Introducing Jack and Jill: Your (Free) Virtual Factory Employees

Jack and Jill — the two avatars from Siemens PLM’s Tecnomatix Jack software –are about to head into classrooms.

Jack and Jill are made of pixels, not flesh and blood, so you can subject them to extreme conditions, command them to lift unreasonable loads, or squeeze them into tight corners without guilt. They’re your guinea pigs to test plant floors, factory layouts, and assembly line configurations, among other things. Automotive and aerospace manufacturers use them routinely in the discipline known as process simulation. Last week, Siemens PLM released an academic license of Jack, available for free. Continue reading

Dell Starts the Party at SXSW with Virtualization

After Dell made headlines last year for taking the publicly traded company private to allow it to innovate more freely, the company’s workstation division is having its “coming out party,” as Jeff Clark, who founded Dell’s workstation business 17 years ago called it. It’s a virtualization party, and the guest list includes the company’s software and hardware partners, as well as its customers.

The press event is taking place just a few miles up the road from Austin, where the South by Southwest (SXSW) conference begins tomorrow. At the event today, Dell announced that it is working with independent software vendors (ISVs), channel partners, virtualization software providers and its customers to move their applications from the desktop to the datacenter. The innovation comes in the knowledge of how to optimize virtualization for specific applications, so that software from Siemens, PTC, SolidWorks or Autodesk, for instance, runs as quickly as possible in a virtual environment.

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Siemens PLM Software Joins the On-Demand Trend with Solid Edge Subscription

Siemens PLM Software first tested the subscription-sales waters with Solid Edge Design1, a CAD package targeted at a smaller pool of users working on Local Motors projects. Whatever the success of this experiment was, it must have proven to be a viable business. Last week, Siemens officially launched Solid Edge subscription, priced $130-$350 per month. In doing so, the company hopes to attract a whole new set of design software consumers — especially those who need the software strictly for the duration of a project. Continue reading

How Daniel Got His Pinchy

Daniel Wilson, a dinosaur-obsessed Indiana boy, has a name for his arm. He calls it Pinchy. It isn’t the arm he was born with; it was custom-designed for Daniel by two biomedical engineering students from the Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. Pinchy is Daniel’s second arm, which straps onto the original. Outfitted with Pinchy, Daniel can do something other boys take for granted. He can ride a bicycle. Continue reading

The New Frontier in Digital Design: Automating Optimization

Editors like to nitpick, not just about when to use semicolons and em dashes but also about the way specific terms are used in publications. The term that has lately been stirring up discussions and debates among DE editors is optimization. Last weekend, after visiting Altair‘s office in Troy, Michigan, I found myself deep in conversation with managing editor Jamie Gooch and executive editor Steve Robbins about the very topic. It’s important for us to have consensus because we’re considering a number of articles devoted to the subject in the year-end issue. The tone, the stories, and the perspectives of these stories will very likely be determined by how we define optimization. Continue reading






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