Not going any distance

So how do you collaborate over a distance? Weather you’re sharing CAD files, working on something with a remote third party, or just able to use some equipment remotely (e.g. rapid prototyping, CNC). Would a technology that would facilitate collaboration and sharing of information and resources be useful in the industrial design process? What if it allowed any user to roll back and look at the previous ideation’s, and could show how new ideas and tangents formed then what they lead to? Do any of you think that 3D monitors and the Infinite Z thing are really of use in a creative process, or how could they better be implemented ?

I’ve collaborated over a distance many times. It all comes down to personalities.

When I worked on the Icon CJ3b the engineering team was in San Diego, the company was in LA, and I was in Boston… we used desktop sharing software and talked a lot on the phone.

Also, most production work I’ve done is in Asia. Over time I tended to develop relationships with the mold vendors, engineers and developers to the point where they would start to know what I tended to nit pick on and things become very efficient.

More tools are great, and where there is already a good relationship, they can only help, but establishing a clear line of communication and understanding is always the key… I might be totally mis reading what you are looking for?

In my experience, there is no substitute for a model in the hand, even if it still involves an express courier over a long distance. Designers imagine that they can see and equate in 3D, however if the shape is emotion critical, it must be physically proven with a model. Non-designers cannot look at a screen or a printout and get the same feeling and response if they hold it in their hand or walk around it.

I have done a lot of work over long distances through email, 3D PDF’s, phone, video conference, development blogs,etc, building interactive production layouts inside game engines, etc. At the interim and final stages, nothing substitutes the object in front of both parties in the conversation.

Even medical imagery as used on the Infinite Z website is being substantially augmented by rapid prototyped models that the surgeons can touch and physically relate to.

The project blog is a good way to see where you have been and how you got to where you are. However there always seems to be more open possibilities going forward than looking back for inspiration.

Thanks guys, yeah this is helping me. I am putting together a demo lab for a federal contractor. It uses a privet cloud to control a bunch of equipment like electron microscopes, x-ray diffraction things, various prototyping equipment, CMM, that sort of thing. They want to put these labs into High Schools and colleges, and offices all over the world. Then with some other stuff we have/make people collaborate on projects. There is no real focused vision from what I can tell. So I am trying to conceptualize the market in a more solid way, for me to feel what needs are there. The whole thing is a little odd, but I feel like they are on to something but no one really knows what. The work blog is like google wave.

The equipment in the lab is: a 3D tv, five workstaions, and one really cool computer to do 3D stuff on. We might pick up a FDM machine, a laser cutter, and a desktop CNC to help demonstrate the lab. (It would also help me make cool stuff on my own).

“federal contractor”

Probably just a DARPA program to drop fdm and CNC machines into restricted areas to locally and covertly build out whatever UAVs or ground robots, or swimming robots with high tech x-ray, mm wave scanning, electron microscope etc, functionality and have good ways to control it all from abroad.

:slight_smile: maybe

Not really all that far off from the truth. :unamused: