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CAD marries power and simplicity

Los Angeles-based Microcadam Inc.'s new marketing slogan uses an in-your-face tone to broadcast an interesting message. "The hell with limits," the company's literature says, then it explains why the Helix Design System "unleashes" engineering power. The slogan works, and, more importantly, Microcadam is betting that the software will too. One of the so-called mid-range software products, Helix includes a solid modeler and an integrated parametric detail drafting package that, the company says, are full of features and easy to use. Helix Modeling combines surface and solid-modeling capabilities, and allows users to combine extruded, revolved, swept, and skinned objects to represent complex shapes, then further refine them through filleting, chamfering, and other tweaking operations. Microcadam Inc., FAX (213) 613-2350

And now, a 'spell checker' for design

"Will it break?" "How much will it bend?" "How will it vibrate?" Those are just a few of the important questions design engineers ask about the products they're developing. To answer them quickly, says CAE guru Dick Miller, engineers would like to have something like a word processing spell checker. So, he and a team of ANSYS developers in Houston, PA, have come out with DesignSpaceTM, a "design checker" that plugs into the Windows-based solid modelers Mechanical Desktop, from Autodesk, and SolidWorks. It's not a finite element analysis program, though FEA capabilities reside in it. Miller says DesignSpace gives engineers access to performance data as they design, rather than late in the development stage. He says it helps engineers make better decisions by defining their space--or range of design constraints. ANSYS Inc., FAX (412) 746-9699.

Push-button analysis for design

Structural Research and Analysis Corp. (SRAC), Los Angeles, says it has developed a sure-fire way to make it easy for design engineers to do the analysis they want to do. It's called COSMOS/M DESIGNER II, and the company says it enables engineers to prepare models for analysis and view the results by pressing a few buttons. Users don't even have to see the mesh. Solver technology is COSMOS/FFE (Fast Finite Element), which SRAC says is 100 times faster than any other program on the market while requiring 20% less disk-storage space. Structural Research and Analysis Corp., FAX (310) 207-2774.

FEA package does the work for you

"I wanted to develop an analysis program that would do a lot of work for the engineers who use it." That was the stated goal of Pedro Marcal when he began development work on SAGE (Superconvergent Adaptive General Elements). The resulting finite element analysis program, marketed by Barnabei Inc., Murraysville, PA, is Windows-based, interactive and includes an expert system. The program performs two analyses, one with a simplified coarse mesh for initial results, and a second with a mesh that uses adaptive methods. The expert system is the F.E. Consultant, which takes the user through a series of questions about the design to ready the model for analysis. Among the kinds of problems SAGE solves are thermal, electromagnetic, potential flow, and piezoelectric. Barnebei Inc., FAX (412) 325-5591.

Analyze turbulent and laminar flow simultaneously

Algor has a new analysis package that enables engineers to study turbulence as an extension of laminar flow, using the same model. The technology comes from research Pittsburgh-based Algor funds at Carnegie Mellon University. It's based on computational fluid dynamics technology that shows where and how different types of flow act within a computer model of fluid flow. Applications include analysis of parts in cars, airplanes, boats, and other products that interact with air, water, and other fluids. Algor, FAX (412) 967-2781.

Better designs are the 'object'

Matra Datavision's EUCLID Quantum suite of products are based on the Andover, MA, company's Cascade object-oriented development platform. The product consists of four applications, one each for design, analysis, machining, and parts/assemblies management. All support a common object model for UNIX and Windows NT, and are both Web and intranet enabled. EUCLID Desktop, shown here, links all the applications together, accesses external or third-party applications, and enables data exchange. Matra Datavision, FAX (508) 685-7100.

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