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We Must Not Allow Fear to Stop Innovative Prototyping Solely Based on Computational Analysis

June 11, 2012 | Comments: 0 | Views: 158

Not long ago, I wrote a piece about how CADCAM software was replacing prototyping. Interestingly enough, I got a number of inquiries by e-mail on this topic, and therefore I wanted to further explore it. It seems there is good consensus that we don't need to make the mistakes of the past, or rebuild bad designs or prototypes which are doomed to fail, especially those which have been pre-considered in the designing of the algorithms running prototype CADCAM software.

Still, I would submit to you there is more to learn, and there are combinations which may change the modeling significantly. Therefore, just because the software uses a linear strategy in its decision-making process, this does not preclude the reality that sometimes certain combinations will change the outcome in-flight performance of a real aircraft, spacecraft, or even with fluid dynamics of ship or submarine in a different density medium.

There is a brilliant thesis well worth reading from Bryce Akexander Roth written in 2000 while he was getting his PhD at Georgia Tech titled; "A Theoretical Treatment of Technical Risk in Modern Propulsion System Design," which used the Northrop F-5 as a case study. Brian postulates in the introduction the following;

"One problem in the aerospace industry is the analytically quantifying risk with designing, building, testing, & operating modern aerospace systems. The issue of risk identification, mitigation, & control is critical to the long-term growth of the industry as economic forces will increasingly dictate whether a system will be built on the basis of "closing" the business case for profitable program launch. Additionally, the presence of risk tends to stifle innovation, unless some means of quantifying and understanding it is readily available. The risk consists of two components: probability of failure and consequence of failure."

And yes, and I totally agree with this, and I would submit to you that merely changing the parameters on the software program may prevent future aerospace engineers from trying new things in the future, as they might assume that they will not or cannot work. With new materials, and shape shifting morphable components, things can drastically change; lift, thrust, drag, and the weight as well. In fact the entire dynamic changes, and thus we should be very careful believing that our software designed aerospace inventions and innovations of the future have absolutely preordained or predetermined performances.

Let's not let these super artificially intelligent designing software systems fool us, let's not let them destroy the creativity or imagination, for if we do we will lose our innovative edge, and succumb to risk aversion based on time, cost, bureaucracy, and a belief that something won't fly before it actually does. Back in the day many scientists believed that a heavier than air aircraft could not fly, and yet a couple of tinkerers, bicycle mechanics prove them all wrong. Let's not make the same mistake in the future. Indeed I hope you will please consider all this and think on it.

Lance Winslow has launched a new provocative series of eBooks on Innovation in America. Lance Winslow is a retired Founder of a Nationwide Franchise Chain, and now runs the Online Think Tank;

Source: EzineArticles
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Cadcam Software


Innovative Prototyping


Replacing Prototyping




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