Kenneth Wong has been a regular contributor to the CAD industry press since 2000, first an an editor, later as a columnist and freelance writer for various publications. During his nine-year tenure, he has closely followed the migration from 2D to 3D, the growth of PLM (product lifecycle management), and the impact of globalization on manufacturing. His writings have appeared in Cadalyst, Computer Graphics World, and Manufacturing Business Technology, among others.

Intel Releases Xeon E5-2600/1600 v3 Lineup, Targetting Data Centers and Virtualization

A week ago, Diane Bryant, senior VP and general manager, Intel Data Center Group, introduced the new processor lineup — E5 2600/1600 v3 series — at an event at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco, California. The processors, Intel says in its press release, are “central to enabling a software defined infrastructure,” what Intel calls “the foundation for cloud computing.”

Intel writes, “With up to 18 cores per socket and 45MB of last-level cache, the Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 product family provides up to 50% more cores and cache compared to the previous generation processors.”

In a presentation showcasing possible applications, Intel offers statistics showing that the E5-2600/1600 v3 processors give significantly better performance over their predecessors. LS-DYNA simulation software, for instance, shows up to 50% faster on E5-2697 v3 compared to E5-2697 v2. Furthermore, MSC Nastran Software shows up to 46% faster, and ANSYS Mechanical up to 38% faster on v3 compared to v2. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

SolidWorks Launches New Product to Support Paperless Manufacturing

Is the paperless office a reality? Or a Utopian concept? Whatever you might think, SolidWorks seems convinced there’s sufficient interest in it to warrant a new product.

At the press preview of SolidWorks 2015 two weeks ago, the company shared details about a brand new product, dubbed SolidWorks MBD (Model-Based Definition). In a SolidWorks blog post, Jeremy Regnerus, the company’s senior user advocate and community manager, writes, “MBD provides an integrated, drawing-less manufacturing solution for SolidWorks 2015. With these tools, you can define, organize, and publish 3D Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) and 3D model data in industry standard file formats … defines 3D PMI such as dimensions, datums, geometric tolerances, surface finishes, welding symbols, bills of material (BOM), callouts, tables, notes, meta-properties, and other annotations within the SOLIDWORKS 3D environment. The process is both intuitive and interactive and helps multiple people within the supply chain understand the design without the need for 2D drawings.” →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

What Would You Do With Your Mojo?

Your don’t need a sorcerer’s talisman or a wizard’s charm to turn ideas into tangible prototypes. You can do that with the industrial magic of a 3D printer. We have the power to give away one such printer — Mojo from Stratasys.

The Rapid Ready Sweepstakes is back! Like last year, you can enter to win a Mojo 3D Print Pack, which includes:

  • a Mojo 3D Printer;
  • print wizard and control panel software;
  • WaveWash 55 support cleaning system;
  • Start-up supplies.

Last year’s sweepstakes winner Joe Lutgen, who owns and operates the RSI Mechanical LLC. consulting business, began offering affordable printing services to his clients. When we caught up with him a few months after he collected his prize, Joe said, “I’m printing everything, from blow-molded parts and brackets to fixtures that can be glued together. One of my main clients now regularly asks me to print stuff, and smaller clients sometimes also ask me to print designs. It’s been nice to be able to bring [a prototype] to their office, show them what I’ve made already so they can see how it works.”

It turns out, the entire Lutgen household benefited from the presence of the Mojo. For a class assignment, one of Joe’s sons designed a crumb catcher — a tray that snaps onto the edge of the dinner table. Today, a 3D-printed version of Lutgen Jr.’s invention keeps the floor tidy. Last Christmas, Joe also designed and printed a few dangling ornaments for the family Christmas tree.

Mojo uses Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) to build concept models. According to Stratasys, the printer “[builds] spot-on, functional concept models and rapid prototypes in ABSplus thermoplastic. With the lowest price, fastest build and finest layers of any Idea Series 3D printer, Mojo’s good vibes inspire boundless creativity.”

The estimated value of the Mojo 3D Print Pack is $13,900 — and it can be yours, courtesy of Stratasys and DE.

So start thinking about what you might do with your Mojo, and go to the online sweepstakes form posted here to enter.

The 3D RV, Collecting Stories of Design and Innovation Across the U.S.

A blue RV painted with and gadgets and branded with high-tech logos is making its way across the U.S., from California to the New York Islands. The vehicle is commandeered by TJ McCue, a writer and 3D enthusiast. The road trip’s goal is to “[celebrate] the creative process, while illuminating the impact of design through firsthand customer stories, consumer creativity and student innovations,” as TJ puts it in his blog.

The 3DRV, as the journey is called, will cover more than 100 stops in eight months. The road trip is made possible by Autodesk, NVIDIA, HP, and Stratasys, among others. So far, TJ has met with people developing a 3D printer that’ll work in space, an underwater camera that could survive shark bites, and footwear that could double as a cellphone charger. As of today, the RV has covered 6,209 miles, made 54 stops, and TJ has gulped down his 269th cup of coffee. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Chromebook as the Front-End Client Device for Virtual Machines

Normally, you would think long and hard before you attempt to run a Windows-based CAD program on a Google Chromebook. Though affordably priced (starting $199), the lightweight notebook has very limited local storage capacity and runs in Google Chrome OS. That presents challenges for those trying to install and run Windows-based design and engineering software titles that demand graphics acceleration, generous hard-disk space, and ample memory. But what if you use Chromebook only as the front-end client device to access a virtual workstation hosted elsewhere?

That’s the setup NVIDIA, VMWare, and Google are advocating at VMWorld (San Francisco, August 24-26), a virtualization conference. In a press announcement today, the three jointly announced, “a collaborative effort to deliver high-performance virtual desktops and workstation-class graphics to Google Chromebooks.” Billed as a technology preview, the virtualization solution lets you use the latest Chromebooks powered by NVIDIA Tegra K1 mobile processors to remotely run Windows programs using VMWare’s virtualization software. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading