April 20, 1998 Design News
Chief Editor Paul E.
Teague reviews noteworthy engineering CAD/CAE products
A better I-DEAS
SDRC has released version 6 of the I-DEAS Master Series.
It extends VGX technology from parts to assemblies,
and provides other enhancements for CAD, CAM, and CAE
applications. Engineering analysis, or CAE, was one
of the original niches for SDRC. The CAE capabilities
include new section meshing tools that, SDRC says, enable
users to easily analyze complex geometry from I-DEAS
and other CAD systems without having to remove or suppress
detailed product features. Users can make design changes,
which automatically update the analysis. The software
also allows engineers to add manufacturing annotations
to the master model. Dimensions, annotations, and URLs
are supported in VRML.
Help for large-scale digital mock-up
IBM and Dassault Systemes have enhanced CATIA-CADAM,
adding new features that should be of interest to engineers
in automotive, aerospace, and consumer goods industries.
Among the enhancements are shape-modeling capabilities,
which, the company says, will make it easier to incorporate
junctions and cutouts into complex shapes. Here are
the highlights: 1)Body in white templates, which makes
use of a predefined library of cross-sectional shapes
for the design of complex thin parts, such as automobile
inner body panels; 2)Generative aerospace sheet metal
design, for folded and flattened parts. It facilitates
the design of hydro-pressed and break-formed airframes;
3)Generative composite covering, which identifies potential
fiber wrinkling, thus helping to avoid problems in parts
manufactured from composite materials; and 4)Generative
shape modeling, which enables design of trimmed features
with fewer user interactions, thus simplifying design
of cast parts.
Update to a classic
Since its purchase of CADKEY, Baystate Technologies
Inc. has been quietly enhancing the software as well
as fine-tuning its business model and marketing approach.
One result: The latest release of CADKEY itself, which
includes several new ACIS solid modeling husks for offset
wall shelling, advanced blending, local editing of a
solid, and modeling in a shaded mode. Other enhancements
include shelling, punching, and section views.
Baystate Technologies Inc.
A CAD library goes on line
DesignSuite is an Internet-based library database of
3D models and detailed specifications of more than 100,000
mechanical components that engineers can use in product
design. The first product to be developed by InPart
Inc., DesignSuite reportedly lets engineers find component
data and download a 3D model of gears, motors, and other
parts to their own CAD systems. InPart says such a capability
has never been available before. Parker Hannifin, Aeroquip,
The Torrington Company, and Thomson Industries are among
manufacturers whose products are included.
New analysis capabilities
The MacNeal-Schwendler Corp. is celebrating a birthday--sort
of. The company's flagship analysis product, MSC/NASTRAN,
is now in version 70.5, a sign of its longevity and,
say many, its enduring quality. The new release has
many features aimed at aerospace and automotive engineers.
For aerospace, the company promises more accurate simulation
of vehicle control system behavior during flight. There
are reportedly also advances in support of coupling
aerodynamics and structural models. Automotive engineers
get a new geometric and nonlinear damping feature to
design suspensions better. That's the first step to
predicting loads between suspension and body components
due to road surfaces. Also, engine manufacturers get
new modeling for understanding the dynamic interaction.
The MacNeal-Schwendler Corp.
Drop it 'on' the computer
ANSYS Inc. has developed an add-on to its ANSYS/LS-DYNA
dynamic-impact simulation software, which it originally
developed in conjunction with Livermore Software Technology
Corp. It's a drop-test module that includes contact
and dynamic-impact analysis capabilities. Likely applications,
the company says, are in the electronics, aerospace,
and automotive industries. It could turn out to be particularly
important to companies at the systems level of electronics.