Working Model is an efficient 2-D mechanical simulation tool. Version 3.0 adds interactive enhancements, as well as Working Model Basic, a full-featured scripting language. AutoMotion extends the interface, allowing simulation creation within AutoCAD, with automatic export into Working Model for solution.
The interactive enhancements include parametric geometry, a multi-purpose coordinate toolbar, object snap, enhanced integration, Video-for-Windows export, and a variety of changes designed to ease model construction and editing.
Of these enhancements, I found parametric geometry the most productive. My simulations frequently begin with a rough concept, and I modify the concept geometry and constraints as I proceed. In prior versions, geometry changes could be tedious, and I often opted to build a new model rather than edit the old. With parametric geometry, I add controls that modify key features, allowing changes, even during the execution of a simulation. Combined with the new coordinates tool- bar, parametric geometry significantly improves creation and management.
Windows AVI file output offers a needed increase in playback speed for simulation presentation, and accessibility for graphics software to enhance presentations.
The new integration engine provides some speed improvement; however, I found manual control still necessary to obtain needed accuracy for some problems.
WM Basic, the new scripting language, provides comprehensive control of model creation and operation. It is possible to build an entire Working Model simulation, and run multiple solution cases, entirely from the WM Basic code. This permits users with slow-running solutions to batch process families of solutions, writing results to files for later analysis. Control of dialogs and other user interfaces gives the potential for elaborate turn-key simulations for distribution to others. This offers great leveraging capability for design groups that repetitively solve similar problems.
AutoCAD connection. AutoMotion is an AutoCAD add-on that permits creation of Working Model objects and constraints, as well as conversion of AutoCAD entities into Working Model objects. When a model is complete, it is automatically exported to Working Model where the simulation runs. Modifications may be performed in AutoCAD and re-exported to Working Model; however, modifications made within Working Model aren't reflected back to the AutoCAD version.
I occasionally import DXF shapes into Working Model, and tried AutoMotion as an alternative. Although I was comfortable in the AutoCAD environment, I found it drew me away from the schematic modeling techniques Working Model encourages. The switching between programs and uni-directional data flow broke my rhythm of simulation development. However, I see advantages in the enhanced drawing techniques in AutoCAD, and believe this tool may be of great value to some users.
Although I'm an outspoken advocate of Working Model, I find the scripting language and AutoMotion somewhat at odds with the original beauty of the product. I came to Working Model from a background of writing my own simulations in Excel--a reasonably easy approach with fast solutions. I now use Working Model almost exclusively for simulation work because of its interactivity and intuitive, consistent environment. When needed for complex geometry, the collision engine is invaluable, since it's impractical to reproduce it in custom simulations.
Working Model 3.0 and AutoMotion 1.0
Working Model is a 2-D mechanical simulation tool that requires a 486-based PC or higher, Windows 3.1 or higher, and 12M bytes of disk space. 16M bytes or more RAM is recommended. AutoMotion permits construction of Working Model simulations inside AutoCAD.
List Price: $2,495
Knowledge Revolution, 66 Bovet Rd., Suite 200, San Mateo, CA 94402; ph.: (415) 574-7777; fax: (415) 5
A similar product:
Dymes - Engineering Mechanics Research Corp., Box 696, Troy, MI 48099; ph: (810) 689-0077; FAX: (810) 689-7479.