Issue: Dec 2007


AI interviews Laurent Puons, general manager, Monaco Mediax/IMAGINA.



3D had earlier been seen as the prerogative of specialists but today, its constant evolution has fuelled the growth of the technology

by James Hilton

The shift from 2D to 3D technology is a global phenomenon. Every industry from automotive to communications to the design and development sectors, have been affected. 3D had earlier been seen as the prerogative of specialists but today, its constant evolution has fuelled the growth of the technology.

So it comes as no surprise that a trade fair dedicated to 3D technologies be held. IMAGINA, the European 3D Community Event, will be held in Monaco from 30th January to February 1st. Today, 3D visualization is one of the key services linked with every type of man-made construction, be it a building, a work of art or part of the traffic infrastructure. 3D visualization technology was for a long time mainly called upon to assist in communicating around a completed project.

Whilst 3D was long perceived as the preserve of a handful of specialists, it is now adopted by everyone and in constant evolution fuelling the sector’s huge growth. The challenge is in finding how different professionals be best introduced to 3D technology and assisted in optimizing its applications in their specific domain

”IMAGINA offers a venue where, once a year, professionals can meet to find out more about the latest state-of-the-art technological innovations available to serve design in architecture. Specialists, experts and trend-spotters will be on hand to share their views on the current situation, presenting their opinions on a wide spectrum of relevant situations. These will encompass the application of 3D technology within their own structures, their own relationship with 3D technology and the manner in which it is used in architecture on a daily basis. Each speaker presentation will be followed by a debate or a question-and-answer session,” says Monaco Mediax, the show organizers.

Some of the issues that will be raised at conferences that are part of the IMAGINA event will raise issues such as what the stakes are in 3D technology, what are the recent innovations and the newest industries it is serving. Plus demonstrations will be held to showcase how 3D technology can become a vital component of the decision-making process. These issues are expected to be of vital interest to senior executives, designers, developers, publishers and distributors.

“Digital models are now considered a major component in the development process of every new product. They are one of the major tools used on a daily basis by creators and designers, right through from the presentation of the original idea to the validation of the concept. Digital models are used by the engineers and serve to test a product before manufacturing and launching it on the market. They are also invaluable for sales and marketing teams. Naturally, they are also important for the end-user, be it for training purposes or learning how to maximize and maintain a product's potential,” says Monaco Mediax.

The 2008 edition of IMAGINA will welcome the different sectors of industry such as automotive, aeronautical, railways and other industries that will enjoy the benefits of a specific session offering including a cycle of themed conferences, special events promoting exhibitors and partners solutions, training and demonstrations areas as well as Privileged Information Meetings (PIM).

Automotive Industries spoke to Laurent Puons, general manager, Monaco Mediax/IMAGINA.

AI: Please tell us how IMAGINA 2008 will be different.

LP: IMAGINA 2008 will welcome the different sectors of industry such as automotive, aeronautical and so on, who will benefits from a specific session including :
- a focus conference programme
- special events promoting exhibitors and partners solutions
- training and demonstration space
With its unique content and programme you will learn from actual case studies and real-life situations with feedback provided by a host of users.

Discover the latest trends and evolutions in 3D technology, set up targeted meetings with your existing and prospective customers.

Digital models are now considered a major component in the development process of every new product.

They are one of the major tools used on a daily basis by creators and designers, right through from the presentation of the original idea to the validation of the concept. Digital models are used by the engineers and serve to test a product before manufacturing and putting it on the market.

They are also very important for sales and marketing teams. Naturally, they are also important for the end-user, be it for training purposes or learning how to maximize and maintain a product's potential.

The evolution of the software and hardware allows for ever-greater seamless continuity between digital and virtual models, from 3D calculations through to visual, acoustic and haptic environments.

AI: What are some of the CAD innovations in design and engineering solutions that will be highlighted at IMAGINA? And how will they be targeted to the automotive market?

LP: IMAGINA is reaching out and welcoming everyone involved in the manufacturing process as a whole, from its pre-study phase to final validation.
On Wednesday 30 January, we are organising two round tables, one of which is titled Today & Evolution of 3D design development tools. It will feature interventions from representatives of AUTODESK, CATIA/ICEM, LUMISCAPHE who will discuss which solutions are capable of addressing the issues of light, shape, colour and materials which were, until very recently, extremely challenging to represent.

IMAGINA is Europe's major 3D event, which is why we are looking to focus on 3D solutions rather than pure CAD.

AI: Please tell us a little about the automotive partnerships you have for IMAGINA 2008.

LP: This year over 40 % of our exhibitors have a direct link to the automotive industry. We are setting up a village “Scaner Partners” which will feature such major players as Antycip (Great Britain), Innosimulation (Korea), Oktal (France), Rexroth (Holland) and Smarteye (Sweden). The list of participants includes, among many others, such names as Forum 8 (Japan), Craft Animations (Sweden), Autodesk (Europe), Dassault Systems (Europe), ICEM (Germany).

Futher more, IMAGINA 2008 is organising in partnership with RENAULT the 9th DSC (Driving Simulation Conference) from January 31 to February 1st 2008. The goal of this international conference is to propose to a scientific and engineering audience, whether they are developers or users of driving simulators a complete state-of the-art panorama of driving simulation.
These partnerships are a clear indication of the high regard in which IMAGINA is held throughout the car industry.

AI: Why is 3D technology so important for the automotive market?

LP: 3D enables you to create, to simulate and to visualise in real time. 3D has become an essential service in the processes of visualisation and design, allowing you to model the concept of current cars and those of the future. 3D is no longer simply seen as a communication tool used at the end of a project in order to promote it.

Thanks to the ongoing development of 3D technology, simulation and visualisation are gradually establishing themselves at the core of the design and modelling tools used by engineers and providing them with a rapid decision-making aid.

AI: What is the future of 3D technology in the automotive industry and what will future applications be?

LP: I would find it a challenge to provide a comprehensive answer to that question in so short a time, as it could be discussed for hours. Indeed, it could prove an extremely interesting topic for one of our conferences. That said, I believe that the generalisation of PLM (Product Life Management) tools is a major trend where 3D technology for cars is concerned, as are software packages for calculating and simulating all the materials and lights present in a car.
I remain convinced that 3D's future in this sector is bright, because, as I often say, it is a technology which truly assists in the decision-making process and enables us to create in real time the objects of tomorrow. 3D technology is a window onto any world we care to imagine.


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