solidThinking Releases Inspire 2014

solidThinking has released the latest version of Inspire, which has an impressive array of updates that can expedite the conception and design process -- and make prototyping and production cheaper.

Inspire was created with design engineers, product designers, and architects in mind. It lets users design eye-catching and soundly engineered parts. This may also strengthen communication between departments, since the program melds design and engineering practices to reduce the need for constant prototyping and rehashing due to viability issues.

The newest additions to Inspire are, well, inspiring. Inspire 2014 was built for optimum functionality within an innovative and fast-paced working environment. Developers can create or import parts; optimize design for material, load, and manufacturing constraints; and export the design to CAD for a final round of optimization before it is sent for prototype manufacturing.

One of the newly added features, Geometry Simplification, lets users remove imprints, fillets, and rounds with a few clicks to redesign a surface. The Concentrated Mass Parts feature lets users generate mass on a part or a point in space. Concept Generation, one of the most useful features, quickly and automatically generates a multitude of prototypes based on maximum stiffness or minimum mass inputs. This feature also allows for a range of inputs, including material thickness and manufacturing constraints, and it automatically creates prototypes that comply with these values.

The virtual prototypes can then be verified using the Analysis feature. A large range of analysis can be done on the static linear part and normal modes analysis, giving the user a clear view of which areas of the structure may need to be thicker to withstand more stress, for instance. Finally, a Smoothing Option allows the final design to be exported as a surface model geometry file, which can then be optimized within CAD and manufactured.

One of Inspire's most impressive and resource-saving features is its ability to generate concept designs automatically based on input parameters, including loads, mass concentration, stiffness, materials, thickness, and manufacturing type. The generated concept designs create organic prototypes that remove unnecessary material, allowing for the maximum functionality at minimum cost. A multitude of concept designs can be created, stored, and verified later using the Analysis process. This allows for a perfect cross between engineering, design, and architecture to occur as a continuous, Kaizan process with a few clicks of a button. These features can exponentially decrease the conception time and get products to market faster.

Inspire 2014 is also a highly intuitive platform, with an array of tutorials and demos available for professionals and novices alike. It is available for Windows and Mac. To learn more about Inspire 2014, or to take a test drive of the new platform, visit

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