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Nvidia Omniverse 3D graphics platform expands features for enterprise users and creators



Omniverse, Nvidia Corp.’s hyper-realistic real-time 3D graphics collaboration and simulation platform, just got better with a number of advances, including increased performance and new tools for enterprise users and creators.

Nvidia Omniverse acts as a “metaverse” platform that allows artists, engineers, creators and others to collaborate remotely on virtual worlds at large scale to recreate and simulate anything they can imagine, such as cars, airplanes, buildings and factories. Using Omniverse Enterprise it’s possible to fully simulate factory floors with “digital twins,” enabling the industrial metaverse that can move and react with actual physics just like in the real world.

Today, in a special address at CES 2023, Nvidia announced major updates to Omniverse Enterprise, including support for the Nvidia Ada Lovelace architecture found in the new GeForce RTX 4090 and 4080 graphics cards and the newest data center-scale OVX graphics computing systems.

The Omniverse ecosystem has also expanded to include new connectors that will allow artists and designers to connect more software such as Adobe Substance 3D Painter, Autodesk Alias, PTC Creo and Kitware’s Paraview.


The company also announced the general availability of Omniverse DeepSearch, an AI-powered service that allows teams to sift quickly through large, untagged databases of 3D models using natural language or 2D reference images in order to find the perfect assets. Using this tool, it will be easier to surface and discover the models that a team needs without having to spend hours poring over a catalog a page at a time using a simple text search.

Omniverse core components also received updates including the Omniverse Kit software development kit, which now makes it easier to begin building advanced tools and applications for the platform quickly. Omniverse Create, a reference application for creating large-scale 3D worlds, now includes DLSS3 and multi-viewport support, making it easier to create large, complex assets. And Omniverse View, another reference application for reviewing 3D scenes, has received additions such as markup, annotation and simple navigation to make presentations more interactive.

Omniverse Nucleus, a database server and collaboration engine launched with Omniverse Enterprise, has been updated with improved information technology tools such as expanded version controls and atomic checkpoints and updated large file transfers for cloud, on-premises and hybrid workflows.

Zaha Hadid Architects, an architectural firm known for a variety of distinctive cultural building designs, has been putting Omniverse to use in accelerating its own design and development workflows. It’s also developing its own custom tools for designing and building out 3D models of buildings using metaverse style applications using the platform.

“We are working with Nvidia to incorporate Omniverse as the connective infrastructure of our tech stack,” said Shajay Bhooshan, associate director at Zaha Hadid Architects. “Our goal is to retain design intent across the various project stages and improve productivity.”

Automaker Mercedes Benz similarly has been using Omniverse Enterprise at its factories worldwide to enable what’s known as the “industrial metaverse” at its manufacturing facilities worldwide. With Omniverse, the company can use full-fidelity digital twins in its production environments to allow globally dispersed teams to collaborate in real time, modify assembly and production lines and see how plans will affect operations all without disrupting the current site.

Since the digital twins match the real-world factory floors as closely as possible and simulate them precisely, designers and engineers can be certain that the changes to the twins will reflect real-world situations. As a result, once they’ve completed the simulations, they can better predict how a factory needs to be changed before committing millions of dollars or hours of work to change the assembly line.

The creator-edition of Omniverse also received updates for animators, creators and developers, delivering AI-powered tools that include generative capabilities added to the Omniverse Launcher. As a result, users will get access to the tools the moment they power up the platform.

The new tools include Omniverse Audio2Face, an artificial intelligence-enabled tool that automatically generates realistic facial expressions from an attached audio file. That means that creators don’t need to animate their own faces frame-by-frame. Instead, they can let an AI automate it for them, although they may need to go in and tweak it a little afterwards.

In addition to Audio2Face, Audio2Gesture and Audio2Emotion, have received performance updates and now are easier to integrate. Audio2Gesture creates realistic upper-body movements and Audio2Emotion causes the character to express realistic emotions based on the sound of the voice, such as happy expressions or sad facial expressions.

“The demand for 3D skills is skyrocketing, but learning 3D can be pretty scary to some, and definitely time consuming,” said Jae Solina, a popular creator from YouTube known as JSFilmz. “But these new platform developments not only let creatives and technical professionals continue to work in their favorite 3D tools but also supercharge their craft and even use AI to assist them in their workflows.”

These AI-assisted tools are in addition to Nvidia Canvas, added in June 2021, which allows artists to generate entire landscapes and expand on them with simple brushstrokes. Soon, all users with RTX will be able to download Canvas and create panoramic environments and create AI-generative images with a few button presses.

Image: Nvidia


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A Quick Guide to Better CMM Maintenance




A coordinate-measuring machine, also known as a CMM, is a specialized piece of equipment common in high-precision manufacturing. It uses coordinate technology to measure and replicate the dimensions of particular objects.

CMMs are a lot more accurate than regular measurement gauges. This characteristic makes them the equipment of choice for quality assurance in certain industries, like aerospace, defense, and medical manufacturing.

Despite being a powerful piece of equipment and the most versatile measuring tool in the metrology industry, CMMs can also be quite delicate. They require the right environment and proper maintenance practices to maintain accuracy and reliability.

The Importance of Proper CMM Maintenance

It’s essential to clean and inspect each part of your machine to ensure it stays efficient and accurate. Preventative maintenance ensures that your CMM remains accurate and performs at its best. It also improves your machine’s longevity.


Without proper CMM maintenance, you could risk damaging your CMM. Repairs would involve operational delays and additional costs.

CMM Preventative Maintenance Tips

Preventative maintenance practices are ones your team could do by yourselves. It’s best to schedule regular maintenance checks for your CMM daily, weekly, monthly, or quarterly. These checks can alert you immediately to possible problems with your CMM.

Remove dust and dirt regularly

Clean and well-maintained air bearings ensure your CMM works as it should. These frictionless and stable bearings help ensure accuracy and efficiency. Dust and dirt can clog your machine’s air bearings, affecting its overall performance.

Aside from your machine’s air bearings, dust could also get into other surfaces and crevices. These tiny particles could affect your machine’s accuracy.

Handle Stylus Tips Properly

The stylus is the tip that makes contact with the object you want to measure with your CMM. Despite this significant role, the stylus can be fragile and require careful handling. Too much force could cause it to bend or break.

Clean your stylus with a cleaning agent and a lint-free cloth. Make sure to remove any residue from workplace materials.

Ensure Good Air Quality

Most CMMs use air bearings, and good air quality is essential to keep them running smoothly. Various air quality issues could affect machine performance and even burn out machine motors.

For air quality maintenance, ask and address the following questions:

  • Do the lines have condensation, oil, or other contaminants?
  • Is the airflow constant?
  • Are you using the proper pressure?

When To Call a Professional

Most preventative maintenance practices are simple enough to be performed internally. However, some issues require professional attention. You can also conduct regular professional maintenance checks to ensure you don’t miss anything.

Below are some procedures that require professional assistance. Many CMM suppliers also offer maintenance services alongside their machinery.

Conducting CMM Training

CMMs are highly specialized pieces of equipment. To handle them properly, your staff needs professional training.

Training courses allow you to get trained by CMM experts on the tools and knowledge necessary within your industry. Regular training sessions also help keep you updated on industry trends and standards.

Sensor Malfunctions

CMM sensors are critical to your machine’s speed and accuracy. They should be professionally inspected and calibrated annually.

Routine sensor maintenance can significantly improve the efficiency and accuracy of your machine. CMM sensors include the following:

  • Scanning probe
  • Single point laser
  • Line laser
  • Electronic touch trigger probe
  • Video camera

Faulty Bearings

Neglected air bearings could cause them to falter in their accuracy and stability. Properly maintained air bearings ensure a smooth, stable, and accurate measurement process.

A professional metrology company can thoroughly inspect your air bearings to prevent further machine damage.

A CMM is a significant investment for any business. Good maintenance practices help your machine last and perform at its best, thus making the most out of this investment.


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Nintendo’s discounted Switch game vouchers are back



Nintendo’s Switch Online service has become a better deal over time, offering more perks than just the ability to play games online. On top of getting access to SNES and NES classics, and cloud save backups (for most games, save a couple dozen), Nintendo announced an even bigger perk yesterday: discounted game vouchers.

All subscribers can buy a two-pack of these vouchers for $99.98, and a huge range of first-party (in other words, typically discount-averse) Nintendo games are looped in. I encourage you to check out the full list, but some highlights include the brand-new Fire Emblem Engage, Kirby’s Return to Dream Land Deluxe, Bayonetta Origins: Cereza and the Lost Demon, Metroid Dread, Splatoon 3, The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and Pokémon Scarlet and Violet. Important note: you both have to be a subscriber to buy and use these vouchers.

It’s great that this list is more expansive than Nintendo’s first swing at this deal in 2019. But this perk could actually turn Switch Online into a must-have service because it allows you to pre-purchase up to four sets of vouchers (totaling eight games), and keep them for 12 months from the date of purchase. With $20 in savings with each pair of vouchers, buying four bundles will save you up to $80, assuming that each title normally costs $59.99. If you buy a lot of games, this is a smart way to save a little bit of money on every forthcoming purchase.

I know what you might be thinking: “Can I use one on The Legend of Zelda: Tears of the Kingdom?” Nintendo has not currently listed the deliriously anticipated sequel to Breath of the Wild, which is set to release on May 12th, 2023. Polygon has reached out to Nintendo to see if it’ll eventually become eligible, but did not hear back in time for publication.


You can get a free seven-day trial for Switch Online here, and you can easily subscribe to the service directly from the Switch’s eShop (it costs $3.99 per month, $7.99 for three months, or $19.99 per year). However, you can purchase (or gift) a one-year subscription with a digital code via Best Buy for $19.99. With a family subscription that costs $34.99 per year, up to eight Switch accounts can reap the perks of Switch Online.

For players who want all the perks, access to Goldeneye 007 and other N64 and Sega Genesis games, and complimentary DLC for some Switch games like Mario Kart 8 Deluxe, you’ll need Nintendo’s Switch Online plus the Expansion Pack tier, which costs $49.99 per year for one account, or $79.99 per year for a family subscription.


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Canadian discovery could help batteries last longer



A chance discovery in a Canadian laboratory could help extend the life of laptop, phone and electric car batteries.

According to scientists from Dalhousie University in Halifax, common adhesive tape in batteries may be the reason many devices lose some of their power while off or not being used, which is a phenomenon known as self-discharge.

“In our laboratory we do many highly complex experiments to improve batteries, but this time we discovered a very simple thing,” Michael Metzger, an assistant professor in Dalhousie University’s physics and atmospheric science department, said in a news release. “In commercial battery cells there is tape—like Scotch tape—that holds the electrodes together and there is a chemical decomposition of this tape, which creates a molecule that leads to the self-discharge.”

The solution is simple, too, Metzger says: replace the polyethylene terephthalate, or PET, plastic tape commonly used inside batteries with something more durable and stable.


“It’s a commercially relevant discovery,” Metzger said. “It’s a small thing but it can definitely help improve battery cells.”

Metzger and his team have been trying to understand why lithium-ion battery cells in inactive devices tend to lose some of their power and self-discharge, something that has long frustrated consumers and manufacturers alike.

“Every manufacturer of lithium-ion cells in the world wants to make self-discharge as small as possible,” Metzger told in a joint statement with graduate student Anu Adamson. “In every battery there is a small rate of self-discharge that slowly drains the battery. This is very inconvenient for users and a big headache for industry.”

The electrodes that power batteries are separated by an electrolyte solution that is usually a form of lithium. After exposing several battery cells to different temperatures, researchers were surprised to see that electrolyte solution had turned bright red when it normally should be clear, which was something they had never encountered. The discovery was made by Adamson and two other students.

Chemical analysis of the red electrolyte solution revealed that at higher temperatures, a new molecule had been created inside the battery through the decomposition of common PET adhesive tape, which is often used to hold components together inside batteries. Strong and lightweight, PET is also frequently used for plastic packaging, drink bottles, clothing fibres and more.

Researchers realized that the red molecule, dimethyl terephthalate, was acting as a redox shuttle, meaning that it can transport electrons between a battery’s positive and negative electrodes, creating self-discharge and depleting power even when a battery is not in use. Ideally, the shuttling of electrons within a battery should only happen when a device is on.

“It’s a very simple thing—it is in every plastic bottle and no one would have thought that this has such a huge impact on how the lithium-ion cells degrade,” Metzger said in the news release. “It’s something we never expected because no one looks at these inactive components, these tapes and plastic foils in the battery cell, but it really needs to be considered if you want to limit side-reactions in the battery cell.”

The findings are outlined in a pair of studies published on Jan. 20 and Jan. 23 in the peer-reviewed Journal of The Electrochemical Society. The researchers are now testing PET tape substitutes.

“Since the PET in the tape is the culprit that creates the redox shuttle, we need to replace it with a polymer that is more stable and does not decompose in the harsh chemistry of a lithium-ion battery,” Metzger and Adamson told “So far, the results look very promising, and we plan to publish a new research paper on improved polymers for lithium-ion battery tapes soon.”

According to the researchers, their work has been attracting interest from “some of the world’s largest computer hardware companies and electric vehicle manufacturers,” which are eager to reduce self-discharge and improve battery performance.

“We visited some of these companies and they are planning to implement more stable polymers in their battery cells,” Metzger said.

In the release, Metzger noted: “One of the engineers said, ‘I heard you guys found out something is wrong with PET tape.’ So, I explained to him that it’s causing this self-discharge and asked him, ‘What are you using in your cells?’ He said, ‘PET tape.'”


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