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Saturday, 13 March 2010

Dynamic Structures named as Inventor of the Year

The Inventor of the Month (IOM) program began in 2006. Each month, Autodesk selects an Inventor of the Month from the more than 700,000 users of Autodesk Inventor software. Winners are chosen for engineering excellence and groundbreaking innovation.

Each year since the launch of the Inventor of the Month program, Autodesk has invited the manufacturing community to choose which of their favorite IOM recipients should be named Inventor of the Year.

This year, Dynamic Structures has been named as the Autodesk Inventor of the Year for 2009. Members of the Autodesk manufacturing community chose the Canada-based provider of dynamic, complex structures as the 2009 Inventor of the Year by voting on the Autodesk Manufacturing Community website.

Dynamic Structures—which designs all types of complex structures from ski jumps and bridges to astronomical observatories—was originally named Inventor of the Month in March 2009 for its work designing the enclosure that will house the world’s largest telescope, the Thirty Meter Telescope. The company is also using Autodesk Inventor software to raise the bar on what consumers expect from theme parks by creating bigger and more thrilling rides.

“Our company motto is ‘Anything you can dream, we can build,’” said Craig Breckenridge, senior designer at Dynamic Structures. “Inventor software has played a big role in helping us make good on that promise, and we’re honored to have the innovative work that we do recognized with the Inventor of the Year award.”

Digital Prototyping Creates Next-Generation Thrills

The company has successfully been using Inventor software to expand the offerings of its entertainment division, which designs attractions for the multibillion-dollar international amusement ride industry.

Notably, Dynamic Structures specializes in adding robotics to entertainment rides. This takes the form of roller coasters that operate on articulated arms, so that riders experience more unexpected motion and positions than on a regular rollercoaster track; motion theaters whose seats have programmable pitch and heave, so that audiences feel the sensations that they are viewing on the movie screen; and automatically guided vehicles that can navigate indoor and outdoor attractions in a pre-programmed fashion, without requiring a track.

Since these large amusement rides are difficult to physically assemble and test during the prototype phase of product development, Dynamic Structures relies on digital prototypes created in Inventor software as well as collaboration with Autodesk reseller and training partner IMAGINiT Technologies. Digital Prototyping enables the company to put all the mechanical and structural components in motion to simulate performance.

For example, this dynamic analysis helps the company identify corners that are too sharp or drops that are too steep long before the ride is built. The company can even check to see that it is not exceeding the acceptable G-force that a passenger is subjected to on a ride, helping to allow thrills and safety to go hand in hand.

Additionally, Dynamic Structures participates in a mentoring program with the engineering departments of 17 universities as part of the Association of Canadian Universities for Research in Astronomy’s involvement in the Thirty Meter Telescope project. As part of the program, Dynamic Structures provides student engineers with hands-on experience helping develop rides and structures.

“Dynamic Structures’ innovations are bringing a whole new level of entertainment to theme parks, and Inventor software is helping them design, visualize and simulate even the most audacious of ideas,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk.

For more information about Inventor of the Month and Inventor of the Year, visit the Autodesk Manufacturing Community: