Animation, mining engineering and software development - sounds like an unconventional series of events? At first glance, definitely. Despite the wild variety in industries, this path has allowed me to bring a very unique mindset to the mining industry. I approach engineering problems with a foundation of creativity and out of the box thinking, while delving into the data and exploring the real problem to be solved. This path has led me to my current position, CEO and founder of CAVR Design - a virtual workspace for collaborative mine design.
Despite these three industries seeming disconnected, with similarities few and far between, I often reflect on a fundamental idea, that carried through my career to date, ultimately led to the conception and creation of CAVR Design.
Creativity + Iteration = Success
The typical approach to starting a new animation is to block out the big, key body shapes, and gradually blend the detail from there. The result hits the key metrics for animation: movement that is readable, entertaining, and believable.
Walking through the key shapes before focusing in on the detail is so important. Animators will often run through a number of options at this early stage, considering different poses, flow and focal points. In doing so, they are able to find the optimal sequence - the movement that delivers the best result.
Similarly, mine design involves a series of steps through feasibility to final design that gradually breaks a plan into smaller and smaller details in order to deliver a result that hits mining-specific metrics associated with safety, cost and revenue.
This process of quickly exploring multiple options in order to reach the best result is so crucial, particularly in an industry in which we deal with finite resources - we only get one shot at mining each deposit, so we better do it the best way possible!
Given the time constraints of a working day, and the effort required to generate multiple iterations in available mine design packages, this crucial period of exploration is not currently possible, with engineers needing to constantly move onto other jobs.
In developing CAVR Design, this has always been at the forefront of my mind. The mining industry needs a tool that allows for fast and efficient exploration of ideas, within teams of talent that hold varied expertise. The ease of use and simple learning curve of CAVR Design lets engineers quickly load relevant data, jump into the virtual workspace, and start fleshing out multiple ideas as a team.
I’d love to speak more about the importance of creativity and iteration in the mining industry - more to come in another post!