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Inventors and Industry Experts Advocate New Free 3D Modeling Software in Interactive Design Challenge

Wed, 09/18/2013 - 11:15am
Allied Electronics

Inventor Trevor Baylis opens DesignSpark Mechanical Challenge; industry advocates gather from 18-20 September to showcase the fast, intuitive 3D design software and collaborate to create a life-changing invention

RS Components (RS) and Allied Electronics (Allied), the trading brands of Electrocomponents plc (LSE:ECM), the world’s leading high service distributor of electronics and maintenance products, are marking the recent launch of the DesignSpark Mechanical 3D design software by bringing together top industry advocates from the worlds of electronic and industrial design in a 48-hour challenge to create an invention using this intuitive new 3D modeling and assembly tool, which is available completely free-of-charge.

The prototyping event kicks off today in the distinguished presence of English inventor Trevor Baylis OBE, best known for developing the wind-up radio. Five participating teams comprising design specialists from leading companies including Arduino, Dyson, Elektor, Hitex, RepRapPro, Schneider Electric, SpaceClaim, 3M, TE Connectivity, and TraceParts, will be tasked to invent a design or concept that could make a significant positive impact on people’s lives, constructed around themes such as accessibility to technology and sustainability.

Over the course of the next two days, the teams will combine their own ideas with those gathered from the online DesignSpark community and from followers of the challenge on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter. Together they will illustrate how this fast and easy-to-use free tool, which was developed in conjunction with SpaceClaim, breaks down the barriers of complex, time-intensive 3D design, and opens up the possibility of design experimentation to anyone interested or involved in product development. This is enabled by a powerful methodology called ‘direct modeling’, which uses simple gestures that can be likened to virtual clay modeling.

From Friday 20th September, followers will have one week to vote for their favourite final design by visiting www.designspark.com/design-challenge. A video channel will also be running throughout the challenge at the same location. Designs will be made available for free under an open source licence from DesignSpark.com.

“Until now, 3D design has been out of reach for anyone other than CAD specialists who understand the complexities of 3D modeling, and have been in a position to invest in expensive high-end 3D CAD software”, said Mark Cundle, Global Head of Technical Marketing, RS Components.  “DesignSpark Mechanical is set to transform this, and we are privileged to have the endorsement and participation of Trevor Baylis and the many other industry advocates at this exciting event to prove to potential users just how simple this tool is to use.  In the spirit of the DesignSpark community, we are encouraging engineers to log on to the website to interact and share ideas with the experts as the challenge unfolds.”

“I have been quoted before as saying that art is pleasure, invention is treasure, and it certainly is a pleasure to see RS and Allied imparting the gift of invention with their new design tool,” said Trevor Baylis. “Any initiative that breaks down the barrier to innovation by making it affordable and accessible to all must be applauded and will, I hope, inspire a whole new generation of inventors around the world. It is heartening that so many industry experts are working together to support and share in this important mission.”

The DesignSpark Mechanical Advocate Challenge gets underway today at 12:00 British Summer Time at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, UK. To follow the challenge as it evolves, and to view videos and blogs from the event, please visit http://www.designspark.com/design-challenge.

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