Get the most out of their software
Automotive engineers using Pro/ENGINEERŪ CAD tools now have access to a process guide to help them better use the software to design engines. Called Pro/-ENGINE, the web-enabled software contains a reusable set of components and assembly structures for four-cylinder, 16-valve, DOHC engines, templates for beginning new designs, and advanced product-modeling tutorials. Developer Parametric Technology Corp. says the software guides users through the design of a complete engine from concept to production. And, they're betting that Pro/ENGINE will raise the use and visibility of Pro/ENGINEER in a market where CATIA and SDRC, among others, are also making a big push.
Parametric Technology, Inc., FAX (617) 398-6000.
Do it all on one model
One of the most interesting of the many enhancements in SDRC's I-DEAS Master Series 5 is a new technology called VGX, for extended variational technology. The company says it combines the best features of variational modeling and history-based modeling. VGX reportedly lets users do direct manipulation of 3-D digital products "as if they were shaping a real part they were holding in their hands," says Vice President Bill Carrelli. "It makes it easier to edit parametric feature-based solids because you don't have to understand or use object history," he adds. All design, simulation, and manufacturing intent is in a single model.
SDRC, Inc., FAX (513) 576-2558.
Uncover stamping problems early
Altair Computing's HyperFormTM is a one-step simulation package that shines light on tears, thin areas, and other potential sheet-metal stamping problems, and enables engineers to compare multiple solutions. It's based on the so-called "inverse" approach, which projects nodes to the original blank surface geometry, then calculates stresses and strains using the change in element length in the meshed geometry. Instead of calculating individual increments for each stage of the stamping process, HyperMesh varies the node positions along the blank surface to determine the internal stress for the entire part.
Altair Computing, FAX (810) 614-2441.
Save time, document your process
Traditional product data management packages ignore the early pre-release stage of product development, says Workgroup Technology Corp. So the company designed its CMS 7.0 to fill the gap by tracking deliverables of product managers, change coordinators, and engineers throughout the product cycle. Target users: engineers in highly regulated industries such as medical and automotive, where regulators want processes documented. CMS does it, the company promises, and gives users a real-time view of the state of work completion.
Workgroup Technology, FAX (617) 674-0034.
Combine component models
Design and analysis of jet engines, satellites, and other large structures often occur at multiple locations. But at some point, engineers have to simulate performance of the assembled product. Version 2.0 of The MacNeal-Schwendler Corp.'s MSC/SuperModel assembles and manages the individual design models through new automated attachment procedures. The result: Engineers analyze multiple configurations using a single model. Hewlett-Packard worked with MSC on development of this version of the software which was originally developed at McDonnell Douglas.
The MacNeal-Schwendler Corp., FAX (213) 259-4979.
Turn anyone's 2-D into 3-D
MICROCADAM, Inc.'s latest version of the Helix Design System gives users the ability to automatically create a 3-D solid model from 2-D data imported from any other CAD system. Users can also create 2-D layouts of solid models with bi-directional associativity. Helix Modeling, part of the release, is a parametric and variational modeler, and includes enhanced sheet metal design tools, kinematic tools, assembly modeling, surface modeling, and visualization capabilities via wireframe, hidden line, and shaded-image rendering. The entire release is integrated with SRAC's COSMOS finite element analysis software, CAM Etc for numerical control, GTX for raster, and Solid Concepts for Internet viewing and mark up.
MICROCADAM, Inc., FAX (213) 613-2350.
Watch the part break
A picture is worth a thousand words. In finite element analysis, it can be worth much more, says Algor President Michael Bussler. By combining kinematics, rigid/flexible body dynamics, and nonlinear stress analysis in one package, Algor's new Accupak/VE software saves design time and makes analysis easier, he says. Because yield stress data is built into material models the software uses, engineers can watch a part fail on the computer screen rather than check a handbook to see if stresses exceed the yield point. Bussler says the company is planning other "virtual engineering" packages so engineers can see on the computer what was once confined to numbers.
Algor, Inc., FAX (412) 967-2781.
Simulate real-world product behavior
ANSYS, Inc. has released version 5.4 of its flagship ANSYSŪ finite element analysis software, calling it the most robust version yet. Some Beta testers apparently agree. "We can create higher quality meshes much faster," says one. "Terrific functionality," says another. In addition to faster solvers, the release includes multiphysics capabilities that allow engineers to simulate real-world operating conditions, such as nonlinearity, electromagnetics, and crash simulation.
ANSYS, Inc., FAX (412) 514-3115.
Open the box, no need to be taught
Smart Solutions, Inc. claims its Windows-based flagship technical data management software SmarTeam is so easy you can start working with the product right out of the box. Users reportedly can even customize the software without having to rely on programmers. Now, version 2.3 is on the street, with advanced OLE automation, a new vault server for improved security, and more formats for the embedded viewer. It also includes tight integration with SolidWorks 97 and Microsoft Office 97. Coming soon: a version tightly integrated with AutoCAD.
Smart Solutions, Inc., FAX (508) 535-8881.