Dassault Systèmes user event: Live Blog

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Bernard Charles will be on stage later today!

That’s it for us here in Vegas. Scroll to the bottom of the page if you want to replay the whole two-day event back in glorious ‘as it happened’ replay.

It’s been a big show for 3DXcite and what it’s rendering capabilities have brought to the table for DS, and the company looks solidly placed for the new year ahead.


11.38 – Real Impact is a massive data set – one crash is equivalent to rendering 100 full cars. But can be set up in a couple of hours by someone who’s not a rendering expert. Honda has a high performance cluster for this sort of thing.

11.35 – ‘It’s not just making things look pretty, it’s and engineering tool.’ It gives up a ton of information, angles, hiding parts and highlighting others.

11.29 – The CAE runs rather dull looking crash tests – obviously Eric will go to its future set up for the big talk crescendo. Now we’re seeing the real test, a slightly off-centre crash at 40 mph. It’s captured by various realtime cameras. Compared to this, the CAE results don’t really look real. But here’s the new software – Real Impact – with the correct light and rendering.

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11.27 – They use Catia for digital prototyping – 80 per cent of parts go into the crash models – including 5,000 spot welds (usual weak points).

11.24 – Eric DeHoff, principal crash test engineer for Honda, is going to run us though the amazing 3DXcite-enabled crash test technology for simulation.

11.20 – News! Actual news! Bernard Charles is up on stage with Steve to reveal that the Living Heart Project – over 100 new contributers are going to be inputting into the model.

11.12 – In less than 12 months they’ve gone from a concept to a virtual heart in beta testing. The next year is looking to continue crowd sourcing developers (now 30 contributers) adding in 3DXcite rendering to make it look super lifelike, and adding more simulation abilities to it. Bloody amazing!

11.06 – Launched back in May, 12 research groups joined up, and since the model has evolved to be able to run stress analysis on the model – to see where weak points are etc. – and to track electrical movement in the organ.

10.55 – Time for an update on the remarkable Living Heart project with Steve Levine, the Simulia manager. If you haven’t seen this, it’s a realtime rendering of the human heart, which can run simulation on it.

10.50 – There’s a plan to combine DS, immersive tech, 3D printing and robotics on site, all combining in a 3D Experience Centre. Going to be a lot of robots going in. DS probably need to start sorting some more 7-axis tools.

10.48 – WSU is inviting industry onto its site to promote engineering experience, all through privately owned companies moving in. They should take a look at what’s already happening in UK universities. But we’ll just keep quiet…

10.45 – Aiming to provide an experienced workforce, that’s affordable for the employer. The WSU Innovation Campus is pushing forward with this, making it an ‘economic driver’.

10.44 – It’s fast becoming an era of the non-metallic airplane. Changing materials means need for new tools. DR John is a fan of Catia and Simulia for these challenges.

10.42 – 170 material characterisation engineers, working with new materials performance, lots of composites. Aluminium has been around for hundreds of years, but now we all want to use composites or additive materials. There’s a lot of qualification problems – a three year process.

10.40 – Dr John loves a chicken cannon too (he’s building one), but he’s excited by the idea of reducing the number of physical poultry launches and using simulation to reduce the number.

10.38 – Problem with future workforce is teaching – 1 in 500 teacher to freshmen ratio – but they get around this by using 1 to 1 training using higher level. students.

10.33 – Dr John Tomblin from Witchita State University is here giving an academic institution’s perspective on aerospace. WSU partners with DS, it’s in an area home to the U.S. air industry, with 7,000 engineers (third largest number in the US).

9.35 – The customer experience – how they all jump in one of their planes, fly up to a partner meeting and fly back. I think that was a sales pitch for all the directors in the room. That’s it from Jon. Great talk.

9.32 – They use a giant environmental testing chamber to test for hot and cold climates. Also do ice Removal testing – cover parts of planes in ice and then make sure the melting ice and water doesn’t go through an engine and cause problems.

9.29 – They started building the bigger planes ‘vertically’, adding in lifts to take people up and down the upwards pointing segments. Helped save on injuries.

9.24 – To test for bird strikes they have a chicken cannon to blast the dead birds at a test plane – at 270 knots!

9.22 – Taking in the decisions of the test pilot is an interesting angle. Feeding this back into the design process and being able to implement changes quickly. Jon’s big message: ‘Never slow down the design team’. ‘These projects cost an enormous amount of money on a daily basis, so we have to keep moving’.
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9.16 – We’re looking at some of the airplanes from Cessna’s history. One is apparently ‘affordable’. Need to have a word about getting a company jet.

9.13 – Cessna are one of those big companies using the 3DS platform. Jon Carr from Textron Aviation (they own Cessna and Hawker). They’re in 25 countries, and judging by Jon’s map slide, it’s UK base is somewhere off the coast of Whitby…

9.10 – A virtual testing ground for the drone concept allows you to track and monitor all the stuff you’d do in the real world. Probably amazing for a big engineering customer (flying your drones, checking the engine optimisation before even making a part), but I’d estimate not one for the little guys.

9.05 – The DS toolset is set up for zipping through a ton of engineering data quick – all those Catia models – in the dashboard. Nice tracking of cost optimisation during the conceptual design phase.

8.57 – A live demo with DS Aerospace head Mich Tellier, about drone design and the full Experience platform.

8,54 – “What’s the experience in aerospace?” [crowd silence] ” It’s very easy”. Ok. Virtual roll out, to engineering, to testing, to compliance, to passenger experience. The new swirly image shows this a bit better.

8.51 – There’s going to be a fair bit of aerospace here – Cessna and Boeing presenting. But first let’s have Monica Menghini back on stage, hopefully without her unfortunate wardrobe malfunction of yesterday.

8.47 – It’s the main session. Attendance is a little light compared to yesterday, but that’s not diminishing Ken Clayton’s enthusiasm. He’s thanking people for tweeting about the event.

8.16 – And that’s it for now. Next up we’ll have the big keynote session. Time to mainline some caffeine.

8.12 – Will the crash test tool eliminate physical tests? In short, no, but they’ll cut the number of physical tests and the time/costs. If we all get driverless cars then Olivier thinks we’ll need to rethink the whole crash test process anyway.

8.06 – The acquisition of RTT and its viz powers. Wanting to use 3DXite in every part of the process. The new crash test software was in development before the acquisition. The services industry that RTT brought with it is still going and expanding further.

8.04 – Some Qintiq chat about planning organisation and logistics. They’re hoping to extend the benefits of this tool for Transport.

8.01 – The DS transport team has a core of 30 people, working with all the different groups, mainly a R&D set up of around 1,000 people.

8.00 – It’s only just 8am…

7.56 – Talikning about the AKKA (sic) driverless car program, a European ‘Google’ car out of a German-French collaboration. It’s using the DS suite to pull things together – from the cloud systems used to run it all, to the simulation of the door materials.

7.52 – Right now we’re going over yesterday’s transport program. Among the DS customers for this sector are Renault and Peugeot (quelle surprise!), while Jaguar Landrover and Tesla are doing interesting a things.

7.40 – We’re back on day two. It’s going to be a strange day of dipping in and out of different industries. Right now we’re sipping coffe with DS VP of Transportation Industry. By God it is early…


1.05 – That’s the end of the keynote session. No announcements, no big news, just some strong message reinforcement. The customer story sessions to come after lunch look interesting, so we’ll try and bring you some snippets later on.

1.00 – We’ve swiftly moved on to Delmia… Lunch is in sight, and the auditorium knows it…

12.54 – ‘Why visual is more than just marketing, and why it is everywhere…’ Oh, it’s another video. 3DXite showreel in full flow here, Lots of pretty cars, but hopefully it’ll switch up a gear and show a bit more of what it’s capable of. No, that’s it.

12.52 – Bernie is now stood in front of an image of the Compass. Surely someone’s got a winning bingo card by now?

12.48 – Geovia = modelling the planet, but also cities. Linking into Catia, so the maps have all the model information that can have all the Big data you want fed into them.

12.45 – Biovia = not just biology, but chemicals for manufacturing materials.

12.43 – Invested $1.5B since 2009 on research and acquisitions into sciences – all under the Biovia brand.

12.38 – Its a rip roaring ride through the DS case studies from the last year, three stories of what DS believes in – Gehry’s latest building, the WWII D-Day landing replication, and the Living Heart project. A few Nobel Prize winners have been using DS tools.

12.33 – It’s the Bernard Charles show – Bernie’s up on stage to close off the morning session. He’s rocking a pink tie. He’s investing significantly. He’s very positive. He’s targeting 12 industries. Frank Gehry is a close personal friend. Good taste in shoes.

12.30 – Our mining lecture is still going. Interesting point though – Big Tony wants to scrap current IP legislation as he feels it’s holding back innovation. Your thoughts?

12.20 – To summarise this lecture on mining, things are looking a bit crap for the future – the industry needs to modernise ‘by 20 years in the next five’. Whatever your view of the industry, if it doesn’t then all aspects will be negatively affected. Thankfully there’s lots of new tech, including the DS tools, that will help innovate.

12.07 – Now we’re going mining, like the 7 Dwarves, although they didn’t have 3D CAD tools. AngloAmerican director Tony O’Neill does, so he’s going to tell us about the future of the industry. Not like you really care, but keep that mental image of Grumpy trying to figure out the Catia user interface…

12.03 – Manufacturing process, carbon fibre draping etc. No mention of what tools they’re using for that, again… All a bit washy-washy on the details here.

11.59 – In short, DARA uses the full DS suite for its design and development. Optimising parts in the CAD model is very important to them, including topology in the 3DXperience (not sure what they’re using for that… Shall find out).

11.52 – Have created a locking mechanism for a car gearbox (important for electric vehicles) and Near Field Comunications (NFC) for cars, straight from your phone handset. In cases of car sharing, you can give someone access to open and start the car, as well as limiting the speed etc.

11.49 – Collaborated with BMW on the i3 lightweight doors – thermoplastics, aluminium, and an integrated B-pillar.

11.47 – It’s business moves very quickly, recently moving from mechanical to digital and bi-wire connections. Think autonomous vehicles.

11.43 – The DURA video explaining this shows its lady CEO, Lynn Tilton, in a sheer top lounging against a plane wing. Awkward. Like seeing your mum in her underwear in a McDonalds car park.

11.42 – Now DURA automotive systems are on stage, a progress report one year on from when they rocked up last time. The company began in 1914 as a coach builder, now is a global OEM for all sorts, but mainly aluminium parts.

11.38 – ‘By bringing our clients into these immersive environments and listening to what they say LM is improving its workflow…’ Or words to that effect.

11.35 – Virtual manufacturing – motion capture, VR, mobile caves, Occulus Rift – speeding up and cutting the costs at LM.

11.33 – The entire workflow is set up at LM to be digital using DS – its ‘digital tapestry’

11.30 – The Mars capsule – needs a realistic design experience. Wearing gloves while up there influences the dashboard designs.

11.27 – LM future trends: Metadata decision making, robotics and engineering visualisation

11.24 – ‘Humans like sustainable places for living, if the seas were to rise a few feet the globe would see huge population displacement. Other companies are looking at this.’ Big changes, Mexico to US, and across Asia, happening right now. How do we deal with the problems these produce.

11.23 – Orion test capsule will go up into space this December for tests, designed to take man to Mars

11.20 – David Markham, advanced programs VP at LM, “We have a lot of Sheldons that work in LM”

11.18 – Now CUSTOMER STORIES! Beginning with Lockheed Martin.

11.14 – From the angle of an end-to-end process, the RTT acquisition makes a whole lot of sense, fitting in to all sections of the process.

11.09 – Olivier Ribet is now our favourite DS employee…

11.04 – We’re back, and we’re being shown how the design process can work with DS in partnership with Microsoft. Using a washing machine as a model, rattling through the full product design lifecycle: consumer research, sketch, design, engineer, marketing, post sale repair.

10.15 – Break time!

10.13 – Why they’re moving into ‘experience management’? ‘It’s what the customers want’.

10.10 – This time the video is of 3DXcite. We got a firsthand look at its new crash test sim/viz technology today and it is blinking amazing (ran side by side with actual crash test footage it’s practically identical – to half an inch). More on this later.

10.08 – More videos…

10.02 – I think what Monica is trying to explain is that it’s great having a product like Catia for creating a product, but there’s a whole host of other tools needed in bringing a product to market and making the business happen. Making them all work together is the goal.

10.00 – Videos galore, lots we’ve already seen, but reinforces the Experience workflow.

9.58 – “Be sexy, be sexy, be sexy!” Monica’s demands for the user experience of the products, realised by the R&D at DS

9.54 – The strategy in action: User experience with cloud access working closely with social tools for constant exchange with other participants of the project. It’s not just about the tools but how they’re shared for ease of use.

9.46 – ‘Experience management is a science… Making your consumer loyal’

9.44 – Monica is wearing a “bloody red dress” (her own words, whose blood is unclear), and is running through Apple Lazarus strategy. This is innovation folks.

9.40 – Bill’s off, probably to the gaming tables with his event cheque, and Ken is back, ready to introduce Monica Menghini.

9.33 – ‘The more you know about something the more it limits your ability to look at things from a different way.’

9.31 – ‘What these tools allow you to do is look at the world a little bit different’ – looks like we’re heading back to the software

9.27 – It’s all very generic business innovation stories from Bill. He’s not mentioned the word compass or experience for some time. Withdrawal is setting in.

9.21 – Bill is a great speaker – he kept a room of people gripped by a story that summed up comes down to Canadian ex- gymnasts being cheaper labour for circuses than animals.

9.13 – ‘Originality is the acid test of business today’. ‘The smart take from the strong’.

9.12 – He’s talking about overthrowing established companies. What it means to do something new and build something great.

9.11 – Bill’s default pose is as if he’s about to catch a football… Hands up Bill

9.10 – Bill Taylor, FastCo founder, is the keynote, and is heading onstage.

9.05 – Ken Tweets ‘at least weekly’. Hit him up now, make him feel loved at @kenclayton

9.00 – After an anecdote about Christmas shopping, Ken is getting to the good stuff, ‘Overnight we could see a big customer order go elsewhere… Customers deserve that personal experience’. He means they need to keep up, always be on the ball.

8.55 – Today’s speakers ‘solve problems just like you’. Let’s make it “Mardi Gras for nerds!!”. I brought a ton of beaded necklesses – lets go Ken!

8.52 – The usual ‘welcome, look where we’re based’ niceties are over, now Ken Clayton is here to tell us that if we all work together then everything will be lovely. “Get into the conversation and make a new friend”, lovely.

8.47 – 7 of the DS brand HQs are in the US

8.45 – As he discusses the sponsors, Bruno has an epic shirt/tie combo going. He’s a dapper man. Already we like Bruno.

8.44 – There’s a trip hazard on stage. Someone hasn’t done the right risk assessment.

8.43 – Bruno Latchague is opening proceedings. Apparently you can watch this online live… Feel free to leave this blog already…


Morning kids, we’re huddled for warmth in a Las Vegas conference room waiting for some exciting Dassault Systèmes action for the North American crowd.

As per, we’re not exactly sure what to expect, so hang in there with us as we hope to find out some tasty morsels about 3DXcite, possibly SolidWorks, and hopefully Catia.

Follow along below as we aim to keep you updated as and when it happens. Play the ‘Compass’ and ‘Experience’ drinking game at your own risk:


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