3D CAD providers are pulling out the stops trying to acquaint university and K-12 students with their software. Through sponsorships and with the release of special student editions, 3D CAD and simulation software providers are trying to reverse the trend of declining interest in design and engineering curriculum amongst the K-12 and college set.
Dassault’s SIMULIA division, for example, released the Abaqus Student Edition Version 6.7 of its Unified Finite Element Analysis (FEA) software available for purchase online for $99. New features in this release include improved architecture for high-performance linear dynamics, advanced simulation capabilities for nonlinear materials and composites and a customizable user interface for accelerated model building and results visualization.
Rival PTC went the sponsorship route to connect with the student population. The company announced it will serve as a FIRST (For Inspiration and Recognition of Science and Technology) Collaboration Sponsor for the FIRST Robotics Competition. Designed to engage school-age children in engineering and research work, the Robotics Competition challenges teams to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard “kit of parts” and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in a competition designed by the well-known entrepreneur and inventor Dean Kamen.
Through the sponsorship, PTC is offering a hosted version of its Windchill collaboration solution. With Windchill, team members can manage documents, interact in online discussion groups and access content through Web-based project portals. Additionally, all teams are being offered the opportunity to use the student editions of Pro/ENGINEER and Mathcad.