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You are in charge of your next design

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“Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works.”- Steve Jobs.

Not all of us get to design the next sexy iPhone but that does not have to stop you from making better designs and innovate. If you stop and think about it, you have a great deal of influence on the projects you are working on.
Take for example a simple fixture design for your next CNC project. Could you pick a different material, re-use old parts, or something be 3D printed?.
What about function and handling, could you make it more operator friendly?
You have the power to design and innovate many things around you. What about the design of your department, your shop floor or the structure on the way to handle the next big project.
Designing the next cool consumer product or a drill fixture always has the possibility for change and improvements.

In the book Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. Tim Brown shares his many years of knowledge on how to inspire Innovation and the systems to transform organizations.

The power of Design Thinking.
There is always the old way to do things and it can defiantly be wise to listen to the old folks around as re-invinting the wheel seems silly, but with new materials and machines come new techniques.

Via Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation:
Technology still has not run its course. The communications revolution sparked by the Internet has brought people closer together and given them the opportunity to share perspectives and create new ideas as never before. The sciences of biology, chemistry, and physics have merged in the forms of biotechnology and nanotechnology to create the promise of lifesaving medicines and wondrous new materials. But these spectacular achievements are unlikely to help us reverse our ominous course. Just the opposite.
We need new choices.
A purely technocentric view of innovation is less sustainable now than ever, and a management philosophy based only on selecting from existing strategies is likely to be overwhelmed by new development at home and abroad.

It takes time to create the next big design.
Our culture is in a crazy emergency. With companies pressing their designers to get things created for the overnight 3D printing schedule or sample parts for the following morning meeting with the customer. We need to embrace patience and comeliness.

Via Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation:
One autumn day in 1940 the industrial designer Raymond Loewy was visited in his office by George Washington Hill, the president of the American Tobacco Company and one of the more colorful personalities in American business history. Hill offered Loewy $50,000 if he could improve upon the Lucky Strike package-a wager turned to Loewy and asked when it wuold be ready. “Oh, I don’t know, some nice spring morning I will feel like designing the Lucky package and you’ll have it in a matter of hours. I’ll call you then.”
Today we no longer feel that we must sit patiently and wait for some outrageous insight to strike us. Inspiration always involves an element of chance, but, as Louis Pasteur observed in a famous lecture of 1854, “Chance only favors the prepared mind.” Certain themes and variations-techniques of observation, principles of empathy, and efforts to move beyond the individual-can all be thought of as ways to preparing the mind of the design thinker ti find insight.

Its time to make thing better.
Tim Browns book is a great read. It will leave you in an innovative and inspiring mind.

Via Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation:
The field of innovation.
1. The best ideas emerge when the whole organizational ecosystem-not just its designers and engineers and certainly not just management-has room to experiment.
2. Those most exposed to changing externalities (new technology, shifting consumer base, strategic threats or opportunities) are the ones best placed to respond and most motivated to do so.
3. Ideas should not be favored based on who creates them. (Repeat aloud.)
4. Ideas that create a buzz should be favored. Indeed, ideas should gain a vocal following. however small, before being given organizational support.
5. The “gardening” skills of senior leadership should be used to tend, prune, and harvest ideas. MBAs call this “risk tolerance.” I call it the top-down bit.
6. An overarching purpose should be articulated so that the organization has a sense of direction and innovators don’t feel the need for constant supervision.

cadcamstuff corner


SolidWorks Tutorial:Import Diagnostics…
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[Lars:My friend Alin Vargatu from Javelin does a fantastic job explaining this great SolidWorks tool]
Ten Inspiring Quotes On Design and Creativity…
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[Lars:Simon Martin posted this great and fun article on one of my favorite website, Solidsmack ]
Mastercam launches 2014 Innovator of the future competition…
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[Lars:I love getting the youth involved and their creativity going. High five to CNC Software for sponsoring this ]
Full Size Lego Car running on air…
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[Lars:Most amazing video :-) Totally inspiring]
Grabcad’s Top 5 Features you might have missed…
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[Lars:Known for the best CAD file sharing site Grabcad has more up their sleeve. Workbench is a feature you should check out if you haven’t yet]

DFMXpress=Your FREE Design For Manufacturing Consulting inside SolidWorks

It will happen, one day you will receive a part that is nearly impossible to manufacture. Not because the part is on the “top secret out of space” difficult level, but because something as simple as an unexperienced engineer/designer did not realize that there is some physics rules that apply to make a design that actually can be manufactured in a very competitive industry.
DFMXpress…
SolidWorks has a nifty tool that pretty quickly can run an analysis on you part, and provide you with some feedback on some possible manufacturing street bumps, or should I say stop the design in its tracks before its manufacturability becomes too costly.
DFMXpress belongs to the Xpress family that you will find right at top of your Tools dropdown menu right inside SolidWorks.
Who should use this…
This tool is seamlessly integrated into SolidWorks, and will give you an opportunity to apply some basic sets of rules for drilling, milling, turning, sheetmetal and even give you a thickness analysis of a injected plastic parts. This tool was created, fed and raised for manufacturing!
So this tool should defiantly be on the list of CAM programers who gets designs handed to them, and/or if you are one of those young unexperienced engineer/designers…well, this can safe you from having one of those grumpy machinest yelling at you.
What is some of the things it does…
Figuring out how to use it could not be more simple. In SolidWorks go to your Tools dropdown-> Select DFMXpress and when it open in your left panel, Go to the settings tab, select your application, and set your parameters.
DFMXpress has parameters like…
  • Hole Depth to Diameter Ratio.
  • Mill Tool Depth to Diameter Ratio.
  • Minimum Corner Radius (Turn Part).
  • Minimum % Bore Relief (Turn Part).
  • Hole Diameter to Thickness Ratio (Sheet metal).
  • Recommended Bend Radius (Sheet metal).
Help…
What really rocks is that if your start looking in the DFMXpress help section you will find what for many has been hard earned advice.
Conclusion…
I think we sometimes forget some of these tools excist. Tools that could improve the bottom line should get a fair trial or the result can be loosing parts to the scrap bin.
This being the Xpress version there is a big brother with more options and strength. We will visit DFMPro later for review.