Prelude to GTC 2014: Redesigning PLM for the I-Want-It-My-Way Consumers

At Converse’s design-your-own-sneaker portal, you get to create your own pair of Chuck Taylor, Jack Purcell, or Poorman. You pick the fabric print. You pick the sole and lace colors. You can even specify the eyelets — the rings through which you fasten your lace. Want something with more support than a lightweight Converse? Head over to Reebok to design your own running shoes. Marvel now lets you envision your own crime-fighting crusader at its Create Your Own Superhero portal. You choose the skin type, the headgear, and the outfit. If you’re so enamored by your custom superhero that you’d like to put him or her on your iPhone cover, head over to Skinit to upload the saved image and order your own cover.

The DYI consumerism is now spilling into larger products, including cars. Ford wants you to create your own custom Mustang V6, Gt, or GT500. Renault and Maserati are also happy to let you configure your own car online, outfitting it with from preferred bodywork, wheels, and carpets. Partly driven by instant visualization over the web, partly driven by the buyers’ participatory behavior, shopping seems to heading into the virtual world, into an environment that accommodates instant input and feedback. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

GPU-Accelerated Romance, 3D-Printed Valentines, and CAD-Cut Jewels

Most of you rely on the GPU to render your CAD assemblies into ray-traced eye candies or pump up the blood and gore in your favorite first-person shooter games. (Did I hear someone mention Battlefield 3?) It turns out, with a little bit of programming — and a lot of ingenuity — you might also be able to use the graphics processor to speed up your search for a love match. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

The Morgan Motor Challenge: Think Like an Ad Agency, Win $5,000 and a HP ZBook

Usually you design products, but can you also design an ad? If you can, you might win $5,000, a HP ZBook (estimated price $4,400), and publication credits at Morgan Motor’s website and magazine. The “Design for Morgan Motor Company” challenge asks you to create a magazine ad to promote the Morgan 3 Wheeler, a modern successor to the iconic vehicle that dated all the way back to 1910.

The challenge is hosted by Talenthouse, an online portal that connects artists and band advertisers. Along with Morgan Motor, Autodesk, HP, and NVIDIA are involved in the campaign. The winning entry will be part of the Morgan 3 Wheeler’s launch at an auto trade show. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Autodesk Readies Browser-Based CAD Products

If the transition of 3D design capabilities to the cloud has been a series of measured steps, think of Autodesk’s latest move as a leap for CAD.

Autodesk, which has been the most aggressive of the CAD vendors to embrace the new software delivery paradigm, has announced a technology preview of full-fledged versions of its 3D design, engineering, and entertainment tools running in a Web browser for the first time. These browser-based versions of Autodesk Inventor, Revit, Maya, and 3ds Max provide access to the bulk of functionality in the traditional desktop versions on any Internet-connected system or device without requiring a full license of the program, and without keeping the user tied to any specific PC. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Don’t Install–Stream! NVIDIA Grid to Power Remote 3D Apps on Amazon Cloud

Graphics-heavy 3D programs once inseparably tied to powerful desktops are migrating. They’re heading into the cloud. More and more are making their debut as SaaS offerings. Today’s announcement from Amazon Web Services (AWS) and NVIDIA is further proof that cloud-hosted CAD is not merely speculative or conceptual; it’s already here, waiting in your browser. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading