SOLIDWORKS World 2018: The Third Digital Revolution

Posted on 7 Feb 2018 by Jonny Williamson

Day two of ‘SOLIDWORKS World 2018’ offered more stories on how Dassault Systèmes' software helps makers to create new products; and the show in Los Angeles unveiled more new features the CAD software will be providing in the future.

Boom Technology’s CEO Michel Jagemann at SOLIDWORKS World 2018.

The technology for a Supersonic aircraft, which can fly faster than the speed of sound, exists for over 50 years but it has never been efficient enough for routine travels.

The reason was, according to Michel Jagemann, CEO at Boom Technology, that the original Supersonic Concord was built in the 1950s, at a time when not even CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software existed.

Since then, Jageman said at the event, the engine technology has advanced so significantly, that now even start-ups like Boom Technology can bring a technology for an airplane flying from New York to London in 3.5 hours to the market.

Boom Technology designs airliners which enable fares 75% lower than the Concorde, due to a design method based on SOLIDWORKS. The software made it possible to create an aerodynamic design, state-of-the-art engines much quicker and cheaper than in the past.

Jagemann said, SOLIDWORKS played a major role in the manufacture of the Supersonic. The entire aircraft was designed in SOLIDWORKS and the software managed to handle the PDM data management, the simulations and the VR assembly.

Fabrication and the third digital revolution

Although Boom Technology is generally an engineering company, its story stands for a new trend in future manufacturing. New technologies like CAD software applications and 3D printing further close the gap between ‘art and part’.

The first digital revolution was featured by communication, the second was characterised by computation and the main achievement of the third digital revolution is the democratisation of fabrication.

The gap between designing a part and making it, is getting smaller; and this concept is part of Dassault’s idea of the Industrial Renaissance, where the fabrication of a product is becoming more individual and is determined by its demand.

The future of manufacturing: The FabLab

One attempt to accelerate the disappearing of the gap between designing and making, is Dassault’s FabLab initiative, which started three years ago, designed to unleash creativity with a corresponding community on a social platform to share projects.

In one of the breakout sessions at SOLIDWORKS World 2018, , the engineers Paul Clinton and Ben Nuebel showed how projects in a FabLab setting can cooperate in SOLIDWORKS as a key design tool.

Keynote speaker Brent Bushnell was explaining his business ideas at SOLIDWORKS World 2018.

In recent projects, which exist literally all over the world, young makers have created drone designs, biomimicry lamps, iPhone covers and 3D printed jewellery.

FabLabs fosters collective intelligence and social links across generations, and between professionals and amateurs; and it supports not only prototyping, but also ideation, design activities and access to manufacturing tools to manufacture real things.

The overall idea behind the creation of FabLabs, according to Suchit Jain, Dassault Systèmes SOLIDWORKS Corp, is the fundamental democratisation of manufacturing, which enables smaller manufacturers to make products much quicker and more cost-effective.

Jain underlined, that a huge number of software start-ups were established in the 1990s due to the demand of new software systems in every industry sector.

Now, Jain said, it is getting much easier to establish hardware start-ups which manufacture parts and products because the gap between design and manufacturing is getting smaller and the costs in the sphere of additive manufacturing will be falling rapidly.