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Sep 21, 2012


George Platen

Reminds me a of reply I sent to your eZine (624) a while back, in response to the question why anyone would anyone would want to render non-photorealistic images.

I always recommend to both public and private clients to use NPR images, although they rarely take the advice. The reason is that as images became more and more photo-realistic, members of the public began to treat the images like a contract. Since pre-vis is always produced at a very early stage of a project, some changes are bound occur before delivery. Sometimes people have gotten very upset that the exact type of balustrade or paving block size or colour we're not used on site. With NPR the general public will know that the image is there only to give them an _impression_ of the final design and scale, and everybody's happy. Also, it looks friendlier.

Glad to see kickstarter doing this myself.


I'm not certain I understand your closing comment about democratized FEA. Are you saying that there will be or should be a legal limitation on when FEA results can be used to describe an object's performance? I don't get it. Not trying to be difficult - just don't get it.

Ralph Grabowski

To make more money, FEA and other simulation vendors want to "democratize" their software so that anyone can use it. See http://cadinsider.typepad.com/my_weblog/2012/09/autodesk-rules-at-nafems.html

Considering the risk (and the legal fallout), analyses should be interpreted only by professional engineers and others certified on the systems.

Patrick Hughes

I happen to disagree with the decision. The whole idea of Kickstarter is to provide a resource for creative people to display and promote a concept and to generate funds to move that concept forward. Generally speaking a concept is just that, not necessarily an already built prototype.

In "the good old days" an inventor would often get his idea across to potential investors over lunch with napkin sketches.

If the les tahn $20, $50, $100, $500 "investors" are not savvy enough to realise there is risk involved in the process of creation and the idea is being presented in a computer model rendering they shouldn't be in the game.



You write "to make more money" like it's a bad thing. I'm in business to generate profit and one component of profit is increasing income. One way to increase income is to sell more. You do that by increasing the value your product delivers to the customer. Ease of use is one component of value.

As for democratization, it's a nice "mot du jour" but kinda meaningless when you have to explain your marketing speak to your audience.

Now to the matter at hand, I'm not certain Kickstarter's rules constitute a "legal" limit on CAD renderings (in the regulatory sense). Cracker box covers come with the advisory "serving suggestion" so that the unwary consumer doesn't think their Triscuit comes with sour cream, a slice of salmon and a tastefully positioned twig of chive as pictured on the exterior. Is that really effective? Do we really pity the disappointed salmon lover? Shall we do that with CAD renderings too?

More seriously, the democratization of FEA/CFD is a double-edged sword. You make it easier for the unwashed masses to generate crap (garbage in, garbage out). But you also make it possible for the intelligentsia to produce useful results faster, better, cheaper (choose 2 of 3). But is that really the stratification we should be striving for? Should the obtuseness of FEA/CFD software be a built-in filter keeping the unknowing out and letting in only the pure?

Is it the vendor's responsibility to keep out the uninformed user? Or is it the user's responsibility (and the user's employer's responsibility) to ensure they know what they're doing? Are we selling the equivalent of a firearm or the equivalent of an automobile? Both can kill people but cars kill a lot more (and we can debate which one has the more restrictive licensing requirement).

(I've even forgotten the point I was trying to make now.)

Oh, right. Interpreting FEA/CFD results by experts only. I'm not certain that will do much good. Look at the old Virgin Racing VR-1 debacle.

I don't know you well enough to know whether your legal limit of FEA comment was written with tongue in cheek or whether you really believe it.

R. Paul Waddington

I agree with Patrick here and go a little further; I would say the action is very foolish. A primary function of CAD, and a wide application of renderings in many industries, is being able to show "the future product" before it happens.

In taking this stance Kickstarter is arguing against its cause. A more professional position would be to ensure images, of ideas/new products etc., are identified as images/renderings.

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