Just wanted to point everyone towards a CAD-related blog titled: “Virtual World Primer for CAD People” by Mark Burhop with Siemens PLM Software. Mark makes note of a lot of reasons why CAD and 3-D virtual worlds like Second Life fit together so well.
In my last blog entry, I mentioned that Siemens PLM Software was hosting several events this month on their island in Second Life. Along with the presentations, the company is offering a scavenger hunt on the Siemens Innovation Connection island from 10 A.M. (EST) May 28 to 10 A.M. (EST) June 23. Visitors to the island can register at the red railroad car with the National Steel Car logo then proceed to find the six other railroad cars sitting at different locations on the sim. Each car poses a question related to Siemens PLM Software. Answer correctly and a prize will be placed in your inventory. One car distributes shirts with the National Steel Car log.
An added benefit for going through the hunt is the chance to win a prize in real life. All avatars correctly answering all six questions will be entered into a drawing for a real life prize. To participate, register for a Second Life account, go through a quick orientation, and then use the search tab in Second Life to search for “Siemens Innovation Connection.” Hit the teleport button and you will be transported to the island where you can begin your hunt. For those of you who are already members of Second Life you can get a slurl here: Siemens Innovation Connection
Siemens PLM Software has hosted a few events recently in the virtual world of Second Life that have been fun and interesting for anyone interested in CAD. And according to their calendar, this is just the beginning. During one of these events, held on May 20, the company hosted a live launch of its Velocity series in Boston while at the same time hosting a live virtual launch in Second Life. Although I would never have been able to attend the Boston event, I was able to find my way into the Second Life event. What a great presentation!
Photo of Bruce Boes in Second Life and in real life giving a presentation about Siemens PLM Software Velocity Series
By attending in Second Life, I was able to find out the following information presented by Bruce Boes, global vice president, Velocity Series Marketing:
The presentation was fun and energetic and really nothing like I would have expected or had ever seen before having worked in the engineering field for the last 25 years or so. Lets face it, engineers aren’t usually thought of as the life of the party. But Siemens PLM Software showed me that maybe things are changing a little in our field. Throughout the presentation, a guy who introduced himself as the “answer man” would jump onto the stage to offer his own take on what was going on. The distraction provided a unique method of introducing key points.
Several videos were shown to demonstrate the ease with which products can be designed with the software in the Velocity series. I have to admit that I primarily use CAD for mapping and producing civil engineering plans which are quite a bit different from mechanical drawings. But even I could appreciate the ease with which products could be designed and then changed on the fly.
Some benefits included the ability to create specific constraints in the drawing such as holding a particular dimension, and then making changes to the product without having to worry about going back and checking or updating each constraint. During the editing process, the software revised everything on the fly as specified. You can even tell the software to always make sure a particular hole or component is always located in the center of another part – thus specifying a constraint based on a formula. That seemed impressive to me. I wish I could do that in my CAD software with my roadway or sewer design as easily as this was done in the Siemens PLM Software.
So in answer to why this type of drawing manipulation – termed “synchronous technology” is useful, Boes said it will allow the engineer the freedom to be an engineer and not have to be fully proficient in CAD. And this is good – if engineers can actually start creating the product drawing while they are designing, a significant decrease in time and elimination of mistakes can be realized. And this is what company’s are experiencing. Boes went through several design process examples to show how much time and money can be saved.