By September 6, 2013 Read More →

Elon Musk channels Tony Stark to assemble next-generation 3D CAD

NX looks like it belongs in a science fiction movie thanks to some clever interface hacks.

Using off-the-shelf tech and a few interface hacks, serial entrepreneur and inventor Elon Musk (PayPay, Tesla Motors, SpaceX, hyperloop) has assembled a 3D CAD system that looks like it came right out of Iron Man 2 in which Tony Stark waves his hands at the computer and invents a new element.

Using hand gestures to manipulate a 3D CAD model. (Source: SpaceX)

Using hand gestures to manipulate a 3D CAD model. (Source: SpaceX)

Musk and his team at SpaceX have released a short video on YouTube (embedded below) showing how they put together off-the-shelf input display technologies including the Leap Motion hand gesture interface, the Occulus Rift virtual reality viewer, and various projection displays. With Siemens NX as their 3D CAD engine, the demonstration video shows moving from design review to 3D printing of a rocket engine nozzle.

After design review, Musk 3D-printed the rocket part. (Source: SpaceX)

After design review, Musk 3D-printed the rocket part. (Source: SpaceX)

“I believe we are on the verge of a major breakthrough in design manufacturing,” says Musk in the video, “ in being able to take the concept of something from your mind, translate that into a 3D object, really intuitively on the computer, and then take that virtual 3D object and be able to make it real just by printing it,” says Musk in the  video. “So it is going to revolutionize design manufacturing in the 21st century.”

The first video embedded below is Elon Musk explaining and demonstrating the 3D technology. The second video is a clip from Iron Man 2 where Tony Stark re-discovers a new element, using a Hollywood interpretation of similar technology.

 

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About the Author:

Randall S. Newton is Managing Editor of GraphicSpeak. He has been writing about engineering and design technologies for more than 25 years.

1 Comment on "Elon Musk channels Tony Stark to assemble next-generation 3D CAD"

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  1. HDS says:

    A great replacement for a spaceball but not a way to change the model or create geometry.