In the year 2007, I had the pleasure to work with Torbjörn Danielsson and Kare Folkeson, from Virtual Manufacturing, in the design of a new factory line and the industrialization of a new clean tech product. At that time, I was in charge of the design and construction of the new factory of a Swedish/Spanish company called ClimateWell. It was a discovery for me to see how these two Swedish colleagues were using virtual design tools to 3D replicate the line lay-out and simulate the manufacturing workflow.
The set of software tools they used ranged from Catia and Delmia to Avix and different robot programming languages.
Equipment suppliers, like Kuka, normally, provide their clients with 3D virtual models in Catia of their industrial robots. This service allowed us to replicate and test the performance of the different robots in action in our virtual factory, facilitating an informed and risk-reduced purchase.
Two months ago, I came across this video from SpaceXchannel, where the admired Elon Musk, explained how virtual design is used in Space X. It showed how they create, manipulate and print in virtual 3D some of the rocket parts needed, all at once. This process accelerates the design-manufacturing workflow, allowing them to move directly from the conception of the idea to the factory floor, just in one step. In particular, I enjoyed the cost-effective use of the 3D metal printing as I had not seen before. In my opinion, if this approach were more generalized, it could booster local manufacturing in Western countries. The productivity could booster spectacularly.
To summarize, these quick design and manufacturing processes allow us to:
2.)3D print: MakerBot, or many others, to 3D print our own designs at home. Alternatively, we can use 3D printing services provided by a local company in our town. In France we have 3Dhubs. Other large corporations as UPS and Staples are planning big scale moves into this field in the USA.
This advanced 3D design and printing…Will it return of manufacturing jobs to the USA and Europe?
Are our educational systems delivering the uptodate edcuation needed to catch up with the challenges we have in the society?
Most probably, many actions are needed to improve our educational system. In particular, it needs more flexibility in order to adapt to new trends and knowledge from the industry. This may not an easy task, but it is needed to recover the lost jobs in western economies.
Originally published at www.pedrodieguezporras.com on January 22, 2015.