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The latest information on CAD/CAM software and technology June 8, 2011

Is design a form of art?

This question, posed on LinkedIn, got several thoughtful answers. It seems sometimes art can point the way for design. For instance, by showcasing the capabilities of additive technologies, this artistic sculpture shows designers the possibility of freeing themselves from many of the old manufacturability rules. For more info on the sculpture

That said, one of the best answers came from Raffi Minasian. He says, "I believe design cannot be a form of art, but that does not mean it is not artful. To be a form of art, it would have to be done for the sake of the expression only and in a singular conceptual manner. Design is an outward expression merging market, industry, and cultural content. Art (or at least genuine art, not the Thomas Kinkade market-driven variety) is more of an inward expression surrounding a different set of goals."

We would love to hear your thoughts on this. Send us a line and we might publish it here!

Cheers! Leslie Gordon, Senior Editor,


Harnessing the cloud for engineering
Since the inception of design-analysis software, there’s been a strong connection between the amount of computing power available and the way users mathematically model — or simulate — product designs. Several decades ago, when simulation first started to work its way into industry, there wasn’t enough computer power to support the technology’s potential. As a result, simulation was mainly limited to validation — software merely double-checked models to ensure specifications conformed with user needs and intended use. Read the rest of the story


When human gestures direct machines
Today’s factory employees are much more likely to leave home each morning with a smartphone than a lunch pail. Upon returning home, they will be snapping up the TV remote — no longer to watch the welterweight title bout but, for instance, rather to stage a virtual boxing match with friends across the country. Smart technology in communications devices and advances in video-motion sports have transformed the way members of today’s workforce live and communicate. That same technology is about to change the way employees work on the plant floor. Future workers can become more productive by using the same technology in the workplace that they enjoy at home. Read the rest of the story

Why SpaceClaim is the Best CAD for Machine Shops
Is your CAD system slowing you down? Do you ever struggle with annoying rebuild issues when you're trying to get parts out the door? With SpaceClaim's direct modeling technology, you can focus on getting the job done instead of the theory of CAD. SpaceClaim also makes it easy to interact with customers and create quotes faster, helping you take on more business. SpaceClaim parts are fully compatible with most CAM products, and its user interface makes working in 3D simple, fast, and fun.

Joel Orr says, It’s about time
You’ve read countless time-management books, blogs, and workbooks. You’ve been to seminars and workshops. You’ve attended Webinars. But you’re still overwhelmed. There’s too much happening in your day to simply let things take their course. It’s time to regain control. Recently, my time started to get away from me. So I reviewed some of my favorite books and blogs and came up with a list of potentially helpful tools. Read the rest of the story

New Products

iPhone apps for engineers
Mobile computing is doubtless the wave of the future, and smartphones, such as the iPhone, will play a big part in this trend. Here are a few nifty engineering apps for the iPhone. Read the rest of the story


Free smartphone apps
The spread of smart mobile devices should make it unsurprising that the number of engineering apps for the iPhone continues to grow. Here, we stick with showcasing a few free applications (most also work on the iPad and iPod touch). Read the rest of the story

Repair STL files from your iPhone
The netfabb Cloud Services at automatically repairs STL files for free. It can be used from any Web browser running on any platform and operating system, including Windows, Apple Mac OS, and Linux. Also available is the netfabb iPhone app, which lets users download, check, and repair files from their iPhone. Read the rest of the story

News from MD

New white papers from HP and Intel:

Realistic User Productivity Comparisons for Upgrade Decision Making

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Return on Innovation: Making Individuals More Productive

The value proposition for equipping technical and creative professionals has drastically changed. The unprecedented combination of economic pressure and technological advancement has rewritten the rules of how to do more with less. Teams may forego new hires or do the same work with fewer staff, yet they can avail themselves to new tools and techniques. The challenge then becomes how to equip these valuable and fewer number of professionals to be more productive and innovative.

Click here to register and download

The 2nd season has begun! Players from across the globe are still competing for fun, education, prizes and the ultimate bragging rights. Thanks to our sponsors for their support of the exciting online opportunity for engineers! Play Now!

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Also, please download our first World's Smartest Design Engineer Study Guide, provided by Maxon Precision Motors, Inc. Brush up on motion control basics and learn more to help you excel at the game.

Attend Electronic Design's LEDs and Solid State Lighting Web Conference & Tradeshow
June 14, 2011
9:30am - 6:00pm ET
Sponsored by Digi-Key

Join the editors of Electronic Design, at this virtual event for LED design engineers. This event, consists of a conference track of webinars, a keynote address from Cree and virtual booths that explore various LED technologies. We will investigate the practical day-to-day challenges of designing LED lighting solutions, such as heat dissipation, driving and controlling LEDs and other aspects of LED designs. See the full schedule here.
Plus, there will be opportunities to win gift bags and a $250 gift certificate to! Register now.

The Latest Advances in Structural Adhesives and Flexible Materials for Design, Manufacturing, and Assembly
Sponsored by: Fabrico and Loctite
Date: June 9, 2011
Time: 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT

This webinar will discuss the latest advances in flexible materials and structural adhesives for a range of design, manufacturing, and assembly applications. It will include an evaluation of fastening technologies, such as “instant” assembly methods using thermal joining, mechanical fastening, and tapes, as well as the benefits of new structural liquid adhesives. It will offer insight into the role of the converter in the design process, from testing and materials and adhesive selection, to fabrication, manufacturing and assembly.

Register today!

See How 3D Printing Helped in the Medical Cure for Club Feet in Children
Sponsored by: Objet
Date: June 16, 2011
Time: 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT

Dr. Mike North, host of the TV program Prototype This, and Miracle Feet, a non-profit organization providing medical treatment for kids in developing countries, used a Connex 3D Printer from Objet Geometries to build prototypes for a new corrective brace to treat children with clubfoot. Rapid prototyping with the Connex 3D Printer played a big role in developing the optimal brace design. There are currently 1 million untreated cases of clubfoot in the world -- 175,000 new cases a year -- with limited affordable solutions.

Register today!

How to Quantifiably Confirm Cure of Light Cure Adhesives
Sponsored by: Henkel
Date: June 23, 2011
Time: 2:00pm ET/11:00am PT

A major challenge for OEM’s, especially medical device manufacturers using light cure adhesives, is the ability to easily verify an adhesive’s degree of cure, and thus, speed production processes while improving overall quality. Even the most conscientious manufacturer can experience incomplete cure if an inappropriate or degraded light source generates insufficient irradiance to complete cure, or if rapid processing speeds result in insufficient light exposure. While the adhesive may appear solidified, without time consuming offline verification methods involving destructive physical testing or lab analysis, manufacturers have had no method to quickly and conclusively confirm the degree of cure. It is important to have a simple in-line process that can decrease the resources dedicated to cure verification and that can improve overall quality and production rates for manufacturers. Manufacturers require technology that is ideally suited for assembly processes where high quality and low risk of field failure is desired. It is also essential for medical device manufacturers to use adhesives that meet strict ISO-10993 biocompatibility requirements.

Register today!

Click Here for a list of archived Machine Design webcasts.

Featured Links

What the heck is a hexa-kaleidocycle?
It's Protogami, a 3-dimensional folding object that showcases the interaction of materials and surface finishes – the newest, interactive design aid from Proto Labs. Broaden your knowledge of surface finishes, materials and design techniques by requesting one today. You'll learn, you'll be endlessly amused, and you just might be inspired to come up with the next big thing. To get yours, register here.

Objet Geometries
Click Here for your Free 3D Printed Part from Objet Geometries

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Editorial questions:   Leslie Gordon 216-931-9242
Advertising/sponsorship opportunities:   Virginia Goulding 216-931-9893

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