dassault introducing new virtual 3d software

there was a chap from coventry and brett from cdn who were saying in the cdn forum software will never replace clay/mockup in aerodynamic design. lol.


Just posted an entry about that LATimes article on Dassault. No mention of “PLM”, but it’s obviously just that. And check out the link at the end of my post (and maybe surf that MIT site for some very cool user-interface experiments).

Even after reading this -and I must say it’s not revolutional but rather evolutional- I still agree with Bret!

When they talk about the “design” of a businessjet, than it’s merely about engineering than design “per se” (but what’s design anyway, where does it start, where does it end…that’s another topic I guess)

Although 3D CAD packages might be able to simulate shape, volume, aerodynamics, FEA, and so on, what they can’t do is simulate “touch”. I guess that the parts that have been developed with the Dassault software were merely of technical nature, and not interfacing with the users of the craft. IMO there was still a full mockup done for the interior design.

When a car designer is working his clay, there’s a lot of feeling going on too. I’ve been working for several years now on first class interiors for airlines, and I can really appreciate the advantages of a full scale model to verify the comfort of the seat, the softness of the leather, the touch of a surface edge on the remote control. All these kinds of things. And then I’m not even talking about the quality control of all the elements that need to be manufactured.

i disagree because in a virtual 3d environment you can actually see the design and how it integrates with engineering which is non-existant in clay modeling. that’s how you save time and design better seats, cabins, chassis, even interface. you no longer have to wait two years until a customer or mechanic calls you up and complains about neck pain, visual problems, no room to change parts, etc.
while clay might be a more affordable mock up for a small comapny bigger companies will be out of their mind not to replace their clay with this software. who cares if you can touch it or not, just to be able to see the whole thing in front of you in a pitch black room and be able to walk through it is cool enough.

hmmm- dont touch an interface design like a seat or a button through the entire design process? First design an ergonomic product completely in CAD to tooling before coming back and saying something like that. At some point it needs to become tangible. Yes perhaps in the future you could design completely in CAD when real time rendering and haptic interfaces are powerful enough to help you see actual scale and help you feel a product. Until then- all the Catia in the world wont help you. Your eyes were not designed to feel- thats what your hands and skin are for. I use CAD all day long in and out. At some point it has to come out of the machine. Thats how clay is used in auto modeling. Close enough in Alias and then massaged by hand in clay models-then optically scanned back into CAD and then sent to tooling. Thats why you cant bypass milled models or SLA models.

Dude the guys from CDN at least have some car design experience. It would help if you had a car or two under your belt. Or a product or two. Its not cool to dis so readily.

that’s an opinion from someone who hasn’t even opened a catia program before to see what they have. if you look at their start menu they have several ergonomic and human interaction modules. designer can also add human models to any ergo specification. that’s much better than clay. the new dassault must be much more advanced than catia. therefore it’s possible to do ergonomics without an actual prototype.

but regardless, who said you can’t create models after you have the design? that’s why you use it in the first place. if i wanted to spend hours designing something and leaving it there i might have as well designed air.

i think everybody pretty much knows what they do in a regular auto design studio. spare us the repetetaive scenario lecture.

and what makes you think i don’t have products out? just because it’s not in my folio doesn’t mean i don’t have them.

you need to work on your attitude towards technology. otherwise you’ll stay in 20th century for the rest of your life like many people have and regreted it later.

There’s a difference between “using a tool because its exists” and “using a tool because it’s good”.

For sure there are CAD packages that have features that can mimic tools that have been doing the job up until now, but that doesn’t mean that they are better, and given the fact that most of these new virtual tools are still in their childhood, they probably aren’t yet and some will never be (the ones that are trying to be tools for “tactile tasks”)

you need to work on your attitude towards technology. otherwise you’ll stay in 20th century for the rest of your life like many people have and regreted it later.

It seems that you categorise all technology as being an advancement. And not embracing all technology will certainly result in “being left behind”. I don’t agree. If the technology can’t match the needs better than its predecessor, than it has no added value and will not persist.

In case of the clay models, these models are not a goal per se, but rather a tool. They are not only made for the final object that can be visually checked, but cars are being styled while the model is worked on. With both the eyes (see whats beautiful) and the hands (feel what’s beautiful).
Sure you can model the whole thing and then have it machined, but you will loose a lot of control over the styling process.

i have thought about this a lot and i know what you’re trying to get across. i have reached the conclusion that it depends on the strategy a company follows. because looking at it from a broader perspective, and not an individual’s acute scale it’s a development process, a complicated one in some respects, and at one point you have to make a decision out of three:

1- go with the current way of doing things and wait until the industry adjusts itself gradually as a whole.
2- do a mix and try to take advantages from both, in other words be concurrently adaptive. this also has branches of adaptation which i won’t get into here.
3-go with the newest ideas and innovate on your path.

i believe it’s a matter of choice from technological point of view.a lot of auto companies like to follow routine although they probably can afford to do what’s not routine.

but for a change let’s go back to the principal idea.dassault has created this software to make it’s own crafts. why did they do it? heck i don’t know. maybe they want to make ugly looking cad jets or maybe they ran out of clay and foam!

jokes aside it’s obvious there’s a huge advantage to go software because just as print revolutiionized the way we think about a piece of dramatic writing on paper, software has revolutionized the way we see and use material. two hundred years ago if you gave a printed hard copy as a gift to a king he would have probably taken it as an insult and cut your head off. but now the richest people in the world prefer it on their laptop or palm.

unless ofcourse you like getting messy with clay all day.

well, i admit, maybe sometimes i like to play with clay too and get my hands dirty, just as i like to browse through a 500 year old hand written manuscript, but when it comes to serious design i still prefer clean software.

finally, since we went so far into this matter and since i have heard a lot of people’s opinions on it, i have come to realise inadvertently there’s this bias belief that you’re more creative when you use clay and vise versa if using cad.

not true at all. i don’t know how some people have come to this - to measure creativity with the tools used. it’s not only absurd but critically misleading in all aspects of thought specially that we have seen all that could be done with creativity in the past century which has had nothing to do with what tools used but rather how these tools where used.

technology is another stroy.

please don’t mix technology with creativity, and if you must, be cautious not to generalize to a point where it blocks logical thinking for the sake of a certain personal understanding of style and a definitive course which leads to that particular understanding.

Seems to me that there is an odd juxtaposition of thoughts here concerning aesthetic design and engineering rigor. The two can sometimes unite, but sometimes they diverge.

IDers may want a clay object with which to work because it’s familiar. But putting a clay model in a wind tunnel does not automatically yield the best data. I’ve used wind tunnels. How they are used is more complex than just sticking a model in the tunnel. They are, by definition, approximations of free stream conditions. Just like software is an approximation. Unlike software, they suffer from real world limitations (which is why the first job I did with a tunnel was gathering data from a cross-section of a wind tunnel at various velocities; the tunnel itself - the minor irregularities in the geometry, the miniscule-but-significant variable surface friction on the interior, the slight non-uniformity of incoming and outgoing fluid volumes, aso - all impact the empirical data that’s collected from a model in a wind tunnel and yield inaccuracies). Wind tunnels are not perfect. They are a simple solution to a problem we’ve not otherwise been able to resolve. Until now. We should expect that at some time in the foreseeable future they will go the way of the horse-drawn carriage.

That is not to say, however, that clay models will disappear any more than the pencil will disappear. Or the horse-drawn carriage (which you can still find in many parts of the world - including NYC). Both are merely tools and a means to an end. So to each their own. I do believe they will be replaced as standard practice, however. That’s the current trend. And the reason for this trend is that as the computational power increases and mathematical algorithms improve, the aerospace engineering concerns for accuracy move away from old wind tunnel data collection to more reliable and relevant and flexible software simulation.

If there are aesthetic issues to consider, then the designer can use clay or any medium to resolve those. iirc Toyota once filled balloons with plaster to get shapes to help them develop forms. To each their own. But saying that clay is the only way to do this is short-sighted and sounds defensive.

And since no one has mentioned the interfaces to which I referred earlier, I’d suggest you hunt them up. There are interfaces being developed which involve direct interaction with a material that “communicates” with computers. There’s no reason to believe that there will not some day be a “smart” clay which communicates its shape directly to aerodynamic simulation software. So clay modelers can still do what they’ve always done. Not being able to imagine that possibility is, imo, a failing.

i think there will be smart “suits” which are controlled by computer as they interact with “space”. imagine wearing a suit that responds to 3d space like points that are attracted or harmonized with assigned/free floatinging matrices. you do that to a certain extent in assembly design when you mate parts but its really primitive. with nanotechnology advancing forward you can also have virtual meshes.

that way the cad styler can get feedback from the subject too.