He’s a guitar master, a connoisseur of the most fashionable glasses, and has been known to run head-on into windows and sheet metal walls. Meet Bruce—a virtual, simulated crash test dummy, inspired by Buster of MythBusters fame.
But enough about Bruce, now let’s meet the man behind the models—Mattias Robertsson, a senior solution consultant at Dassault Systèmes. Considered to be a “simulation influencer” by his loyal LinkedIn following, Robertsson shares his work to show just how powerful simulations can be, not just in business, but also for sustainability and how we understand the world.
In his role as a solutions consultant, Robertsson spends a lot of time training resellers on simulation technology—so what better way to demonstrate ease of use than to do it yourself?
The evolution of a simulation influencer
Robertsson got his start with SOLIDWORKS—a design tool responsible for advancing computer-aided design (CAD) with 3D modeling, and eventually incorporating simulation capabilities—early on, beginning as a reseller in 1996, one year before its acquisition by Dassault Systèmes.
Before he rose to online prominence, simulations were just a technology that interested Robertsson, and he had no formal training in the technology. Over the last three years, though, that has changed drastically. Now, his role has Robertsson 100% focused on simulations.
Putting his work out into the social media world is simply part of the learning process for Robertsson.
“For me, it’s a platform to communicate and spread awareness about the technology,” said Robertsson. “When I get excited about some technology, I want to show the world, this is cool.”
Becoming a simulation influencer wasn’t really part of the plan, but Robertsson’s posts have captivated and resonated with followers across his, and the company’s, LinkedIn profiles.
A quick scroll through his page reveals a sea of simulation videos demonstrating complex physics concepts, or whatever Robertsson happens to be learning at that time—and, of course, Bruce makes regular appearances, too.
The simulations that Robertsson builds aren’t just a way to show off how much he’s learned. They also demonstrate just how much can be done within the 3DEXPERIENCE platform.
Those awesome sunglasses Bruce is modeling here? They don’t just look good, those shades show how a user can tap into the Plastic Injection Engineer role on the 3DEXPERIENCE platform to identify injection molding defects. Bruce’s attempts to run through a rigid window or piece of sheet metal? He’s bravely putting his virtual body on the line to help test various material using the Structural Mechanics role and Abaqus Explicit.
Sharing in the learning process
When you look at a video of a simulation, it’s easy to assume that something so complex requires serious expertise and a deep technical background to accomplish. But that’s simply not the case.
“Simulations in the past were very connected to expensive investment. You needed to be an expert with a supercomputer hardware to run it,” Robertsson said.
Today, the technology is much easier to use, and more powerful than ever, which has Robertsson determined to put the power of simulation on the desktop of every engineer out there—something he hopes to achieve by sharing his own learning process with these tools.
Each new tool and technique, from realistic environments to new colors, help make the next simulation look fresher and show Robertsson’s followers what opportunities exist. That journey of discovery is what truly drives Robertsson to post his simulations.
For anyone out there considering trying their hand at building and utilizing simulations, Robertsson’s advice would be to go for it, but start with the basics. “You need to climb up and try to just learn a few basic steps, start small—and then you can get going… learn how to walk a bit first before we start to run.”
When Robertsson reflects back on his favorite creations, what comes to mind are the simulations he built in the very beginning. For example, a drop of water falling into a larger pool of simulated water. On the surface, it sounds simple, but getting everything working properly is an achievement. Seeing those results in the early stages are part of what fueled Robertsson’s excitement to keep learning.
Simulations reduce waste and boost sustainability
So, while dressing Bruce in new clothes or having him run into a digital pane of glass is entertaining, the value of simulations for businesses, education and the environment is enormous. A heightened focus on sustainability means there’s little room for error or waste when building something new. The modeling and simulation tools that Robertsson uses and showcases are uniquely positioned to help anyone building something map out their project with an eye toward sustainability.
As Robertsson explains, within these tools there are sustainability programs that can show the impact a choice might have. With that knowledge, a user can make better decisions around the material and the manufacturing process, altering the environmental impact before getting started.
To put it simply, simulations can show you what will happen, or what a product will look like, without having to actually go out, acquire resources, spend money and time on transporting it, and potentially lose it all if something goes wrong—a value that Robertsson hopes shines through the work he shares.
As Robertsson points out, modeling and simulations give you an invaluable opportunity to test an idea, without having to spend on materials and manpower—leading to more informed decisions.
“I often like to break it down as the value for engineers, and that is to help them make decisions,” said Robertsson. “Should I do this, or should I do that? You have a gut feeling and this is to support your decisions.”
It’s all about consequence-free testing. Test it out in a simulated format and see how it holds up without wasting the time, materials, and manpower needed to actually build it.
Simulating a better future
As far as Robertsson is concerned, simulations have limitless potential to help solve some of the world’s toughest challenges in the future. “You save money because you use less material, and the correct material, to solve that task and save resources from the planets,” he said.
So, what’s the next step for the budding simulations influencer and his creations? At the end of the day, when Robertsson thinks about his own path forward, he simply hopes to keep improving his skills, tackling new areas, while also encouraging his clients and followers to pick up the craft themselves.
Oh, and as for Bruce? Well, he has plenty to look forward to as well. When asked, Robertsson said he has big plans for his trusted crash test dummy sidekick, too, from the addition of a companion to a skydiving simulation, the possibilities are endless.
Robertsson isn’t the only one making a splash in his field. Check out some of the other Humans Driving Progress.