Posts by Al Dean

A few thoughts on simulation - before it all changes

Published 06 September 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: engineering, cad, simulation, solidworks, ansys, materials

Ever since I moved away from product design and using the tools we write about on a daily basis, I was instantly struck by the desire from most vendors to push things forward.

When you enter the world of technical journalism you get a different view on the industry as a whole and you get to meet a lot more people driving the development of these tools and gain an insight into what drives them.

When I started in this job we were at the cusp of the mainstream revolution. The long-standing vendors were struggling to react to the new kid on the block (SolidWorks), and things were changing for design and engineering technology.

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Solid Solutions Management to acquire NTCADCAM

Published 15 August 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: cad, solidworks, design, solid solutions, var channel, ntcadcam

For those of us in the UK who were there in the beginning of the mainstream CAD revolution and the years since, most will be more than familiar with two of the UK’s leading resellers, Solid Solutions and NT CADCAM (That’s New Technology CADCAM).

As SolidWorks took hold, both organisations, along with others such as CADTek Systems and many more, spread the gospel according to SolidWorks amongst the many in the UK.

Now it has been announced that Solid Solution has acquired NTCADCAM, following its acquisition of CADTek Systems last year.

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Nikon launch new ModelMaker H120 laser scanner

Published 15 August 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: reverse engineering, 3d scanning, 3d scanner, metrology, nikon

Nikon Metrology has launched the latest update to its range of portable laser scanning devices.

The new ModelMaker H120 is based on Nikon’s blue laser technology which features an ‘ultra-fast frame rate’, specially developed optics and the ability to measure the most challenging materials - something that lower end laser scanner (and some more pricey ones as well) struggle with.

Having a field-of-view width up to 120 mm and a point resolution down to 35 μm, the system is said to be ideal for users requiring fast, detailed data collection over a large area.

 

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Renishaw and Aeromet to optimise high-performance alloy for AM

Published 14 August 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: design, 3d printing, manufacturing, materials, aerospace, additive manufacturing, renishaw, aeromet

Renishaw and Aeromet International (a specialist in the casting field) have signed an agreement to add Aeromet’s A20X aluminium alloy to Renishaw’s additive manufacturing capabilities.

This will mean the two organisations will work together to develop process parameters and material properties for Renishaw’s machines. allowing them to use these alloys in powder form.

If you’re not familiar with the alloy, A20X is a family of high strength aluminium/copper alloys developed by Aeromet for use in the aerospace field, with both a castable alloy (which is MMPDS approved) and a variant for additive manufacturing.

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PTC’s plans for social analytics with Plug-In 76 acquisition

Published 05 July 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: design, iot, ptc, visualisation, manufacture, product design, social media, analytics, big data

While at LiveWorx earlier this summer, amongst all of the talk around industrial IoT, Industry 4.0 and all the usual subjects that PTC focuses on these days, one little snippet came up in a press conference that piqued our interest: Social media.

During a Q&A session, one of the executive team made a passing remark about how it had acquired a new startup with the aim of bringing social analytics into the ThingWorx environment, but that was all that was said, particularly once CEO Jim Heppelmann said that they weren’t quite ready to talk about the acquisition yet.

We’ve learned that the acquisition is a small Swedish startup called Plugin-76, who have been developing a set of tools for PTC’s Retail, Footwear and Apparel (RTA) focussed FlexPLM product line for some time.

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Autodesk’s Generative Design tools to be built into NetFabb

Published 22 June 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: engineering, simulation, design, autodesk, manufacturing, topology optimisation, generative design, topology

Autodesk has announced that its generative design technology will make its appearance as a commercially available product inside of its Additive Manufacturing (AM) suite, NetFabb. For some years now, Autodesk has been showing off its set of generative design tools at various trade shows and user conferences.

While details have been scant, the company has made great stock of several public facing projects (with Airbus and others) that showed the potential for machine learning and artificial intelligence (A.I.) in the design world. What hasn’t quite so clear was how the company intended to bring it to market and turn it from technology into a tool that can be used by a wider audience.

Those that follow Autodesk’s work will be aware that the tools have been linked to Fusion 360, to a research project called Dreamcatcher and a few other instances and while much has been demonstrated, actual news on where this technology would appear, as a commercial entity, have been few and far between.

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New Balance partners with Formlabs and Nervous System for customisable footwear

Published 08 June 2017

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: simulation, design, 3d printing, manufacturing, product design, materials, new balance, sportswear, sport

Following on from the unveiling of its Fuse 1 sintering machine, Formlabs has announced a partnership with global sportswear brand, New Balance, to bring 3D printing to large-scale manufacturing.

The relationship between the two Boston-based companies includes the development of footwear-specific materials, as well as printers to create products to improve athlete performance.

Continuous production using the new materials and machines is expected to begin in 2018, and will presumably be powered by Form 2 in an industrial, automated configuration called the FormCell, which links multiple Form 2 SLA machines with a robotic gantry and automated wash and cure stations.

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