Posts by Al Dean

EFD updated by Flomerics

Published 06 May 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with:

Flomerics has launched a new rev of its Engineering Fluid Dynamics (EFD) fluid flow and thermal simulation product family. If you’re not familiar with the company, Flomerics have a range of CFD based tools that serve a range of markets, for architecture, mechnical and electronic design. The EFD tools are the result of the aquisition of Nika a little while ago. The concept behind EFD is that its based on the same mathematical Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) principles as all the other codes out there but is embedded in CAD.

Updated goodies in this release are an optimised mesher that’s less hardware intensive for larger models, Vista recognition, a brand new interface (yup - ribbons a go-go) and more porting of Flomeric’s electronics knowledge. One thing that’s intriguing me is Feature Recognition. The press release says: “unique functionality by recognizing features and parameters on an imported solid body. Therefore, users maintain all the benefits of parametric-based solid modeling and can easily modify geometry parameters to take advantage of effortless “what-if” testing regardless of where the solid model was created.” So, are they reconstructing features and allowing you to play with the parameters? that’s pretty impressive.

UI Rant

One thing I did notice is that with the rise of the Ribbon tool bar, the old days of saying that all these systems DID the same thing, is now compounded by the fact that they all LOOK the same. Look at the screenshot above - what’s that, is it SpaceClaim, SolidWorks, EFD? And is this a good thing? I’m not entirely convinced it is. The workflow of design and engineering, 3D modelling and interaction with geometry is NOT the same as filling out a spreadsheet and writing a word document. Should we be following the same user guidelines? Perfect example is AliasStudio - the interface is unlike anything else and never has been. And there’s a very good reason for that: you’re working with conceptual surfaces or class A surfaces.

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Bob’s got a Blog

Published 06 May 2008

Posted by Al Dean

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Why didn’t I know this before? Bob McNeel has a blog. Its updated regularly by himself and Carlos - Bob’s the founder of McNeel, developer of amongst other things, Rhino, Brazil, Accurender and all manner of other stuff that sells by the bucket load at a very reasonable cost and Carlos runs the European operation from their Barcelona office.

And as anyone who’s been to a Rhino event will know, this company has a following which other CAD vendors can only dream of. I don’t know if anyone has a Rhino tattoo, but its only a matter of time.

I was lucky enough to get to go to their DIMe event in Mexico last year and I was blown away - here, hundreds of Mexican design students gathered together, largely at their own cost, to learn about the process of design from some really big names in the game - and I don’t mean the 25 minute pitch of “how to innovate” nonsense you get at other user events, but hour long, in-depth details - and they listened.

Link

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Matt Lombard’s Surfacing book is out

Published 06 May 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: solidworks, book, reading

Matt Lombard has a well known SolidWorks blogger, known for a distinct inability to pull his punches. He’s also a prolific author and his latest tome is out for your surface modelling joy. Having been writing about this technology for the last 45 years combined, we’re in awe of anyone that has the ability to sit and write that shear amount of content - personally, it gives me the fear.

In Matt’s words:

This book explains some of the elementary concepts of surfacing, and goes on to talk about tools and techniques. The last part of the book has several tutorials done in a conversational style, where I go through how I modeled parts, including how the decisions were made to use various features. This is not just a “do this do that” tutorial where you get the instructions to make a complex shape but never understand why you would do this or do that.

The book is $50, which includes shipping in the US. The rest of the payment and shipping details available here.

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SolidSmack brings the RealView noise

Published 06 May 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: solidworks, solidsmack, realview, design review

DEVELOP3D.com loves (in a very special way) Josh at SolidSmack.com, so much so, he’s agreed to be a columnist in our new magazine come its eventual launch in June. This week, Mr. Mings (for some reason, I think Dr. Mings has a better ring) has been looking at the RealView technology in SolidWorks and has some interesting pointers, tips and a few questions about how SolidWorks users are, well, using the technology. He raises an interesting point that you often conduct design reviews around your CAD screen and the RealView highlight tools are ideal for making your point. Wise words indeed - from a very wise man.

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New Tools for Rhino - Brazil Beta & Photogrammetry

Published 06 May 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: rhino, visualization, mcneel, photogrammetry

Word is coming out of McNeel & Associates that there are two new add-ons coming on stream for surface modelling master, Rhino. Firstly, there’s a brand new beta for Brazil, the photo realistic rendering add-on for Rhino. Updates include a new ‘Graph’ section to most textures which displays a graph of the texture’s red, green, blue, alpha or luminosity along one axis. There are also a range tools for precisely defining sun direction and position which will be mostly useful for those working with Architectural visualisation. Other updates include a context menu to the color button, implementation of Brazil’s Advanced Global Fog Environment implemented..

There’s also Rhinophoto, Photogrammetry plugin for Rhino and provides automatic 3D digitizing from a set of photographs. having had a quick look at the web-site, this tool looks pretty impressive for those wanted to reconstruct 3D models (for whatever purposes), using some standard digital cameras and a bit of time. There are some good tutorials which give you a solid idea of what’s involved in the systems use.

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Autodesk to maintain MoldFlow partnerships

Published 06 May 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: simulation, autodesk, moldflow, vero, visi, visi flow

Courtesy of RalphG at WorldAccessCAD, Autodesk’s Buzz Kross has confirmed at the company is planning no change with regards MoldFlow’s partnerships with other vendors.

I heard you were wondering if we intended to continue the link to competitive tools. Absolutely. We plan no changes. Moldflow is a key aspect of our CIM strategy. We intend to keep the solution open and will continue to work with everyone. Earlier today, I sent a e-mail to virtually all my competitors telling them that this is our plan.

Good news for everyone that’s currently using MoldFLow for their simulation processes as this technology is pretty hard to come by. The only other solution that we’re currently aware of that gets anywhere near to MoldFlow is Vero Software‘s VISI Flow application described in its own words as “a unique prediction tool, ideal for pre and post production analysis and concurrent engineering of injection moulded plastic components.”

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Autodesk to acquire MoldFlow

Published 02 May 2008

Posted by Al Dean

Article tagged with: simulation, solidworks, autodesk, manufacturing, cocreate, moldflow, mergers, aqcuisitions

News of Autodesk’s intent to acquire MoldFlow came as a bit of a surprise. Considering Autodesk’s Digital Prototyping plan over the next few years, to enable users to take a product from concept to manfuacture without too much in the way of physical prototypes, the move makes perfect sense - but how?

The answer is that if you look at what Autodesk are openly (to the media anyway) about in terms of current developments - such as Mould and Die design tools currently on test in China, its establishment of the ‘Computers in Manufacturing’ group (headed up by people instrumental in the development of IronCAD and CoCreate’s SolidDesigner/OneSpace modelling tool), the demonstrations of Functional Design tools developed in partnership with Attilo Rimoldi of ImpactXoft fame), then the ability to simulate the injection moulding process is a missing piece.

What’s perhaps interesting and won’t become clear is how this will effect MoldFlow’s work with other vendors. MoldFlow technology is built into SolidWorks (MoldflowXpress), CoCreate, and many others. There is also a huge range of MoldFlow products that are not quite so well known, but provide a huge arsenal that covers everything ‘injection moulding’ related.

The deal is expected to go through in the second quarter of 2008, so stay tuned.

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