What’s up in the world of product design? Here are stories from the past month we think you’ll like:
At PTC’s LiveWorx event recently, Stratasys showed off an interesting use for additive manufacturing—custom skins for your car. From Korea’s Daihatsu, these decorative panels attach to a vehicle, giving it a one-of-a-kind look. And because they’re 3D printed (i.e., no tooling needed), they can be relatively inexpensive.
The unique piece in the image above is composed of acrylic-styrene-acrylonitrile (ASA) polymers, and printed using fused deposition modeling (FDM). Stratasys reps said engineers liked ASA for this application because it offers a higher UV tolerance than other plastics.
Panel on display at LiveWorx. This piece was printed, sanded, and painted.
As summer marches on, we’re currently reading Bill Bryson’s One Summer: America, 1927. The book, a couple years old, provides a glimpse into the U.S. (and the world) during the tail-end of the 1920s. For instance? Non-stop transatlantic plane flights. They were unheard of. They were uncomfortable. And they injured, maimed, and killed numerous pilots trying to master the achievement. What’s this have to do with product design? Nothing really, just that it makes Sikorsky’s latest demonstration of a 30-mile flight with an operator planning and executing every phase of its mission using a tablet seem so, well, amazing. Talk about being thrust back in the present. Here’s the video that shows the pilot maneuvering the aircraft, Again, with a tablet.
Say your customer needs to get under a 20-ton fire truck to, I don’t know, change the oil. You can’t drive that thing into the local Jiffy Lube. You need a special lift to get under there. That’s the business Rotary Lift is in. Check out their most recent product release:
“Rotary Lift's all-new V-REX vertical rise, drive-on platform scissor lift raises the biggest, baddest vehicles more than 77 inches in the air without a whimper.”
When was the last time you designed a product described as the “biggest and the baddest”? OK, sure, the marketing folks had a hand in this yet still, it’s a nice goal to have. And the V-REX? It features four-bar engineered rotational linkages that transfer shear forces to the foundation, optimizing lift efficiency and decreasing installation costs. Because the legs feature rotational hinge links that rotate and pivot instead of sliding, they are more efficient and longer lasting. That’s pretty big.
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