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Developing an Innovative Storage Solution for Pickup Trucks

Just about everyone in my neighborhood has a pickup truck. It seems like one of the favorite pastimes for a lot of my neighbors on a bright sunny summer day is to be out on their driveway, working on their trucks, washing, waxing, polishing, repairing or simply sprucing them up. It’s a delight to see the pride and energy expended on it. It’s almost like a fun picnic, a family day. The music’s on, kids playing with sprinklers running in the yard, the grills firing up in the afternoon.

Exuding power, assuring functionality, sturdiness and versatility, used for both work and pleasure, the pickup truck appears to be the ubiquitous vehicle of choice for a majority of Americans all over the country. Whether it is for hunting, fishing, hauling cargo or simply driving to work, there seems to exist a cultural identification with trucks. Curious, I asked a couple of my neighbors about it. Just as I thought, they told me that they viewed the truck as an essential part of their lifestyle for both work and pleasure. The truck to them is a hardy, reliable, comfortable, workhorse they can use either for routine, daily work or for heavy-duty maintenance needs. No matter how rough the weather became, for picking up heavy items knowing that it would fit without a problem, or as a vehicle for recreational purposes, they could always rely on their trucks.

A fundamental requirement then, common to both work and pleasure, is storage capability of the trucks. The more elegant the solution, the greater its appeal.

Our Featured Client this month is DECKED, with the abridgement that follows being based upon a success story written by Peter Roberts of Altair ProductDesign.

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More Bang for Your Buck: Getting the Most out of Additive Manufacturing

Late last year I was visiting customers in Asia and at one particular site we were offered to be taken on a tour of the factory before going in and presenting the latest and greatest about OptiStruct. I enjoy such tours as they allow me the opportunity to come in physical contact with the products/parts, which is always welcome especially when dealing with them in the virtual realm for the most part. While on this tour, I couldn’t help but notice many of the parts were “screaming to be optimized”! And that’s not necessarily a bad thing – over the years these parts have been revised and are safely operating, but it indicates at a lot of potential for weight savings and possibly further improved designs.

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