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Desktop Engineering Blog

Geoff Haines

After graduating in Engineering from Imperial College, Geoff spent 10 years as a design engineer. He saw a new future lay in personal computers and engineering software and as a result started writing desktop engineering software in 1986 – DTE is born. Today DTE is one of the most experienced and successful software training, consulting and sales companies in the world. In the 30 years’ journey Geoff has helped companies through recessions, change management, digital and 3D transformation and built DTE with experienced engineering staff, a passion for customer service and a very personal approach to getting the right things done.
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Recent Posts

On Cloud or Full Cloud?

Posted by Geoff Haines on 29-Mar-2017 09:00:00

Another term that is now being thrown into the mix, when trying to understand or determine whether CAD on Cloud is a realistic option is the term "Full Cloud"– what does it mean?

Firstly, it needs to be understood is that modern CAD systems deliver a high level of functionality - which in simple terms means lots of icons, buttons, options and ways of doing things. This means lots of lines of code.

Further, the geometry representations created now can create and visualise, to close engineering accuracy, the geometry of parts and assemblies that truly represent what will be manufactured. All this means that the data being created gets bigger.

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Topics: CATIA on-Cloud, 3DExperience, Various - CATIA

Intelligent Rainscreen Façade Video

Posted by Geoff Haines on 10-Mar-2017 10:00:00

At Desktop Engineering, we aim to help our customers find ways of doing design or manufacturing quicker and of higher quality using software technologies. One of the approaches we can use is to use a rule based approach to capture knowledge to allow it to be re-used. Rules are those simple set of instructions, something as simple as a cooking recipe, that one follows that determines an outcome. So it is with engineering. Capture those rules and then reuse them in software and then you have design automation.

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Topics: 3DExperience, AEC, Facade, AEC - CATIA

“It’s CAD Jim, but not as we know it …….”

Posted by Geoff Haines on 07-Mar-2017 12:42:34

All you trekkers out there will know this draws from an immortal phrase uttered by Spock to Capt. James Kirk to express something new outside their current experiences.

I have taken the liberty to extend it to refer to the On-Cloud capabilities of CATIA – it’s something much more than a CAD system.

Over the years CAD has now become such a well-known and used term that it is all encompassing – referring to something that is 2D and free, right through to some of the higher end more expensive solutions such as ProEngineer, NX and CATIA.

To label them all as CAD does a disservice to these capabilities.

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Topics: CATIA on-Cloud, 3DExperience

Are Alternative Facts acceptable to an Engineer?

Posted by Geoff Haines on 26-Jan-2017 13:29:03

We are currently in a place called “post-truth era” where “alternative facts” are being positioned as acceptable currency. I was wondering how this impacts an engineer who must work with the laws of nature and harness them for the good of mankind.

A key lesson we all learn during our engineering education and working experiences is that the mechanical psychical world obeys Newtons Three Laws of Motion.

These laws have the laid the foundation for classical mechanics upon which engineers have built the knowledge and hence technology that has delivered cars, aeroplanes and got mankind to the moon.

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Topics: CATIA on-Cloud, 3DExperience, Various - CATIA, Various

How BIM has changed Façade Design

Posted by Geoff Haines on 07-Nov-2016 17:00:00

“Change or die” is the shorted version of Charles Darwin’s famous quote.

A little while ago I was in a meeting with a director of a major developer in London, trying to convince him of using 3D CAD (or BIM) models to help in construction projects and one comment put forcefully to me was “I’ve built many a building with a pencil, paper and a fax machine so why should I spend money on 3D CAD information? “  I think we have all met these dinosaurs and we know what their future beholds!

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Topics: AEC, Architecture, Engineering & Construction, BIM

Intelligent 3D Curtain Wall Design

Posted by Geoff Haines on 14-Oct-2016 17:00:00

Goethe said that “By seeking and blundering we learn “.

Well I am not so sure that I would like to start a career in engineering knowing I was blundering in order to learn. But his point is bluntly put - that what we call knowledge is gained through making mistakes. In other words, engineers push the envelope in design, making things bigger or lighter until they fail and then seeking out what went wrong. In some cases, this leads to fundamental research to capture the laws of nature in formulae. In other cases, it leads to best practice or rules. This is how the aerospace industry has made flying one of the safest modes of transport.

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Topics: AEC, Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Facade, BIM

Training Certification - why do it?

Posted by Geoff Haines on 04-Oct-2016 17:15:00

How do you get recognition of your skills or you want to be involved in better work or been seen as making a difference - how do you show your difference?  

It’s all about having something unique that gives value to your employer.

Or if when job seeking how do you differentiate yourself from the rest of the pack? I had a friend who said you should draw pretty flowers on your CV! – whether he ever did that I don’t know, but in the competitive world we live you have to have a difference. That’s what sells. In sales jargon it’s called a Unique Selling Point, and when going for a job or looking to improve your position, that’s what you need.

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Intelligent 3D Façade Templated Design

Posted by Geoff Haines on 29-Sep-2016 17:00:00

If you think back to your first days in a design office, in a new industry fresh from college, you’ll remember that there was always a designer who’d been there many years. That was the person you sought for help, as they had all the experience of what works and what doesn’t.

It was Oscar Wilde who said “Experience is simply the name we give to our mistakes”, and so why shouldn’t you capture that experience to then avoid making the same mistakes.

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Topics: AEC, Architecture, Engineering & Construction, Facade, BIM

2D or not 2D that is the question?

Posted by Geoff Haines on 02-Aug-2016 15:00:00

Continuing my theme of Shakespearian references, I
wonder if the bard was prescient foreseeing this question that has been asked many a time by managers when they start design projects?  “Should we do this in 2D, it will be quicker, or should we take the plunge and model it in 3D” – how many times has that been said in the last two decades or so, let alone 400 years?

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Topics: 2D Design

3 simple ways to improve machine tool life

Posted by Geoff Haines on 21-Jul-2016 15:15:00

When you’re halfway through machining components for a project that’s nearing the deadline, it can be very frustrating when the machine tool breaks and your manufacturing process slows down. 

The fact is, machine tools go through a lot of wear tear over the course of their lives and eventually have to be replaced. But this can be very expensive and nobody wants to fork out thousands of pounds on replacing CNC machines.

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Topics: Various - Machine Tools