It was a mission so perilous D-Day’s head of airborne operations predicted 70% of the planes and up to half the men involved would be lost, according to NOVA (Reconstructing the D-Day Gliders). The mission was to deliver an advanced force behind enemy lines to secure some of the bridges and crossings before the primary assault began on D-Day. The idea was to have C47 planes tow a series of gliders across the English channel. Upon reaching the landing site, the tow ropes would be cut to let the glider pilots land the planes, made of mostly wood and fabric. What’s worse? The pilot would have to land the unwieldy gliders in the dark, in about three minutes.
Seventy years later, a few people from Dassault Systemes got to experience what it was like to land a WWII-era glider in the tree-strewn French countryside. They were part of the production team that helped NOVA recreate the D-Day landing for a documentary series. Continue reading
Leonardo Da Vinci, remembered for his artistic masterpiece Mona Lisa, also left behind quite a lot of engineering drawings that were never realized or tested. They’re preserved in his sketchbook, known as The Codex Arundel (now digitized and archived online at the British Library’s site). Many of his ideas — like his mechanical wings, flying ships, and war engines — would have required crews, carpenters, and craftsmen to properly prototype and test. Suppose he could travel in time and gain access to the type of 3D CAD programs designers and engineers use today for concept exploration, what might he have done with it? How would his ideas look as digital prototypes? Continue reading
Justin Erickson, engineering technology instructor for Haile Middle School, Florida, somehow succeeded where many parents have admitted defeat. He managed to lure his students away from their video games with something else. That something turned out to be SolidWorks CAD software.
Last August, Braxton Cox and Colton Cox, twin brothers in Justin’s class, became the youngest Certified SolidWorks Associates (CSWA) after passing the industry certification exam. Braxton (age 14), a fan of the game Battlefield, recalled, “[The exam] wasn’t hard, but I wouldn’t say it was easy either. I had to study for it for about two and a half months.” Asked if he felt deprived of some of his favorite pastime activities while studying for the CSWA exam, Braxton replied, “No. I don’t think of working in SolidWorks as a chore. It’s something fun I like to do, like a video game.” Continue reading
As the year draws to a close, Dassault Systemes is making a move to acquire RTT, a visualization software powerhouse. When the transaction is completed, Dassault will own 84% controlling stakes in RTT’s interest.
“Our clients express a growing need to fully exploit their 3D digital assets, to transform their marketing and sales as part of their ultimate customer experience. The people at RTT have demonstrated remarkable talents in delivering innovative solutions to their clients,” said Bernard Charlès, President & CEO of Dassault. Continue reading