Those engineers chalking up the cloud to be a passing fancy or a platform that’s ill-suited for professional-class design tools might want to reconsider.
In yet another example of a full-function engineering tool making its way to the latest software delivery model, startup Lagoa has just released a full 3D rendering and collaboration platform, entirely browser-based and running solely in the cloud. Continue reading
Mountain climbers know Piz Daint, measuring 9,700 feet, as part of Switzerland’s snow-dusted Ortler Alps. Researchers and supercomputer nerds, however, know another Piz Daint, installed inside the Swiss National Supercomputing Center (abbreviated as CSCS in Swiss). The center is a unit of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, where Albert Einstein once studied. Since supercomputers are used for, among other things, accurate weather prediction, the micro-climates of the Piz Daint in the Alps could very well be computed on the Piz Daint at the CSCS.
The supercomputer is a Cray XC30 system. Its current performance is listed as 216 TFlops, according to Top 500 Supercomputers. It’s the largest supercomputing giant Cray has assembled and delivered to date. But it’s about to get faster. When it’s retrofitted with Kepler GPUs, its speed will go up to 1 PFlops (1,000 trillion floating point operations per sec), announced NVIDIA. By early 2004, the Piz Daint will become “the fastest GPU accelerator-based scientific supercomputer in Europe,” NVIDIA noted.
Space, the final frontier, is no longer restricted to NASA and government agencies. It’s now open to private citizens and companies, spurred by incentives like the Google Lunar X Prize. So it wouldn’t be far-fetched to imagine an open-source rocket engine printed in a 3D printer in the near future, right?
Make that future today. At SXSW, the techno-musical Woodstock of the Facebook generation, DIYROCKETS and Sunglass are launching a contest to invite you, me, and everybody to design a rocket engine. In the joint announcement from the two companies, they wrote, “The competition … challenges makers, designers and space entrepreneurs to create open source rocket engines that will serve the growing market for small payload delivery into low earth orbit and ultimately, disrupt the space transportation industry.”
DIYROCKETS said its mission is “to lower the cost of space exploration as much as possible by generating extremely low-cost knowledge and technology through open sourcing and crowd-sourcing.” Continue reading
In 2008, when Autodesk got its hands on Moldflow in an acquisition, it gained a huge advantage over rivals CAD developers. The ability to simulate the injection-molding process for molded plastic products brought design (CAD) and manufacturing (CAM) closer than before. The software is still available as a standalone program, rebranded as Autodesk Moldflow. But it’s also tightly integrated with Autodesk’s primary 3D mechanical design software, Autodesk Inventor, though a plug-in called Moldflow Adviser. Continue reading
If there were lingering doubts about whether Autodesk was fully committed or merely experimenting with the cloud, that ambiguity should be put to rest with its latest announcement: Autodesk Fusion 360, what the company claims is the first comprehensive 3D CAD program to support the emerging delivery paradigm. Continue reading