Skinny HP unveiled with CAD in mind

Published 27 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: hp, workstations

HP has unveiled its latest slice of technology designed with the CAD market in mind, the trim ThinClient workstation, based on the AMD Turion Dual Core 2.3-Ghz processor.

Roberto Moctezuma, vice president and general manager, desktop solutions organization, HP, said: “This latest technology from HP removes one of the last remaining barriers to transitioning to a virtual client infrastructure for customers who require the highest levels of processing power or high-quality multimedia capabilities.”

The gt7725 is shown as viewing multi-display, two- and three-dimensional MCAD designs, engineering simulation results for computational fluid dynamics and rendering images. Advanced system performance is also promised through configured dual channel memory with optimized data throughput.

Available from January, this could be a useful addition for designers wanting to work from home, pushed for space and needing a light workstation; they can also take advantage of the pre-installed HP remote graphics software. Allowing the user to work closely with remotely in a secure, collaborative environment, the system should eliminate the need to upgrade to an expensive 3D graphics card on each user’s machine.

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Big bird

Published 27 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: cad managers

Far be it from us to stand in the way of all things art, but having seen the scale of this shiny, rather fragmented, black bird, we felt implored to comment.

This work from Mexican-based artist Carlos Amorales was completed with the aid of technology and engineering design firm Concurrent Design using technology from ZCorp printing.

Built in their Alton offices for the opening of the Yvon Lambert Gallery in London, Concurrent Design, the Bird Sculpture by Amorales is a giant piece of work. Having had a chance to handle a gleaming wing segment, we can vouch for the size of this birdy, of which the larger segments are said to be the size of a surf board.

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Tell us where it hurts…

Published 24 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with:

Are you a hard working CAD manager? Finding the office life a grind with no support, increasing numbers of staff to boss, and spending too much time converting files?

Well all of this has been noted by the fifth annual CAD Managers Survey Report that lists the major issues for the modern day CAD manager (unless you’re very happy, with a well trained tight-knit team utilising your software package to its limits – in which case why didn’t you return your survey?).

Evolve Consultancy’s report highlights five main areas of the CAD Manager’s role: management, software, support, training and CAD standards, and finds that managers have seen an increased level of responsibility in 2008, managing more staff, implementing more software packages and supporting an increased number of users than before.

Support is apparently a major bottleneck in the industry, with the average call to a support provider taking 39.3 hours (nearly five working days) to resolve. Investment in training is critical and 70 per cent of respondents noted that their main support issue was due to a lack of ability or understanding of the CAD software.

However, a key grumble taken from the report files the need to “identify and implement standard methods and procedures that can help reduce the unnecessary time compiling, formatting, translating and issuing data.”

Does this sound like the common list of woe that is tossed around between you and your fellow managers? Let us know what gets your goat.

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ZCorp back with black

Published 23 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: 3d printing, z corporation

Develop3D were standing by as Z Corporation launched their new flagship model, the ZPrinter 650, adding black to their colour palette and displaying a bigger build area.

“It’s the first time it’s been on public display anywhere in the world,” said an excited Alan Spence, ZCorp’s UK regional sales manager at the launch. “It’s our new flagship model, it’s the biggest printer in our range. It has some key differences against our older products: A bigger build envelope, it’s the first time we’ve got five print-heads in which means we can use a black cartridge in there as well and it really improves the colour. So now we can have much bigger colour parts than before.”

Examples of the new machine’s prowess were on display, making full use of the increased build size of 10x15x8 inches, and revealing a greater depth and consistency of colour. Although they still lacked a lifelike sheen, the 24-bit colour and 600 x 540 dpi resolution was a big step forward from the usual ‘washed-out’ results from 3D printers.

“The 650 is even more highly integrated then previous products in the range, so its more end to end - sending the job to print, de-powdering it, and infiltrating it are now all done situated in the machine,” added Alan, “It’s a truly office friendly product, all you need is a 13 amp plug and a printer cable and you’re in business.”

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Objet advances desktop RP market with new 3D printer

Published 20 October 2008

Posted by Greg Corke

Article tagged with: rapid prototyping, 3d printing, objet

Objet Geometries has upped the ante in desktop 3D printing with the launch of its latest machine, the Alaris30. The office friendly machine is small enough to fit on a desk but still manages to offer a build volume of 300 x 200 x 150mm. Like Objet’s other 3D printers, it utilises the company’s PolyJet Photopolymer Jetting Technology, meaning it can print parts with fine detail (0.1 - 0.2mm accuracy), including “finished-quality” smooth surfaces, and moving parts. The sample parts we have seen are testament to this.

To achieve such high accuracy the Alaris30 squirts Objet’s proprietary FullCure photopolymer material at 600 x 600dpi in 28 micron layers. Similar to an inkjet printer, the jetting head moves back and forth along the X-axis depositing a single layer of photopolymer onto the build tray. Each layer is immediately cured and hardened by UV light, producing fully cured models that can be handled immediately without additional post-curing.

The machine also builds support structures with a gel-like FullCure Support material, and this enables complicated geometries, such as cavities, overhangs, undercuts, delicate features and walls as thin as 0.6mm. When the build is finished, the support material can be removed by water jetting or by hand, and the model is ready for fit, form and function testing. According to Objet, it can also be painted, drilled, chrome-plated or used as moulds for tooling.

In terms of operation, the Alaris30 is designed to act like a network printer and its four cartridge loading permits up to 36 hours of unattended printing. CAD data is prepared using Objet’s Studio software.

Unlike Objet’s Connex500, the Alaris 30 doesn’t offer the ability to print multiple model materials with varying mechanical properties simultaneously.
Look out for a full review soon.

www.objet.com

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Print3D offers realtime prototype pricing software

Published 09 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: solid edge, siemens plm, 3d connexion

Providers of rapid prototyping services Print3D have got all excited about their new software release that promises real-time pricing of CAD models before they are sent into production.

Users will apparently receive real-time quotes for plastic or metal prototypes for whatever components they have open in their modeling workspace, and even customise their order to add paint and finish options before sending the request to rapid prototyping facilities from their 3D modeler.

It can be used as a standalone piece of kit or as a plug-in for AutoCAD, Rhinoceros, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Alibre Design, and SpaceClaim, while users of Pro Engineer, Revit, Maya, and 3DMax will be catered for in the coming months.

“Just from a day-to-day perspective, designers get more sophisticated pricing and greater control over the quality of the orders in far less time than they would exporting and uploading each part to a website,” explained Print3D CEO Ron Barranco.

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Solid Edge gets 3D Connexion mice

Published 09 October 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with:

The three-dimensional mouse from 3D Connexion is now supported by Siemens’ Solid Edge, bringing it’s useful manipulation of screen navigation to the synchronous technology involved.

Advanced navigation features in Solid Edge Part, SheetMetal, Weldment, Assembly, and Draft documents allowing engineers to move in all three dimensions simultaneously with six degrees of freedom.

The addition brings the total number of 3D software titles supporting this nifty bit of hardware to over 130.

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