Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Pro/E vs SolidWorks

At Design Engine tonight we are doing a Pro/E vs Solidworks shootout where Im running solidworks. Except Im known as the Pro/E surfacing expert not the solidworks surfacing expert. In order to accurately evaluate the Modeling software of both Pro/ENGINEER and Solidworks each participant will have a team member in their corner of the ring.

I invited several from both Soldworks and PTC however only PTC AE's confirmed.

I pushed the crap out of Solidworks this week to prepare for the shootout so to do some impressive modifications like my one week surfacing students might do in Pro/E. There are a few connections that just fall apart and that frustrates the hell out of me. In SW I expect these connections to work and not like Rhino fall apart. That's frustrating.

Let me explain, that in my experience I have noticed industrial designers want to prove form when developing a product as opposed to simply capture form. I have noticed however many industrial designers are happy to just model a forum (capture form) hence their use of Rhino where they can't leverage strategic advantage of parametric controls nor participate in an intense study of parent child relationships. If we can leverage parent child relationships then we can make 20 modifications in five minutes like we teach ID'ers in my week long Pro/E surfacing intensive. Hence prove the forum in the light reflections.

My techniques for forcing solidworks to swallow twenty slight modifications in rapid fire all in less than four minutes is giving me a problem in a spot or two. Choking on one part and several of my beziar curves will not maintain their parent child relationships. Chris Thompson from Ohio an ME with significant product design experience will be here at three to sit in my corner running Solidworks and will help me through the issues.

My end goal is to make solidworks look great since after such development over the past three years is impressive then share surfacing workflow techniques with the audience. A workflow we at Design Engine are known to teach in our classes. One that I've stated on this forum that some may not have discovered yet.

On the Pro/E side I have two of my past surfacing students both in from Colorado's Karcher Corporation. They are taking a Surface edit workshop. Adam is an industrial designer with two plus years on Pro/E surfacing and in his corner he has Vaughn an engineer with significant product design experience also from Karcher. Vaughn is quite good at surfacing and sits on the surfacing technical committee at PTC on Pro/E. Vaughn is maybe more experienced than Adam who has also taken past surfacing courses. Karcher works on some interesting surfacing rotomolded products.

In my corner running Solidworks I have Chris Thomson an ME who is driving from Ohio today. He has significant product design experience using both Pro/E and Solidworks. We both have different modeling techniques and he has not seen the Design Engine workflow for proving form in Wildfire by modifying parts in rapid fire, he has looked at our Pro/E parts and we will have an hour before the event to work out our strategy together.

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Future Pro/E Developmnent

Wildfire 6 (assuming that is what it will be called), scheduled for released in 2011, has a lot planned for higher level surfacing! Since I have an affiliation with technical committee, I am not entirely sure what I can discuss however I can say for me it is the most significant release since ISDX made its debut in 2001. So get your credit cards ready to upgrade your maintenance ;). And I'm not just talking about just the new Sub'D modeling module which is significant in is own right.

One thing of note: there is a significant push for quality. As I heard the PLM lead discuss the four points for excellence, one was Quality. I laughed to my self thinking... "define quality". The speaker went on to define quality. Impressive.

"Quality is a road we are on" he said. He went on to describe quality as user experience, productivity, robustness, power, and exchange. PTC has always in the past focused heavy on power hence it is more powerful than other packages that maintain smaller budgets for development like the mid range modelers. The big push next for PTC Pro/ENGINEER development is in the user experience. He stated that ProE's user interface and experience should be "just plain fun to use". The example for this user experience is in the maturity of tools like welding and harness design tools that are all new in WF5.0. The PLM lead also went on to explain that quality is something you never achieve but something you always strive for. I buy that.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Learning Pro/E at a community college

I was on mcadcentral the other day and someone was asking where to take Pro/E training in Southern California. Be careful who you learn from or you could end up teaching the class.

Your other option is if you can learn Pro/E on your own. I learned on my own too... And so can you! It just took me at least decade to master Pro/ENGINEER.

When I first began to design the Design Engine Education surfacing course it was in the way I wish I could have learned surfacing. Our class helps students learn from making those mistakes beginners make. Back when I didn't realize I was just a beginner classes were taught from a book and from a video never by challenging me with a real problem. Design Engine does not teach from any of this. We have real world problems for our students to work through using real world applications with top down design. Everyone can follow a step by step book read training tho I would rather not. Instead we allow students to try things on their own, allow them to make mistakes with instructors within questions reach.

If I had that specular highlights surfacing intensive workshop back before 1994, I could have created better models sooner, completed more project on time, modified that one project within two hours instead of 5 weeks, got that one job, kept that one job, been the last one to be let go, satisfied more managers, made more money and all with confidence. I mastered it and anyone can do it. It just took me fifteen years. I cram that experience and passion into a four week intensive.

Oh... and I thought I was an expert after 5 years. In 1997 I 'was' the surfacing expert. Now I look back at how little I knew then.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Surfacing Training at Design Engine: How did they benefit?

Sram: The industrial designers at Sram, makers of Grip Shift and Rockshoks, have always used Rhino and Alias to make product to hand over to Engineers to either import or remodel. Now with Pro/ENGINEER training their industrial designers can work on engineering models and offer engineering a 3D Pro/E deliverable. Since Sram's engineers took the same class they now know how to manage any modifications to the model as they see fit. The industrial designer can now manage ribs on the front forks as ribs are visible to the consumer they should be handled directly by industrial designer and not necessarily the engineers. Industrial designers using Pro/ENGINEER instead of Rhino saved 30 hours per product and streamlined the process so engineers don't have to be tied to the static IGES data.

Rubbermaid: From one engineers' new found skills for "proving form" the engineer can make live modifications on the screen in front of CEO and other engineering managers saving weeks of revision circles.

Knoll: After taking Surfacing training at design engine Knoll engineers can now create more accurate lead times.

General Atomics: After taking the surfacing week long intensive, they don't have to hire outside consultants to handle the complex surfacing of their Aero forms.

Nike: Nike sent industrial designers and engineers together in the week long surfacing class, where they both discovered a unique work flow of capturing form and proving form. This cut 40 hours out of their design process. This forty hours saved six weeks lead-time for one specific product to hit the market.

Fisher-Price: After some Fisher Price Engineers took a surfacing week, their entire design process changed, work flow from conception to production. Because Industrial designer and engineers both took the class together, they worked together to formulate a written process that enabled industrial designer to maintain control to a specif point and passed off the development to engineering at another point. The engineers can take a Rhino or Alias model and reformulate the design using Pro/ENGINEER with a new process. The collective team shaved off 19 weeks out of a 10 month design to tooling process.

Grayhill: An engineer from Grayhill stated that his new skills with Pro/ENGINEER and surfacing (Johnathan is a degree d industrial designer taking the specific seven day class to ID'ers) helped foster a collaborative environment where he can now work on engineering models more efficiently. Reinforced brand identity through all involved parties speaking the same mathematical language.

Call Design Engine today to speak to a instructor about our surfacing class