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DEVELOP3D coming your way!

Published 14 June 2008

Posted by greg corke

Article tagged with:

So, after many a late night in the past week, the launch edition of DEVELOP3D (the magazine) finally went to press on Friday. It’s been a rollercoaster ride of tears and laughter but we’ve thoroughly enjoyed putting it together and are extremely pleased with the results! Thanks to everyone who made this possible. You know who you are.

There’s just enough time left to ensure you get hold of a copy of the first edition, so if you haven’t done so yet, click on the link to the right and register your details. And don’t forget it’s free to all those who qualify.

We’re hopeful that DEVELOP3D will turn some heads, and not just because of the unashamed use of pink throughout. It’s got a bold new look for a bold new magazine for product development technology and we really hope you like it. We’re also relying on you, the reader, for feedback, good and bad, so we can drive things forward for future editions.

Now i’m off to remind myself that there is actually an existence outside of the world of magazine editing and production. I think I might even treat myself to a pint - well maybe a half. I don’t want to overdo it now.


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Architectural tools finding new home

Published 14 June 2008

Posted by greg corke

Article tagged with: product design, architecture

Bentley Systems and McNeel and Associates both recently announced new modelling tools which are primarily designed for architects. This wouldn’t normally be of interest to DEVELOP3D, but there’s increasing trend of cross pollination between the product development and architectural sectors.

While major architectural firms are looking to product development technology to help generate complex models, generative parametric systems which are used for architectural form generation and dynamic conceptual modelling, are also being sought out by product designers.

With generative technology, the user scripts a framework or description of a complex shape, and the computer then generates it. Using variables and sliders, it’s also possible to drive the underlying framework to create the form.

Bentley Systems has led the field with Generative Components, which is built on top of MicroStation. However, the company has just released a Discovery Subscription that allows access to the current shipping version at a very low cost of $250.

Meanwhile Robert McNeel and Associates has also launched Grasshopper, a highly innovative visual-programming system for generating parametric, dynamic geometry which runs in its popular Rhino modelling too. Grasshopper is free to Rhino users.

Bentley recently lost its Chief Scientist and father of Generative Components to Autodesk, so expect another Generative product at some point in the future.

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Autodesk to buy Flomerics… maybe?

Published 09 June 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: solidworks, autodesk, flomerics, acquisition, flotherm

It seems that Autodesk is looking to acquire Flomerics and its range of CFD-based simulation technologies. According to a statement released by Flomerics, this comes after Mentor Graphics tried to acquire the company early this quarter.

According to the statement:

Autodesk, Inc. (‘Autodesk’) and the Board of Directors of Flomerics Group PLC (‘Flomerics’ or the ‘Company’) are pleased to confirm that Autodesk is in continuing discussions with Flomerics and its advisers in respect of a possible offer for the Company.

These discussions are progressing and further announcements will be made in due course. At this stage, however, there can be no certainty that an offer from Autodesk will be forthcoming, nor as to the terms on which any offer might be made.

Unfortunately, I have no idea how these things work, but this is interesting for many reasons. If you take the MCAD market as a whole, there are a couple of missing gaps in several vendor’s offerings and they relate to simulation. Namely, PTC and Autodesk don’t have a decent Fluid Flow and Heat Transfer analysis offering.

In the world of CAD integrated CFD, PTC has always had a very strong relationship with Blue Ridge Numerics. Meanwhile Flomerics had been the outsider, until it acquired Nika last year. Nika develop the CFD code that’s the underlying base technology for SolidWorks’ FloWorks as well as its other EFD products.

What’s intriguing is that Flomerics has a very wide range of interests. From the EFD tools for CAD integrated CFD, through more specialist electronics-related simulation with the FloTherm products and into the AEC market with the HVAC-biased product, FloVent. Now, who in the CAD world covers mechanical and architectural design? Yup. Autodesk.

It appears to be early days, but this move makes a hell of a lot of sense. What will happen to FloWorks? Will SolidWorks have to go elsewhere for that technology? Would PTC buy out Blue Ridge as a result? who knows? its all speculation. But purely in terms of Product Development Technology, this is interesting. If Autodesk can bring CFD in house (it already has FEA from the PlassoTech aquisition), it is acquiring Moldflow, the company looks be building a very interesting technology base for its Digital Prototyping concept that might finally see it delivered.

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New SolidWorks Integrated mould filling analysis

Published 05 June 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: simulation, design, autodesk, moldflow, mold design, simpoeworks, mold filling

I got a release through from UK SolidWorks VAR, New Technology CADCAM about it adding SimpoeWorks to its product portfolio. I recently talked, following the Autodesk/Moldflow acquisition, about how there were limited options for those looking to perform injection moulding simulation, citing the only other code I was aware of being Vero’s VISI-Flow. It seems I was wrong and SimpoeWorks is “fully featured general purpose plastic injection simulation software for plastic injection analysis.” It’s a SolidWorks Gold Partner Product offering “complete filling, packing, cooling and part warpage simulation”

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