Direct CAD News & Views from Kubotek USA

Red Bull Air Races-Talk About Freedom and Precision!

Posted by Chelsea Gammon on Fri, Jun 25, 2010

Red Bull Air Races 1I spent Father’s Day weekend with my father at the Red Bull Air Races.  Flying is his passion in life.  He’s a pilot, tows gliders, repairs their wings, builds model RC aircraft and we even once discovered he had built a full-sized airplane in the basement! (Okay, so we weren’t too surprised by the airplane in the basement. To be expected.) Attending these air races is not my typical weekend fare, and it was quite special. Between dad's passion for speed in the air and my passion for speed on tarmac, it was a fantastic medium for spending time together. The air races got me thinking about this whole freedom and precision thing. 

The Red Bull race pilots spoke of their passions for aircraft, flying and racingRed Bull Air Races 2.  They speak of the freedom they have in the air.  It’s empowering.  They MUST be precise while slicing air, or there are severe consequences.  The air race has strict requirements and limitations—Speed (230 mph max), Acceleration (12 g's max), Wing angle through gates (exactly 90 or 180 deg, Smoke Trail (1 sec penalty if off or inconsistently flowing), Weight (aircraft is weighed pre-race). And above all - DO NOT SLICE THE PYLONS. The aircraft (and the pilot, due to g-force pressures on the body) must be in pristine shape for the sake of racing.

Despite this need for speed and precision, each race pilot attacked the course in a slightly different way, using a personally choreographed set of movements. Because the only angle restrictions were imposed for gate-crossing, everywhere else on the course was fair game for unrestricted play.

The end result, however, was the same for each: crossing the checkered pylon.

Sound familiar?  Well, if you’ve been following our discourse on describe the imagethe advantages of KeyCreator and 3D Direct Modeling, it should!  Just like these race pilots, KeyCreator customers require speed with precision. Though everyone is working toward the same end-goal (getting that top product that results in good business and food on the table), everyone executes it differently. Frankly, who cares how you got there, or the steps taken? What matters is doing what you need to do to win.  This is the beauty of a 3D Direct Modeler like KeyCreator and, for that matter, a brilliant piece of aircraft.

:::::::::::: SMOKE ON! ::::::::::::::

Check out some videos from the races on our YouTube Channel.

Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, KeyCreator, Freedom and Precision

The Folly of One Company CAD / PLM Thinking

Posted by Scott Sweeney on Sun, Jun 13, 2010

My reflections after meeting with 100's of Engineers and Manufacturing/Engineering Management at Spring Tradeshows: 

I like meeting with people at trade shows and learning about what they design and how they get products made. Our Spring trade shows have come to a close and upon reflection I have a few insights based on the 100's of people that I have spoken with.

Living in the CAD, CAM, CAE, PLM world one begins to think that your CAD/PLM is some sort of a religion.  But my thinking on this is changing.   I see many managers and CAD/PLM users very interested in the latest CAD/PLM tools, such as 3D Direct CAD, particularly KeyCreator, because of its translators for native NX, Pro/E, CATIA, Solidworks, Inventor and also for its unified design environment: the ability to work in 2D, solids, surfaces all at the same time in the same workspace.  This makes for a very flexible PLM/CAD tool. These folks are very curious about what is available outside of their protected PLM Environment - sometimes under the watchful eye of the "CAD Mafia."  OK, tell me you haven't heard that term before -or a varient of it? (And if you dont hear from me ever again, you know that they got me!)

The real issue that I see that holds companies back from harnessing their full potential is the incorrect thinking of senior management regarding PLM/CAD tools; The thinking that has been conditioned into their being by the Traditional PLM companies.  This thinking says that you need to have all of your PLM tools from the same vendor.  Well that makes perfect sense if you are the vendor.  But for the designer or manufacturer in the supply chain, its like saying, you need to have all left-handed wrenches.

Supply chains can be very simple or extremely complex.  The design may start from a small company then the files are possibly sent to a large OEM for refinement, then the assembly is broken apart and sourced to the various manufacturing plants both internally and externally.  Then the parts are assembled in various other plant locations and finally shipped for distribution.

Is it possible to have all of the supply chain (internal and external) using the same PLM tools and versions of these tools and to have all of the engineers fully trained on these tools?  Even if this was possible, would you want a fully trained (read expensive) Engineer using CATIA to detail a simple 2D drawing of a fixture?  It just doesn't make (financial) sense.  Yet,this happens in many companies.  Or these very expensive and complex PLM tools are put into the hands of people that for no fault of their own aren't fully trained in all of the complexities of the tools that they are forced to use for the sake of "one company PLM/CAD." (Who could be fully trained in all of the complexities of some of these very complex tools?)

Agile companies on the other hand, put the right tools into the right hands of the properly skilled engineers and techs appropriately to complete the work for optimum results.

Agile companies,agile supply chains that are striving for maximum productivity, can benefit from the plethora of today's new and innovative PLM tools that simply aren't available from the Traditional old PLM companies.

Kubotek KeyCreator and Kubotek Validation Tool are two of these innovative PLM/CAD products that can improve productivity, profitability and quality if senior management is able to shed the "one company PLM" thinking.  

The benefits of embracing new and innovative technology within the supply chain can give your supply chain the sustainable competitive advantage needed in this ultra-competitive global economy.   So shed that One Company CAD/PLM thinking and embrace the new and innovative tools that don't lock you into one way of working or thinking.

Thank you for reading, and I solicit your thoughts!


PS I hope to see many "Enlightened" senior managers at our Fall Shows.

Topics: 3D Direct Modeling, 3D Direct CAD, agile manufacturing, Supply Chain PLM