Burning Man 2013 Honorarium Project / Impossible Triangle Now Made Possible

Credit where Credit is Due

I work for an incredibly cool software start-up, GrabCAD, which makes engineering collaboration tool called Workbench.  Workbench is the center of our design infrastructure, and is the primary way that we collaborate with each other outside of email and shouting over heavy machinery at the shop.

The Penrose Triangle in Workbench

When we started the project, Workbench was in early development and was fairly limited.  Earlier this month, we released is as a commercial product.  As a product manager, using it in the real world and learning from our experiences has been incredibly valuable.  Additionally, the GrabCAD as a company has been incredibly supportive, and company resources such as our 3D printers have helped tremendously.

For those who are interested, I shared my experience using GrabCAD Workbench on this project on the GrabCAD corporate blog.  For anyone who gets excited about design collaboration, I think you will find it an interesting read.

Also, I would like to thank SpaceClaim Corporation, a company I helped found in 2003 and for whom I worked for ten years, who graciously provided me with a license of their incredibly powerful direct modeler after I departed in January.  SpaceClaim is the primary 3D CAD tool used on this project.  Almost all of the CAD shots you see of the project were generated in SpaceClaim.

One of many screen shots from SpaceClaim

For simulation, we relied on the Autodesk stack.  I’ve had early access to Autodesk Fusion 360 since January, and I used its Simulation 360 tools to perform all of the structural analysis.  In addition, I used Autodesk’s free Labs product Falcon to estimate wind loading on the structure.

Simulation results from Autodesk Simulation 360

Although Burning Man fosters a non-commercial atmosphere, the reality is almost everything at Burning Man has an original commercial source.  These companies have let us use their incredible technology at no cost to the project, and this project could not have happened without them.

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