Thanks for the perspective, Scott. Your comments show us just how far we've come in terms of design tool advances. Sometimes, given the pace of technology evolution, these are improvements and innovations we take for granted.
As a young engineer I was tasked with properly documenting design parameters for a number of environmental systems that had evolved over time "based on experience". There were a lot of tables of empirical data I had to work from when it came to fluild flow, but I was totally stumped when it came to multi-phase flow in the condenser of a refrigeration unit. Oh what I would have given for a 3D CFD program at that time. Glad to see today's designers won't have to suffer my endless hours of research in a technical library looking for answers.
@Naperlou: You've hit on the mantra of design tool providers. It's all about increasing the ability to perform all types of simulations early on in the design process when it's so much cheaper to optimize and make changes. Mentor's point with this integration is that both 1D and 3D capabilities are required at different points in the design cycle and by integrating the technologies and workflow, engineers can easily avail themselves of the best of both worlds without introducing any inefficiencies and bottlenecks into their process.
The ability to simulate at the appropriate level early in the design phase is certianly the trend in the industry. Tight integration of the products provided by the vendor also enhances the process by automating processes that might have been manual before. The use of 1D analysis to get a quick answer is useful and often necessary, even with todays powerful machines.
Altair has released an update of its HyperWorks computer-aided engineering simulation suite that includes new features focusing on four key areas of product design: performance optimization, lightweight design, lead-time reduction, and new technologies.
At IMTS last week, Stratasys introduced two new multi-materials PolyJet 3D printers, plus a new UV-resistant material for its FDM production 3D printers. They can be used in making jigs and fixtures, as well as prototypes and small runs of production parts.
In a line of ultra-futuristic projects, DARPA is developing a brain microchip that will help heal the bodies and minds of soldiers. A final product is far off, but preliminary chips are already being tested.
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