Welcome to SOLIDWORKS World Japan 2016

For generations Japan has been renowned as a global leader in technology. Inventions from this nation have inspired, delighted and fundamentally changed the way humanity works and lives. SOLIDWORKS is here to ensure the best product development tools are available to the engineers responsible for designing the next generation of Japanese ingenuity. SOLIDWORKS World Japan is the annual user event bringing Japanese users together to experience the latest innovations in product development.

The 19th SOLIDWORKS World Japan kicked off in Tokyo on Tuesday, November 8 with a product update from Kishore Boyalakuntla, SOLIDWORKS Brand UX leader and Product Portfolio Management Senior Director. Given the Japan’s well-deserved reputation for designing cutting-edge electronics, a focus on connected devices and the Internet of Things lead much of the main stage discussion.

As many of the high-tech innovations originating in Japan send ripples across the globe, Kishore stressed the need for SOLIDWORKS to continue its dedication for building a platform that enables designers to lower barriers to knowledge and technology responsible for creating amazing experiences. In a world becoming increasingly dependent on complex connected devices, engineers must have the tools to rapidly bring ideas to market while unifying electrical, electronic and mechanical design. That is where the SOLIDWORKS IoT ecosystem comes into play.

By connecting electrical, electronic and mechanical design, Halo brings safety to connected homes with the world’s most sophisticated smoke alarm.

Designing for the Internet of Things (IoT) with SOLIDWORKS begins by integrating SOLIDWORKS Electrical, SOLIDWORKS PCB and SOLIDWORKS 3D CAD into one environment. This means when a change is made to a mechanical design, electrical designers are immediately in the know and vice versa. This level of collaboration ensures all teams are in constant contact and working in unison to bring complex connected devices to market quickly. Once a product hits a consumers hands, partners such as Xively generate a virtual twin of the product enabling businesses to monitor and learn from device usage in real-time. Further, it’s not just connected consumer devices that are changing the world. Connected manufacturing will be a critical component for the future of IoT.

SOLIDWORKS Japan President Seiji then shifted the discussion to the amazing SOLIDWORKS community in Japan. With a 39% marketshare, the Japanese SOLIDWORKS community is expanding. Users take great pride in becoming highly skilled in the software. At this stage, two users Mr. Ryo Kuroki, Harmotech Corporation and Mr. Eichiro Hagiwara, YKK Corporation were invited to the stage to share their experience in becoming Certified SOLIDWORKS Professionals.

First, Mr. Kuroki approached certification as an achievement to strive for in his engineering career. His time spent in preparing for the CSWP exam before and ultimately passing the course refined his SOLIDWORKS skills and boosted his productivity in the workplace. Mr. Kuroki also stressed his satisfaction with being part of such an innovative group of people as his fellow Japanese CSWPs.

Mr. Eichiro was next to discuss his certification experience. He works for YKK company, which includes an impressive 64 certified users. Mr. Eichiro shared that since YKK focused on creating a certified workforce, his team’s modeling time has been halved thanks to taking advantage of new mouse gestures and shortcuts learned during the process. His company aims to have 10 additional certified users in the near future with hopes of eventually certifying all users.

Finally, SOLIDWORKS user and Seven Dreamers Labs CEO Banne Shinichi captivated the audience with the story behind his 10+ year development of Laundroid, the world’s first consumer clothes folding machine, which should not come as a surprise to hear is connected and operates via smartphone app. Seven Dreamers actually creates three products: the Laundroid, a custom golf club, Nastent, a CPAP alternative for those with sleep apnea.

How did Seven Dreamers decide to create these products? Their philosophy is three-fold:

  •          Create products that the world has never seen
  •          Enrich people’s lives through technology
  •          Tackle technologically challenging products

The driving force behind Laundroid is creating time – especially for those tasked with folding clothes for their families. How much time?

The person responsible for folding in a family of four will get back more than a year of their life. Let’s face it no one leaves this earth regretting missing a chance to fold more laundry. Here’s how Laundroid works in a nutshell:

 

Clothes go in the machine, are then analyzed to determine the type of garment, the AI then instructs the machine how to fold. You schedule when your clothes will be folded through a smartphone app. What’s really cool is that Laundroid can care for you clothes by type or family member!

The initial idea came from a discussion Mr. Shinichi had with his wife. The two were talking about dream household appliances when the pain of non-stop laundry folding was brought up. Initially, it seemed like an impossible task, but Mr. Shinichi immediately went to work researching the product potential – especially to gauge whether it would fall into Seven Dreamers’ project criteria.

The time savings was clear. No IP was found. Finally, the first reaction many people had to the idea was asking, “are you ok?” At that point Mr. Shinichi knew he had the right project. The journey began in earnest in 2005 and demonstrates a passion for problem solving and playing the long game through to the end. Even early in the project, employees believe it to be impossible. Mr. Shinichi would encourage them by saying, “if we keep working, we’ll have something in five years.” Then 2010 rolled around without a product! Mr. Shinichi then shifted by declaring that we’ve been doing this for five years, we’re not going to stop now.

Seven Dreamers Labs was close to stopping. Simultaneously Mr. Shinichi was working on funding. In 2014 he was turned away by firms in both Silicon Valley and Europe before a Japanese firm decided to take a chance. Amazingly, Seven Dreamers was days away from closing the Laundroid project before funding was approved. Keeping its track record, the company was set to unveil the project at the CEATEC 2015 conference. Mr. Shinichi knew he would need to feature successful live demos to validate the product to attendees. The only problem is the Laundroid was still not working days before the event. Luckily, the bugs were worked mere hours before the CEATEC launch. Like a dream come true, the machine was a massive hit at the event. It even had a handful of malfunctions, but this served as proof that the folding was real and not some elaborate hoax.

Now the Laundroid is poised for a commercial launch in 2017 with future iterations available in the years to come. These future versions include built in washer/dryers and eventually a distribution system that delivers laundry into separate rooms of your house! The technology is amazing – it’s the Fifth Element and The Jetson’s come to life. I would argue that the most remarkable part of the story is the dedication of Mr. Shinichi and his team. There’s no quit to be found in that group – even when they were hours away from failure. It’s a lesson we can take both in and out of the office.

That’s it for day one coverage. In our next post, we’ll review some of the cool users and technologies featured at SOLIDWORKS World Japan in both Tokyo and Osaka.

If you want to get inspired from amazing fellow engineers using SOLIDWORKS, register today for SOLIDWORKS World 2017. It’s basically a revival for all things design and engineering with great special events, 200+ technical sessions and the best opportunity to connect with thousands of your peers.

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SOLIDWORKS
Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks Corp. offers complete 3D software tools that let you create, simulate, publish, and manage your data. SolidWorks products are easy to learn and use, and work together to help you design products better, faster, and more cost-effectively. The SolidWorks focus on ease-of-use allows more engineers, designers and other technology professionals than ever before to take advantage of 3D in bringing their designs to life.

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