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segunda-feira, 4 de junho de 2012

Silicon Dreams (3 of 9)

  • Design Research on Advanced Technology at Autodesk, with Mark Davis (Director).
Inspired by the Economist’s most recent article and special report on The Third Industrial Revolution we witnessed first-hand what it means for manufacturing to be going digital.

Autodesk, the birthplace of the famous Autocad program, has an exhibition of the state of the art products of high tech manufacturing technology in its San Francisco offices. It’s not just the life size 3D printed Mercedes or a Harley-Davidson like model of a bike that impresses you, the examples of what is being done today is jaw dropping. Yes all the products on the exhibit table have been produced by Autodesk. Yes all the different materials like iron, epoxy, plastic, carbon, rubber and more that you see were injected into a mould utilizing 3D technologies.

How far off are we from buying our Nike shoes online and downloading them to print at home? Our guide was quick to answer not far at all. In fact, today, you can already go to some flagship stores of Nike, have your foot measured and then print a custom shoe that is adjusted to the sport you practice, is soft where you like and hard where you need and looks just like the design you need.

More relevantly and also as the article explains, the need to have designers, engineers, financiers and operations workforce engage tightly so as to produce these innovations combined with the fact that manual labour is an ever decreasing share of the value chain, jobs are now beginning to shift back West from some cheaper labour Eastern locations in relevant industries.

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