NAFEMS seminar to get ‘upfront’ with CFD

Published 13 November 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: cfd, nafems

A NAFEMS seminar in Coventry is bringing together experts from motorsports, motion and control, and telecommunications industries to present ways in which designers can apply CFD earlier.

Renault F1, Rolls-Royce, Alcatel and Parker Hannifin will be on hand to give an insight into how simulation driven product development is making a difference in their industries.

The event on 26 November is free to members of the organization as part of their membership,as well as anyone else interested, and hopes to show them the benefits that the concept of ‘upfront CFD’ or the bizarrely named ‘front-loading CFD’ in the design process.

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PTC ‘unleashes’ its six-way beast

Published 13 November 2008

Posted by Stephen Holmes

Article tagged with: ptc, pro engineer, webcasts

Pro/Engineer users, and anyone else for that matter, are being invited via webcast to listen to PTC offer its six-point mantra for helping make companies more money.

Despite sounding like a dodgy pyramid scheme, the series of webcasts will show major companies explaining how they’ve boosted their profits by improving their product development practices.

Promising a six-way initiative that can help boost productivity it seems unlikely that it will provide a definite stop to the country’s economic recession, but any advice that might help and we’re listening.

The first webcast takes place on 24 November.

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Pickle Man to keynote SolidWorks World

Published 12 November 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: solidworks world, richard branson, pickle man

News just out (literally, via twitter) that Sir Richard Branson, a guy that needs very little introduction to anyone in the western world, is going to be the keynote speaker at SolidWorks World, held at the Swan & Dolphin in Orlando, February 8 - 11 next year.

Yup, the man that re-signed the Sex Pistols, brought the world Culture Club, high speed train to the UK, and founded the first space tourism company that’s ever likely to get off the ground (using a former SWW keynote, Burt Rutan’s technology) is going to speak to the assembled masses. About what, its not clear, but what ever comes out of one of the most intriguing people of our age*, its going to be interesting.

If you have the time and inclination and can justify the time, I’d recommend SolidWorks World to anyone involved with the product, the learning and networking potential are incredible and of course, its in Florida in the dead of the British winter.

*He did, on the other hand, bring us Tubular Bells. Ying and Ying I guess.

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Pro/Engineer Manikin Extension goes live

Published 11 November 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: simulation, design, ptc, proengineer, human factors, manikin extension

I thought this was made available in the Wildfire 4 release cycle, but it appears that I was wrong (blame my rapidly increasing years) - anyway, this is good stuff. PTC has released a new add-on (for Extension as they like to call them) that allows you to integrate a digital mannequin into your product models. The human models can be customised according to a pretty wide range of human factors inputs, whether that’s gender, race, nationality and they conform to the H-ANIM standard (ISO/IEC 19774).

Pro/Engineer Manikin Extension seems to let you put the human form into your models, while the more advanced version which lets you analyse your humans against “a number of quantitative human factors, and workplace standards and guidelines.”

But what I love the most is the fact that PTC is an impressive company all round, has some fantastic tools and technology that is, despite the message from many vendors, still highly active in many sectors - the stories we’ve been writing about industrial designers and product developers, backs this up - but when they put together their product pages, to show off a tool that’s modern, fresh and pretty impressive choose to show the female variant of the mannequin stood at a sink (as below). Either that or its a dude with a pony tail. Either way, its pretty outdated.

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Discoverability & DriveWorksXpress

Published 11 November 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: solidworks, design, driveworks, automation, discoverability, kbe, knowledge based engineering

One thing that is a constant source of puzzlement is how the average user finds out about all the new tools, software and technology that’s present in the application set they have already acquired. Take SolidWorks. Look at the list of ‘stuff’ it does and its huge, from standard part, assembly and drawings tools, through all the Xpress products and then you get into all the tools that are part of the Office offerings - there’s a huge amount to discover and learn. I’ve banged on about how important printed manuals were in that informal learning process outside of formal training, but of course, the web can play a huge part in not just shortening that learning curve, but also in just flagged up the fact that something even exists and what it can be used for.

DriveWorks worked with SolidWorks in the last few release cycles to introduce DriveWorksXpress - for a tool that’s essentially free for many SolidWorks users, its incredibly powerful - but how do you find out if Rules-based automation is for you? well, the team has just released a whole bunch of targetted examples, to show you the type of thing it can do, including Stainless Steel Extraction/Ventilation Hood, Porch/Entrance Canopy, Vehicle Suspension System, Hydraulic Cylinder.

Automation means you cut out the crappy boring stuff, formalise your standard designs variants and get to work on the really interesting stuff. If you’ve got SolidWorks, its there. Go play. and if that’s not enough, get a copy of their fantastic Little Book of Rules. I take my hat off to these guys and the shear effort they put in - if only all vendors did the same.

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FirePro V5700 vs Quadro FX 1700 with Catia

Published 11 November 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: cad, amd, hardware, catia, hp, nvidia, quadro, firepro, ati, 3d modeling

DEVELOP3D’s hardware expert, Greg Corke, has been playing with graphics hardware again (it keeps him out of trouble). This time he’s been comparing the performance of FirePro V5700 vs Quadro FX 1700 in Catia V5.

As the blurb says: The FirePro V5700 and the Quadro FX 1700 are tested side-by-side for real-time performance in CATIA using the standard CATBench high polygon count models. These tests were conducted at X3DMedia in London on Oct 25, 2008 under the supervision Greg Corke and Martyn Day of Develop 3D magazine. The tests were run on identical HP xw8600 workstations.

See the next issue of DEVELOP3D (coming very soon) for more the first in a series of articles on how to tune your graphics performance and get the best out of your hardware - this month its Catia (as you might have guessed), but we’ll be covering all the biggies in the coming months.

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Huntsman join the Direct Manufacturing set

Published 10 November 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: rapid prototyping, direct manufacturing, hunstman digitalis

Huntsman Advanced Materials, a long time supplier of materials to the prototyping industry (it has the RenShape and Aralidite brands) is going to launch a rapid manufacturing machine which “significantly reduces production times and costs.” In a press release that says a lot, but gives away very little indeed, Huntsman claims to have “this new technology with pinpoint accuracy and speed which will make mass customisation a reality.” There’s also very little sight of the press release actually online either.

The machine is to be branded as the Araldite Digitalis and is based on a new polymeric additive fabrication system capable of manufacturing “at speed large numbers of parts simultaneously with previously unattainable accuracy.” The only details that are made available are that the system is based on entirely “new” micro-electro mechanical systems (MEMS).

The release also claims that the system is “different from the light reflecting MEMS technology used in 3D printers. At the heart of Araldite Digitalis is the MLS MicroLightSwitch, a radical new exposure system operating via a computer controlled micro-mechanical shutter system which enables a large surface area of radiation curable resin to be selectively exposed in a single step. There is fast uniform exposure with high accuracy.”

While Huntsman provides very few additional details, reading between the lines, it sounds like the system is similar to that found in the Envisiontec machines, which are based on consumer level DLP micro light switching/reflecting devices. Huntsman expects Araldite Digitalis to be in commercial use later in 2009. If you want to have a look, wait for them to update the web-site or check ‘em out at Stand No J164, Hall 8.0 at EuroMold 2008.

I am puzzled about why they would choose to name a product that’s “easy to use and maintain” after a plant that’s pretty much entirely poisonous.

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