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Desktop Engineering Picks Winners of its Change the World Challenge

By DE Editors

Desktop Engineering magazine is pleased to announce the winners in its first annual Change the World Challenge, a contest for engineers, inventors, innovators, designers, and companies creating products or processes that will have a major impact on our lives. Numerous companies sent entries reflecting new processes and products that will make a positive world-changing impact on our lives, or those of our children or grandchildren.

“The response was fantastic,” says DE Executive Editor Steve Robbins. “We received submissions from large and small companies, and independent design contractors working on some amazing projects, both complex in scope and simple in concept. Our judges, I think, picked a representative sample of both and picked winners in each of the four categories of design, simulation, rapid technologies, and computing IT.”

These awards will be spotlighted in the December 2009 issue. Be sure to look for December’s DE to discover in greater detail these world-changing developments.

Winners of Simulations That Will Change the World
First place goes to Green Ocean Energy, Ltd. for developing floating devices that use the ocean’s waves and swells to power an on-board electrical generator, which then transmits electrical power to land via underwater cables. The technology was developed using ANSYS AQWA, Workbench, and DesignSpace.

Second place goes to Fraunhofer Institute for Solar Energy Systems for using COMSOL Multiphysics to study and model designs for solar absorbers using new materials that could revolutionize solar energy generation. Its research concentrates on the use of polymers, which are less expenive than metals, offer greater freedom in design, and are lighter in weight.

Third place goes to Sunshine Heart for using Abaqus FEA to model a new device called the C-Pulse to aid failing hearts. The C-Pulse uses a biocompatible polymer cuff that wraps around the aorta to augment blood flow in a diseased heart. A battery-powered pump worn outside the body provides power.

Honorable mention goes to GE for using COMSOL Multiphysics to develop a new sodium metal-chloride battery to store power in hybrid locomotives. The locomotives will create regenerative power in braking operations.

Winners of Computing IT That Will Change the World
First place goes to Bloomy Controls for developing a production-level functional test system capable of testing a variety of battery management system PCBs. Developed using NI LabVIEW and TestStand, the system is expected to reduce costs while providing flexibility.

Second place goes to Hyperacuity Systems for development of Biomimetics for front-end machine vision systems that provides orders of magnitude performance increases, encoding a feature set from objects in the input image, and controlling robotic action reflexively rather than trying to plot a trajectory through a complex 3-D environment.

Third place goes to Kayvees Design Studio has developed the "Slate Pad" input tool. It provides a high level of data security and all applications and storage is server-based.

Winners of RAPID TECHNOLOGIES That Will Change the World
First place goes to Prosthetics researcher Beth Roscoe and surgeon Dr. Philip Stoddard of Shriners Hospital for Children for developing a pre-surgical treatment for wide cleft lips and palates in children. Using a series of custom manufactured medical devices designed with Geomagic software, and using a ShapeGrabber 3D laser scanner and a 3D Systems SLS system to manufacture the devices, the pair developed a treatment involving a dozen or more appliances that serially mold gums into a more normal position, allowing the palate to grow naturally. The new treatment method minimizes patient discomfort and recovery time.

Second place goes to Materialise for developing the Mimics Innovation Suite (MIS), which makes it possible to go from CT/MRI data to 3D, revealing internal human anatomy in a non-invasive way. The solution has been used by Abiomed, Inc. to design an artificial heart and by FluidDA in developing improved respiratory medical treatments and device design.

Third place goes to Mirror Image Aerospace for developing a new aircraft called the Skywalker VTOL. This innovative personal aircraft can provide point-to-point alternatives to typical city transportation. 15,000 hours in prototype testing and scale model fabrication are invested in this 10-year project, much of it created via 3D printing technologies.

An honorable mention goes to Ziv-Av Engineering for using the Solido SD300 Pro Printer to create a 1:1 scale model of a folding bicycle to test the mechanical design prior to production. The bicycle was divided into parts, and each part was constructed in sections using the SD300 Sdview software application. The whole bicycle was built in less than 5 days using a single in-house SD300 printer at great savings.

Winners of Designs That Will Change the World
The first-place winner in the Designs category is Cochlear Ltd., a global leader in the development and manufacturing of implantable hearing solutions, for its successful use of Autodesk Inventor software to develop a digital prototype of the Baha bone conduction hearing solution. The Baha system uses direct bone conduction to transfer sound to the cochlea, the auditory center of the inner ear, bypassing the outer and middle ear, which might be blocked, damaged or otherwise impaired.

In second place is Grail Engine Technologies, which used Autodesk Inventor 2010 to design and develop a state of the art two-stroke engine for a vehicle that yields more than 100 miles per gallon. The company says it can do this without the use of expensive electric batteries and operating with lower emissions output than currently mandated by state and federal regulations.

In third place is Aerostat Wind Turbines for using SolidWorks and AutoCAD in its design of an Airborne Wind Turbine. The tethered generator takes advantage of high altitudes where turbulence is greatly diminished, and wind speed is continuous and stronger than at ground level.

An honorable mention goes to Valentin Technologies, Inc. for its use of SolidWorks and IDEAS in the development of the 170 mpg INGOCAR, a five-passenger hydraulic hybrid auto based on a new hydrostatic powertrain with energy storage. Its main components are a new free-piston combustion engine, an accumulator to store energy, and new axial-piston wheelmotors, one in each wheel.

Desktop Engineering magazine, which is published monthly by Level 5 Communications, is an industry-leading magazine covering hardware and software engineering solutions for the manufacturing, medical, automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, process, and other industries. Its readership of 63,000 is 100-percent involved in upfront design processes. Desktop Engineering’s website, deskeng.com, is a valuable resource updated regularly with breaking news from the global engineering, design, and manufacturing industries.

Desktop Engineering covers MCAD, simulation and analysis, reverse engineering, and rapid technologies for design engineers and engineering management. We focus on computer technologies that enable 3D modeling and simulation,” says Steve Robbins, executive editor.

“Each issue of DE offers news updates, hardware and software reviews, articles, and in-depth coverage of rapidly evolving industries. Desktop Engineering delivers information that increases ROI and helps shorten time to market. Whether engineers are working on the latest aerospace project or an industrial designer is creating a new cell phone, DE provides solutions to their day-to-day challenges,” Robbins adds.

You can find out more about DE’s annual Designs That Will Change the World challenge.

About DE Editors

DE's editors contribute news and new product announcements to Digital Engineering. Press releases can be sent to them via DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.