Upon recently returning to the cold, white north I've begun reflecting on this past week. In mostly-sunny San Diego (California) 7000 people, give or take, attended SolidWorks' annual event: SolidWorks World. This is the community's opportunity to see what's coming down the pike for SolidWorks 2015, get exposure to new technologies being launched by DS SolidWorks (SWx Inspection, Mechanical Conceptual and Industrial Conceptual), hob-nob with users, programmers, and industry experts, and get inspired.
The two greatest sources of inspiration came from speakers at the General Session. I'd like to give you my take on them both.
- Hugh Herr - An Associate Professor at the prestigious MIT, he not only invents bionic limbs but utilizes the very same technology as he is a double amputee. We live in an an exciting time where the science fiction of my youth is ever becoming the reality of today. I can't help but think about what the advancements Dr. Herr and others in the Biomechatronics group are going to do for the world of medical health at large. The next question in my mind: how does the world access this technology? As I've seen from Worlds past, there are some very bright engineers who are capable of producing life-saving technology from the mundane and providing access to those of lesser means.
- The U.S. Olympic Bobsled Team (http://www.bodynbobsled.com/) designed and improved because of SolidWorks CAD software. Who doesn't like victory? And this year's Night Train2 team has demonstrated it on the world's stage recently with victory in Germany while on their way to compete for gold in Sochi. This is a simple story, really. A NASCAR hero gets bitten with the bobsledding bug, turns to the industry he knows and loves for help, and out pops Night Train2! It may be natioanlism as the source of inspiration but it may also come from seeing the team's use of SolidWorks and CFD software to improve their design. Follow that with very visible wins for the team recently and it's hard not to get inspired to put my all in whatever designs I work on.
These two are certainly not the only source of inspiration I experienced at this year's World. Walking through the Partner Pavillion and seeing the showcase of amazing High School student's robots, consumer electronics, and a new 3D printer capable of laying down carbon fiber in a Nylon matrix to make more functional rapid prototyped parts all blew my mind! And then there's the general buzz one feels and picks up from the thousands of attendees. Listening in on conversations around the breakfast table or next to a vendor's booth one can't help but be inspired by the many individuals and companies succeeding because of SolidWorks. What a company! What a CAD tool! What a World!