SmartGeometry Conference (SG), the annual gathering organized by SmartGeometry Group, is now in its 12th year, with a solid history to prove its international appeal. But even long-time SG alumni are often at a loss for words when pressed to describe the event.
“What is SmartGeometry? I don’t actually have a straight answer to that. It’s a question that we ask ourselves many times,” said Xavier de Kestelier, one of the SG directors, during his opening speech this year (SG2013, The Bartlett: UCL, London, April 15-20). It’s not a scholarly event where professors get up and read papers, hiding behind tall lecterns and impenetrable academic terms. It’s not an industry event where people trade war stories and network over free-flowing wine and beer. “SG is one of the events where we get practice and academia to come to the same event and interact,” said Kestelier. “I never talk about SG conference; I always talk about SG workshop/conference, because that workshop is very important, probably the most important thing.” Continue reading
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
What would a version of Dropbox customized for CAD users be like? It would probably look like MyCadbox, a cloud-hosted virtual storage space for STEP files. The online product comes from the same company that developed and released CadFaster, a viewing and markup program for CAD users. Like CadFaster, MyCadbox is three complementary offerings — a private storage online, a desktop client app, and a mobile app — that form a single product. Continue reading
Ever put together one of those IKEA furniture that makes you feel dumb? The illustrated assembly instruction shows you exactly where each dowel, screw, or nail is supposed to go. But you can’t seem to complete that seemingly simple step. You find that the gap between the intersecting beams doesn’t leave enough room for your hand to tighten the screw, or that the dowel cannot be inserted unless you have an extra set of hands holding up another piece at a perfect angle. It’s not your fault. That’s the outcome when a manufacturer overlooks an essential factor in the assembling/dissembling process: the human factor. Continue reading