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Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Where did 2010 go?

Is it just me or did 2010 just rocket by? I don't think my feet touched the ground for more than a few minutes over the past 12 months - but do you know what, it was great, every minute of it!

During 2010 I travelled more miles and spent more time sat in the car than I think I ever have done. But the upside of the travel is that I was meeting manufacturers, design engineers and users of the Autodesk Digital Prototyping solutions.

I saw some amazing 'stuff' being designed and manufactured whilst out on my travels, some really high-tech innovative new designs and some huge dirty great big power house structures that just simply dwarf you when stood next to them.

Although there were lots of highlights during 2010 for me, one that sticks out was spending time up in Aberdeen with a number of Autodesk Inventor users in the offshore oil and gas industry.

I visited one customer who had created an assembly of over 70,000 parts of their deep sea pipe laying equipment using Autodesk Inventor! It was huge, not just the number of components but the physical size was immense. As you'd expect the design contained a lot of steel structure which was created using the frame generator tools in Inventor as well as using interference analysis to find clash issues before they went to manufacture.

On the same day I visited a customer that was using Autodesk Inventor to design their underwater ROV's but then used the same data within 3ds Max Design to produce a 3D interactive underwater environment that is used to train the ROV pilots. It was a great example of how the 3D Digital Prototype data is being used not just for the design & manufacture of the ROV but also used downstream for other uses such as training. Re-using the data in this way meant the new trainees were able to have a near real experience to speed up their training and also meant the manufacturer was able to role out the training before any physical prototypes were created.

I could probably go on all day with similar types of stories and examples of the Autodesk Inventor users I met with in 2010, but for now I shall leave it at just those two examples.

No doubt 2011 will just as hectic - I can't wait!

Happy New Year :0)