When SkySails CEO Stephan Wrage was boy in Germany, he loved to fly kites. And as kids’ minds tend to wander into the whimsical world of “What if…,” he wondered what would happen if he tied a giant kite to a real boat. Would the wind be strong enough to tow it?
Based in Hamburg, his SkySails company is now a world pioneer in creating wind propulsion systems for ships. The sails, which they call “kites,” look a bit like parachutes and they tap into the high-energy potential of high-altitude winds.
SkySails reduces fuel costs for cargo ships, consequentially reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The company designs its kites with SolidWorks, the 3D CAD cousin of DraftSight, which also plays a vital role.
SkySails uses DraftSight, a free professional-grade 2D CAD tool from Dassault Systèmes, to import manufacturing drawings of new cargo ships.
DraftSight is used by the company to import manufacturing drawings from various cargo ship companies to check if the wind sail components will fit properly.
Estimated fuel savings are between 10-15 percent.
We recently caught up with some of the brains behind SkySails at SolidWorks World. Take a look for yourself at what could become the future of commerce!
How did you hear about your first engineering job?
Perhaps you saw a listing at your vocational high school or college career center, found a job listing on-line or responded to an opening you saw on LinkedIn, Facebook or other social media?
Chances are you didn’t get hired as a result of reading comic books.
I just stumbled across this career recruitment advertisement in an early 1970s comic book. Comics have a long history of being embraced by the military, which often involves long periods of downtime. This comic pitch for the Cleveland Institute of Electronics mentions they have been approved for training under the G.I. Bill.
(Click image to enlarge cartoon)
The more times change, the more they stay the same. Here, the allure of the latest technologies comes with the promise of higher pay and “a real future” all while training at home in your spare time.
How quaint that you used to have to mail away for educational materials instead of downloading eBooks (like our free DraftSight Master Series Flipbook with useful tips, tricks and tutorials for professional CAD users).
We hope you’re not dealing with a sarcastic beancounter boss like the one in the cartoon!
Oh, and it looks like the comic book recruitment campaign may have been successful. The Cleveland Institute of Electronics is still around, pushing its motto of “A school of thousands — A class of one since 1934.”
Let’s face it, when Mountain Dew does their thrill-seeker commercials featuring skateboarders, motocross riders, water skiers, snowboarders and rock climbers, it is highly unlikely they’ll be showing footage of a CAD user in action.
Unless you are doing your CAD drawings while using a treadmill desk, it’s also unlikely that your heart is pounding very rapidly during the design process.
But of course, what happens when you step away from the computer is up to you.
Toronto’s Paul Sesto and his 13-year-old son Alex have been designing skimboards with DraftSight, the professional-grade free 2D CAD product from Dassault Systèmes.
Skimboarding is like a combination of skateboarding and surfing, but it’s done from the water’s edge so you don’t need large waves to do tricks. The sport started in Southern California in the 1920s by lifeguards who wanted a quicker way to travel across the beaches. Today, it is a global phenomenon, with international competitions in United States, Mexico and Portugal.
The shoreline sport is particularly popular on beaches where it is considered too dangerous to surf — such as Brazil’s popular Boa Viagem beach in the city of Recife, which has historically been plagued by shark attacks. Read More
How sweet would it be to soar ABOVE the traffic during your morning commute instead of kissing the bumper in front of you?
The promise of a flying car has been a staple of science fiction novels and kids’ cartoons, but there will soon be one available for your driveway by the end of the year.
The Terrafugia Transition, which looks like a chubby VW Beetle with wings, can transform from plane to car or vice-versa in less than a minute. The prototype for the “roadable aircraft” just passed all its flight and safety tests with flying colors.
The Flying Car has a $279,000 pricetag and there are about 100 of them on back order.
Bragging Rights: It was designed with SolidWorks, the 3D cousin of DraftSight, our professional-grade free 2D CAD product which you can download for $279,000 less!
What’s it like to get in the cockpit/driver’s seat?
Remember that kindergarten class activity when you would just show up with your pet gerbil or kitten — or bring in some family vacation photos — and talk for a few minutes to the class?
Ah, if only the academic and work worlds were so easy.
If you’ve produced an academic project, model, film or presentation involving DraftSight or another Dassault Systèmes software product (such as CATIA, SolidWorks, etc.), it’s time to enter our “Project of the Year” contest!
We’re giving away an iPad3 for the best school or home project submitted to our Facebook contest page as determined by our jury.
And we’re giving away ANOTHER iPad3 for the project that receives the most votes on Facebook, so it’s time to rally your CAD classmates and friends.
“Building bridges is a great science and engineering lesson because it gets kids to do something with their hands,” says Williams, also a part-time CAD instructor at the College of Southern Nevada. “But the (bridge kits) cost a lot of money and we saw a lot of teachers dipping into their own pockets to pay for materials. Our challenge was to find less expensive materials than balsa wood.”
Enter the Fettucine and some Elmer’s Wood Glue.
For a while, the retiree’s prototype pasta bridge was displayed at the campus museum of the University of Nevada Las Vegas (UNLV). His creations are built for strength – and are often destroyed in stress tests to prove to students how engineering innovation can make all the difference in the world.
The bridges are even impenetrable (most of the time) to curious doggies. Read More
In case we missed you at SolidWorks World earlier this month (the DraftSight booth was really hopping!), reality TV star Mike Rowe had some inspiring words about the engineering profession and the role it will continue to play in creating new jobs and expanding the economy.
Rowe, host of “Dirty Jobs” on the Discovery Channel, is best known for getting himself into unusual occupational situations — jobs that most of us never think about, but which obviously have to get done by somebody. Recent gigs the TV personality has sampled include an Owl Vomit Collector, Sewage Plant Worker, Coal Miner, Elevator Repairman, Toilet Crusher, and Charcoal Factory Worker.
“Dirty Jobs” celebrates the spirit of the American worker (it could apply to any country, of course) and honors people who silently devote a 100 percent effort to tasks that many observers might consider totally thankless.
“I first thought this was a solid waste convention!” Rowe joked with the crowd, making a play on words with SolidWorks.
“We find people who do things over and over again with joy” with jobs “normally associated with drudgery,” the TV personality said, adding that he really enjoys meeting people who solve problems without having to read the instruction manual (which in many cases don’t exist).
Rowe, who is also the voice of the “Deadliest Catch,” said he never rehearses any of the jobs we see him try on the show because he wants to share his first impressions and create the feeling that the viewers are trying the job for the first time with him.
His latest project is mikeroweWORKS.com, a website devoted to boosting enrollment in technical and vocational schools. The site was inspired by the irony of the “Skills Gap,” the fact that despite unemployment numbers being near an all-time high, there remain thousands of technical jobs without enough trained applicants.
"Dirty Jobs" star Mike Rowe is devoted to promoting the economic benefits of vocational schools.
In his talk, Rowe praised a Nevada pig farmer who devised his own machine to process uneaten food from Las Vegas casinos into feed for his animals. “He put it together like McGyver with parts from a junkyard,” he said referring to the classic 1980s secret agent show. “We see this kind of talent all the time.”
“But with all the innovation in the world, whether you put it in a smartphone or a computer, if you don’t have the ability to replicate it, all you’ve done is make a cool prototype,” Rowe said.
He described the engineering profession as occupying a noble space bridging between blue and white collar jobs.
“One of the great fictions that has been at work in our country for decades is this blue and white collar notion. We just love the ‘either-or.’ What do you do? Are you in this camp or in that camp? The real action today in respect to work is what you guys do,” he said.
“(With engineers) it’s neither blue nor white. It’s a willingness to get dirty, to use your brain AND use your hands.”
In the same spirit, Rowe also met backstage with SolidWorks marketing guru Darren Henry for a freewheeling discussion covering the etiquette of vomiting on the job, what it’s like to walk on construction girders in the clouds, and the value of knowing how to identify feces from virtually any animal species.
Eavesdrop on the conversation here:
(Regardless of what color collar you wear, DraftSight, the professional-grade free 2D CAD tool from Dassault Systèmes, makes life easier for engineers, architects, CAD users, teachers and students alike).
DraftSight™ is not just a free 2D CAD product that lets professional CAD users, students and educators create, edit and view DWG files –- it’s much more! DraftSight is a professional-grade product that runs on Microsoft® Windows XP®, Windows Vista®, Windows® 7, Mac® and Linux®. It’s easy to use and takes just a few minutes to download at DraftSight.com. Plus it includes fee-based, value-added Premium Services for commercial and education users and a free online community that’s loaded with learning resources.