Monday April 21, 2014

3 Ways to Improve the Development of Product Requirements

Cross-functional teams should be assembled to create a product requirements document.

Long before the successful launch of any new product, a team is assembled to create a working document that captures all of the product’s requirements. This document encapsulates all the customer’s needs and wants into a definitive description of the new product’s capabilities. Once developed, this becomes the roadmap the design team will follow to ensure that... Read More

3 Ways Engineers can Implement Sustainable Design

A new bioplastic derived from popanediol (PDO) obtained from bacterial fermentation of corn sugar  is being used in the frames of Smith Optics' Prodigy ski goggles.

Good product designs provide for the needs and desires of its projected users. Increasingly those users want products that don’t just fit their needs, but are good for the environment as well. By adding the principles of sustainable design to the design and manufacturing processes, engineers can not only create products that are more sustainable, but can save their companies... Read More

A Picture’s Worth a Thousand Words: Why Rendering is Increasingly Important to Product Development


Engineers increasingly use rendering tools to create photorealistic visualizations of products as they evolve throughout development to speed concept approvals, identify problems, and sell products. We’ve all seen them; glossy, slick, perfectly lit product shots that look as if they were taken with a pricey, high-end camera. The vast majority of the time those product shots aren’t... Read More

Autodesk Ships Integrated CAM Package For Inventor

Autodesk now has a commercially available, integrated CAM software for Inventor users.

There has been a real need in the manufacturing industry among users to have a tightly integrated CAM package that works hand in hand with users’ CAD systems. Users wanted CAM functionality but didn’t want to learn a whole new tool. Today, Autodesk announces that Inventor users now have such a package. Autodesk got to this point after a key acquisition in October 2012... Read More

Product Design with Sustainability in Mind

Sustainable design means taking into account not just the materials used in a product's design but how it's manufactured, powered, transported, used and disposed of at end of life.

I think Kermit said it best: “it ain’t easy being green.” This is certainly true of designing greener, or more sustainable, products as well. The good news is that there are many new tools that are making it easier for product designers to keep sustainability front of mind when embarking on the design of a new product. By definition, sustainable product design... Read More

5 Ways Manufacturers will Benefit from “Big Data”

Big Data refers to  large datasets that can be analyzed to discern patterns and make better decisions. Most think big data will become the basis of competition and growth for companies, enhancing productivity and creating significant value by reducing waste and increasing the quality of products and services.

A recent study released by Business Advantage Group, a B2B research and consultancy based in the U.K., identified some of the key CAD trends in 2014. The company surveyed 409 CAD users and decision makers with the goal of identifying key trends in the CAD sector, both now and over the next five years. Despite a lot of media attention and making nearly every tech consultancy’s... Read More

The Role of Associativity in Direct Modeling

Design associativity is not exclusive to history-based 3D modeling approaches. Image courtesy of PTC.

When designers and engineers think about design associativity, they often think about history-based 3D modeling systems. CAD software that deploys a history-based approach to modeling requires engineers to anticipate and define feature constraints, relations and dependencies, which ensures that any design change will update all related downstream geometry. That’s design associativity.... Read More

Autodesk Releases 2015 Design Suites

Autodesk's 2015 Design Suite includes what's said to be the most advanced version of AutoCAD yet and can now be purchased monthly via a subscription plan.

This week Autodesk rolled out its new Autodesk 2015 Design Suites. What’s new? This release is said to be more tightly integrated with Autodesk cloud services, facilitating users’ ability to collaborate, simulate, analyze–all with just one click from within the suite. The company reports that the 2015 Design Suite includes the most advanced AutoCAD yet, which offers... Read More

Altium Partners with Octopart to Help Users Find Electronic Parts Fast

Altium Designer is electronic design software that helps users design PCBs to build the next generation of electronic products.

Electronic design teams today are challenged by shorter-then-ever, time-to-market requirements and rapidly fluctuating global markets. To deal with these challenges, engineers must understand and mitigate against supply chain risks during the design process. Around 70-80% of the lifecycle cost for a new product is a direct result of decisions made during the design phase. After... Read More

Mentor Graphics Releases Lean NPI Solution for PCB Design

Mentor Graphics' new Valor NPI software enables users to validate manufacturing constraints concurrently with the design flow.

Nearly all products today—ranging from cars to toys to medical devices—contain some type of on-board electronics. The integration of electronic components in products complicates the design process because it requires the unification of what has traditionally been viewed as two diverse disciplines: electrical and mechanical engineering. Electronics are increasingly being incorporated... Read More