Orlando, FL —Static CAD is great for designing static products. But when's the last time you created a part that never moved?
In the real world, objects are dropped, dunked, bounced, and crashed. Traditionally, this has required expensive FEA or CFD, but some CAD providers now certify software partners who can provide animation and analysis right on the designer's desktop. At its February user conference, SolidWorks unveiled an array of partners such as ANSYS, MSC, and a dozen more. One of the newest is Mechanical Dynamics' (Ann Arbor, MI) Dynamic Designer 2001. Going far beyond mere collision detection, it models the realistic behavior of complex parts like gears, cams, latches, belts, and chains. Despite this complex modeling, it doesn't require much computing power, says Tom Peurach, senior product manager.
Another way to simulate motion with CAD models is through Algor's Mechanical Event Simulation (MES), says Marketing Engineer Ron Seebacher.
Priced as an entry-level product, it is designed for engineers who have not been trained in high-level analysis, but who simply need to run their designs through an iterative series of tests. The package also gains efficiency and accuracy by using bricks instead of tetrahedrons to create its meshes.
"It's really built to answer the 'what if' questions," Seebacher says.
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