No longer considered mainly a utilitarian device, consumers are actively engaged in a love affair with their electronics gear, upping the ante for product development teams now tasked with creating seductive designs on top of the traditional engineering challenges.
Call that an opening for Dassault Systemes, which is aggressively trying to promote its wide and varied 3D design, digital mockup, and PLM tools under its 3DEXPERIENCE umbrella into integrated solutions for specific industries. The latest in Dassault’s string of such offerings is HT Body, a broad-reaching platform aimed at engineers and designers in the electronics manufacturing sector and with a specific focus on the enclosures and chassis that are the most obvious hallmark of such devices.
Much like its Licensed to Cure industry solution for the medical device sector announced last October, the new HT Body aims to deliver what Dassault calls a single, pre-integrated design and engineering experience. Via a combination of Dassault tools, built-in best practices, and proven workflows, HT Body aims to connect and foster relationships between stakeholders in the design chain—from consumer to company, between industrial product designers and product development teams, all the way through product development and manufacturing, explains Michel Monsellier, Dassault’s solution experience leader for the high-tech industry.
“We’re building a new generation of solutions that take the process from beginning to end, combining the best products in the Dassault portfolio and mapping them as close as possible to address customer concerns,” he explains.
In the electronics design sector, the challenges or concerns typically fall into two buckets: 1) Helping the upfront design team nail the external appearance of a device so it has an emotional impact with consumers; and 2) streamlining the collaborative process between engineering and manufacturing to ensure the product is of high quality and can meet the continually ambitious time-to-market demands of this particular market sector.
One of the more interesting aspects of HT Body is its focus on the social collaboration and visualization tools that let manufacturers engage the public to provide on-going feedback on the look and feel of designs. At the heart of the capability is Dassault’s SWYM (See What You Mean) social innovation platform, which lets device manufacturers create online communities of designers and consumers to share ideas, elicit feedback, and virtually test drive potential designs. Dassault’s Natural Sketch tool is also part of the platform, allowing designers to easily draw concepts in a digital form and transform 2D sketches into 3D models as the design evolves.
“Instead of spending weeks building physical prototypes and going around the world to propose them to consumer panels, manufacturers can share 3D models in a very realistic, rendered way to get initial feedback and share the product’s look, feel, and shape with consumers,” Monsellier explains.
While a big focus of HT Body is on the front-end design shop, the platform also delivers functionality to ease the back-end design process. Via Dassault’s traditional set of 3D CAD and PLM tools, the platform gives manufacturing, quality, and design engineers real-time access to design data and supports bidirectional feedback of critical requirements. It also enables real-time change directives and workarounds to be delivered to the shop to minimize delays and costly rework, incorporates functionality for mold and tooling design, and can help simulate machining processes.
See how HT Body works in the video below.