue robots save their human masters for a change.

The post The Centauro Search and Rescue Robot is a Modern Engineering Marvel appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 14, 2018 12:36 PM

The Javelin Blog

Creating frameworks using a SOLIDWORKS Grid System

If you ever had to design furniture, racking or framework for more complex forms there is a reference geometry command that will save you time and effort called a SOLIDWORKS Grid System.

SOLIDWORKS Grid System

SOLIDWORKS Grid System

When you launch the SOLIDWORKS Grid System command, it puts you in sketch mode on the top plane which is classed as level 0. Create and dimension your sketch.

Grid System

Grid System

When you exit the sketch the feature manager will prompt you to add your desired number of levels and the distance between them.

Grid System Property Manager

Grid System Property Manager

Now you will see derived sketches the correspond to the levels and distances you set previously. A 3D sketch is created that connects the end points or corners between all the sketches.

3D Sketch Created

3D Sketch Created

You also have surfaces between the derived sketches. Use Thicken to show them.

Surface Bodies

Surface Bodies

Using this reference geometry, we can make short work of our shelving project using weldments.

Weldment example

Weldment example

We may also create framework for more complex/organic forms with 3D sketches.

More complex/organic forms

More complex/organic forms

Remember the SOLIDWORKS Grid System feature is completely editable from the number and distance of levels to sketch geometry allowing you to make changes with ease.

The post Creating frameworks using a SOLIDWORKS Grid System appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Shawn McEachern at August 14, 2018 12:00 PM

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

Addressing Challenges in Product Development Collaboration

Today’s products are designed and manufactured with the help of large groups of interconnected people from various disciplines and companies. These stakeholders all play important roles in product development and their ability to collaborate efficiently with their counterparts is becoming increasingly critical. Engineering often serves as the hub of design collaboration.

No one designs in a vacuum

Despite the increasing demand for more design collaboration, there’s a surprising amount of friction that still exists in the process. Exchanging designs with other engineers can be painful and time-consuming and collaborating with non-engineering stakeholders can prove even more challenging.

Fortunately there are new solutions to reduce this collaboration friction that offer cleaner exchange of design data between engineering teams. These new solutions also enable non-technical participants to provide their feedback without burdening engineers. These tools make it easier for everyone to collaboration on designs across the entire product development spectrum.

Engineering is the hub of collaboration

Today’s products are a marvel of integration, including a bevy of electronics, such as circuit boards, sensors, cabling, and network antennas. They also include embedded software that act as control systems and stream data to IoT platforms. At the end of the day, all these interconnected subsystems must act as one cohesive whole.

The change in the composition of today’s products has not only changed the way products are designed but also placed more burdens upon various disciplines to collaborate effectively. With more electronics and software being incorporated into products, mechanical engineers must coordinate their work with electrical engineers and coders.

For instance, electronics can run dangerously hot and require a means to dissipate heat. The software running on those electronics needs to provide the right level of control. The antennas stream data to IoT platforms that can run into interference from mechanical components of the product. Thus, mechanical engineers must work closely with stakeholders in other domains to resolve these issues so the product functions as a whole.

At the end of design, engineering must provide a single bill of materials (BOM) that manufacturing and suppliers can use to produce the product. Engineers from different disciplines must collaborate on the definition of that deliverable throughout design, as opposed to a sudden rush at the end to help the entire company avoid costly delays.

Modern design requires high levels of communication, collaboration, and consensus while still demanding deep technical expertise in specific fields. Today’s engineers need the right tools to do that efficiently.

Learn more about how you can help your product development teams collaborate more efficienctly—both within the company and externally with design partners—by downloading Lifecycle Insights’ new eBook “Eliminating the Friction in Design Collaboration.”

 

Author information

Barbara Schmitz
Barbara Schmitz
Senior Brand Introduction Manager at SolidWorks
Loyal dog owner, travel bum, cool mom, and lover of hoppy IPAs, alternative music and new tech.

The post Addressing Challenges in Product Development Collaboration appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Barbara Schmitz at August 14, 2018 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

The Monday List 33.18 | Stories We’re Reading This Week

Biohacking

Mondays might not be your favorite day of the week, but the good news is that we’re all in this together ladies and gentlemen. As purveyors of prime Grade A web content, the SolidSmack crew has done some of the heavy-lifting to make sure you get your Mondays started on the right track.

Welcome to The Monday List.

Every Monday, we link you up with some of the most insightful, informative, and socially-relevant stories to keep tabbed, bookmarked, reading listed, pocketed, or what have you to get your week started on the right foot. Be sure to check in each week for a new crop of freshly sprouted words curated straight from the source of your favorite homegrown ‘Smack.

What We’re Reading This Week:

Teslas Go Drag Racing and Smoke the Combustion Faithful

A father-and-son team with a garage full of electric cars forces a Southern stronghold of gasoline power to face the quietly whirring future.

Teslas Go Drag Racing and Smoke the Combustion Faithful

The $250 Biohack That’s Revolutionizing Life With Diabetes

DIYers used a security flaw to bypass the $8.3 billion insulin delivery business with a cobbled-together artificial pancreas.

The $250 Biohack That’s Revolutionizing Life With Diabetes

Letter of Recommendation: Urban Fly-Fishing

I’ve been described by a few mental-health professionals over the years as having obsessive tendencies. I never exactly doubted the assessment, but I also never really understood it until I started fly-fishing.

Letter of Recommendation: Urban Fly-Fishing

Fax Machines Are Still Everywhere, and Wildly Insecure

Hackers have targeted fax machines for decades, and the technology is still insecure in basic ways.

Fax Machines Are Still Everywhere, and Wildly Insecure

In Defense of Being on the Phone All the Damn Time

Methink some of us doth protest too much.

In Defense of Being on the Phone All the Damn Time

Reviewing a 70-Year-Old Drysdale Special Road Bike

In today’s carbon-framed fat-tubed push-button bicycle landscape, it can be difficult to find a bike that truly stands out. Enter the Drysdale Special.

Drysdale Bicycle

The post The Monday List 33.18 | Stories We’re Reading This Week appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 14, 2018 01:20 AM

August 13, 2018

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

PHOTOVIEW 360: what is it?

What is PHOTOVIEW 360?

PHOTOVIEW 360 is a rendering package included in both SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium. It allows us to take our 3D designs and quickly turn them into a photo-realistic image. This allows us to show how good our products are to existing and potential customers, all directly within our SOLIDWORKS package.

It gives you four different pre-set options for the final render quality of the image; these are ‘Good’, ‘Better’, ‘Best’ and ‘Maximum’. But, what’s the difference, and what do they actually mean in our renders? Firstly, we need to look at what parameters are being set by each of these pre-sets:

Anti-Aliasing

The number of samples which are taken around a curve; the greater the number of samples, the smoother the curve will look.

Number of Reflections

The number of bounces the light is allowed before terminating; as the number increases, areas which are shaded from the light source should become lighter.

Number of Refractions

The number of times the light rays can refract through a transparent/translucent material.

Indirect Rays

These are light rays which are set at an angle as you would find in real life, where by light rays hitting earth may be at an angle, rather than 90 degrees to the object.

Table of parameters

 

All of the sample images have been rendered at a resolution of 1920 x 1080 and appear in the order as below:

Render Resolution

 

Let’s begin by looking at a simple torch component which has a light where the bulb would be, hence we should have a range of reflections and refractions through the transparent and reflective materials.

Sample 1: Torch light in some ambient light

Sample 1

 

Looking at these four images, there isn’t really a lot of difference – apart from slightly more light coming through the glass on all but the ‘good’ pre-set.

Now, let’s look at an example with multiple layers of transparent materials using these instance panes of glass.

Sample 2: Multiple Panes of Glass

Sample 2

Sample 2

 

This sample shows the limitations of reflections and refractions a little more clearly, and how this can have a dramatic effect depending on which final render setting you choose. As we can see where the light must pass through multiple panes, a higher number of refractions, as driven by the pre-sets, makes this possible. However, we have a black area where the light is unable to continue.

Looking at the time to completion for each setting, it is clear how much of an impact the settings have. Therefore, if you don’t have multiple translucent/transparent materials, there is no major benefit from using the maximum pre-set.

 

Author information

Cadtek Systems UK - Elite SOLIDWORKS Training & Support
Cadtek has been established for over 27 years. Based in the UK, we have unrivalled experience in providing design solutions for designers and engineers. We work across all disciplines and multiple industries. An award winning Elite Reseller we can help you understand and choose the right 3D CAD solution. Call 0800 804 7766 to speak to an account manager. For more information, visit cadtek.com.

The post PHOTOVIEW 360: what is it? appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Cadtek Systems UK - Elite SOLIDWORKS Training &#38; Support at August 13, 2018 03:00 PM

SolidSmack

The New Sarolea Manx7 Superbike is an All-Electric Carbon Fiber Powerhouse

For a deposit of just $6,384 down, you can reserve one of Sarolea’s Manx7 all-electric super-bikes, which boasts 204hp, a top speed of 150mph, and a range of 200-miles before needing a recharge. Of course, if you want to ride the motorcycle, you will need to pony up another $49,312 on delivery.

Only 250 of the hand-made bikes will hit the market, which comes equipped with the latest technology, including an all-carbon-fiber monocoque frame and an air-cooled brushless DC 3-phase electric motor, which has only one moving piece- the rotor.

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There are three versions of the Manx7, with the only difference being the Lithium-ion 400v energy-dense battery system’s output and mileage, which ranges from 14kWh (@ 142-mile range) to 22kWh (@ 204-mile range). All feature a Plexiglas Poly (methyl methacrylate) carbon-fiber frame, bodywork, and swingarm, along with several wheel options, including forged aluminum, magnesium, or carbon.

The motorcycle is designed with racing in mind, and as a result, it uses some of the features found on racing bikes, including the chain-tightening system, which involves moving the motor-mount forward and back over adjusting the rear sprocket. Other racing features include the mounting of the rear brake caliper, which is embedded into the swingarm along with the footpegs, allowing for improved control at high speeds. You may have also noted the lack of a manual transmission; this is because the electric motor only has one speed and uses a direct chain drive to go from 0 to 60 in just 2.8-seconds utilizing 332ft-lbs of torque.

When all is said and done, the Manx7 is an expensive ride, and as such, it can be customized to your liking with different hardware and aesthetics (including different paint jobs) to best suit your superhero alter ego. Find out more over at Sarolea.

The post The New Sarolea Manx7 Superbike is an All-Electric Carbon Fiber Powerhouse appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Cabe Atwell at August 13, 2018 12:42 PM

The Chainsaw-Powered Go-Kart Finally Gets A Complete Frame (Part 2)

Chainsaw Go Kart Frame

When we last saw YouTube creator ThisOldTony, his basic rear framework for a chainsaw-powered go kart was up and ready for action. Everything seemed to be going well… until he turned it on for the first time.

As it turned out, the worn chainsaw and sprockets were just too far gone and sensitive for any normal chain to power them for more than 30 seconds. So Tony finally gives in to a reasonable solution: buy new parts.

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Thanks to the wonders of eBay, Tony was able to replace the old 46cc chainsaw motor and sprockets with newer, safer versions. The 50cc engine, in particular, runs at a lower rotation speed and comes with a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which means it pretty much has a built-in clutch. For the sake of saving time, he mounts the motor using four bolts and plans to connect the sprocket using a hub.

Chainsaw Go Kart Frame

Tony wants his kids to be able to steer the vehicle, so he crafts some supports which connect the wheels to the go-kart while allowing them to move freely. To make movement smoother, he carves out a couple of plastic bearings.

Chainsaw Go Kart Frame Chainsaw Go Kart Frame

With the wheels out of the way, he welds additional metal framework to form the front end of the go-kart. Tony is fairly sure this front end won’t connect properly with the rear, but he plans on adding a couple of connecting tubes later on so he can push and pull as much as he likes until the parts meet up.

Chainsaw Go Kart Frame

Tony takes one final pass at his new motor and sprockets. He attaches his motor to see where it lands on the go-kart in relation to the front and rear frames and adds a brake caliper on the rear right of the cart. He’ll leave the rest of the mechanics for a later date but for now, completing the frame is far more critical.

Chainsaw Go Kart Frame Chainsaw Go Kart Frame

Putting the two frames together requires hammering in the aforementioned connecting tubes into the metal frames and welding them together. The technique seems a bit forceful, but with enough brute force, the final go kart frame finally emerges.

Chainsaw Go Kart Frame

He’ll need to remove most of the hardware and clean it down to give it a nice sheen, but otherwise, this go-kart measures roughly four feet and is still relatively light.

The next video will focus more on the electronics, steering, and overall control of the vehicle (which sounds way more fun than welding go kart frames together). You can find all of ThisOldTony’s other builds over at his YouTube channel.

The post The Chainsaw-Powered Go-Kart Finally Gets A Complete Frame (Part 2) appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 13, 2018 12:39 PM

The Javelin Blog

Enabling the Windows Status Bar in SOLIDWORKS PDM

Every so often we’ll get a question from a SOLIDWORKS PDM user about the Windows Status Bar.

The Status Bar can provide a lot of useful information for Windows Users, such as the number of files in a folder, number of items selected and the total file size of the selected items.

Windows Status Bar

Windows Status Bar

However the Status Bar is turned off by default in the SOLIDWORKS PDM Vault View, so users who frequently make use of the Status Bar may wonder how to get it back.

To turn it back on is very simple.  Go to  “Organize” then “Change folder and search options”.

Vault View Enable Status Bar

Organize > Change folder and search options

Go to the “View” tab and find the check box for “Show status bar” and check it.

Folder Options

Folder Options

Once this is enabled it will display the Status Bar at the bottom of the Vault View, just as it would be displayed outside the vault.

Status Bar displayed in Vault View

Status Bar displayed in Vault View

The post Enabling the Windows Status Bar in SOLIDWORKS PDM appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE at August 13, 2018 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

Cool Books of Doom: How to Draw by Scott Robertson

Scott Robertson Sketching

With over two decades of experience teaching how to design, draw, and render at the highest college level, concept designer Scott Robertson knows a thing or two about what it takes to make concepts ‘stick’ for his students. And as one of the most widely-recognized design sketching masters, he’s proven these concepts in his own practice through and through.

In How to Draw: Drawing and Sketching Objects and Environments from Your Imagination, the Art Center educator consolidates years of design sketching knowledge—from thumbnail sketches and perspective grids to shaded renderings—into a digestible self-study program that can take anybody’s sketching ability to the next level. Frankly, if you’re even remotely serious about design sketching, this book is an absolute necessity.

Let’s just let the man himself give us a breakdown:

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How to Draw by Scott Robertson — $27.80

Features:

  • Supplementary Video Lessons Included
  • In-Depth Perpsective Drawing Lessons
  • Focus on Drawing from Imagination
  • Written for the Novice, the Student, and the Professional
  • Ideal for Designers, Engineers, Artists, and Architects

PURCHASE VIA AMAZON

Affiliate purchases help support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale.
Thank you!

The post Cool Books of Doom: <em>How to Draw</em> by Scott Robertson appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 13, 2018 11:40 AM

August 11, 2018

SolidSmack

The Best SolidSmack Stories of the Week — August 11th, 2018

Adam Savage Tested

Don your favorite bathrobe, cream that coffee and get comfortable with this week’s SolidSmack Weekend Reader.

The Weekend Reader features a handful of the most interesting articles featured on the ‘Smack over the past week ranging from tips and tricks to inspirational designs, processes, and more. So lay back, relax and take a load off while reading the top stories on SolidSmack this past week.

Oh and uh…don’t forget to shed some much-needed sunlight on your face, too.

Behind the Design: The Remarkable Leatherman Tools Story

Despite its myriad of uses, not everything can be solved with the common Swiss Army Knife. There are times when you need something with a bit more “oomph”; be it a heavy-duty multi-tool for the outdoors, or just one which latches onto a keychain for easy access.

Leatherman Tool

This Guy Built a Fully-Functioning Go-Kart Motor From an Old Chainsaw

Not everybody sees a chainsaw and immediately thinks “wood cutting tool”. Thanks to pop culture, some are more likely to bring up images of Jason from Friday the 13th than a lumberjack doing his job. Well, YouTube creator ThisOldTony has the same problem – only instead of seeing fictional serial killers, he sees the ideal power source for a go-kart.

Go Kart Motor

The Magic Leap Mixed-Reality Headset? It’s Now Available.

It’s all over the tech news, of course, but the Magic Leap mixed-reality headset, yeeeears in the making, is now available for developers, creators or anyone who wants to shell out $2,295 for ML’s inaugural edition HMD.

Magic Leap

Adam Savage Mods Nerf Rival Blaster to Fire 1000 Plastic Balls

It’s no secret that Adam Savage is a big Nerf fan and incredibly fond of the company’s Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K 100-round assault weapon. As with any piece of equipment though, the Tested star is capable of taking it to the limit of what it can do, which is what he did with the Nemesis- transforming it from a 100-shot rifle to a 1000-round blaster with several upgrades for his popular One Day Builds.

Adam Savage Tested

Nintendo Labo’s Latest Cardboard Kit Turns Kids Into Auto Engineers

When it was released earlier this year, the Nintendo Labo platform — a modern cardboard construction set extension for the Nintendo Switch portable video game platform—made a bigger splash than anybody could have predicted. While the Nintendo Switch has proven to be popular with gamers of all ages, a modular cardboard construction set seemed like an odd choice of accessory set. Turns out, it’s the perfect complement in the age of STEM education and has sold like hotcakes since release.

Nintendo Labo

Model of the Week: 3D Brain Puzzle + Low Poly Skull [My Thinks!]

On the off-chance you have an intact skullcap and you’re mostly coherent at this time of day, I want to introduce you this week to a model so puzzling you’ll want to finish the maze you started drawing on your belly in the middle of that meeting last week.

3D printed skull

The post The Best SolidSmack Stories of the Week — August 11th, 2018 appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 11, 2018 03:54 PM

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

Minimize manufacturing tolerances using TolAnalyst

TolAnalyst is an Add-in tool which is provided with SOLIDWORKS Professional and SOLIDWORKS Premium. This feature allows to identify the effects of tolerances have on parts and assemblies and also it give you the information such as maximum/minimum worst case and RSS results to find out which features and tolerance have the greatest impact on the stack up.

Assembly Model :

The following parts in this assembly are going to be analyzed:

Assembly Model Assembly Model

Here is the step by step procedure to do Tolerance stack-up analysis

STEP 1 : Enable TolAnalyst tool from the Add-in. Then by choosing the DimXpert Manager tab you can easily start a new stack-up study.

DimXpert Manager

STEP 2 : You have to create a measurement by selecting two faces one by one to check for the tolerance stack-up.

STEP 3 : You are now placed into the Assembly Sequence page. You must select the components that will participate in the tolerance study as a sequence. And in the same sequence it will be assembled during manufacturing. Once if you done sequencing SOLIDWORKS starts identifying the stack-up workflow.

Assembly Sequence

STEP 4 : You are now in the Assembly Constraints page. Now that the Assembly Sequence has been defined, the components must be constrained with each other to simulate how they will be each constrained/fastened to each other on the manufacturing floor.

Assembly Constraints

STEP 5 : In the Analysis Summary window, the tolerance stack-up results such as Nominal value, maximum/minimum worst case and RSS values are shown

Analysis Summary TolAnalyst

You can edit tolerances direct from the assembly, or you can open the part model and make edits there. Each time when you make an edit, you can click on the Recalculate button to see instant updated results. So that instead of doing lot of hand calculations you can quickly check different tolerance schemes.

Author information

EGS India
E G S Computers India Private Limited, since 1993, has been in the forefront of delivering solutions to customers in the areas of Product Design and Development with SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD,Remaining Life Calculations, Validation using Finite Element Analysis, Customization of Engineering activities and Training in advanced engineering functions relating to design and development. EGS India - Authorized Reseller for SOLIDWORKS Solutions in India - Chennai, Coimbatore, Trichy, Madurai - Tamil Nadu, Pondicherry. For any queries on SOLIDWORKS Solutions contact @ 9445424704 | mktg@egs.co.in | Website - www.egsindia.com

The post Minimize manufacturing tolerances using TolAnalyst appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by EGS India at August 11, 2018 03:00 PM

August 10, 2018

SolidSmack

Friday Smackdown: The Chinzwhithal

Maciej-Drabik-art

Tired and torn the Chinzwhithal cut a furrow at the canyon pass up to the chiseled peaks of Monteretch, collapsing at dusk having cut just deep enough to unblock the spring where the vein would now fill with the nectar of these links.

Maciej Drabik – New space scenes and cities (plus a city kitbash set) with personal work of galaxy libraries, cover illustration and more.

Through Your Lens – Winners of the 2018 Underwater photography competition. These are just amazing.

Patterninja – An very simple online app to create your very own custom patterns. Select from images or upload your own.

Neural Beatbox – A project by Nao Tokui that records noise you make, analyzes and segments into beat types, then auto-generates and percussive loop or sorts.

Waxdrip Landscapes – Dylan Gebbia-Richards’ works are just mezmerizing in their scale and color. Made of a combination of splattering melted wax and color pigments.

insta_repeat – Instagram follow of the week. HOw often is the same/similar photo of the same/similar location, object or experience taken? This captures some in each shot.

Kraftland – Richard Kraft, Disney memorabilia collector, is selling off his collection this month. These are the odd and interesting items in the collection.
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Play – A 23-minute long instrumental with Dave Grohl on every instrument – a wonderful documentary that’s a music video that’s an ode to budding musicians on the (calming, frustrating, invigorating) process (nsfw language) – actual video starts @8:15 in.

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The post Friday Smackdown: The Chinzwhithal appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at August 10, 2018 04:27 PM

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

Women in Engineering: Taking a Step to Bridge the Gap

 

When you hear the word “engineer” who do you imagine first? Chances are a woman is not the first person to pop into your head. That’s because the engineering profession is the field where women are underrepresented the most. The education and research movement to include women in the engineering workforce has improved the diversity of the field slightly, but there is still quite a bit of work to be done in order to close this gap. Engineers are making significant advancements in society, but to better all of society, we need a female perspective. More and more women are entering the engineering field, so in this blog let’s learn a little about some of the first female engineers in the world.

1876: Elizabeth Bragg – First woman to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Engineering – University of California at Berkeley.
1882: Mary Hegeler – First woman to earn a Bachelor of Science from the University of Michigan
1892: Elmina Wilson – First Lady of Structural Engineering – Iowa State University
1894: Julia Morgan – First woman to receive an architecture license and engineering degree – U.C. Berkeley’s College of Mechanics
1905: Nora Stanton – First female member of the American Society of Civil Engineers – Cornell University
1918: Dorothy Hall Brophy – First woman to receive a Bachelor’s Degree in Chemical Engineering – University of Michigan

Troy Eller English, a researcher for the Society of Women Engineers, found that it was rare for even one woman a year to receive an engineering degree nationwide from 1876 until 1900. The percentage of engineering degrees awarded to women did not reach one percent until 1972.

Let’s take a closer look at the University of Michigan, a leader in the movement to include women in the engineering field. The first woman to receive a degree in engineering at the University of Michigan was Mary Helger in 1882. There was not another woman engineer until 1895 when Marian Sarah Parker graduated with a degree in Civil Engineering. A century later, in the year 1994, University of Michigan College of Engineering ranked third in the country in its percentage of female engineering undergraduates with 25 percent. A year later in 1995, over 30 percent of first-year students in the college of engineering were women. This is the highest percentage of the college’s  history and nearly twice the national average at the time.

Here are the trends in the percentage of engineering degrees awarded to women for both the nation and the University of Michigan.

 

While the increase of woman receiving degrees has grown, the averages have been decently stagnant since 2000. While women continually are closing the gap in fields such as business, law, and medicine, there is still a great divide in the engineering field. To this day men are receiving more than 80% of all of the engineering degrees nationally. Although the number of female engineers today has dramatically improved since the early 1980s, when only 5.8% of engineers in the U.S. were women, the numbers are still surprisingly low. Today only 11% of practicing engineers are women, according to the Congressional Joint Economic Committee.

All of the efforts channeled towards getting girls to study science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) have increased graduation rates. However, there is a setback that has not been widely addressed, once women make it into the field, they often leave. One in four female engineers leaves the field after age 30, according to the Society of Women Engineers. This is not due to a lack of intelligence or talent but rather the fact that engineering is such a male-dominated profession that you often need to blaze a trail for yourself to succeed or be taken seriously. The harsh reality is that in the professional field there is still the mentality that men know more about technical things, even unconsciously people turn to men. It is a hard task to break down stereotypes that people have grown accustomed to.

Image Courtesy of Debbie Sterling

 

The most crucial step in changing the engineering field is to start with the mentality of the children we’re raising. It is generally found that children begin losing interest in math and science by the age of six. If young girls are taught to give up on a passion because the environment they live in says that it’s a boys job, the engineering field will never improve in diversity.

However, some steps are being taken to try to remedy this problem. Some organizations are pushing young girls to stick with their passions for science and math. For example, Girls Who Code is an organization that encourages and teaches girls about computer science.

To highlight a current strong engineer changing the field, let’s take a look at Debbie Sterling. Founder and CEO of the company called GoldieBlox. The concept of GoldieBlox is to create not only a toy but a brand where young girls can grow up learning how to design and build things. The face of the brand is a young golden-haired engineering girl that you get to create an adventure with. Sterling is working on transforming the toy aisle and is a leading voice in the movement to encourage girls’ interest in engineering and technology.

Engineering is not about being a born genius it’s about how much you want it and how much effort you put in. A diverse set of minds needs to be working on the world’s often growing problems. As a society, we are largely missing out on women’s intelligence, creativity, and values in solving these problems. If women present themselves with confidence and pride, they will show everyone that female engineers are essential to the improvement of this world.

About the Author

Madison Bryce is a sophomore at the University of Michigan. She is studying mechanical engineering with a minor in computer science. Madison has four years of CAD experience and joined the Fisher Unitech team to share and grow this knowledge. Madison is a Certified SOLIDWORKS Associate (CSWA), Certified SOLIDWORKS Professional (CSWP), and a Certified DriveWorksXpress Associate. Madison’s dream is to one day become a roller coaster engineer. She is currently in a theme park engineering group at the University of Michigan.

Author information

FISHER/UNITECH
FISHER/UNITECH provides IT solutions to the manufacturing community. Our mission is to help our customers transform their organizations into highly competitive entities by streamlining the product design and development process. Over the last 18 years, FISHER/UNITECH has grown to support 8,000 customers and over 15,000 users in the Midwest and New England. We have 14 locations with full classroom facilities supporting 16 states.

The post Women in Engineering: Taking a Step to Bridge the Gap appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by FISHER/UNITECH at August 10, 2018 12:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Use Software OpenGL option in SOLIDWORKS

First let’s talk about a few terminologies that we hear a lot in computer world including Graphics Processing Unit and Hardware Acceleration that help to understand what OpenGL is and what it does.

What is Graphics Processing Unit (GPU)?

In the early days of computing, the Central Processing Unit (CPU) performed all calculations. However, as more graphics-intensive applications such as games and Computer-Aided Design (CAD) software were developed, their demands put strain on the CPU and degraded performance. Graphics Processing Unit (GPU) was introduced as a way to offload those tasks from CPU and freeing up their processing power. In most of the computers the graphics card is the GPU.

What is Hardware Acceleration?

Hardware acceleration is a technique in which a computer’s hardware is forced to perform faster than usual. This technique is used with computing tasks that require more power and processing, such as graphics or video processing.

What is Open Graphics Library (OpenGL)?

Open Graphics Library (OpenGL) is an application for rendering 2D and 3D vector graphics. It is typically used to interact with GPU, to achieve hardware-accelerated rendering.

The application:

  • Can be implemented entirely in software or
  • Can be implemented mostly or entirely in hardware

That being said the application is implemented in most graphics cards these days and therefore support the use of OpenGL calls from software like SolidWorks.

Use Software OpenGL in SOLIDWORKS

Although the OpenGL application is implemented in most of the graphics cards, you can bypass that and use SOLIDWORKS OpenGL application. To do so go to Tools > Options > System Options > Performance and check off “Use Software OpenGL” checkbox. This setting tells SOLIDWORKS to emulate OpenGL on its own and not attempt to use the OpenGL support of the graphics card.

Use Software OpenGL

Use Software OpenGL

When to turn on ‘Use Software OpenGL’ in SOLIDWORKS?

“Use Software OpenGL” option is useful for troubleshooting graphics card and driver problems. In addition, SOLIDWORKS often performs better when you use this option on game and consumer-type graphics cards.

The post Use Software OpenGL option in SOLIDWORKS appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Saeed Mojarad (CSWE) at August 10, 2018 12:00 PM

August 09, 2018

SolidSmack

FormBox: A Desktop Vacuum Former + Partner for Your 3D Printer

Formbox

The FormBox is an inexpensive table-top vacuum former, and they say it’s “a perfect partner for your 3D printer”.

What’s a vacuum former?

A vacuum former a simple manufacturing system that uses molding principles to form 3D shapes. The idea is to heat a thin sheet of thermoplastic to the point where it is soft and saggy. Then it’s placed over a mold and a vacuum pulls the soft sheet fully along the mold’s surface.

The soft sheet rapidly cools and solidifies into the desired shape. After cooling, it can be removed and the shape can be extracted by slicing off the excess sheet material. The entire process takes only seconds, given a hot vacuum former. The only slightly complicated matter is determining the exact duration of heat exposure for a sheet of arbitrary thickness.

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_97152" style="width: 900px">Temperature and timing controls on the FormBox tabletop vacuum former<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Temperature and timing controls on the FormBox tabletop vacuum former</figcaption></figure>

A 3D Printing Partner

But, you say, this has absolutely nothing to do with 3D printing. I agree – vacuum forming is definitely not 3D printing. However, there is what might be a very powerful link between the two.

And what is this link? Answer this question: where does the mold come from?

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_97153" style="width: 960px">Making formed chocolates using a mold created with the FormBox vacuum former<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Making formed chocolates using a mold created with the FormBox vacuum former</figcaption></figure>

3D printing, of course! It’s entirely possible to 3D print a wide variety of shapes and then vacuum form a thin form over top of them. In this video you can see how Makyu’s FormBox can be used in this manner:

<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="360" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/MTZ5FunrcDY?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="640"></iframe>

Of course, there are some constraints: you cannot vacuum form any given shape.

  1. The mold must not have any overhangs, because the vacuum force pulls the soft sheet down, not up.
  2. You must also avoid overhangs because a vacuum force could pull sheet material into a crevice and then “lock” the sheet to the mold, preventing release. This is perhaps the biggest constraint.
  3. You should also ensure that the materials are compatible. For example, if you 3D printed a mold in PLA thermoplastic, and then vacuum formed a PLA sheet on top of it, you might get some adhesion. That’s not good.
<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_97154" style="width: 960px">A vacuum-formed terrarium made with the FormBox<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">A vacuum-formed terrarium made with the FormBox</figcaption></figure>

One very interesting concept is to use food-safe materials. In their video, you can see a mold creating another mold for cooking. This overcomes the largely impossible problem of trying to make anything related to food with a plastic extrusion 3D printer. The food-safe mold you create could be used to hold chocolate, cookie dough, or even soap.

While you can’t vacuum form any geometry, the technology is incredibly useful for certain projects. For example, if you made a 3D mask and were able to vacuum form it, you could produce dozens or even hundreds in a single day, far faster than you could 3D print them.

For some objects, a vacuum former is a way to amplify your making ability.

Makyu offers the FormBox on pre-order now for only USD $699.

So is it a required accessory? I’d ask if you do or want to make larger numbers of thin objects with your 3D printer. If so, you could save yourself a lot of time with a vacuum former.

Read more about 3D printing at Fabbaloo!

The post FormBox: A Desktop Vacuum Former + Partner for Your 3D Printer appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Fabbaloo at August 09, 2018 06:06 PM

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

How to Enable the ‘Get’ Command in SOLIDWORKS PDM

Have you tried to cache an older version of a file and couldn’t find the ‘Get’ command in SOLIDWORKS PDM? It can be challenging for a PDM Admin to enable this option for a group/user after the vault is initially implemented. The reason behind this is there isn’t an ‘Enable Get Command’ checkmark box that an Admin can select. This command is only available for users when multiple options in the Administration tool are set together. So what can you do? Let’s review the options a PDM Admin must set appropriately before the user has access to ensure this command is available.

SOLIDWORKS PDM commands

How to enable ‘Get’ command in SOLIDWORKS PDM

SOLIDWORKS PDM commands

Where to find ‘Get’ command in SOLIDWORKS PDM

On the Group/User, under ‘Permissions per Folder’ link on the left, select:
  • Read file contents
  • Show working versions of files
    • Note: this option is especially critical for those files that are not revision controlled; typically PDFs
What to enable

Permissions per Folder checkboxes

On the Group/User, under ‘State Permissions’

  • Read file contents
Read File Contents checkbox

Check Read file contents in Permissions

The most important tip here is for the Admin to understand the type of file the user wants to see. Would they like to see the older versions and the many workflow states the file may have previously gone through?
For example, if the file has gone through the ‘Under Editing’ state and the user/group cannot ‘Read file contents’, they will be unable to see any version of any file, while it remained in that state. In some cases, it’s appropriate to disallow users from seeing those versions, therefore, they must be aware that they do not have access to those versions.
On the Group/User, under ‘Settings under Reference Dialog’ link on the left, select:
  • ‘Always work with latest version of files’ should be turned OFF
This is the primary setting for the ‘Get Version’ command, but this will not work without establishing all other required settings listed above. If the PDM vault Admin has opted to compel their SOLIDWORKS users to ‘Always work with latest version of files’, they may want to consider ‘Enable the get version command in SOLIDWORKS Add-In’.
'Get' Command checkbox

How to enable ‘Get’ command

 

Author information

MLC CAD Systems
Celebrating Three Decades of Unbeatable Service! MLC CAD System's mission is to help design and manufacturing companies, entrepreneurs, creative individuals, research institutions and other organizations put their ideas and products into production using the industry's best software technologies including SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD, Mastercam, 3D Systems' & Markforged 3D printers well as other leading CAD and CAM technologies.

The post How to Enable the ‘Get’ Command in SOLIDWORKS PDM appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by MLC CAD Systems at August 09, 2018 03:00 PM

SolidSmack

Nintendo Labo’s Latest Cardboard Kit Turns Kids Into Auto Engineers

Nintendo Labo Car

When it was released earlier this year, the Nintendo Labo platform — a modern cardboard construction set extension for the Nintendo Switch portable video game platform—made a bigger splash than anybody could have predicted. While the Nintendo Switch has proven to be popular with gamers of all ages, a modular cardboard construction set seemed like an odd choice of accessory set. Turns out, it’s the perfect complement in the age of STEM education and has sold like hotcakes since release.

The set, which carefully balances video game play and teaching the principles of engineering, physics, and basic programming, allows kids (of all ages) to create everything from a functioning piano to a virtual fishing game.

With their latest release, the Nintendo Labo team has moved beyond simple tabletop games and musical instruments into a whole new category for kids to tap their inner Elon Musk: vehicle design.

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The Nintendo Labo Toy-Con 3: Vehicle Kit allows kids to create and control a car, a plane, and a submarine—while encouraging them to activate different controls for each vehicle and use the platform to create their own inventions.

The three technologies that the Nintendo Labo leverages from the Nintendo Switch are the dual gyro sensors, the IR Motion Camera, and the HD Rumble function—all hidden within boxed-in cardboard designs—and are used to play games on a TV.

“At the time (we were designing the Nintendo Switch), I never could have imagined it would end up being used like this!” explains Nintendo Labo Director, “Mr. Kawamoto”. “When we were designing the Nintendo Switch we had all sorts of brainstorming sessions with both the hardware and software developers. It was through this exchange of ideas that we settled on the final design for the system. Nintendo Labo uses the Nintendo Switch system’s more unique design elements in a deeply satisfying way.”

The Toy-Con 3: Vehicle Kit will become available on 9/14 and will be the third set total, joining a general purpose “Variety Kit” and a robotics kit. Find out more over at Nintendo Labo.

The post Nintendo Labo’s Latest Cardboard Kit Turns Kids Into Auto Engineers appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Simon Martin at August 09, 2018 12:20 PM

The Javelin Blog

Working with a SOLIDWORKS PDM Named BOM

A SOLIDWORKS PDM Named BOM, is a saved from a Computed BOM and can be treated like any other vaulted file. Named BOMs can be Checked In/Out, Versioned, and have their State changed. Like other vaulted files, the history of the BOM is captured and can be viewed.

Named BOMs can only be viewed by switching the Display of the Local Vault View, to Show Bills of Materials.

Show Bills of Materials

Show Bills of Materials

Each cell of the Named BOM is editable and changed BOM Items are highlighted.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Named BOM

Editable BOM with changed rows highlighted

Additional Columns can be added, by right-clicking on an existing column. The new column can be added to the right or left, of the selected column.

Insert New BOM Column

Insert New BOM Column

The new Column can be associated with an existing Variable, or Free Text.

BOM Column Association

BOM Column Association

The same procedure can be used to insert Rows.

Insert BOM Rows

Insert BOM Rows

Once all changes are made, the BOM can be saved by clicking the Save icon to the far-right of the BOM.

Save BOM

Save BOM

As with other file types, the BOM can be Checked-in

Check In BOM

Check In BOM

When a BOM is Checked-in a new Version is created.  And there is a pull-down available, that allows different versions to be viewed.

BOM Versions

BOM Versions

Once checked in, a bar will placed on the right-hand side of the a cell, to indicate that the cell has been manually changed. Deleting text in an edited cell will restore the linked value.

From the same location where the BOM is saved, different versions of the BOM can be compared.

Compare BOM

Compare BOM

Any differences between the latest version and earlier versions are highlighted. The earlier version to be compared, can be selected.

Highlighted BOM differences

Highlighted BOM differences

When defining Category or Workflow Conditions, BOM is an Argument for the Type, Object Type. This allows filtering of BOMs, if a separate workflow, is used to control the lifecycle of a BOM.

BOM Category Condition

BOM Category Condition

BOM is also available as a Transition Condition.

BOM Transition Condition

BOM Transition Condition

The post Working with a SOLIDWORKS PDM Named BOM appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Joe Medeiros, CSWE at August 09, 2018 12:00 PM

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

SOLIDWORKS xDesign Feature Hightlight: FabConnect- From Design to Digital Fabrication

If you are maker, tinkerer, hobbyist or an inventor, chances are you are part of or have heard about FabLab. If you are still curious, a Fab Lab is a community space that provides its members—makers and hobbyists—with off-the-shelf, industrial-grade fabrication tools such as laser cutters, milling machines, scanners, 3D printers and software design tools. It lets them translate their ideas into real products and sometimes create products yet to be envisioned by the established manufacturer.

With over 1,200 Fab Labs now around the world, the access to these resources and technologies has never been easier.  However, one of the challenges that makers face is that there is no common process. Each machine requires its own setup and users have to learn/familiarize themselves with various machine control software.

As users of SOLIDWORKS xDesign, makers and hobbyists will find that we have included a feature called FabConnect aimed to bridge the gap between design and fabrication modules. FabConnect leverages the MOD technology developed under the vision and guidance of Dr. Gershenfeld at MIT to streamline the process of connecting to machines in the Fab Lab.

Makers and hobbyists have the freedom to design anywhere with SOLIDWORKS xDesign and can use FabConnect to easily send the model to machines in the FabLab using MODS. The underlying technology takes care of converting the design file into the appropriate format and then generates toolpaths and control instructions. The following connect programs are currently available to through FabConnect:

  • Laser cut svg connect –  Sends laser commands through printer port with path and ammeters generated from selected face, material type and laser power and speed.
  • Mill 2D svg array connect –  Generates mill path for a milling machine with nested top faces pulled from xDesign in equal thickness
  • G-code mill 2D svg connect – Generate G-code for milling from a selected face

Here is a simple example how to send a fidget spinner model to a laser cutter:

  1. On xDesign Action Bar, select Tools > FAB Connect. Mods program opens.

2. Select Open ‘cut svg connect’ from mods program under laser machine

3. Select a profile face in your fidget spinner mode

4. In the open print module, select material (3mm plywood) from laser module

5. Click on ‘calculate’ button from cut raster to generate the machining path

 

6.   In Print module, select laser device and Click on ‘Send to printer’ button

 

Check out the quick video of SOLIDWORKS R&D Director Shawn Liu demonstrating using the FabConnect capabilities.

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Want to join us? Sign up for the SOLDWORKS xDesign Lighthouse at: https://www.solidworks.com/how-to-buy/join-xdesign-lighthouse-program or just click on the banner below.

Author information

Shawn Liu
Shawn Liu
Shawn Liu is Web Infra Development Director at DS SOLIDWORKS. He has a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering, a M.S. in Manufacturing Engineering and a PhD in Industrial Engineering from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.

The post SOLIDWORKS xDesign Feature Hightlight: FabConnect- From Design to Digital Fabrication appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Shawn Liu at August 09, 2018 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

Build a Desktop Robotic Arm with This $34 Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle

Robotic Arm

We’ve said it time and time again, but the Raspberry Pi is just so dang cool and we believe all designers and engineers should have one in their toolkit—if not on their desktop. While there is a bit of a slight learning curve, it’s nothing that today’s designers and engineers can’t handle on a leisurely Saturday.

So why not start now?

The Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle includes 8 courses to get started creating your very own Amazon Echo or even a KUKA-like robotic arm for your desktop (how’s that for office bragging rights). Throw in any of your own 3D printed housing designs, and the opportunities are limitless!

For a limited time, The Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle is 96% off of the $865 retail price and can be purchased right here for a mere $34.

The Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle — $865 $34

Courses Included in the Bundle:

  • Automation with Raspberry Pi Zero
  • Introduction to Raspberry Pi
  • Hardware Projects Using Raspberry Pi
  • Bitcoin Mining Using Raspberry Pi
  • Raspberry Pi Robotics
  • Internet of Things Automation Using Raspberry Pi 2
  • Home Automation in 48 Hours Without Coding
  • Build Your Own ArmBot Step By Step Using Raspberry Pi Zero

BUY HERE

This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale! Thank you for your help in moving away from banner ads by delivering better content!

Find more deals here:
StackSocial Amazon

The post Build a Desktop Robotic Arm with This $34 Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 09, 2018 11:29 AM

Adam Savage Mods Nerf Rival Blaster to Fire 1000 Plastic Balls

It’s no secret that Adam Savage is a big Nerf fan and incredibly fond of the company’s Rival Nemesis MXVII-10K 100-round assault weapon. As with any piece of equipment though, the Tested star is capable of taking it to the limit of what it can do, which is what he did with the Nemesis- transforming it from a 100-shot rifle to a 1000-round blaster with several upgrades for his popular One Day Builds.

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In order to fire a thousand rounds of plastic balls, Adam needed to design a clip that could hold them all, as the weapons original hopper had no chance of packing that many in a confined space. To build his massive clip, Adam created a foam-board mold to get an idea of how much volume was needed for the foam balls, and for getting a rough idea for the dimensions of the magazine.

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_97129" style="width: 1100px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The acrylic magazine and hopper glue-welded together and test-fitted to the Nemesis.</figcaption></figure>

Once the measurements were completed, Adam used the foam paneling as a template to cut acrylic panels that act as the magazine body. For the giant clip to fit the Nemesis, he had to trim some of the plastic on the receiver, which didn’t take away from its function. Once completed, Adam glue-welded all the acrylic pieces together, including the hopper and kitbashed it to make it look battle-worn.

After giving the gun an incredible paint job, Adam finished the build by adding on a bipod and red-dot sight to complete the build, which turned out really well, making it look like a weapon straight out of Warhammer 40K.

Be sure to check out the rest of Savage’s insane one-day builds over on the Tested YouTube channel.

The post Adam Savage Mods Nerf Rival Blaster to Fire 1000 Plastic Balls appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Cabe Atwell at August 09, 2018 11:22 AM

August 08, 2018

SolidSmack

The Magic Leap Mixed-Reality Headset? It’s Now Available.

Magic Leap Lightwear

It’s all over the tech news, of course, but the Magic Leap mixed-reality headset, yeeeears in the making, is now available for developers, creators or anyone who wants to shell out $2,295 for ML’s inaugural edition HMD.

The Magic Leap One Creator Edition launches with SDKs, Unity and Unreal Engine 4 support, tutorials, preview experiences, games, the Helio web browser, the Twilio-powered social platform, and the LuminOS spatial computing OS.

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After 7 years and $2.3 billion locked down in funding from Google, Alibaba and others, we have what looks like safety glasses your friends would make fun of you for wearing, but Magic Leap’s device and Lightfield technology does some amazing things. In short, the simultaneous mix of 3D scanning, eye-tracking, and going practically untethered is stunning.

The Magic Leap Lightfield tech integrates digital light at varying depths into your field of vision of the 3D captured space instead of, as with other VR/AR/MR tech, superimposing 3d objects, images, and the like, onto the space around you.

The Magic Leap device includes Lightwear (headset), Lightpack (processor, battery, memory) and a single wireless controller. The Lightpack is a small, fist-size disc of a computer that can clip to your belt or slide in your pocket–It’s that small. After you use something like HP’s Z Backpack, you wonder how anything that small can power any 3D experience.

Magic Leap Lightpack and Lightwear

So, how does it function?

Here’s how CNBC’s Todd Haselton described the experience:

I knew the experiences weren’t real, but it was unlike anything I’ve experienced before. None of the demos fooled me into thinking these images were really in front of me, but there was something calming about sharp, clearly rendered jellyfish swimming around me.”

And Joanna Stern from WSJ said:

While not as restrictive as Microsoft’s HoloLens, the Lightwear has a limited field of view that constrains the experience. Some objects appeared cut off unless I turned my head or took a few steps back. Mr. Abovitz says this will be improved in Magic Leap Two.”

Magic Leap (and their investors) are still convinced it’s a game changer. Me? I’m warming up to the technology for sure, but the design? It still has me cringing. Oh well, slap some stickers on it and I’ll be ok.

And speaking of design, I’m anxious to see what this new device offers for design and engineering, for visualization, and product development in general. We’ve seen what Microsoft and Autodesk think of mixed-reality design environments. What will this look like for Magic Leap and their Lightfield technology?

At the moment, the Magic Leap website and purchase link is stuck loading for us, but once up you can snag the headset for USD $2,295 here and for U.S resident only it seems. You can keep tabs of the reactions and latest on the Magic Leap Twitter page.

The post The Magic Leap Mixed-Reality Headset? It’s Now Available. appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at August 08, 2018 07:27 PM

Cool Books of Doom: ‘The Pushing Points Topology Workbook’

Sub-D Modeling

When it comes to SubD topology, having the ability to construct a variety of meshes with clean polygon flows can mean the difference between yelling an obscene amount of profanities at your monitor or having a blast. Thanks to a new book from the renowned 3D artist, writer, and director William Vaughan, getting to that fun place won’t have to be so challenging after all.

Vaughan’s comprehensive 125-page Pushing Points Topology Workbook includes over 60 exercises to train anybody in managing their mesh topology. Even those who may consider themselves “experts” at SubD could certainly learn a thing or two from the master modeler—whose portfolio spans across Nickelodeon and Pixar.

The Pushing Points Topology Workbook — $48.00

About Author William Vaughan:

William Vaughan is an award-winning artist, writer, and director. He has created thousands of original computer-generated characters, including Tofu the Vegan Zombie. William has trained thousands of CG artists throughout the world and authored more than one thousand tutorials and instructional videos. He has been published by major cg magazines, contributed to twenty books, has written and directed several award-winning films, and has created digital art for many top studios, including Nickelodeon and Pixar Animation Studios.

PURCHASE VIA AMAZON

Affiliate purchases help support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale.
Thank you!

Feature image via Polycount

The post Cool Books of Doom: ‘The Pushing Points Topology Workbook’ appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 08, 2018 12:09 PM

App Smack 32.18: Halide Camera, TravelBank, Informant 5 Calendar, and More…

Best iPhone Apps 2018

It’s time for another round of apps that cover the spectrum of your beloved mobile device(s)!

The Weekly App Smack is the best of new or updated design and productivity apps (and maybe a couple of fun ones, too) for the busy design or engineering professional and this week we have a list sure to make you more efficient.

Do you have an app suggestion that has made your life easier or changed up your workflow? Let us know in the comments below or send it into tips@solidsmack.com.

Hit it!

Halide Camera (iOS — $5.99)

Halide is a groundbreaking camera app for deliberate and thoughtful photography. With high-end tools, a UI designed from scratch for iPhone 8 and iPhone X featuring beautiful details, Halide is your go-to camera when you want to really take a photo rather than a quick snapshot.

Halide Camera

TravelBank – Travel & Expenses (iOS – Free)

A smarter way to book business travel, track expenses and earn rewards, TravelBank is the last business travel app you’ll ever need. Book a flight and hotel or create and submit an expense report in minutes!

TravelBank - Travel & Expenses

Informant 5 Calendar (iOS — Free)

Informant is a powerful organizer app with Calendar, Tasks, Projects, and Notes. It works with all native Apple data calendars including iCloud, Exchange, Outlook.com, Microsoft 365, Google Calendar, Yahoo, AOL and more.

Informant 5 Calendar

X Launcher Pro – IOS Style Theme & Control Center (Android — $1.99)

The latest and best iOS-styled theme for Android devices!

X Launcher Pro - IOS Style Theme & Control Center

Cx File Explorer (Android — Free)

Cx File Explorer is a powerful file manager app with a clean and intuitive interface. With this file manager app, you can quickly browse and manage the files on your mobile device, PC, and cloud storage, just like you use Windows Explorer or Finder on your PC or Mac.

Cx File Explorer

Shine Cleaner and Booster Pro (Android — Free)

Shine Cleaner and Booster Pro will clean your phone, boost performance and make your device much faster, so you can use your phone and feel like it’s new again!

Shine Cleaner and Booster Pro

The post App Smack 32.18: Halide Camera, TravelBank, Informant 5 Calendar, and More… appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 08, 2018 12:02 PM

August 07, 2018

SolidSmack

Model of the Week: 3D Brain Puzzle + Low Poly Skull [My Thinks!]

3D printed skull brain puzzle

On the off-chance you have an intact skullcap and you’re mostly coherent at this time of day, I want to introduce you this week to a model so puzzling you’ll want to finish the maze you started drawing on your belly in the middle of that meeting last week.

Thomas Buseyne is no stranger to puzzles… actually, he could be stranger to puzzles and just, sort of, sneak up on’em quiet like, then SMACK. Either way, with a 3D printed puzzle he shared recently, he certainly knows how to keep a brain entertained for a good long while.

3d printed brain puzzle

‘Dr. Brain Breaker’ is a remix from Steve Dakh’s amazing low-poly skull which Thomas chopped and modded to house that beautifully exposed interlocking brain matter. There are 56 pieces in all with each side consisting of 28 pieces and hidden pieces in the center. My thinks!

He printed all 56 pieces and the skull base on a Prusa i3 MKS2 using ColorFabb fluorescent green PLA for the brain and blue grey PLA for the skull. LOVE that color combo. Others have used fluorescent pink, yellow, and beige for the brain pieces. Me? I’m curious about using ColorFabb’s Glow Fill or a more flexible, rubbery filament. Suggestions?

You can download the model on MyMiniFactory. All files are available as .stl, including the skull base as well as the left and right sections available as a single file. (Bonus! Check out his latest creation, an elegant, modern style flower vase, here!)

Have a model you think everyone needs? Share the link and details with us here!

This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale at no extra cost to you! Thank you for your help in moving away from banner ads by delivering better content!

The post Model of the Week: 3D Brain Puzzle + Low Poly Skull [My Thinks!] appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at August 07, 2018 09:52 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS PDM Task Host Automatic Login

When users launch Tasks in SOLIDWORKS PDM, instead of having the Task run on their local computer, it can be sent to a dedicated SOLIDWORKS PDM Task Host.

For the Task Host to be able to process tasks it must be logged into the Vault.  If the dedicated Task Host system is an unattended system, perhaps located in a server room, a reboot could cause an interruption in Tasks being processed.

Setup the SOLIDWORKS PDM Task Host

To set up the SOLIDWORKS PDM Task Host to log in automatically after a Windows reboot do the following:

Step 1:  Launch the PDM Administration tool and expand Local Settings and double click “Settings”:

SOLIDWORKS PDM Settings

SOLIDWORKS PDM Settings

Step 2:  On the “Automatic Login” page, select the vault name in the drop list and Check “Use automatic login for this vault”.  Select “Login as the following user” and input the login credentials for the User account that you will use for running the task.

SOLIDWORKS PDM Task Host Settings

Local Settings

Step 3:  Create a shortcut for the vault view in the Windows Start Up folder:

C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\StartUp

WARNING:  Using Automatic Login with the “admin” account will allow full access to all files in the vault on the Task Host, this may be a concern if the system is not located in a secure place, such as a locked server room.

Shortcut created

Shortcut created

The post SOLIDWORKS PDM Task Host Automatic Login appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Andrew Lidstone, CSWE at August 07, 2018 06:00 PM

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

Plastics, Starting from Beginning

The filling stage is an important stage in injection molding cycle. Starting from the pellet as a material, in the hopper, conveyed by a screw in the chamber, until the melt thermoplastics injecting into the cavity, filling stage is one of the major factors in the plastic production process. In the industry nowadays, the high production rate is important. To be a good vendor of custom molding, you should have the ability to fulfill the demand from the customer and the plastic market.

In my earliest days of troubleshooting a mold in the press we had to do it by hand with dykem blue. Grinding away here and there to force a mold into production. Now you can cut times by analyzing the filling stage; the determinations are a necessity to improve the production rate without neglecting the quality performance of the product produced. This element can give the benefit to the industry to achieve profitability and survive in this challenging plastic industry. SOLIDWORKS Plastics can help you do this analysis.

Many factors should be considered, such as the mold cost, tool room time, and lead times. The material is chosen and the cycle time influences the production and quality rate of the product. The parameters that should considered include the temperature that was used to heat the pallet, the pressure to force the melt and the cycle time to guide the process in this stage. As the first stage of the injection molding process, the filling stage should give the lead into the next stage, packing. The importance of this stage is to control the good running process with consideration in cooling stage and ejection stage down the line. The review of cooling stage and ejection stage becomes important for this analysis. Finally, the analysis of filling stage in injection molding should be accurate to achieve the good quality rate of production without increasing the cost.

Simulating unwanted part defects such as short shots, weld lines, and vent locations are the key to what we are looking for with the filling stage. SOLIDWORKS Plastics will help at this stage to find the part defects and help eliminate them before they become a production problem.

A short shot is a molded part that is incomplete because the insufficient material injected into the mold. Entrapped air can cause it, insufficient machine injection pressure (resulting from high melt resistance and a restricted flow path), pre-mature solidification of the polymer melt, and mechanical defects. SOLIDWORKS Plastics will help with viewing short shots, vents, injection pressures along with all the heat options you will need.

Weld or knit lines are perhaps the most common and difficult injection molding defect to eliminate. They occur when melt flow fronts collide in a mold cavity. A poor knit line can cause only cosmetic blemishes, or it can significantly weaken the structural integrity of a part. Strength at the knit line can be as little as 20 percent of the nominal strength of the part—or it can be 100 percent as strong, depending on a host of variables. Weak weld lines have their origins in material choice, part design, tooling, and processing. Some materials are more or less “forgiving” where it comes to weld lines.

Part design matters because non-uniform wall thickness can vary the shear and flow rate of the melt front, resulting in a split flow path. Tooling effects include multiple gates into a cavity and projections in the mold like bosses and ribs, as well as holes or depressions, all of which can interrupt and split melt flow into separate fronts. A temperature variation in one section of the mold surface also can create a non-uniform flow front.

Air trap appears in rib part, for example, in some products, the rib is very deep, and then the air cannot be pushed out when plastic flows in that area. And in some products, the thickness varies so much, air traps easily. Also, air traps also in the place where the plastic meets at the end of the fill. The phenomenon of the air trap: the product cannot fill with the full material; parts become white, worse still, get black. And in some transparent plastic, there is a small bubble.

Luckily, there are solutions for injection molding air trap: Make air venting in the part where the air traps. Make the inserts or pins, then the air will go through the gap, but it is very important to keep the accurate dimension. Otherwise, there will be flash. Molding parameter adjustment: we can slow down the injection speed. Thus the air can be pushed out by the material flow. And for transparent material, we can ease or solve the air tap problems by increasing the machine back pressure.

With all of the information in front of you during an analysis of the fill process designers, engineers, companies, and customers can rely on SOLIDWORKS Plastics to provide valuable information. Know that finding short shots, weld lines, and air traps alone give you a head start on production-ready parts. Filling might be one of the shortest sections of total cycle time but can be the most important.

Find the areas that cause you the most problems in production and use SOLIDWORKS Plastics to help solve that problem. Look at your venting, weld lines, and filling patterns to go back to help solve issues in a production mold that has been running for years to shave a couple of seconds off for more production.

 

 

 

 

 

Author information

Jeff Osman
Jeff Osman
Jeff Osman has more than 23 years of experience in the mechanical CAD industry. As Senior Technical Sales Specialist Plastics NA, he is responsible for all technical Sales of SolidWorks products, focusing on SolidWorks Plastics, for North America and has been with SolidWorks for 19 years. Prior to joining SolidWorks, Jeff was a senior technical manager with Microcadam, a division of IBM. In addition, he has held several manufacturing positions with companies Processed Plastics, Plano Molding and Furnas/Siemens Electric.

The post Plastics, Starting from Beginning appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Jeff Osman at August 07, 2018 03:00 PM

SolidSmack

Cool Tools of Doom: The Palomino Blackwing 602 Pencil

Cherished by writers, designers, illustrators, and other creative professionals for its soft dark lead and unique flat eraser, the Blackwing 602 is worth trying at least once—but be forewarned: you may never go back to plain old #2 pencils again.

Originally manufactured by the Eberhard Faber Pencil Company from 1934 – 1988, the Blackwing brand was acquired by California Cedar Products Company in 2008 and reintroduced to a new generation of creatives in 2012.

And now, you can score your own 12-pack of the legendary pencil for just 23 bucks.

Palomino Blackwing 602 Pencils 12-Pack — $22.95

Features:

  • One pack of 12 Palomino Blackwing pencils
  • Pencils feature a soft and smooth graphite core that is perfect for artists and composers
  • Pencils feature a unique ferrule and allows you to extend and replace the eraser
  • Replacement erasers available in three different colors
  • Pencils made out of Genuine Incense-cedar

PURCHASE VIA AMAZON

Affiliate purchases help support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale.
Thank you!

The post Cool Tools of Doom: The Palomino Blackwing 602 Pencil appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 07, 2018 12:54 PM

This Guy Built a Fully-Functioning Go-Kart Motor From an Old Chainsaw

Chainsaw Go Kart

Not everybody sees a chainsaw and immediately thinks “wood cutting tool”. Thanks to pop culture, some are more likely to bring up images of Jason from Friday the 13th than a lumberjack doing his job. Well, YouTube creator ThisOldTony has the same problem – only instead of seeing fictional serial killers, he sees the ideal power source for a go-kart.

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After cleaning his old 46 (or is it 42?)cc chainsaw, Tony takes it apart to retrieve the motor. With the main power source isolated, his next job is to connect the two rear go-kart wheels to the motor and build the rest of the kart around the chassis.

Chainsaw Go Kart

This is done by visiting his local bike shop and asking for some spare sprockets. The trick is to remove the chainsaw’s old sprocket and replace it with the bike’s. Once Tony has welded the new sprocket into place, he reinstalls it onto the chainsaw.

Chainsaw Go Kart Chainsaw Go Kart

Since the cheap wheels he bought were from Amazon, Tony works on some new wheel hubs so they can support the weight of a child. After plenty of cutting, welding, and tuning, he attaches the wheels, hubs for a disc brake, and a large sprocket onto a ¾” inch drive shaft. To ensure the parts don’t move out of place, he welds them onto the shaft (which is something you should really never do—but to each their own!).

Chainsaw Go Kart Chainsaw Go Kart Chainsaw Go Kart

Upon deciding the go-kart will have a width of 28 inches, he takes some metal tubing and bends it to fit the go kart’s frame. The initial measurements are a bit wide, but he compensates this by welding a couple of bearing plates onto the frame.

Chainsaw Go Kart

For the upper body of the cart, Tony welds another piece metal frame slightly above the bottom frame. Using a number of metal supports, he welds the top piece at various points to keep it firmly connected to the go kart’s body. He also adds a small metal piece at the back of the top plate which holds the chainsaw motor in place.

Chainsaw Go Kart

The build is far from done, however. In totality, it takes Tony upwards of up to four videos to get the go-kart running and safe enough to hold a small child. You can find all of the succeeding videos, as well as more of his heavy-duty fabrication shenanigans, over at his YouTube channel.

The post This Guy Built a Fully-Functioning Go-Kart Motor From an Old Chainsaw appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 07, 2018 12:11 PM

The Javelin Blog

Perfectly Symmetric SOLIDWORKS Linear Pattern!

Ever wanted to create that perfect symmetric SOLIDWORKS Linear Pattern which:

  • Is symmetric about the midplane of the part
  • Is driven by number of instances, regardless of spacing.  Let SOLIDWORKS do the math!
  • Does not require sketch edits when changing between odd and even number of instances
  • Has specified offsets from the edges of the part

…well, you can and here’s how!

  1. Place the seed feature at one end of the pattern-to-be, specifying offset from edge of part.  Remember the offset (10mm in this step) as you will re-use that number in the next step.
Seed feature

Seed feature

  1. Create a linear pattern with settings per the picture below.  Note: you must select the features to pattern before choosing the reference edge in purple.  Note the re-use of the 10mm dimension, similar to step 1, to ensure that the seed and last instance both use the same offset from both edges of the part.

    Up to reference

    Property settings for the Linear Pattern

  2. Now edit the length of the part to suit:

    Adjusted length of part

  3. Finally, edit the number of pattern instances to suit.  See how the pattern symmetry is maintained about the midplane of the part, regardless of number of instances, or odd/even numbers!

    Adjusted pattern # of instances

 

 

The post Perfectly Symmetric SOLIDWORKS Linear Pattern! appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by John Lee, CSWP at August 07, 2018 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

SolidSmack Radio | The Buffed Edges (Powered by Spotify)

SolidSmack Radio

Get that stretch out of your system with this week’s Spotify-powered SolidSmack Radio Playlist. It’s fashioned up, ready to make you pull your shoulder blades back and knock out another week of meaningful work while you bob your head to the beat. Whether you’re in the shop milling aluminum, sketching the latest product prototypes or modeling up a 3D storm, consider these tracks as a tool for your process.

This week on SolidSmack Radio we’ll get the groove going with “Crystal Blue” from Fantasy Guys before diving into irresistible tracks from Real Estate, Cass McCombs, Helvetia, and others before wrapping up with “Shuggie” from Foxygen. Ready? Let’s Rock!

Have suggestions? As always, let us know what you listen to, what you want to hear and what tunes get you through the week. Shoot us an email or leave a comment down below!!

*Note: if the embedded playlist below doesn’t work for you, try this.

<iframe frameborder="0" height="775" src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/evdmedia/playlist/6HhxUEhh9w7ttcWGhceuAa" width="100%"></iframe>

The post SolidSmack Radio | The Buffed Edges (Powered by Spotify) appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 07, 2018 11:54 AM

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

Tech in the Classroom: Tomorrow’s Teaching Today

students-99506_1920

Do you remember your school days? Those memories may encompass chalkboards, textbooks and overhead projectors. Yet one peek into a modern classroom reveals the generational leap that academia has made since the arrival of the digital age.

students-99506_1920

Levelling-up learning

The chalk dust and clunky CRT tellies have disappeared in favour of smart boards and YouTube. In some schools paper textbooks have been ditched in favour of tablets. It’s only the beginning; as technology advances, so too will the learning tools available to school children, as they progress through their education. The classroom is on the brink of a major upgrade.

Take homework, for instance – no longer a paper-based chore scribbled hastily into some exercise book mere moments before deadline. The current model takes it online. Students log in to sites such as Mathletics and complete tasks to show their aptitude. It’s easy to submit answers, reduces the likelihood of cheating and fires the results straight to the teacher. It’s the first step towards learning’s next phase: a greater emphasis on social interaction.


The classroom community

The classroom of tomorrow is a community brought together by smart technology: students and teachers exchanging ideas, theories and answers on a shared platform via tablet devices, connected to the classroom’s smart screen. It’s a collaborative process that encourages participation and identifies and corrects problems immediately – a hive mind of peers working together to achieve better results. Expect instant feedback and grading that’s available to all, without letting disenchanted pupils slip through the system.

A gear towards an online community is set to super-charge education for the next generation. Missed lessons can be caught up in Google Hangouts or made available via encrypted YouTube videos. The curriculum, schedules, deadlines and objectives will all be  streamlined in a database, accessible to students, teachers and heads of subject. It’s education’s attempt at an all-encompassing and inclusive approach, that makes sure no one feels left out or isolated.

Apps For Kids –12

Enquiring young minds

The key to this evolution is engagement. Capturing attention and putting it to good use. One way to grab students’ focus is to provide a tangible, hands-on approach to learning; to realise the practical application behind the theory. Rote learning takes the mind only so far. Demonstrating the practice behind the theory locks in that knowledge. One tool for doing just that is SOLIDWORKS Apps for Kids.  It’s an intuitive ecosystem of apps that breaks down the design and engineering process into easy-to-use bite-sized pieces. It’s engineered to get young users’ minds and creativity in top gear. With simple tools backed by hard science, Apps for Kids is a pick-up-and-build creation tool that fires the imagination and gets them creating and designing in a fun-filled way.


The connected classroom…

Creativity. Connectivity. Engagement. The classroom of the future bridges the ethos of instant information with the emergent technology of the present. As social media seeks to connect us ever-closer, so too will education draw together the community of the classroom. Synchronised diaries, timetables and shared learning experiences, brought together by the practical applications of smart tech. Class dismissed.


You may also be interested in:

>> Apps for Kids makes a noise at Maker Faire
>> Child’s play: how modern toys are engaging kids with STEM subjects

Author information

SOLIDWORKS UK
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.

The post Tech in the Classroom: Tomorrow’s Teaching Today appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS UK at August 07, 2018 11:00 AM

August 06, 2018

SolidSmack

The Monday List 32.18 | Stories We’re Reading This Week

SolidSmack Monday List

Mondays might not be your favorite day of the week, but the good news is that we’re all in this together ladies and gentlemen. As purveyors of prime Grade A web content, the SolidSmack crew has done some of the heavy-lifting to make sure you get your Mondays started on the right track.

Welcome to The Monday List.

Every Monday, we link you up with some of the most insightful, informative, and socially-relevant stories to keep tabbed, bookmarked, reading listed, pocketed, or what have you to get your week started on the right foot. Be sure to check in each week for a new crop of freshly sprouted words curated straight from the source of your favorite homegrown ‘Smack.

What We’re Reading This Week:

Apple’s Trillion-Dollar World

The market value of Apple probably would have astonished the late economist John Kenneth Galbraith. But in some ways, he predicted it.

Apple’s Trillion-Dollar World

Here’s Apple’s Plan to Keep From Losing the World’s Fastest-Growing Smartphone Market

Samsung, Xiaomi, and other rivals are stomping the company in India, where it ranks 11th.

Can Your ‘Ally’ Want Things You Don’t?

In politics, enemies are easier to quarrel with than friends. An opponent disagreeing with you is business as usual. Dissent from someone you expected to be on your side can prove a lot more volatile.

Can Your ‘Ally’ Want Things You Don’t?

A Deadly Hunt for Hidden Treasure Spawns an Online Mystery

An epic riddle. An eccentric storyteller. A missing person. When a man vanishes in the wilderness, his family takes to the internet to find him.

A Deadly Hunt for Hidden Treasure Spawns an Online Mystery

The Mechanical Engineer

What it’s like for Mackenzie Lewin to work in a field dominated by older men.

The Mechanical Engineer

The History Behind Cherry Keyboard Switches

The famed mechanical keyboard switch manufacturer Cherry has been around since the 1950s—but it’s only been defined by keyboard switches in the past decade.

keyboard switch

The post The Monday List 32.18 | Stories We’re Reading This Week appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 06, 2018 10:38 PM

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

Routing Tips and Tricks

SOLIDWORKS Routing allows you to completely automate the process of routing pipework, tubing or even cabling. This add-in enables you to save many hours of modelling against traditional methods. In this blog, we’ll share our top Tips and Tricks for SOLIDWORKS Routing.

Dimensioning and relations:

The pipes and tubes within SOLIDWORKS Routing are controlled by sketches which can be dimensioned using normal techniques. Within routing, you are able to route along existing geometry. The example below demonstrates routing along a structural member from a Structural frame. This is a useful technique for keeping design intent.

 

Dimensioning and relations

Dimensioning and relations

 

Upcycle standard parts:

SOLIDWORKS Routing has the ability to create routing components from scratch however, depending on what component you are creating, this can be very time consuming. One time-saving tip that we recommend is to open an existing component that is similar to your new design, then make the modifications on there. Then, save it out to a new directory.

 

Upcycle standard parts

Upcycle standard parts

 

Templates!

Like with Parts and Drawings, setting up templates will speed up your workflow; the same applies for Routing. Routing templates allow you to create templates that can group schedules together. For example, you can have a template set up for Sch40 which will only allow Sch40 components to be used in that route.

 

Templates

Templates

 

Control your Parts with Design tables:

In Routing, you’ll often use components that have different sizes. We therefore believe that ‘configurations’ is the most powerful way to control Part management. This is because it provides a fast and effective way to create multiple configurations.

 

Control your parts with Design tables

Control your parts with Design tables

 

Always keep your routing library updated!

Once you have created any new components, and you are ready to use them effectively within routing, you will need to add them into the routing Database. This Database can be found within the Routing library manager, as illustrated below.

 

Keep your routing library updated

Keep your routing library updated

 

Use standard cut lengths of pipes!

Within your routing templates, you can specify the maximum lengths of pipes you can buy or use in your industry. This is a handy tip as the information will be fed into your model with the cut lengths shown on the assembly, and it will also appear in your bill of materials too.

 

Standard cut lengths of pipe

Standard cut lengths of pipe

 

Author information

Solid Solutions Technical Team
Solid Solutions commenced business as a SolidWorks Training and SolidWorks Support provider in 1998 and has consistently achieved strong growth year-on-year to become the UK’s leading SolidWorks 3D CAD reseller. Growth has been completely organic and has been consistently driven by a focus on recruiting the best from academia and industry and by delivering high quality services to more than 4,000 customers. Our customers range widely in size and are drawn from a broad spectrum of industry sectors. SolidWorks software is used by over 2 million engineers and designers across the world. As a company we are dedicated and focused at providing first class training and support to help you realise the best return on your investment.

The post Routing Tips and Tricks appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Solid Solutions Technical Team at August 06, 2018 03:00 PM

SolidSmack

Behind the Design: The Remarkable Leatherman Tools Story

Made of Mettle documentary

Despite its myriad of uses, not everything can be solved with the common Swiss Army Knife. There are times when you need something with a bit more “oomph”; be it a heavy-duty multi-tool for the outdoors, or just one which latches onto a keychain for easy access.

In the case of the classic Leatherman tools, their shtick has always been providing a pliers-based tool when you’re on the go. After experiencing the lack of pliers himself during a trip abroad, company founder Tim Leatherman decided to add a pair of pliers to a pocket knife to make his life (and eventually others’ lives) easier.

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Leatherman spent the first three years of the project in his brother-in-law’s garage coming up with a prototype. He nearly gave up, too. With three years down the drain and almost nothing to show for it, it was his wife and family which spurred him on to complete his work.

Made of Mettle documentary

Even though the prototype was complete, Leatherman had to go through years of rejection from companies who didn’t want to make his tool. Just as he was about to throw in the towel, Steve Berliner – an old friend and ping pong partner of Leatherman’s – stepped in and helped him work out the kinks in his tool. This partnership eventually led to the two becoming business partners and the future success of the Leatherman multi-tools.

Made of Mettle documentary Made of Mettle documentary

Thirty models of Leatherman multi-tools have been made since the initial prototype. Some have even saved people’s lives. One man used the tool to save his leg during an avalanche, another pried himself and his wife out of a truck which was falling in an icy lake, and one keeps it as a family heirloom.

The documentary can be a little sappy at times, but it shows how hard work and dedication to a product idea you’re passionate about can create an everlasting product that many people are proud to own.

The post Behind the Design: The Remarkable Leatherman Tools Story appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 06, 2018 12:18 PM

The Javelin Blog

Derived Configurations in SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS Configurations are a great way to represent multiple variations of a part/assembly within a single file. Using configurations also helps with managing your files. For example, consider a standard bolt. It has different sizes for the diameter, head, thread length and so on. It is common that a standard bolt has hundreds of different variations.  Now imagine if you need to have a separate file for each one of these variations. Managing all these files would be a nightmare. But thanks to configurations in SOLIDWORKS you can make all those variations in one single file and modify/change multiple variations with a few clicks.

What is a SOLIDWORKS Derived Configuration?

Another underused area of configurations is derived configurations. A SOLIDWORKS Derived Configuration allows you to create a parent-child relationship within a configuration. You may have noticed that in some cases SOLIDWORKS creates derived configurations automatically. For example a derived configuration:

  • Represents the exploded view of an assembly,
  • Shows the flat view of a sheet metal part,
  • Shows the machined version of a Weldment part,
  • Is used to create a SpeedPak configuration.

Creating Derived Configuration

But a derived configuration can be created manually as well. To manually create a derived configuration right-click a configuration and select “Add Derived Configuration”. Then set options in the PropertyManager and press OK. The derived configuration is added to the ConfigurationManager underneath its parent. You can also add derived configurations using the “Modify Configurations” dialog box or a “Design Table”.

Add SOLIDWORKS Derived Configuration

Add SOLIDWORKS Derived Configuration

By default, all parameters in the child configuration are linked to the parent configuration. You can check that by activating the derived configuration and then trying to edit a dimension. As you can see in the Modify dialog “Link to parent configuration” is selected by default.

Link to Parent Configuration

Link to Parent Configuration

Override Derived Configuration

You can override any configurable parameter in the derived configuration so that the parameter is no longer linked to the parent. Simply activate the derived configuration and edit the parameter. Then from the drop-down box select “This configuration.  Now the parameter is no longer linked to the parent and if you change the parameter in the parent configuration it will not propagate it to the derived configuration anymore.

This Configuration option

This Configuration option

The post Derived Configurations in SOLIDWORKS appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Saeed Mojarad (CSWE) at August 06, 2018 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

Cool Tools of Doom: Leatherman Micra Keychain Multi-Tool

Leatherman Tools

Sure—we’re all for having the right tools at the right time. But let’s be honest: having any tool, when the need arises, is better than having none. Which is why having a multitool on your key chain makes perfect sense.

But when it comes to multitools—keychain fobs or not—not all are created equal. And when it comes to the perfect combination of price and quality, it’s hard to go wrong with the original multi-tool manufacturer, Leatherman.

The company’s Micra multi-tool lives on your keychain and includes ten handy functions that are always at the ready: Knife, Spring-action Scissors, Flat/Phillips Screwdriver, Ruler (4.7 in | 12.0 cm), Nail Cleaner, Tweezers, Bottle Opener, Nail File, Medium Screwdriver, Extra-small Screwdriver.

The lightweight and easy-to-carry tool measures only 2.5 inches when closed and weighs a mere 1.8 ounces making it ideal for a tackle box, pocket, purse, fanny pack, or sewing kit if you’re not the keychain type.

Leatherman Micra Keychain Multi-Tool — $29.95

Features:

  • 10 Tools
  • Small, Lightweight, Easy to Carry
  • Spring-Action Scissors
  • Personal Care Features
  • Manufactured in USA
  • Leatherman 25-Year Guarantee

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by SolidSmack at August 06, 2018 11:19 AM

August 04, 2018

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

Introduction to Composites

A composite material is a mixture of two or more materials. This is usually a stiff unidirectional fiber combined with a softer matrix element. The goal of such a mixture gets more desirable overall properties that each individual material could not provide. Composites usually exhibit good strength to weight ratio and are used primarily in the Aerospace and Biomedical applications or sporting goods like tennis racquets.

composites

Figure 1: Composite Material

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Composite Analysis capabilities

SOLIDWORKS Simulation Premium has the ability to perform a composite analysis. Users can perform a Linear Static, Buckling or Frequency analysis with composite materials.

composites

Figure 2: Simulation Product Matrix

Why use a Composite Analysis tool?

The main reason to simulate composites is that the material properties of a composite material are hard to calculate by hand. Just like simulation is intended to decrease the number of iterations needed, a composite analysis tool helps simulate different layer and angle configurations to see which material composition produces stress results that are acceptable.

Figure 3 Composite material with fiber angles

 

There are failure criteria specific to Composites. Tsai-Wu and Tsai Hill are two composite failure criteria commonly used in the industry and these outputs can be seen using SOLIDWORKS Simulation. Finally, the stresses in each layer or the stresses between layers called interlaminar stresses may also be viewed to make critical design decisions.

Figure 4: Aircraft built with Carbon Fiber Composite

Technical Deep Dive

Figure 5: Aircraft built with Carbon Fiber Composite

Let’s look at Composites from a technical perspective. Given the nature of where it is used, Composites are defined using Shell Elements. Hence, each composite part is assumed to have a uniform cross-section and a high length to thickness ratio. A maximum of 50 layers may be defined. The type of layups available with SOLIDWORKS Simulation is:

  1. Symmetric Laminate: Plies stacked symmetric about midplane
  2. Unsymmetric Laminate: Laminate does not exhibit Symmetry
  3. Sandwich Plate Laminate: Softer Core with a stiffer symmetric top and bottom layers

SOLIDWORKS provides self-learning Tutorial PDFs and access to self-paced Training Files. Once a user has good knowledge of how a Linear Static Analysis and Shell Meshing works, these files should get them up and running with using Composite Analysis as well. SOLIDWORKS also has the ability to export results to other FEA software like Nastran and ANSYS.

Verification

Typically for aerospace companies, verification of any FEA tool is critical before they can start using it. SOLIDWORKS has independently verified the accuracy of the composite tools. Click Here for links to the verification documentation.

Author: Arvind Krishnan, Additive Manufacturing Applications Engineer at GoEngineer

Author information

GoEngineer
GoEngineer delivers software, technology and expertise that enable companies to unlock design innovation and deliver better products faster. With more than 30 years experience and thousands of customers in high tech, medical, machine design, energy and other industries, GoEngineer provides best-in-class design solutions from SOLIDWORKS, Stratasys, CAMWorks, Altium and Product Lifecycle Management (PLM). For more information, visit goengineer.com.

The post Introduction to Composites appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by GoEngineer at August 04, 2018 03:00 PM

August 03, 2018

SolidSmack

Friday Smackdown: Melon Tornado

JaeCheol-Park-art

From the top of the trees it took more time but going by ground or sky was impossible. The limbs provided us brief cover when melon seeds would come exploding through the leaves. The only thing we knew for sure is that these incredibly massive weather anomalies could only be generated by these links.

JaeCheol Park – Plenty of colorful work, but these sketches of city, skyscraper, ship, and forest are simply mezmerizing. Videos included with some of his earlier work.

Ice Speedster – A 1958 ‘Ice speedster’ is up for auction at Sotheby’s. And yes, it looks like a movie prop or, at least, the inspiration for a particular land speeder.

Sentence, Breath and Shroud – I thought I could tell how these meshy art pieces were made, but turns out they’re fabric, embroidery and little bits of interesting.

A Sunday Night – Abstract work of musical interpretations by Melissa S. McCracken. Hit ‘Show thumbnails’ in the lower left to see all the pieces. On Instagram here.

Gangland – At one point (1923 – 1926) there were 1,313 gangs in Chicago. This map, by the man who did the study, locates all the enclaves of societal structure.

1988 – Remember 1988? Sure you do. Or, if you were not born yet, perhaps you heard the stories. Here they are in picture form from The Atlantic.

NSSF – It’s National Shooting Sports Month, y’all. May I suggest sporting clays or some cowboy action shooting. Good resources and education here.

Apparatum – Digital interface and analog sound generation. These combined are the installation inspired by the Polis Radio Experimental Studio that produced electroacoustic music.

LEGO Voltron – Totally missed this. It’s true. LEGO has released a giant LEGO Voltron build, including the five buildable, posable lions. It stands 15″ tall as the robot with over 2321 pieces.

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Still Feel – New video from half•alive with some urban dance choreographed to a poppy tune.

<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/KOOhPfMbuIQ?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="640"></iframe>

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by Josh Mings at August 03, 2018 09:59 PM

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

Multi Material 3D Printing

 

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Multi Material 3D Printing is a way of printing with different materials to create more complex parts and parts that have multi colours. Most of these machines only have the capabilities of printing two material but for the tutorial we used an Original Prusa i3 MK2s with the Multi material upgrade which can print up to four materials.

Multi material printing has some great advantages but it also has some disadvantage. these pros and cons need to be weighed up to find the balance to where you will make the most from the technology. Before we get into the pros and cons of Multi material printing lets us start with how to design for multi material 3D printing.

We decided to make the SOLIDWORKS 3D logo. To start we make a 50mm x 50mm x 50mm block. We then put an S on one face and a W on another face. For each letter we extruded them in a mid plane so half of it goes into the block.

We also unselected the merge entities options to make sure they are separate bodies. we then used the convert entities to create a sketch outline of each letter. We used this to extrude cut the block so the letters sit inside the block. We added a colour to each body to get an idea how it will look.

The last step was to save the files. We need to save each colour as its own STL. So we saved the block as one STL file and the two letters are in one STL file. We imported the files into the slicer, assigned an extruder to each body and hit print.

If you want a more in depth tutorial on designing this cube give the video attached to this blog a watch.

We built this easy model with two colours with out having to print them separately and assemble them. With really complex models this can be a great time saver. The robot head we designed is a good example of this. We had four different colours with very organic and complex shaped. Separately they would be very difficult to print but now they are much easier.

The problem with this now is the purge tower. this is the block used when you change from one colour to another, when you remove material a little bit stays in the nozzle. to get it out you push more material out till it is clean. the purge tower does this for you. This does mean this is a solid block of plastic that is as tall as your model that is pure waste. but no matter how large the model. the purge tower will always have the same footprint. it would just be as tall as the model. the image below of the head shows how much waste material there is with the support material and the purge tower.

the last advantage with multi material printing is printing with Water soluble support material. This is material that will be used as support material but its design to break away easily and dissolve if placed in warm water.

Soluble material can be very expensive. in some cases costing four times as much as your normal materials. This means you are spending a lot on wasted materiel. To combat this some companies have developed an option called interface support material. what this will do is it will print your support material with the same material as the main model until it gets 3mm before the over hang in printed. then it will switch to the Soluble material to use as little as possible while still being effective.

Soluble material is also printed closer to the model than normal supports. normal supports can be printed right on the surface as it will never break away. these two balls shows how 3D printing with soluble supports can achieve better results

Multi material printing has a good dose of advantages and disadvantages and these need to be weighed out and balance before deciding whether this is the technology you need. being able to print in multiple material can save a lot of time and allow you to create more complex items but this can take longer to print and use a but more material than intending for the purge tower. its a great piece of kit that is getting more popular and with it getting more popular and more people giving feedback the companies making these machines will develop better solutions to make it a more streamlined and waste free system.

 

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Author information

SOLIDWORKS
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.

The post Multi Material 3D Printing appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by SOLIDWORKS at August 03, 2018 03:00 PM

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

Integrated Technologies Excels by Switching to SOLIDWORKS and Integrating SOLIDWORKS Composer

Still thinking about making that switch from your current CAD software to SOLIDWORKS?  It’s time to stop thinking and instead listen to how Integrated Technologies Ltd. switched from Pro/ENGINEER® 3D design to SOLIDWORKS and never looked back.  Let’s take a look at its story.

Integrated Technologies Ltd. (ITL) is an award-winning medical device design, development, and manufacturing partner to companies that produce life-saving medical technologies, diagnostic devices, and analytical instruments.

In 2006, ITL Group replaced the Pro/ENGINEER® 3D design system that it had utilized. According to Mechanical Design Engineer, Dan Hollands, “We moved away from Pro/ENGINEER because the solution had become more expensive, with mandatory upgrades and service plan. There were also regular changes to the user interface, which necessitated more user training and cost, as well as the software continually requiring more expensive hardware.”

ITL Group chose to standardize on SOLIDWORKS software because of the software’s superior cost-versus-performance ratio.  After years of success with SOLIDWORKS, with the advice of its Value Added Reseller, Solid Solutions, ITL decided to implement SOLIDWORKS Composer in order to help automate the development of manufacturing and assembly instructions. After implementing SOLIDWORKS Composer (link), ITL realized significant cost and time savings.

Holland says, “We’ve seen a significant time reduction of 60 percent using SOLIDWORKS Composer to create these instructions. In addition to cutting paper and printing costs, we’re saving roughly £100 (US$130) on each production run by eliminating the need for antistatic measures—such as antistatic wallets and folders—which are required when referring to paper instructions when assembling electronic components. We’ve used the savings to purchase Windows tablets for viewing manufacturing instructions by our production personnel. We now can view the instructions on any platform that can view HTML files, including tablets and smartphones, and the cost savings of the new system paid for the tablets within the first year.”

Because SOLIDWORKS Composer and SOLIDWORKS CAD software are integrated, ITL’s Production Engineering Department can prepare manufacturing instructions concurrently with the Research & Development Department’s design work.  The company no longer needs to wait for prototypes to create instructions.

To learn more about Integrated Technologies Ltd. and how it not only switched its CAD system from Pro/ENGINEER®, but also seamlessly integrated its SOLIDWORKS software with SOLIDWORKS Composer, Click Here.

Author information

Josie Morales
Josie Morales
Josie connects with SOLIDWORKS users every day to help them share their cool and ground breaking design stories. When not speaking to users, she's binge watching everything.

The post Integrated Technologies Excels by Switching to SOLIDWORKS and Integrating SOLIDWORKS Composer appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Josie Morales at August 03, 2018 02:15 PM

SolidSmack

The Best SolidSmack Stories of the Week — August 3rd, 2018

The Oddball Miraculously Crams a Drum Machine Into A Bouncy Bal

Don your favorite bathrobe, cream that coffee and get comfortable with this week’s SolidSmack Weekend Reader.

The Weekend Reader features a handful of the most interesting articles featured on the ‘Smack over the past week ranging from tips and tricks to inspirational designs, processes, and more. So lay back, relax and take a load off while reading the top stories on SolidSmack this past week.

Oh and uh…don’t forget to shed some much-needed sunlight on your face, too.

8BitDo Kits Turn Wired Retro Video Game Controllers Into Bluetooth Rechargeable Ones

Back in the day, when video game software was all pixelated and had far less storytelling capacity than the games of today, console hardware was somewhat primitive. Instead of connecting to the internet to play with strangers online, you needed to have actual friends to invite to your actual home. And instead of using a wireless controller a mile away from the television screen, a wired controller had you smack dab in front of it.

8BitDo Kits Turn Wired Retro Video Game Controllers Into Bluetooth Rechargeable Ones

The LEGO James Bond Aston Martin DB5 Likes Its Gadgets Shaken, Not Stirred

Kids these days might not have a taste for them, but back in the day, superheroes didn’t rule the movie world; superspies did. And no one was more famous than British secret agent James Bond. Created by writer Ian Flemming, the fictional spy has 24 films and countless novels spanning decades; inspiring both kids and adults worldwide.

The LEGO James Bond Aston Martin DB5 Likes Its Gadgets Shaken, Not Stirred

The Oddball Miraculously Crams a Drum Machine Into A Bouncy Bal

We’ve all had remarkable careers as air drummers at least some point in our lives. And no matter how musically incompetent we think we are, there’s always a beat sitting somewhere deep in our bones just ready to bust out. For folks who want to take their air drumming mastery a step further, the Oddball by Oddball Studios takes your air drummer beats and puts them on tracks you can actually listen to.

The Oddball Miraculously Crams a Drum Machine Into A Bouncy Bal

How Much Abuse Can the 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard Handle? These Guys Found Out.

Despite its ability to coax millennials with its sleekly-designed products, the Apple name isn’t necessarily known for hardware durability. Ultimately, when your phone or laptop could easily become impaired from even the tiniest amount of moisture or a mini dust cloud, “sleekly-designed” isn’t going to cut it for many.

How Much Abuse Can the 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard Handle? These Guys Found Out.

This Industrial Designer Went Back to the Drawing Board to Customize His Sketchbook

We’ve seen his tips on how to make the ultimate dust mask and resin casting boxes, but for his newest video, designer Eric Strebel is going way back to where he starts all his ideas: his sketchbook.

This Industrial Designer Went Back to the Drawing Board to Customize His Sketchbook

Lockheed Martin Sets Record for Giant 3D Printed Satellite Fuel Tank

Since its founding in 1995, Lockheed Martin has made a myriad of contributions to the aerospace industry with groundbreaking new technologies. With the introduction of 3D printers and the onset of additive manufacturing, Lockheed has leveraged these tools to create everything from missile components to spacecraft parts.w

Lockheed Martin Sets Record for Giant 3D Printed Satellite Fuel Tank

The post The Best SolidSmack Stories of the Week — August 3rd, 2018 appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 03, 2018 01:02 PM

Lockheed Martin Sets Record for Giant 3D Printed Satellite Fuel Tank

Lockheed Martin 3D Printing

Since its founding in 1995, Lockheed Martin has made a myriad of contributions to the aerospace industry with groundbreaking new technologies. With the introduction of 3D printers and the onset of additive manufacturing, Lockheed has leveraged these tools to create everything from missile components to spacecraft parts.

The aerospace company can now add giant 3D printed satellite fuel tank to their list of accomplishments, taking the record for largest qualified 3D part created for space applications, beating out a toaster-sized electronics enclosure.

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In order to handle the rigors of being launched into space while withstanding the hazards associated with the harsh environment, satellite fuel tanks must be both lightweight and robust, making titanium the go-to metal. The only problem with using the material is that the tank measures-out to 4-foot in diameter (@ 4-inches thick), and using traditional manufacturing methods would have taken over a year to build.

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_96941" style="width: 1100px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Completed dome exterior ready to be mated to the fuel tank body.</figcaption></figure>

To create the tank on a relatively quick scale, Lockheed engineers used the Electron Beam Additive Manufacturing method where the titanium is in metal or powder form and fused together by an electron beam. The tank itself is designed to hold 74.4 liters of fuel, and only the tank dome ends were 3D printed while the tank body was crafted through traditional means, all of which were then welded together.

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_96942" style="width: 1110px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Volume comparison of how much the tank can hold.</figcaption></figure>

Lockheed plans to use the fuel tanks for their LM 2100 satellite bus line that contracts out with the military, civil, and commercial agencies. According to the Lockheed Martin press release, “Lockheed Martin’s recent accomplishment continues a path of 3D printed parts that bloomed in recent years. Since the company launched the first ever printed parts into deep space aboard NASA’s Juno spacecraft, it has produced thousands of flight components and even more for tooling and prototyping using a variety of metals and composites.”

The post Lockheed Martin Sets Record for Giant 3D Printed Satellite Fuel Tank appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Cabe Atwell at August 03, 2018 12:49 PM

These Vantablack Facemasks Are Like a Hole Into a Dark Abyss

Vantablack S-VIS masks

For those who think of black as the darkest color known to man, they’ve likely never heard of Vantablack. Created in some dark, unknown location by Surrey Nanosystems back in 2014, Vantablack absorbs 99.96% of all ultraviolet, infrared, and visible light which passes through it.

Fast forward to 2016 when researchers created ‘Vantablack S-VIS’ – a stronger version of the color which blocks 99.8% of infrared, visible, and ultraviolet light. It’s so dark it makes real-world 3D objects – like the masks below – look like flat, empty voids.

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In case you’re wondering, the Vantablack S-VIS material used on the outside of the left mask and the inside of the second mask isn’t a fabric, paint, or pigment. It’s actually a special coating used to remove almost all trace of reflection from the surfaces.

Vantablack S-VIS masks

This darker version of Vantablack gets this void-like ability through the use of over a million carbon nanotubes in its coating. According to Surrey NanoSystems, each nanotube is 14-50 microns long and 20 nanometers in diameter, meaning a tiny 0.1 cm square area contains over one billion nanotubes.

Though Vantablack S-VIS has seen use in space expeditions, Surrey Nanosystems says more commercial uses in science and art (i.e. bronze masks) are also possible. Be prepared to stare into the void as this new “color” makes it way to the masses really soon.

The post These Vantablack Facemasks Are Like a Hole Into a Dark Abyss appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 03, 2018 12:42 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to Share/Link Global Variables and Equations among SOLIDWORKS Models

Global variable and equations in SOLIDWORKS link various dimensions to a specific value or to one another. This technique helps manage the size and shape of your model by modifying only a few variables; and also potentially prevents forgetting some relations between various dimensions in the future. In addition, equations and variables could be exploited in a Design Table as a further use of the parametric capabilities of SOLIDWORKS to control your model. These global variables and equations are not limited to one single part or assembly.  We can share or link SOLIDWORKS variables or equations between different models.

Export and Import Equations to and from External Files

In SOLIDWORKS, all or a selected number of equations could be exported to a text file. Then, those equations can be imported from that text file. The text file can be shared with other parts and assemblies as well. Note that the part or assembly must be using the same global variables and equations. The global variable and equations window can be opened from Tools > Equations. Also, you can find them in the Equations folder located in the feature design tree. The import and export buttons are shown in this screenshot:

Link SOLIDWORKS variables

Export / Import Buttons on Equations and Global Variables Managing Window

After pressing the export button, in the Export Equations window you can select which global variable or equation you want to export and also which one you want to link to an exported file.

Export Equations dialog box

Select All or a Number of Equations to Export

The exported file will be a *.txt file which you can open with Windows Notepad. These equations could also have been written in a Notepad file and then imported to our part or assembly model. This file could also be modified and re-imported to our model or keep “Link to external file” option selected to apply changes of the exported *txt file to the SOLIDWORKS file. The “Link to external file” option can be found at the bottom left-hand corner of the equations and global variables window.

Exported Text File

Exported Text File

Note: The Export and Import processes includes options for one-time export and import without a link.

The post How to Share/Link Global Variables and Equations among SOLIDWORKS Models appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Mehdi Rezaei, CSWE at August 03, 2018 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

Cool Books of Doom: ‘The 3D Printing Handbook’ by 3D Hubs

3D Hubs Handbook

Since screaming on to the rapid prototyping scene in 2013, 3D Hubs has been relentless in making sure their message is heard. Billed as the “AirBnB of 3D Printing”, the company’s business model is based on experienced 3D printer technicians renting out their equipment to other users on a per-project-basis.

Not surprisingly, the 3D Hubs crew has learned a thing or two about what makes for “good design for 3D printing” — and now, they want to share it with all of us.

The 3D Printing Handbook | Technologies, Design, and Applications is written for design and engineering professionals looking to master the key aspects of 3D printing—from connecting parts to internal radius’—and everything in between.

The 3D Printing Handbook by 3D Hubs — $28.00 (Hardcover)

Features:

  • Insights into the mechanism behind all major 3D printing technologies
  • An understanding of the benefits and limitations of each technology
  • Decision-making tools for technology selection
  • Actionable design advice and guidelines
    Industry case studies from world-leading brands

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Affiliate purchases help support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale.
Thank you!

The post Cool Books of Doom: ‘The 3D Printing Handbook’ by 3D Hubs appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 03, 2018 11:50 AM

August 02, 2018

SolidSmack

The Wunder360 S1 3D Scanning Camera

wunder360 3D camera

An interesting 3D camera has launched, the Wunder360 S1.

This is a 360-degree camera, similar to one you may have or others you’ve likely seen: it captures visual activity happening all around you. It’s developed by Evomotion and a follow-up to their highly-rated Wunder360 C1 camera. But the S1 adds quite a bit more.

It’s a 3D scanning system; so not only does it capture the 360-degree view of your surroundings, but it processes the 3-dimensional information automatically.

It will do things like stabilize the video. I saw one application in which the camera is strapped to the back of a friendly dog, who runs around while the camera captures the scenes. The stabilized video is entirely watchable, whereas a normal camera’s view would be dizzying.

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But here’s the really interesting thing: along with stabilization, the S1 system will also process the scenes into 3D models! These 3D models are produced on their cloud system and are then downloadable often as soon as you return from your expedition.

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_96972" style="width: 695px">The Wunder360 S1 3D Scanning Camera cloud processing concept<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The Wunder360 S1 3D Scanning Camera cloud processing concept</figcaption></figure>

In practice, this means you would simply mount the camera on a helmet and walk around a scene. Then you’ve captured a 3D model of the buildings and scenery around you. It works whether your stationary or moving around. A 3D model of everything seen on the motion path can be developed.

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_96973" style="width: 748px">Scanning with the Wunder360 S1 3D Scanning Camera<figcaption class="wp-caption-text">Scanning with the Wunder360 S1 3D Scanning Camera</figcaption></figure>

They say that you can instantly load up a captured 3D model into Minecraft, for example, if you want to reproduce a real-life building in that virtual environment.

But if you can do that, then you could also 3D print the model too, although there’s likely some minor file conversions and model fixing required.

The system can be ordered until the close of their launch campaign for as little as USD$135. That’s a steal for a device that could do this.

However, this is a startup project and we must caution you that, as we’ve seen in many such projects, the project may not deliver the goods. Nevertheless, USD$135 is so inexpensive it could be worth the risk.

The S1 launch campaign on Indiegogo ends very soon, so if you’d like one, get on it now!

Read more about 3D Printing at Fabbaloo!

The post The Wunder360 S1 3D Scanning Camera appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Fabbaloo at August 02, 2018 05:12 PM

The Salto-1p Tiny Robot Demonstrates Its Impressive Jumping Capabilities

Researchers from UC Berkeley’s Biomimetic Millisystems Lab have been busy developing their Salto jumping robot since its debut in 2016. Back then, the robot was capable of jumping at great heights, but had orientation issues and could only complete two jumps in a row before crashing.

The researchers have since solved the orientation issues with the Salto-1P (Saltatorial Locomotion on Terrain Obstacles), which can now jump higher, longer, faster, and with more repetitions than the previous version.

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The original Salto relied on a rotating inertial tail to control its pitch while jumping, and it worked well, but for only one plane, making it difficult to control. The Salto-1P has been upgraded so that it can orient itself in mid-air by still using the same inertial tail, but with the added support of a pair of thrusters to maintain stability.

Salto is capable of jumping to a height of 4.1-feet by using a small motor, elastic actuator and a tail-positioned gearbox that propels the robot’s single leg at a velocity of 1.83 m/s. Once in the air, it can maintain position or pitch, roll and yaw in any direction using the thrusters (Cheerson CX-10 quadcopter propeller blades).

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_96946" style="width: 1100px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The Salto-1P control block diagram shows how the robot is controlled while in motion.</figcaption></figure>

Control of the robot is done with an onboard ImageProc 2.5 robot control board, along with a BLDC motor-driver, while the tail and the thrusters are driven by H-bridges. To maintain stability while jumping, the ImageProc uses telemetry data from the motor-driver and a 6-axis IMU sensor, allowing it to achieve and sustain jump repetitions.

The software that controls the show is derived from an algorithm created by Marc Raibert for his 3D One-Leg Hopper he designed in 1984, and although it works nearly the same for the Salto-1P, it needed to be modified to fit the robot’s lightweight specs (the Hopper weighed 170-times more than the Salto’s 0.98 kg).

As far as the future goes for the Salto-1P, the researchers plan to continue its development to achieve better control interaction with different obstacles and terrain along with landing control and strategies that would allow the robot to jump off walls more than once.

The post The Salto-1p Tiny Robot Demonstrates Its Impressive Jumping Capabilities appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Cabe Atwell at August 02, 2018 12:33 PM

This Industrial Designer Went Back to the Drawing Board to Customize His Sketchbook

Eric Strebel Industrial Designer

We’ve seen his tips on how to make the ultimate dust mask and resin casting boxes, but for his newest video, designer Eric Strebel is going way back to where he starts all his ideas: his sketchbook.

As any designer worth his salt knows, sketching preliminary ideas before executing them in CAD or on the bandsaw is a vital part of the design process. In Strebel’s workflow, he likes to take his analog sketches from his sketchbook and scan them directly to his computer. For this to work, he modifies an everyday sketchbook by rewiring the spine to open from the back and adding some Ultrasuede to the covers to make it look snazzier.

<iframe allowfullscreen="true" class="youtube-player" height="390" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/0H7pPfmIQig?version=3&amp;rel=1&amp;fs=1&amp;autohide=2&amp;showsearch=0&amp;showinfo=1&amp;iv_load_policy=1&amp;wmode=transparent" style="border:0;" type="text/html" width="640"></iframe>

To make the Ultrasuede covers, Strebel uses his dry-mounting roller press system to press a sheet of suede to some 3M double sided adhesive. Once the two materials are stuck together, he laminates the sketchbook cover using the same roller press.

Sketchbook rewiring and custom cover Sketchbook rewiring and custom cover

He does this process twice (once on each outer cover), before cutting the Ultrasuede at a 45-degree angle and folding it onto the insides of the covers. Since the folds are uneven, he presses them once again using his roller press system.

Sketchbook rewiring and custom cover

By far the most tedious part of his ultimate sketchbook journey is when Strebel has to manually cut out the binder holes through the Ultrasuede. Using an X-ACTO blade, he cuts tiny squares to fit the wire perfectly.

Sketchbook rewiring and custom cover Sketchbook rewiring and custom cover

To finish the inner covers, Strebel further removes excess material to make way for two more pieces of Ultrasuede he cuts using a rotary cutter. He sticks these pieces using some spray on adhesive to fill in the suede-less gap which previously plagued his perfect sketchbook.

Sketchbook rewiring and custom cover

Despite the project being fairly simple, this is one of Strebel’s projects he uses on an almost daily basis. You can see the results of his sketches and his other projects over at his YouTube channel.

The post This Industrial Designer Went Back to the Drawing Board to Customize His Sketchbook appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 02, 2018 12:23 PM

The Javelin Blog

Try the ‘Easy Mode’ wizard to create renderings with SOLIDWORKS Visualize

If you’ve opened SOLIDWORKS Visualize before, you may have been lost in the plethora of tabs and toolbars which are present in the default view. The great news is that by simply hitting the ‘space bar’, you can quickly learn how to use Visualize, and what each of the toolbars does.

The default view in SOLIDWORKS Visualize has toolbars on the side full of options and scene information on the bottom

The default view in SOLIDWORKS Visualize has toolbars on the side full of options and scene information on the bottom

Activating SOLIDWORKS Visualize Easy Mode

Pressing the ‘space bar’ activates SOLIDWORKS Visualize Easy Mode which cleans up the toolbars and places a simple step by step guide at the bottom of the window. This five step guide makes it really easy to generate a high quality rendering in a matter of minutes!

SOLIDWORKS Visualize Easy Mode

Easy mode cleans up the toolbars and leaves a simple 5 step method to get to your rendering

Step 1: Import

Going through the steps, if you already have your file open, you can skip the first step!

Step 2: Paint

Clicking on the paint button, a simplified appearances toolbar opens which lets you change the materials of your model by selecting from local or free online resources. With a simple drag and drop, it acts like the paint can from Microsoft Paint, and changes all of the faces of an existing appearance (setting pieces of your model to different appearances ahead of time will help).

Drag and drop appearances from local or cloud libraries

Drag and drop appearances from local or cloud libraries

Step 3: Scenes

Using the scenes button changes the environment and lighting of your rendering once again from a simplified toolbar that contains only what you need.

Tweak the setting and lighting of your rendering

Tweak the setting and lighting of your rendering

Step 4: Camera

The camera button gives access to the brightness of the project along with preset filters which can be applied!

Even apply a preset filter for added pop!

Even apply a preset filter for added pop!

Step 5: Render

Finally, the render button will quickly create your rendered image from a preset list of different settings (right click to choose which profile of render settings to use) saving you time from having to select all of the settings.

Easy mode makes it quick to get high quality renderings

Easy mode makes it quick to get high quality renderings

Overall, SOLIDWORKS Visualize Easy Mode is a great way to get used to the interface, or even to just generate a quick image. The fact that it is toggled by pressing the space bar means that you don’t have to hunt through menus to turn it on and off. If you haven’t tried Visualize before, or if you opened it and were turned away by the different user interface, try out easy mode and you’ll see how quickly and easily you can generate amazing visuals.

Once you have tried easy mode, explore all of the options which Visualize gives you to generate stunning visuals by taking Javelin’s Visualize course, or working through the MySolidworks Visualize training course.

Get your renders even Faster!

As an added bonus, as of SOLIDWORKS Visualize 2018 service pack 3.0, there is an AI Denoiser available which can reduce the number of passes required by a factor of ten! The Denoiser (second button from the left, looks like a brain) can easily be turned on and off from the heads-up toolbar.

Check out the images below which were rendered in only 40 passes and took under a minute each to process. For more info on the Denoiser, check out this blog post from DS SolidWorks

Left: Denoiser off, Right: Denoiser on. 40 passes, <1min processing time each

The post Try the ‘Easy Mode’ wizard to create renderings with SOLIDWORKS Visualize appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Bryan Sprange, CSWE at August 02, 2018 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

Cool Tools of Doom: Leatherman Micra Keychain Multi-Tool

Leatherman Micra

Sure—we’re all for having the right tools at the right time. But let’s be honest: having any tool, when the need arises, is better than having none. Which is why having a multitool on your key chain makes perfect sense.

But when it comes to multitools—keychain fobs or not—not all are created equal. And when it comes to the perfect combination of price and quality, it’s hard to go wrong with the original multi-tool manufacturer, Leatherman.

The company’s Micra multi-tool lives on your keychain and includes ten handy functions that are always at the ready: Knife, Spring-action Scissors, Flat/Phillips Screwdriver, Ruler (4.7 in | 12.0 cm), Nail Cleaner, Tweezers, Bottle Opener, Nail File, Medium Screwdriver, Extra-small Screwdriver.

The lightweight and easy-to-carry tool measures only 2.5 inches when closed and weighs a mere 1.8 ounces making it ideal for a tackle box, pocket, purse, fanny pack, or sewing kit if you’re not the keychain type.

Leatherman Micra Keychain Multi-Tool — $29.95

Features:

  • 10 Tools
  • Small, Lightweight, Easy to Carry
  • Spring-Action Scissors
  • Personal Care Features
  • Manufactured in USA
  • Leatherman 25-Year Guarantee

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Affiliate purchases help support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale.
Thank you!

The post Cool Tools of Doom: Leatherman Micra Keychain Multi-Tool appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 02, 2018 11:26 AM

Launch a Project Idea This Weekend with This Business Launching Bundle (95% Off)

rapid prototyping

When it comes to side projects, hours become days, days become weeks, and weeks can often become months or years. But what if getting a minimum viable product created could happen on a Saturday…assuming you aren’t building a flying car?

Many successful entrepreneurs have been touting the benefits of the 1-Day MVP—a one-day, all-out sprint to go from fresh idea to app or hardware prototype. Sure, some projects may take a little more energy and time than others, but having the process and infrastructure in place to successfully glide ideas along is what counts the most.

Which is exactly the premise behind the 1-Day MVP 2.0 online training course; one of seven courses bundled in Evan Kimbrell’s Business Launching Bundle.

From validating ideas to outsourcing menial tasks leading up to launch, the bundle covers just about everything you need to get that side project up and out the door. And for just the next 3 days, SolidSmack readers can save 95% off the retail price of $1,213 — that’s just $49 for the entire bundle.

Evan Kimbrell’s Business Launching Bundle

From Concept to Launch: Score an Amazing Mentor in This Silicon Valley Exec & Get 104 Hours of Guidance for Launching Your Business

Included Courses:

  • Intro to Entrepreneurship
  • Outsource Your Idea
  • Idea Validation
  • How to Come Up With Killer Business Ideas
  • 1-Day MVP 2.0: Go From Idea to Minimum Viable Product in One Day
  • Master Outsourcing
  • The Complete Guide to Running a Mobile App Development Biz

PURCHASE HERE

This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale!

Find more deals here:
StackSocial Amazon

The post Launch a Project Idea This Weekend with This Business Launching Bundle (95% Off) appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 02, 2018 11:23 AM

August 01, 2018

SolidSmack

How Much Abuse Can the 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard Handle? These Guys Found Out.

Macbook Pro Keyboard

Despite its ability to coax millennials with its sleekly-designed products, the Apple name isn’t necessarily known for hardware durability. Ultimately, when your phone or laptop could easily become impaired from even the tiniest amount of moisture or a mini dust cloud, “sleekly-designed” isn’t going to cut it for many.

In a recent iFixit article, a group of laptop enthusiasts takes apart the recently released MacBook Pro to see how much punishment its keyboard can take before succumbing to the elements. What results is a series of dust pumping, keyboard clacking, and quite a bit of disappointment.

For starters, the 2018 MacBook Pro’s keyboard is slightly quieter than its 2013 counterpart, but just barely. Considering the company was promoting a more silent keyboard, having to resort to a sound meter and some careful listening shouldn’t be the way to test it. When listening to the keyboard clacks with the naked ear, there isn’t much in the way of improvement.


2018 Apple MacBook Pro keyboard

Now to the testing itself. Instead of doing something humane like blowing some powder onto the keyboard, the iFixit folks dump a load of powdered paint additive. Upon closer inspection, it turns out Apple included a keyboard membrane which keeps dust at bay while allowing the keys to keep typing. But after some typing with the granules in place, the keyboard eventually gives into the unwanted particulates. Using a higher-grit particulate, the team pushes the keyboard past its limit; effectively breaking it.


2018 Apple MacBook Pro keyboard

But they’re not done yet. Like any respectable owner of a broken laptop would do, they tear the MacBook apart to see the damage. After opening the Macbook, removing countless screws, busting open a couple of rivets, loosening the adhesive, AND removing all 64 keycaps, what awaits them is a single die-cut silicone keyboard.


2018 Apple MacBook Pro keyboard

The keycaps in question measure 1.25mm thick, about .25mm thinner than the keys in the 2017 MacBook Pro. This gives them more room and makes them easier to replace, with a redesigned spacebar key to round it all out.

Still, having easily accessible keycaps doesn’t change the fact that a single well-placed bit of dust can render the computer utterly useless. Considering the price increase and how consumers will have to wait a whole year for an improved machine (which they definitely shouldn’t), it looks like Apple still hasn’t learned how to prioritize longevity over fashion.

You can read the entire in-depth experiment and dissection over on iFixit’s webpage.

The post How Much Abuse Can the 2018 MacBook Pro Keyboard Handle? These Guys Found Out. appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at August 01, 2018 12:23 PM

Cool Books of Doom: ‘Sketching’ by Koos Eissen and Roselien Steur

Industrial Design Sketching

While there used to be a painful shortage of inspirational design sketching books out there, these days, design students and those looking to refresh their skill set may, in fact, have too many to choose from. The good news is, there’s something different to learn from each—so go ahead and build out that library.

Among other design sketching book favorites, we love the broad variety of sketching styles presented in Sketching.

While the book is ideal for any design student or classroom, many professionals and design studios will also likely learn a thing or two from the wide variety of sketching styles and form examples presented within the book’s 256 pages.

Sketching (12th printing): Drawing Techniques for Product Designers/em> by Koos Eissen and Roselien Steur — $26.73

About the Authors:

Koos Eissen is an associate professor and head of the Design Drawing Techniques staff (TU Delft, Faculty of Industrial Design Engineering, in the Netherlands). He is at present guest-lecturer at the Royal Academy of Arts in The Hague. Roselien Steur is a free-lance visualiser, and lecturer at the HKU/Utrecht School of the Arts, The Faculty of Visual Arts and Design in the Netherlands.

PURCHASE VIA AMAZON

Affiliate purchases help support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale.
Thank you!


Feature Image via Spencer Nugent
.

The post Cool Books of Doom: ‘Sketching’ by Koos Eissen and Roselien Steur appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 01, 2018 12:20 PM

App Smack 31.18: Paste, Todoist, Firefox Focus, Noteshelf 2, and More…

Best iPhone Apps August 2018

It’s time for another round of apps that cover the spectrum of your beloved mobile device(s)!

The Weekly App Smack is the best of new or updated design and productivity apps (and maybe a couple of fun ones, too) for the busy design or engineering professional and this week we have a list sure to make you more efficient.

Do you have an app suggestion that has made your life easier or changed up your workflow? Let us know in the comments below or send it into tips@solidsmack.com.

Hit it!

Paste by FiftyThree (iOS — Free)

Beautiful slides for fast teams. From strategy decks to design proposals, Paste automatically formats screenshots, videos, and links in a beautiful deck ready to share with your team with a simple link. It’s collaboration for today’s agile creative teams—fast, flexible, and ready for anything.

Paste by FiftyThree

Todoist: Organize your life (iOS – Free)

Life can feel overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to. Todoist keeps track of everything – from simple errands to your most ambitious projects – so you can get it all done and enjoy more peace of mind along the way.

Todoist: Organize your life

Noteshelf 2 (iOS — $9.99)

Digital note-taking, simplified! Whether you are a student or a working professional, Noteshelf 2 is a perfect note-taking app for you. Take beautiful handwritten notes, type, annotate PDFs, record audio & create lists.

Noteshelf 2

Udemy – Online Courses (Android — Free)

Udemy is an online learning platform featuring 80,000+ video courses taught by expert instructors. Take courses in anything from programming languages like Python, and Java to personal development classes like design, drawing, writing and yoga. Join the more than 24 million students who are mastering new skills, advancing their careers, and exploring new hobbies on Udemy.

Udemy - Online Courses

Firefox Focus (Android — Free)

Browse like no one’s watching. The new Firefox Focus automatically blocks a wide range of online trackers — from the moment you launch it to the second you leave it. Easily erase your history, passwords and cookies, so you won’t get followed by things like unwanted ads.

Firefox Focus

Gmail Go (Android — Free)

The Gmail you love, now lighter and just as fast. Enjoy a smart inbox that keeps your messages safe and you organized.

Gmail Go

The post App Smack 31.18: Paste, Todoist, Firefox Focus, Noteshelf 2, and More… appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at August 01, 2018 12:15 PM

The Javelin Blog

Protect your SOLIDWORKS Configurations from unwanted features

There is a SOLIDWORKS Configuration Suppress Features checkbox in the advanced options of the Configuration Properties, and it is checked by default.  What is the purpose of the Suppress Features option?

SOLIDWORKS Configuration Suppress Features

Suppress features Checkbox

If Suppress Features were unchecked, then any features added in other configurations will be unsuppressed (included) in this configuration.

By default, however, the box is checked, so new features added in a different configuration will be suppressed (not included) in this configuration.  The active configuration is protected from those new features, unless the user explicitly instructs SOLIDWORKS to configure a new feature to be unsuppressed in specified configurations including this one.

It’s usually best to leave the suppress features box checked unless there is a good reason not to.  Otherwise, you could end up with a mess to tidy up, mainly involving tracking down and suppressing unwanted features.

The post Protect your SOLIDWORKS Configurations from unwanted features appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by John Lee, CSWP at August 01, 2018 12:00 PM

July 31, 2018

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

Living a Balanced Work Life

Designers and engineers face a multitude of challenges whenever they approach an injection molding machine. One that has persisted for years is the difficulty of getting multi-cavity tools to produce identical parts. While the financial benefit of multi-cavity production is undeniable, rarely has the full financial benefit been realized. In many cases, the quality problems are so great that single-cavity production can be less expensive. So what is the problem with multi-cavity tools? Logic indicates that all one has to do is geometrically balance the runners. Moldmakers do a pretty good job of this, but the problem persists nonetheless. SOLIDWORKS Plastics can balance the runner system to fill the parts evenly.

A brief thought experiment or study in polymer flow may shed light on causes. As an example, follow a sequence of filling and packing in a two-cavity hot- or cold-runner mold. The runner is balanced with identical gate diameters and identical steel dimensions for each cavity. A short shot shows that the polymer fills the sprue and runner evenly. A next progressive short shot shows that even though the flow path is balanced, the polymer flow filling each cavity is not. There can be several reasons for this, such as a slight difference in gate land or venting. SOLIDWORKS Plastics will indicate what sizes the runners and gates need to be.

The point is that in most multi-cavity molds, all cavities do not fill evenly—this is true the world over. The consequence is that parts are not truly identical. Couple this with increasing part complexity and tighter tolerances required for assembly or function, and we have projects running with high reject rates or blocked cavities. Frustration builds, and the finger-pointing begins. Is the part design, resin, mold, or processing at fault? In our imaginary example, the mold-filling analysis does not show the source of the problem—an all too real possibility.

For a partial explanation, take a look at the material, particularly the shear sensitivity of all resins. In particular, look at typical curve plotting viscosity vs. shear rate on linear axes instead of the typical log-log scales. Fill times are included to provide information on injection rates. Short fill times mean high shear rates and long fill times mean low shear rates. Nearly all plastics show this relationship of changing viscosity in response to shear rate. The resin is significantly stiffer at long fill times with low shear rates and flows significantly easier at short fill times with high shear rates. The viscosity difference between the two is huge. What has this had to do with our non-uniform multi-cavity parts?

Now, what do we do? Many people start jacking up the clamp pressure or looking for a parting-line problem or other tool rework. However, all these are a waste of time; nothing helps. By now the importance of delivering uniform flow to both cavities during the entire filling stage becomes clear. What are the chances of processing around this situation? None! You are fighting Mother Nature, the inherent law of physics that pressure will take the path of least resistance.

If this discussion makes sense to you, apply the thought process to molds where you have one or more blocked cavities. Again you are trying to violate a law of plastic flow, and it is not nice to buck Mother Nature. The only answer is to find and fix the reasons for uneven filling in the first place. SOLIDWORKS Plastics can help solve this issue.

Author information

Jeff Osman
Jeff Osman
Jeff Osman has more than 23 years of experience in the mechanical CAD industry. As Senior Technical Sales Specialist Plastics NA, he is responsible for all technical Sales of SolidWorks products, focusing on SolidWorks Plastics, for North America and has been with SolidWorks for 19 years. Prior to joining SolidWorks, Jeff was a senior technical manager with Microcadam, a division of IBM. In addition, he has held several manufacturing positions with companies Processed Plastics, Plano Molding and Furnas/Siemens Electric.

The post Living a Balanced Work Life appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Jeff Osman at July 31, 2018 03:00 PM

SolidSmack

The Oddball Miraculously Crams a Drum Machine Into A Bouncy Ball

Oddball Kickstarter

We’ve all had remarkable careers as air drummers at least some point in our lives. And no matter how musically incompetent we think we are, there’s always a beat sitting somewhere deep in our bones just ready to bust out. For folks who want to take their air drumming mastery a step further, the Oddball by Oddball Studios takes your air drummer beats and puts them on tracks you can actually listen to.

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Instead of flailing imaginary drumsticks, the Oddball comes in the form of a handheld, pressure-sensitive bouncing ball. By throwing it against different surfaces using different applications of force, the ball records a variety of beats which you can either keep to yourself or share with others.

While traditional drum kits require numerous parts, all the Oddball needs are the ball and an app. Sensors inside the ball take the amount of pressure and communicate with the app via Bluetooth to play a beat out of your headphones or speakers. Since the Oddball is pressure sensitive, the beats produced are either louder or softer depending on how much force you apply.


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The tracks work well on their own, but you can also add different sounds, loop beats, and play over other artists songs to make them more intricate. If you’re feeling particularly tricky, you can even mix multiple Oddballs and blast their beats out your speaker. The online sharing feature of the app allows you to post your tracks online, listen to other folks’ beats, or maybe even collaborate on a track together.

Oddball drum machine Oddball drum machine Oddball drum machine Oddball drum machine

While the standard method of using the Oddball is to bounce it off a wall by using your hand, the ball seems sturdy enough to handle as a tennis ball or even a basketball. Plugging in your earphones or speakers during a hectic match will produce different sounds every time, but unless you’re particularly good at the sport you’re playing, some of these beats might die down whenever someone scores a point.

Oddball drum machine Oddball drum machine Oddball drum machine Oddball drum machine

The internal components of the Oddball are pretty straightforward: located inside is a protective core which houses an LED, the battery, and motion sensors which calculate the force the ball hits. The electronics are recharged via a USB cable, and it takes about six hours before another charge is required.

Oddball drum machine

With almost zero interface and a fun way of making tunes, it’s no wonder the project already exceeded its Kickstarter goal of $39,310 by over $30,000 (it currently has funding of $70,175 and counting). You can find out more on this odd Oddball over on its Kickstarter page.

The post The Oddball Miraculously Crams a Drum Machine Into A Bouncy Ball appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at July 31, 2018 12:02 PM

The Javelin Blog

How to route Pipes, Tubes, Wires, Cables, or Ducting in SOLIDWORKS

Do your designs contain piping, tubing, wires, cables or even duct work? If so, you know that these contain many parts to create, assemble and then detail! SOLIDWORKS Premium software includes the SOLIDWORKS Routing add-in application.

SOLIDWORKS Routing Add-in

SOLIDWORKS Routing Add-in

With the SOLIDWORKS Routing add-in you can create a special type of sub-assembly that builds a path of pipes, tubes, electrical cables or ducts between components at the assembly level automatically!

A route sub-assembly is made up of three types of entities:

  1. Components, which are parts like fittings  connectors, including flanges, tees, electrical connectors, and clips.
  2. Route parts, which include pipes, tubes, wires, cables, and ducts.
  3. Route feature, which includes a 3D sketch of the center line for your route path.

Please watch my demonstration video to learn how SOLIDWORKS Routing software can benefit you and your team!

<iframe allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="281" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/pJdYHLxn7yA?feature=oembed" width="500"></iframe>

The post How to route Pipes, Tubes, Wires, Cables, or Ducting in SOLIDWORKS appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Vicky Guignard at July 31, 2018 12:00 PM

The SOLIDWORKS Blog

Recreating Classic Cars with CAD: Tucker Torpedo Project Update

It’s been awhile since the last blog and much has been accomplished on the Torpedo. Here’s an update on those accomplishments. If you want to start reading from the beginning, or any of the others you can navigate here:

Part 1  Part 2   Part 3   Part 4   Part 5   Part 6   Part 7  Part 8  Part 9  Part 10

I live in a car lover’s Dreamland in Pennsylvania. Every weekend from April to November you can find a car show to attend or cruise at a local ice cream shop during the week to check out cool cars. I recently attended a Cars and Coffee event at Steel Stacks in Bethlehem, PA. Once a month during the summer, Steel Stacks hosts a show so you can show off your car along with a couple of hundred of fellow enthusiasts.

This particular Cars and Coffee was special for two reasons. First, Rob Ida and Sean Tucker were in attendance with Jack Kiely’s Twin Turbo Tucker ’48, which Rob built. Second, the Tucker was introduced 70 years ago and the Frank Banko Cinema Theater played the movie: Tucker: The Man and His Dream that was released 30 years ago. I saw the movie when it first came out and needed a re-fresh to remind me of the vision Preston Tucker had, his work ethic which didn’t perceive obstacles, and the love he had for his family, friends, and employees. If you haven’t seen the movie, check it out on YouTube.

Steel Stacks is a very cool place in Bethlehem, PA. It’s comprised of the remnants of the Bethlehem Steel Corp. blast furnaces that produced steel for many historical engineering accomplishments like the Empire State Building and the Golden Gate Bridge. During World War II it supplied steel used in building 1,127 ships, thousands of airplanes, cannons, and artillery. Maybe some of the Bethlehem Steel ended up in in the Tuckers.

If you’re like me and attracted to our heavy industrial past here in the U.S., this is a place you have to visit. Working for SOLIDWORKS I get to visit many customers and experience firsthand what they do and how they do it. This feeds my desire to know how things are made. Steel Stacks is that kind of place where I can imagine the noise, the heat, the environment around me and make me wonder what it was like to work there. It was a dangerous place to work so my hats off to the men and women who did the work.

What impresses me most is the size of these industrial facilities. They cover thousands of acres, have massive machinery with what seems like unlimited power, devour mass quantities of raw materials and employ tens of thousands of people in order to make the whole place work. The Ford Motor Company’s River Rouge Plant in its day should have been considered the 8th Wonder of the World. It was a massive factory complex capable of producing a car by introducing raw material in one end and a completed car exited the other end. YouTube has some great videos on the River Rouge Plant.

As I said, this year is the 70th anniversary of the Tucker ’48. The World Premier of the Tucker Motor Company was on June 19, 1947. Preston Tucker introduced the world to his dream car. Since that time his cars have been sought out and added to numerous car collections. Here in PA at the AACM in Hershey, PA you can find a very impressive Tucker display complete with a replica showroom as seen here.

To celebrate the 70th anniversary, Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance is featuring the Tucker. Pebble Beach is an invitation-only event and only the best of the best are invited. Rob Ida is invited and will bring two Tucker ‘48’s to the Concours. One is Jack Kiely’s twin turbo ’48 and the other will be Howard Kroplick’s original ’48. Rob is in the process of restoring Howard’s ’48 and just finished painting it to the original color of Adante Green.

As I’ve said before Rob’s attention to detail has no bounds. For instance, he made sure the etchings on the window glass were accurate as you can see here, and the fabric edging on the windows visors is correct also.

Rob and his team have a lot of work to do before Pebble Beach but as always they come through and when finished, the car will look better than new. Here it’s just about completely re-assembled.

Between working on Howard’s restoration project and other projects Rob has been working on the Torpedo. When I was at the shop last he was working on the front fenders. As a reminder the front fenders will turn with the steering wheel. Here’s a close up of the fender support and turning mechanism.

Most of the body skins are complete as seen here in this rear end picture. Rob is even working on making the templates for the glass.

And work has started on the packaging of the Porsche electronics. All this stuff will be hidden from view when completed.

The next blog will report back on how the Tuckers did at the Pebble Beach Concours d’Elegance.

 

Author information

Mike Sabocheck
Senior Area Technical Manager, SOLIDWORKS, NA East

The post Recreating Classic Cars with CAD: Tucker Torpedo Project Update appeared first on The SOLIDWORKS Blog.

by Mike Sabocheck at July 31, 2018 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

Build a Drone from Scratch with This $34 Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle

DIY Drone

We’ve said it time and time again, but the Raspberry Pi is just so dang cool and we believe all designers and engineers should have one in their toolkit—if not on their desktop. While there is a bit of a slight learning curve, it’s nothing that today’s designers and engineers can’t handle on a leisurely Saturday.

So why not start now?

The Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle includes 8 courses to get started creating your very own Amazon Echo or even a KUKA-like robotic arm for your desktop (how’s that for office bragging rights). Throw in any of your own 3D printed housing designs—like a drone—and the opportunities are limitless!

For a limited time, The Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle is 96% off of the $865 retail price and can be purchased right here for a mere $34.

The Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle — $865 $34

Courses Included in the Bundle:

  • Automation with Raspberry Pi Zero
  • Introduction to Raspberry Pi
  • Hardware Projects Using Raspberry Pi
  • Bitcoin Mining Using Raspberry Pi
  • Raspberry Pi Robotics
  • Internet of Things Automation Using Raspberry Pi 2
  • Home Automation in 48 Hours Without Coding
  • Build Your Own ArmBot Step By Step Using Raspberry Pi Zero

BUY HERE

This post features affiliate links which helps support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale! Thank you for your help in moving away from banner ads by delivering better content!

Find more deals here:
StackSocial Amazon

The post Build a Drone from Scratch with This $34 Raspberry Pi Mastery Bundle appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at July 31, 2018 11:54 AM

Cool Tools of Doom: The 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen

3Doodler Pen

It may not look like it, but those tiny comics on the side of your tax returns could one day be the next Calvin and Hobbes hit. And while you really shouldn’t be drawing on your tax returns, it just goes to show how something so small can spark a really big idea.

The 3Doodler Create+ takes your misplaced creativity and allows you to bring your doodles into the third dimension. Using a special nozzle, it extrudes hot PLA, ABS, and FLEXY plastics which harden rapidly as you draw your desired 3D object.

Two buttons near the nozzle allow you to adapt the 3Doodler for slow or fast printing. Slow printing is for more intricate prints – such as the different frames of a miniature Eiffel Tower – while fast printing is for filling-in bigger areas – such as the cheese on top of a slice of plastic pizza. The 3Doodler runs on a dual drive system to prevent jamming, so you can draw to your heart’s content without worrying about hot plastic covering your drawing hand.

Even without any 3D printing experience, the 3Doodler is user-friendly to those old enough to use it. There’s even an active community which will provide a ton of stencils in case you aren’t the creative type.

3Doodler Create +

The 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen Set with 75 Filaments — $79.99

Features:

  • All new dual drive technology: the world’s first in a 3D printing device. Featuring improved power, durability, and reliability for a superior doodling experience.
  • A whole new way to create & fix: click to extrude heated plastic which hardens rapidly, allowing you to draw in 3D, freehand, or over stencils.
  • A fun and easy way to accomplish any project: fact – doodling is fun! join millions all around the world who are rediscovering the simple joy and relaxation of doodling, but now in 3D.

PURCHASE VIA AMAZON

Affiliate purchases help support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale.
Thank you!

The post Cool Tools of Doom: The 3Doodler Create+ 3D Printing Pen appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at July 31, 2018 11:52 AM

SolidSmack Radio | Dimensional Slippin’ – Summer Edition (Powered by Spotify)

Spotify Playlist

Get that stretch out of your system with this week’s Spotify-powered SolidSmack Radio Playlist. It’s fashioned up, ready to make you pull your shoulder blades back and knock out another week of meaningful work while you bob your head to the beat. Whether you’re in the shop milling aluminum, sketching the latest product prototypes or modeling up a 3D storm, consider these tracks as a tool for your process.

This week on SolidSmack Radio we’ll get the groove going with “Divina” from Toro y Moi before diving into irresistible tracks from Night Moves, Jerry Paper, Hoops, Good Morning, and others before wrapping up with “Fool” from Frankie Cosmos. Ready? Let’s Rock!

Have suggestions? As always, let us know what you listen to, what you want to hear and what tunes get you through the week. Shoot us an email or leave a comment down below!!

*Note: if the embedded playlist below doesn’t work for you, try this.

<iframe frameborder="0" height="775" src="https://open.spotify.com/embed/user/evdmedia/playlist/3tbQeSem76qdVNA8zKjeS5" width="100%"></iframe>

The post SolidSmack Radio | Dimensional Slippin’ – Summer Edition (Powered by Spotify) appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at July 31, 2018 11:50 AM

July 30, 2018

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

Quicker Assembly Modeling in SOLIDWORKS

SOLIDWORKS is constantly adding new tweaks to the software in an effort to make our lives easier. However, sometimes we fall back to the way we’ve done things in the past. Let’s step outside of our ingrained methods and take a look at a few recently-added things that can make our hour-to-hour, minute-to-minute work.

In this video, we’ll learn a few newer tricks to accelerate assembly modeling.

Quicker Assembly Modeling in SOLIDWORKS

<iframe allow="autoplay; encrypted-media" allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="641" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Zekm-KSuEsA?feature=oembed" width="1140"></iframe>

By: Jeff Setzer, GSC Technology Evangelist

Author information

GSC
GSC fuels customer success with 3D engineering solutions for design, simulation, data management, technical documentation, and 3D printing, as well as the most comprehensive consulting, technical support, and training in the industry. As a leading provider of SOLIDWORKS solutions and Stratasys 3D printing technologies, GSC’s world-class team of dedicated professionals have helped numerous companies innovate and increase productivity by leveraging advanced technologies to drive 3D business success. Founded in 1989, GSC is headquartered in Germantown, WI. For more information about GSC, please visit www.gsc-3d.com.

The post Quicker Assembly Modeling in SOLIDWORKS appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by GSC at July 30, 2018 03:00 PM

SolidSmack

The LEGO James Bond Aston Martin DB5 Likes Its Gadgets Shaken, Not Stirred

LEGO James Bond car

Kids these days might not have a taste for them, but back in the day, superheroes didn’t rule the movie world; superspies did. And no one was more famous than British secret agent James Bond. Created by writer Ian Flemming, the fictional spy has 24 films and countless novels spanning decades; inspiring both kids and adults worldwide.

Mike Psiaki and his brothers were just a few of the kids whose lives were touched by this timeless character. Now grown up and working as a designer, getting a chance to recreate one of James Bond’s classic cars –the 1964 Aston Martin DB5- in a LEGO set is nothing short of a dream come true.

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This 1,295 piece set may look a tad blockier than its real-world counterpart, but its features harken back to the old school Goldfinger movie.

LEGO James Bond car LEGO James Bond car LEGO James Bond car

On the outside, the car has drum-lacquered silver front and rear bumpers, as well as opening doors, bonnet, and boot. To help this baby move along, white wheel tires are inserted into the bottom. While these features are pretty cool, they pale in comparison when you see all the gadgets the car is hiding.

For starters, the rotating license plates are a nice touch. Just like in the film, you can flip the front and rear plates when the authorities aren’t looking to get an extra layer of anonymity.

LEGO James Bond car LEGO James Bond car LEGO James Bond car

Should subtlety go out the window, you can raise the rear window’s bulletproof screen and fight back with some of your own weapons. Pulling back the gearstick inside the car activates the Aston Martin’s hidden front wing machine guns located under the headlights. For close quarters, using the wheel-mounted tire scythes seems like a better option.

LEGO James Bond car

Lastly, if ever the bad guys get too close and try to steal your ride, pulling back the rear bumper ejects the passenger seat sky high.

The gadgets are definitely what makes this LEGO car stand out from others, but Psiaki put in the extra effort to add details such as an interior with a hidden radar tracker and telephone compartment (cell phones weren’t a thing back then, in case you didn’t know). Even the car’s engine is well-detailed!

Mike started the LEGO car’s design by taking various drawings and pictures of a real Aston Martin DB5 and using them to approximate the dimensions for the LEGO build. Using one of their many wheels as a basis for the proportions, Martin works on the car’s frame and its overall shape.

LEGO James Bond car

For this particular model, a new 1×2 bow was used to make the car’s shoulders. The wheels also have their own inserts so you can see the same wire pattern on a full-size DB5. Mike’s favorite feature though has to be the doors, which have a small gap between them and the car body.

The whole set measures over 3” (10cm) high, 13” (34cm) long and 4” (12cm) wide. It will be available to the public starting August 1, 2018, but LEGO VIPs have already had access to orders since July 18. The James Bon Aston Martin DB5 will cost you $149.99, so maybe its best you keep this away from kids and store it in your own collection of James Bond memorabilia.

You can see all the set’s details (and even pre-order one) on the LEGO shop webpage.

The post The LEGO James Bond Aston Martin DB5 Likes Its Gadgets Shaken, Not Stirred appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at July 30, 2018 12:03 PM

The Javelin Blog

SOLIDWORKS PDM Display Types in the Windows Explorer Local Vault

There are three SOLIDWORKS PDM Display Types available in the Windows Explorer Local Vault:

  • Show Files
  • Show Bills of Materials
  • Show Search Results

They can be found under the Display menu as shown below:

SOLIDWORKS PDM Display Types

SOLIDWORKS PDM Display Types

Show Files

Show Files, is the default and most commonly used. This is the view, that displays the files and folders, that are part of your vault.

Show Files

Show Files

Show Bills of Materials

Show Bills of Materials, will display all Named (saved)  BOMs, in a selected folder.

Show Bills of Materials

Show Bills of Materials

Show Search Results

Show Search Results, will show a selected Search Card and once the Search is launched, will display the results of the Search.

Show Search Results

Show Search Results

Additional Search Cards can be selected from the Search menu, in the top-right of the Vault View.

Search Cards

Search Cards

The post SOLIDWORKS PDM Display Types in the Windows Explorer Local Vault appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Joe Medeiros, CSWE at July 30, 2018 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

The Monday List 31.18 | Stories We’re Reading This Week

Bundy Ranch

Mondays might not be your favorite day of the week, but the good news is that we’re all in this together ladies and gentlemen. As purveyors of prime Grade A web content, the SolidSmack crew has done some of the heavy-lifting to make sure you get your Mondays started on the right track.

Welcome to The Monday List.

Every Monday, we link you up with some of the most insightful, informative, and socially-relevant stories to keep tabbed, bookmarked, reading listed, pocketed, or what have you to get your week started on the right foot. Be sure to check in each week for a new crop of freshly sprouted words curated straight from the source of your favorite homegrown ‘Smack.

What We’re Reading This Week:

SpaceX’s Secret Weapon Is Gwynne Shotwell

She launches spaceships, sells rockets, and deals with Elon Musk.

SpaceX’s Secret Weapon Is Gwynne Shotwell

Where the Porsche Family Goes to Get Their Porsches Fixed Up

Why top vintage car collectors turn to the Road Scholars garage in North Carolina for their chance at automotive glory.

Where the Porsche Family Goes to Get Their Porsches Fixed Up

Letter of Recommendation: Dead Malls

Every video tour of an abandoned shopping center is a chance to gaze upon the wreck of our past selves.

Letter of Recommendation: Dead Malls

Why Westerners Fear Robots and the Japanese Do Not

It’s not that Westerners haven’t had their fair share of friendly robots like R2-D2 and Rosie, the Jetsons’ robot maid. But compared to the Japanese, the Western world is warier of robots.

Why Westerners Fear Robots and the Japanese Do Not

The Shoemaker

Jarret Schlaff is partnering with veterans to create a leather-goods brand — and rebuild Detroit.

The Shoemaker

The Rock That Fell to Earth

How a meteorite hunter’s obsession took him from the mountains of Colorado, to the Bundy Ranch, and eventually landed him in jail.

The Rock That Fell to Earth

The post The Monday List 31.18 | Stories We’re Reading This Week appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at July 30, 2018 11:58 AM

July 29, 2018

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

SOLIDWORKS – Creating Internal Volumes Using Intersect

One of the key functionalities of the ‘Intersect’ command is to create geometry using an enclosed volume. This is a simple method for finding the internal volume of complex parts, the first step is to cap all inlets and outlets that lead to the internal volume:

 

If your various inlets and outlets are planar, you can use the ‘planar surface’ command to cap that opening.

There can be multiple openings assigned to a single ‘planar surface’ command. Additionally, if you have an opening comprised of multiple tangent segments, you can right click one of those segments and ‘Select Tangency’ to add all of them to your selection at once.

If you have multiple openings that would share the same plane, you can create a reference geometry plane to cover all those openings rather than a separate surface for each one. Remember that a plane stretches infinitely in all directions which means it may possibly intersect your internal volume as well, this is why some openings it is better to use the planar surface command rather than a plane for every opening.

If your opening is not planar, then you can also use commands like ‘boundary surface’ or ‘lofted surface’ found in the Surfaces Command Manager to cap those openings.

After capping all openings, use the intersect command found under ‘Insert’ > ‘Features’ > ‘Intersect’. Select all your surfaces used to cap the openings, as well as the part itself, and click ‘intersect’ for it to calculate the resulting solids. In the ‘Regions to Exclude’ section you can check the box for which bodies you want to get rid of.

After selecting the green check mark, what is left is the solid body of the internal volume. The mass evaluation tool can now be used to determine the volume and weight.

Braden Leasure is a Support Engineer at Computer Aided Technology, a SOLIDWORKS Value Added Reseller with locations throughout the United States. He is a regular contributor to the Computer Aided Technology Blog.

 

Author information

Computer Aided Technology
Driving Innovation with Technology Solutions We are a team of engineering and manufacturing experts helping our clients expand their capabilities and improve productivity through innovative technology. By understanding your challenges, we find solutions for your business success. With the help of our powerful portfolio of software, 3D printing, 3D scanning and metrology, PDM and PLM, design automation and implementation solutions we help you reinvent your business, so you can stay ahead of the competition. No matter who you are, we are here to support you and your business.

The post SOLIDWORKS – Creating Internal Volumes Using Intersect appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Computer Aided Technology at July 29, 2018 03:00 PM

July 28, 2018

The Javelin Blog

UVic Submarine Racing Club at eISR: Final Recap

The races are over and the tallies are in! Javelin is a proud sponsor of the University of Victoria Submarine Racing Club and we are thrilled to announce the results of their most recent race.

The UVic Submarine Racing Club blew their competition out of the water, coming in 4th overall in this years European International Submarine Races! They also won three very prestigious trophies along the way. The competition was incredible tight, as they were just 1.4 points away from 3rd place and 1.7 points away from 2nd place, out of a total of 100 points.

Submarine racing uvic

Submarine racing uvic

The UVSRC has only been working on this for 10 months, and they came out way ahead of teams that have been competing for almost 10 years. Confidence levels are incredibly high for the team, and they’re looking to be the top contender for 1st place in next year’s competition.

“This is a huge success not only for our club, but for the marine industry in the Victoria, BC region as a whole.”

We could not be more proud of our team at UVic, and it’s been an absolute pleasure following their progress, from initial designs to a fully-functioning racing submarine. Congratulations to the UVSRC, we can’t wait to cheer you on next year!

UVic team with submarine

UVic team with submarine

Check out more photos and videos from the event on the UVSRC Instagram.

Read more about the UVSRC here.

The post UVic Submarine Racing Club at eISR: Final Recap appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by Eissa Ahmad at July 28, 2018 02:00 PM

July 27, 2018

SolidSmack

Friday Smackdown: Silky Bubbles of Tree Sap

We slid down, hitting each branch as we went, as we meant. For, if we hadn’t, we surely would have been caught in the sudden ooze of the of the Slinktree sap. It happened only every 18 months and was the only time we could capture the bore weevils pincer flares, dripping with the liquid magma of these links.

Su Jian – So many new pieces since our last look at his work. Many new characters, some grayscale work, and plenty of amazing environment concepts with a little process thrown in along the way.

Unmet – The bust sculptures of artist Christina West. Kinda look like a gobstopper that’s been cracked open, but human faces.

Outside – What if you could manipulate real objects like you manipulate 3D geometry? Vladimir Tomin gives you a pretty good idea what that would be like.

Sand Castles – The second in a series of photography from Spain by Mark Redondo of the abandon buildings and decaying structures wrought by EU’s economic crisis. (Scroll right.)

Kinetic Sand Cutting – Strangley relaxing video compilation of slicing and cutting sand as well as some smooshes. Ahhhhhh.

Speedvagen GTFO – As far as bikes go, single-speeds don’t interest me too much. But this limited run beauty from Speedvagen in matte army green is just tough lookin’.

BelugaXL – Making of the Airbus BelugaXL aircraft near Toulouse, France.

Some Assembly Required – Hand-crafted action figures from the good ol’ days by Dano Brown.

<script type="text/javascript"> amzn_assoc_placement = "adunit0"; amzn_assoc_search_bar = "true"; amzn_assoc_tracking_id = "solid0a-20"; amzn_assoc_ad_mode = "manual"; amzn_assoc_ad_type = "smart"; amzn_assoc_marketplace = "amazon"; amzn_assoc_region = "US"; amzn_assoc_title = "Deals We're Watching"; amzn_assoc_asins = "B075XC38VT,B0055P25QW,B000FE7INI,B07CWKYVD7"; amzn_assoc_linkid = "4485c32aa67403cf2fa36e339b4e3fc0"; </script>
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Strange Jealousy – New video from Crøm-lus (Poppy Edwards) with visuals “generated algorithmically and feature visually complex patterns that emerge through the simulation of a self organizing behavioral system.”

<iframe allowfullscreen="allowfullscreen" frameborder="0" height="360" mozallowfullscreen="mozallowfullscreen" src="https://player.vimeo.com/video/280491982" webkitallowfullscreen="webkitallowfullscreen" width="640"></iframe>

The post Friday Smackdown: Silky Bubbles of Tree Sap appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at July 27, 2018 09:06 PM

SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog

How to Extract Raw Curve Data from an Image File

Have you ever wanted to be able to import information from an image file but didn’t have the original data?  Well we’ve got you covered. Join Alignex engineer Eric Weber as he walks you through the process of creating X/Y plots on any picture you can find.

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Video Transcription

In this short tutorial I’m going to tell you about a free tool I use to create X/Y plots in a picture file. The software is called Engauge Digitizer and can be downloaded for free from the this website:

https://github.com/markummitchell/engauge-digitizer/releases

Often times when using SOLIDWORKS Simulation I need to look up material property curves such as a stress strain curve or a non-linear study or an SN curve which is used for a fatigue study. I’m going to show you how to use Engauge Digitizer to extract the raw data for an SN curve for three different materials from a picture I have downloaded from the internet.

Once inside of Engauge Digitizer, all I need to do is import my downloaded picture file.

Choose File > Import > Select file > Click Open

Once this is open we are shown a Wizard that will help guide us through the process.

Once we click Next, we are able to name our different curves. So in this case I’m going to name one curve 1045 Steel, the next will be 2014-T6 Aluminum and then the last one is Red Brass.

We are then presented with some options for how our curves will be drawn. In this case I’m going to choose With Lines. I can finish out the Wizard and then on the right side we are going to see the different steps we need to go through in order to digitize these curves. So to set up our axis we are going to use the Axis Point Tool.

You’ll notice that our X-axis runs from 1,000 to 10,000,000,000 and is in a logarithmic scale. Our Y-axis goes from 0 to 500. I’m going to zoom in on the lower left corner of our axis and select a point where the two axis cross. I’ll enter 1,000 for the x and 0 for the y coordinate.

Over on the right side, I’m going to do the same thing. I’m going to select my point and this time I’ll type in 10,000,000,000 because that is what is represented on the X-axis) and then 0 for the Y-axis.

Now pulling my window over to the Y-axis and bringing it up, you’ll see our 1,000 and 500 point. So again I select that point and type in 1,000 for X and 500 for Y.

Once that is done we will get a quick preview of the boundaries of our plot and again I just want to point out our X-axis is on a logarithmic scale. So we do need to change a setting to put that on a logarithmic scale. Just go into Settings > Coordinates > Log > OK.

Extracting Raw Curve Data from a Picture File

So now the next thing we are going to do is set up the points on our curves. I’m going to use the Curve Point Tool. I’ll zoom in on my steel curve and then just start selecting my points. I’m going to make sure I grab my end point and then I’ll just start making selections along the curve. The more points you select the higher the resolution, so as we get down to this tight corner I’m going to start selecting a lot closer together. As we go straight again I’m going to get a little more spacing. So the more points you select, the more information you are going to get at the end.

Next I will select Aluminum from my curve list. I’ll scroll down a bit to find my aluminum curve, and then again I will just start selecting points along this curve. This time I am going from right to left and it doesn’t really matter which way you go as long as you are still picking in order. So I’ll make the last few selections from my Aluminum curve and then we will move onto the Red Brass curve. Again making sure we pick that end point, and then a few points along the curve.

Once all of our points are selected, we can now export our curve. To do this:

Choose File > Export > Save*

* Notice it is going to save this as a CSV file that can be imported into software such as Excel.

Jump over to Excel. Once there I can go ahead and import my CSV file:

Open > All Files > Select CSV File > Open

Once that is imported you’ll notice we get all of the raw data from all of those points we have selected, and you’ll see that it’s separated by material. Now we can very quickly throw together a quick scatter plot.

Choose Scatter > Scatter with Smooth Lines

You’ll see it brings in those curves. Our X-axis isn’t shown on a logarithmic scale I can adjust that.

Right Click Image > Choose Format Axis > Adjust Minimum & Maximum Point > Choose Logarithmic Scale > Close 

Now we are left with an Excel chart that shows us that information that we saw in our picture.


Thanks for reading! Don’t forget to subscribe to the Alignex Blog to always stay up-to-date on the world of SOLIDWORKS.

Author information

Alignex, Inc.
Alignex, Inc. is the premier provider of SOLIDWORKS software and partner products to the mechanical engineering industry in Minnesota, Wisconsin, Iowa, North Dakota, South Dakota, Colorado and Wyoming. With more than 25 years of technical experience, Alignex offers consulting services, training and support for SOLIDWORKS as well as support for partner products. For more information, visit alignex.com.

The post How to Extract Raw Curve Data from an Image File appeared first on SOLIDWORKS Tech Blog.

by Alignex, Inc. at July 27, 2018 03:00 PM

The Javelin Blog

Window off screen in SOLIDWORKS? Get it back!

How to move a window that is off screen

How to move a window that is off screen

Ever find yourself asking,

“Hey!  Where did my window go?” or, “Why is my window off the edge of the screen?”

Frustratingly, some SOLIDWORKS window or dialog box has been inconveniently located out of reach.  It’s either partly or completely off the screen.  Work grinds to a halt as you try to get that window back into view.  Or maybe it’s just not maximizing correctly.  The root cause of the issue can vary, and sometimes it is Windows that is misbehaving.

How to Move a Window that is Off Screen

Here are some fixes and workarounds, roughly in order of simple to more extreme, so that you are armed to the teeth to combat this unwelcome behavior!

  • Windows+arrow keys.  Try them all (left, right, up and down) and try repeats (i.e. Windows+right or left, three times in a row)…this moves the active window around on any monitor, and also back and forth between monitors.  To locate the Windows key, it is usually on the left of the keyboard between Ctrl and Alt, and has the Windows symbol on it.

    The Windows key

    The Windows key

  • F11 key.  This toggles fullscreen mode on the main SOLIDWORKS window.
  • Change screen resolution.  On desktop, right-click and choose Display Settings.
  • Nvidia control for monitors, if using Nvidia graphics card.  This application can be launched by right-clicking in the desktop and choosing NVIDIA Control Panel.
  • Unplug external monitor (if laptop).  This forces all windows to appear on the laptop screen.
  • Windows + P, and select PC screen only (if laptop).
  • If it is a general windows issue:
  • The Move Windows tool for Windows Vista, Windows 7, and Windows 8:  https://sourceforge.net/projects/movewindows/files/latest/download
  • SOLIDWORKS User Interface registry key (from https://forum.solidworks.com/thread/203854).  Those registry settings control location and size settings for the various SOLIDWORKS windows.  They take effect the next time SOLIDWORKS launches, and are automatically overwritten to each time SOLIDWORKS is properly closed (crashes usually do not count).
    1. Close down SOLIDWORKS.
    2. Start > type “regedit” and select it or run as admin > HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Solidworks\SOLIDWORKS 20XX (select the year version)\User Interface\Dialogs
    3. Right-click this folder and rename it
    4. Launch SOLIDWORKS and re-test the behavior.  This last step should re-create the original folder with location and size settings that hopefully work better.
  • SOLIDWORKS registry reset.  This can sometimes fix misbehavior in SOLIDWORKS by resetting the SOLIDWORKS part of the Windows registry, which is where all of the SOLIDWORKS settings reside.  This resets all SOLIDWORKS settings, not just the User Interface discussed earlier in this article.
  • A new Windows user account.  This is somewhat of a “nuclear option” for Windows behavior correction.  Sometimes, to quote a certain sci-fi action movie, “it’s the only way to be sure.”
    • For Windows 7 or 8.1
    • For Windows 10
    • SOLIDWORKS crashing can sometimes be caused by corruption in the Windows registry outside of the SOLIDWORKS subset of the registry.  Such corruptions can be difficult to diagnose and repair, so we prefer to simply create a new Windows user account, log in to that account, and test the behavior from there.  If the behavior no longer occurs, then the original user account should be abandoned and all work be done from the new account.  You may need to enlist some IT support to access your apps and data under the new account, but be sure to not copy the old corrupt registry onto the new, lest it corrupt the new account registry.  If the behavior is still occurring on the new user account, then the problem likely does not reside in the Windows registry.

The post Window off screen in SOLIDWORKS? Get it back! appeared first on The Javelin Blog.

by John Lee, CSWP at July 27, 2018 12:00 PM

SolidSmack

8BitDo Kits Turn Wired Retro Video Game Controllers Into Bluetooth Rechargeable Ones

8BitDo wireless controllers

Back in the day, when video game software was all pixelated and had far less storytelling capacity than the games of today, console hardware was somewhat primitive. Instead of connecting to the internet to play with strangers online, you needed to have actual friends to invite to your actual home. And instead of using a wireless controller a mile away from the television screen, a wired controller had you smack dab in front of it.

Technology has come a long way since then, but like any respectable person with a taste for nostalgia will tell you, it’s always good to come back to the classics. Thankfully, the folks at 8BitDo have created mods for several retro game controllers which turn them into rechargeable Bluetooth versions.

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Using their own proprietary component, 8BitDo has created a series of DIY kits which allow you to bring your old controllers into the 21st century: just open your controller up, replace the old circuit board with their new one, and you’re ready to go.

8BitDo wireless controllers 8BitDo wireless controllers

One key component is a little nub on the top which allows users to recharge the controller’s 3.7V 180mAH lithium-ion battery while displaying remaining battery life. A fully-charged battery will enable a user to play for 7 hours straight before requiring a 1-2 hour charge. The nub also doubles as an LED indicator showing what mode your controller is in.

These modifiable controllers used to be for the Super Nintendo Entertainment System (SNES), Super Famicom (SFC), Nintendo Entertainment System (NES), the Sega Genesis, as well as their original and classic editions. Compatibility-wise, they can now be used for Windows, Android, macOS, Steam, the Nintendo Switch, and Raspberry Pi devices.

8BitDo wireless controllers

Each of the 8BitDo controller mods will cost you $19.99 and includes the mod kit, a screwdriver, and a USB cable. Considering how priceless the feeling of using the same controller you had as a kid to play Double Dragon a whopping 30 years after the game’s initial release, I’d say it’s a fair trade.

If you’re interested in dusting off your old controllers, 8BitDo’s webpage has all the controller mods as well as extra details.

The post 8BitDo Kits Turn Wired Retro Video Game Controllers Into Bluetooth Rechargeable Ones appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Carlos Zotomayor at July 27, 2018 11:26 AM

The Best SolidSmack Stories of the Week — July 27th, 2018

Watch a Lathe Master Freehand Carve a Chess Set From Scratch

Don your favorite bathrobe, cream that coffee and get comfortable with this week’s SolidSmack Weekend Reader.

The Weekend Reader features a handful of the most interesting articles featured on the ‘Smack over the past week ranging from tips and tricks to inspirational designs, processes, and more. So lay back, relax and take a load off while reading the top stories on SolidSmack this past week.

Oh and uh…don’t forget to shed some much-needed sunlight on your face, too.

Watch a Lathe Master Freehand Carve a Chess Set From Scratchk

Not everybody knows how to play the game, but almost anyone can appreciate the quality of a good chess set. The smoothness of the pieces, the feel of the metal – it makes you wonder how some of the most expensive sports equipment is used on a tabletop “board” game.

Watch a Lathe Master Freehand Carve a Chess Set From Scratch

nPower Software Opens Pot, Pours Out Power Surfacing 5.0 for SOLIDWORKS

If you were too busy re-topologizing that scan of your skull last week, you may have missed this announcement from nPower Software/IntegrityWare–they’ve released version 5.0 of their Power Surfacing / Power Surfacing RE for SOLIDWORKS software.

nPower Software Opens Pot, Pours Out Power Surfacing 5.0 for SOLIDWORKS

Amazon’s Part Finder Helps You Identify Those Screws, Nuts and Bolts

Forget their proposed drone delivery system; Amazon just solved one of the biggest problems for engineers, designers, DIY’ers, or anyone handy enough to use a screwdriver: identifying a screw. Don’t you just hate when you find one of those buggers under your sofa or behind the fridge and have no idea where it came from or where it goes? *looks under arm* Or maybe you do know what the screw is for but need more of the same kind.

Amazon’s Part Finder Helps You Identify Those Screws, Nuts and Bolts

CeramicSpeed’s Insane Driven Drivetrain Is an Almost Frictionless Force of Nature

Contrary to popular belief, there is much more to a bicycle than simply pushing your legs to make the wheels go round. Take for example the bike’s drivetrain, which transfers all your leg power to the drive wheels. While there are a ton of variations, most drivetrains consist of a front wheel, chain, and rear wheel which allow you to change gears depending on the terrain.

CeramicSpeed’s Insane Driven Drivetrain Is an Almost Frictionless Force of Nature

Behind the Design: Mathematical Artist Henry Segerman

For many of us, math wasn’t exactly our strongest subject back in school; just as you’re beginning to grasp the concept of numbers, along come letters, symbols, and shapes to boggle your mind further. Suffice to say, we were lucky enough to pass the subject; but for the current and future generations, understanding 3D concepts may not be so difficult.

Behind the Design: Mathematical Artist Henry Segerman

‘The Big Life Fix’ Kicks Off New Season Inventing Awesome, Changing Lives

The crew of eight engineers, designers, and makers take on the challenges others would balk at to help people change their lives, fulfill their dreams, and do the very things they never thought possible.

‘The Big Life Fix’ Kicks Off New Season Inventing Awesome, Changing Lives

The post The Best SolidSmack Stories of the Week — July 27th, 2018 appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at July 27, 2018 11:00 AM

Cool Tools of Doom: The Rollbahn Gold Pocket Memo

Gold Notebook

Having a place to jot down your ideas when inspiration strikes is a must for any designer or engineer. Yet, finding the ideal (durable!) scratchpad to keep in your pocket (or close by) at all times isn’t always easy. Which is why we love the Rollbahn pocket memo from Rollbahn.

Featuring a gold metal cover (yep—really!) and tearaway gridded pages, this edition of the iconic Japanese notebook is the perfect fusion of simplicity and function.

Rollbahn Gold Metal Cover Pocket Memo (Gridded Pages) — $12.00

Features:

  • Made in Japan
  • 112×138mm
  • Durable Metal Cover
  • Elastic Enclosure
  • Perforated Tearaway Pages

PURCHASE VIA AMAZON

Affiliate purchases help support SolidSmack through a small commission earned from the sale.
Thank you!

The post Cool Tools of Doom: The Rollbahn Gold Pocket Memo appeared first on SolidSmack.

by SolidSmack at July 27, 2018 10:26 AM

July 26, 2018

SolidSmack

Solidscape Mystery Solved (and the Rise of Wax Jet 3D Printers?)

An anonymous tipster has provided the solution to last week’s Solidscape event.

If you missed it, Stratasys unexpectedly sold their subsidiary, Solidscape, to Prodways for an undisclosed amount of cash. Solidscape produces high-end wax 3D printers mainly for the jewelry industry, whereas Prodways delivers large-scale production 3D printers for industry–quite a bit different.

Our thought was that Prodways picked up Solidscape because they were angling for a way to transition smaller, but growing, jewelry manufacturers from the small-scale Solidscape equipment to their larger scale Prodways products. This still makes sense.

But the mystery was why Stratasys would snip off Solidscape. Originally, my thought was that they wanted to focus more on large scale production applications, where they’ve been spending considerable efforts developing demonstrator machines. I suppose that still holds, but our anonymous tipster provides what might be the clearest answer yet. They say:

There is a very simple reason to consider… Stratasys-owned Solidscape’s printers were all based on these Sanders patents. Stratasys, having felt the impact of FDM patents expiry trickling away a significant portion of their industrial sales as Hobby FDM has caught up to theirs, may have anticipated the coming wave of hobbyist and import wax jet printers. The underlying tech is basic. The jewelry market has been used to paying $10-30k+ for these machines. I do not expect they will be paying that in another year or two.

This is the correct answer.

The two patents in question are:

US5506607 3-D model maker

Abstract: The 3-D Model Maker of the present invention is a device that builds three dimensional models of computer generated (e.g., CAD) structures by vector plotting layer-upon-layer applications of solidifiable substances. The layers are formed by expelling minuscule beads of the substances in liquid or flowable phase onto a platform from one or more jets, the jets and platform being relatively movable in X, Y and Z coordinate system. The beads are deposited along vectors, during X/Y relative movement, on the stage, one at a time, layer-upon-layer, to build the model. The jets and platform are moved relatively to one another in accordance with instructions from the computer (controller) to form each layer in the X-Y plane (in a manner analogous to an X-Y vector plotter) and either the stage or the jets may move in the Z direction to allow the jets to form subsequent layers.

And,

US5740051 3-D model making

Abstract: A method of and apparatus for producing a 3-D model by forming a continuous plurality of parallel layers of modeling material comprising a) producing a plurality of bead producing drops of the modeling material for deposition at desired locations b) controlling the locations and timing of deposition to produce vectors, in any and all directions required to produce an outer surface defining wall of said layer with a desired surface finish; c) adjusting the distance of the location of drop production to the location of drop deposition in preparation for the formation of a subsequent said layer; and d) repeating steps a), b), and c) as required to complete the model.

Stratasys actually went through a very similar scenario years ago, when their FDM patents were expiring. At that time they held a huge portion of the market for plastic extrusion-style 3D printing, but upstarts like MakerBot and Ultimaker were gaining many fans and at one point it was debatable whether these smaller companies might take over that market.

Stratasys hedged their bets by purchasing MakerBot outright in 2013, perhaps thinking that if their own product lines didn’t survive, they could then survive with MakerBot’s equipment.

That didn’t work out very well, because it turned out that MakerBot was in some trouble internally upon the takeover, and Stratasys spent several years cleaning things up. In the meantime, other competitors caught up and more or less took over the market that MakerBot had hoped to capitalize on.

Now we see a very similar situation, where Stratasys owns some technology with expiring patents. Should they double down on the technology as they did with MakerBot? Apparently not, they seem to have learned their lesson from that experience.

But will Prodways undergo the “Stratasys Experience” with their new subsidiary, Solidscape?

I don’t think so – Solidscape is a well-established company with a proven market, technology, and distribution system. However, as Anonymous says, their market may crash out in a few years.

So it could be a temporary move by Prodways.

Read more about 3D printing at Fabbaloo!

The post Solidscape Mystery Solved (and the Rise of Wax Jet 3D Printers?) appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Fabbaloo at July 26, 2018 07:53 PM

‘The Big Life Fix’ Kicks Off New Season Inventing Awesome, Changing Lives

Well, it’s been a couple years since The Big Life Fix made its debut, but tonight at 8 PM (UK time) they’ll have an all-new episode (and more to come).

The crew of eight engineers, designers, and makers take on the challenges others would balk at to help people change their lives, fulfill their dreams, and do the very things they never thought possible.

Jude Pullen just gave us the heads up on the premiere where he’ll help Kyle Elson, a talented gent who has dreamed of being a hairdresser and trained for it, even though he had one big, glaring challenge–no left hand.

Though he’s had surgeries to add additional bone, Jude is going one better, and working with Kyle to develop new tools to increase his dexterity and, in some cases, improve upon the methods of trimming up those locks.

<figure class="wp-caption aligncenter" id="attachment_96816" style="width: 1100px"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text">The prototype to the final version (from left to right) for one of the new tools Jude Pullen invented for hairdresser, Kyle Elson, who is missing a hand.</figcaption></figure>

The big surprise? The ‘bionic’ attachments are not the complex high-tech developments you might think. In fact, it’s a great example of where a more analog, simple, reliable approach (and knowledge of simple machines/mechanism) is useful.

It’s all drawing quite a bit of buzz as well.

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Here’s Jude with Kyle on Good Morning Britain where Jude breaks down a little of the prototyping process they started with and a glimpse of the new tools that will make it all possible.

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Unfortunately, if you’re outside the UK, the series isn’t available for viewing quite yet. However, you can view clips on the BBC Two website and highlights on Studio Lambert’s Twitter feed.

The post ‘The Big Life Fix’ Kicks Off New Season Inventing Awesome, Changing Lives appeared first on SolidSmack.

by Josh Mings at July 26, 2018 03:12 PM