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Products: October 2005

By DE Editors

SW 2006 Streamlines  Design, Adds Power

In June, SolidWorks (Concord,MA) released SolidWorks 2006, the newest version of its 3D mechanical design software. It features a host of new capabilities, including more than 200 customer-requested enhancements. Innovations include fundamentally new approaches for analysis and validation of designs.

According to SolidWorks, version 2006 represents an exponential increase in performance with enhancements concentrated in two areas: overall system architecture and common operations, with big gains in large assembly and drawing processing. The most common commands are now interactive and instantaneous.

Additionally, SolidWorks 2006 will support the Windows XP Professional x64 Edition operating system with a soon-to-be-released service pack. A native 64-bit version of SolidWorks 2006 is expected to ship later this year. New productivity features include the 3D Drawing View, which for the first time enables an engineer working in a 2D environment to visualize assemblies in 3D.

In conjunction with this release, the company has also begun shipping COSMOS 2006, the latest version of its analysis software. COSMOS 2006 adds more than 100 new features with powerful design analysis functions in mouse clicks, templates, and help wizards. These new features are aimed at engineers and designers who could benefit from analysis, but don’t have the time to learn either the science behind it or new applications.

For more information, visit the SolidWorks website by clicking here.

SolidWorks 2006 from SolidWorks Corp. received the most votes in our July 2005 issue. Vote for your favorite product from this issue at the end of Briefings and Products.

3D Authoring for Adobe PDF from QuadriSpace

Document3D from QuadriSpace (Allen, TX) lets you create interactive PDF files that include 3D objects without the need for JavaScript programming or intermediate translations. This step in 3D publishing means 3D information can be shared with everyone. The Document3D products let downstream users easily leverage existing 3D models and 2D drawings to create assembly instructions, technical publications, interactive training, and more.

This combination of Document3D and Adobe PDF means QuadriSpace customers can share and collaborate on 3D content with internal teams as well as partners or customers. Customers will be able to view and interact with content just as intended using Acrobat 7.0 or free Reader 7.0.

With the 3D PDF Module, Document3D offers the ability to publish to Adobe PDF and maintain the interactive 3D elements. Adobe Reader 7.0 natively supports 3D, so no additional software is needed to view and interact with the 3D objects in the document. Import 3D CAD files directly into documents; create complex exploded views and interactivity without writing JavaScript; work with an integrated toolset that includes page design and 3D editing tools in a single solution; and more.

To download a trial version, view video tutorials, and find out more, click here.

For more information on the Acrobat 7.0 and to download the free reader, visit Adobe by clicking here.


Project Video on Thin Air

The Heliodisplay projector from IO2 Technology (San Francisco, CA) projects video onto air. The company, which creates and now commercializes this next-generation display technology, says that the Heliodisplay displays any video source in full, high-resolution color in free space, without need for a screen. Viewers can walk around or through the floating images.

Heliodisplays are available to project image sizes from 22 to 42 in. (diagonal), and are available with interactive features that enable you to move an image in mid-air with your finger or use a hand, without a special glove, to move an image or cursor rather than with a mouse.

The company says that the Heliodisplay can be used for any consumer, military, medical, gaming, or any applications that use a video display. For more information, click here.

Objet Releases New Line of Flexible Materials

Objet Geometries Ltd. (Rehovot, Israel) is now offering the new FullCure Tango line of flexible materials, which is available in two formulations with different elastic properties. The new materials enable printing of prototypes that mimic the characteristics of flexible end products.

With the ability to produce rubber-like models, users of Objet’s Eden systems can now expand applications and product modeling capabilities. The FullCure Tango line includes TangoBlack and TangoGray, both are materials that offer very high elongation at break, have a realistic rubber-silicone feel, and easily stretch to fit onto other parts. TangoBlack provides maximum elasticity with a hardness of 61 Shore. TangoGray has a hardness of 75 Shore, providing more controlled flexibility and elasticity.

The Tango line uses the same support material as all FullCure build materials, enabling the same easy removal process. Newly released software enables easy switching between the different materials. TangoGray and TangoBlack deliver the same level of fine detail and smooth surface quality that Eden users have grown accustomed to with FullCure Transparent and VeroBlue materials. FullCure Tango materials are supported by Eden 330/333 systems.

For more information, click here.


New PCI Express Graphics Card Released

3Dlabs Inc. (Milpitas, CA) has released its new Wildcat Realizm 500 professional graphics accelerator designed to provide high-end graphics performance to MCAD and digital content and creation (DCC) professionals. The Wildcat Realizm 500 lists for $899.99.

3Dlabs has directly targeted competing mid-range graphics accelerators with the Wildcat Realizm 500, providing twice the onboard memory (256MB) and scoring well on five SPEC Viewperf 8.1.0 viewsets among others in the price range.

The Wildcat Realizm 500 integrates a visual processing unit (VPU) and 256MB of high-speed GDDR3 memory on a 256-bit wide bus. It is equipped with two, single-link DVI-I connectors, a stereo connector, and two DVI to VGA display adaptors. The entire line of Wildcat Realizm professional graphics accelerators supports the OpenGL 2.0 API and Microsoft Windows XP 32- and 64-bit operating systems.

The Wildcat Realizm 500 graphics accelerator is available now. For complete information, visit the 3Dlabs website.

Get Portable, Precise Entry-Level Photogrammetry for Industrial Coordinate Measurement

Geodetic Systems, Inc. (Melbourne, FL) has released its V-STARS/E4X digital photogrammetry system, an entry-level product developed for applications that don’t require absolute accuracy or expandability. The mobile V-STARS/E4X is well-suited for fast, noncontact measurement of large objects in production environments where downtime is critical, or in industrial settings where vibration, movement, and temperature are present. This solution can be used for part and tool inspection, part building, surface measurement, reverse engineering, and more.

The system includes a Nikon D2X camera, which has been re-engineered by GSI with advanced calibration techniques and transformed into a high-accuracy photogrammetric camera. The camera features a 12 million pixel color CMOS sensor, optional wireless operation, an LCD screen, TTL viewfinder, a custom calibrated lens, a removable battery, and digital storage. The Nikon D2X works directly with V-STARS 4.4 software for 3D data acquisition and analysis with ultra fast image/point processing, and a best-fit capability for point cloud-to-surface model analysis.

The system includes the camera, a notebook computer, V-STARS software, and various optional accessories. The compact solution can be hand-carried aboard an airplane, or checked as standard baggage, to travel anywhere in the world for the most challenging measurement assignments.

For more information, click here.

FloWizard V2 Brings CFD to Mere Mortals

Fluent Inc. (Lebanon, NH) has released FloWizard V2, a major upgrade to the company’s Windows-based application on a mission to make CFD (computational fluid dynamics) use among designers as fast, easy, and common as MCAD.
An important new attribute in FloWizard V2 is its optional ability to access Fluent’s Remote Simulation Facility (RSolve)—a secure parallel clustering computer facility. Leveraging this subscription-based computing powerhouse gives small and mid-sized firms the computational might required to solve highly complex flow modeling and heat transfer problems.

Rapid flow modeling, what the company calls the concept underlying FloWizard, is an approach to CFD intended to refute its reputation as a complex scientific discipline beyond the range of mere mortal engineers. This approach enables quick and accurate design validations much earlier in the product development cycle.

Rapid flow modeling begins with expert-based Guide Me features to pilot you through the simulation process. This guidance starts by replacing complex CFD jargon with clear, logical questions. Based on your responses, FloWizard chooses the appropriate mathematical models for your simulation. It automatically alerts you to suspect inputs or questionable results, and guides your corrections.

For more information, click here.

SPSS 14.0 Extends Predictive Analytics Power Enterprise-Wide

SPSS Inc. (Chicago, IL) recently unveiled SPSS 14.0, an enhanced version of its flagship statistical software package designed to extend the reach and power of predictive analytics.

As global companies are recognizing that statistical and predictive technologies are key assets, organizations must shift them away from isolated desktops to enterprise-level, open and integrated systems to fully harness them. SPSS 14.0 intends to facilitate and accelerate this process with full data management and enhanced reporting capabilities, easy data validation, easier and more powerful forecasting, extended programming, and expanded structural equation modeling options.

Users can now open multiple datasets within a single SPSS session, read/write Stata files, import data from SPSS’ Dimensions, and more. The new Chart Builder interface enables users to drag thumbnails of chart and element types to a canvas to preview and create charts. A new add-on module enables easy validation of data, and users can save time by automatically determining which model best fits their time-series and independent variables. And there’s a new programmability extension.

New functionality increases productivity when using large datasets and expands the set of predictive analytics available. Naïve Bayes and Feature Selection are new and allow analysts to reduce large amounts of information down to smaller and more precise subsets for more exacting creation of predictive models.

For more information, click here.

NI Releases LabVIEW Advanced Signal Processing Toolkit

National Instruments (Austin, TX) announced the release of NI LabVIEW Advanced Signal Processing Toolkit Version 7.5, a suite of easy-to-use, palette-based tools, example programs, and utilities that extends the LabVIEW graphical development environment with measurement-oriented signal processing and analysis. Engineers and scientists now can access new graphical tools for simplifying work that incorporates time-series analysis, time-frequency analysis and wavelets. In addition, professors can use the toolkit’s interactive, graphical methodology to effectively illustrate these key signal processing concepts to engineering students.

The LabVIEW Advanced Signal Processing Toolkit includes new features for making advanced analysis easier to apply and learn. Express VIs (configuration-based functions) can be used to interactively specify signal processing parameters and review immediate results. The toolkit also delivers a new time-series analysis component for tasks such as model-based spectral analysis, which can be used for high-resolution spectral analysis on small data sets. For analysis such as data mining and feature extraction in applications including biomedical, mechanical, and seismological signals, engineers and scientists can use the independent component analysis and principal component analysis tools as part of the new time-series analysis functionality.  With the LabVIEW Advanced Signal Processing Toolkit, engineers can access new features for simplifying these common measurement-oriented tasks with a single software tool.

The LabVIEW Advanced Signal Processing Toolkit also includes the LabVIEW Digital Filter Design Toolkit 7.5, which provides tools for design, validation, and implementation of software-based digital filters with LabVIEW FPGA and C code generation capabilities for chip-level implementation. Design and test engineers can use this toolkit, which is also available separately, to ensure a seamless digital filter design process from conception to completion while reducing development costs.

For more information, click here.

InfiniPath Interconnect Sets Low-Latency Performance Records

New benchmark results show InfiniPath Interconnect for InfiniBand from PathScale (Mountain View, CA) provides the lowest latency Linux cluster interconnect across a broad spectrum of cluster-specific benchmarks for message passing (MPI) and TCP/IP applications.

The InfiniPath HTXT Adapter plugs into standard HyperTransport technology-based HTX slots on AMD Opteron servers. Optimized for communications-sensitive applications, InfiniPath achieved an MPI latency of 1.32 microseconds (as measured by the standard MPI “ping-pong” benchmark), n1/2 message size of 385 bytes and TCP/IP latency of 6.7 microseconds. This represents performance advantages that are 50 to 200 percent better than similar interconnect products. InfiniPath also produced industry-leading benchmarks on more comprehensive metrics that predict how real applications will perform.

PathScale InfiniPath exploits multiprocessor nodes and dual-core processors to deliver greater effective bandwidth as additional CPUs are added. Any of the existing serial offload HCA designs cause messages to stack up when multiple processors try to access the adapter. By contrast, the messaging parallelization capabilities of InfiniPath mean multiple processors or cores can send messages simultaneously, maintaining constant latency while dramatically improving small message capacity and further reducing the n1/2 message size and substantially increasing effective bandwidth.

For more information, a white paper, and info on how to test your own MPI and TCP/IP applications on a fully integrated InfiniPath cluster, click here.

Mastercam X Delivers  New Ease, Speed, and Power to Manufacturers

Mastercam X, the latest release from CNC Software (Tolland, CT), has been streamlined with new features designed to reduce programmer interaction and increase machining flexibility.

Mastercam X delivers a new, streamlined customizable interface. Specially designed to minimize interaction while maximizing programming options, the new interface can be set to each user’s specific preferences. Mastercam’s new “smart” ribbon bar further boosts efficiency and maximizes workspace by appearing only when needed, and displaying tools specific to the job at hand.

Mastercam X features a suite of new programming tools, including the Pencil Offset Finishing toolpath. This surface machining technique extends the crisp “cleanup” of a pencil trace toolpath across an entire part by automatically sectioning the part into logical machining areas. Mastercam X also introduces Machine and Control Definition. These are virtual descriptions of the actual machine tool and control used to cut a part, allowing the software to automatically customize the interface based on the CNC machine.

For more information, click here.

Los Alamos Announces Availability of EnergyFit

Los Alamos National Laboratory (Los Alamos, NM) has announced the availability of EnergyFit 1.0, a transparent software layer based on an algorithm that reduces the power and energy consumption of high-performance computing systems. EnergyFit minimizes the energy produced by individual CPUs in a cluster or server farm and can reduce the overall energy consumption in a datacenter. On a high-end system, EnergyFit delivers typical system energy savings of 10 to 25 percent with a minimal performance reduction of less than 5 percent.

Energy consumption is the largest recurring cost in a typical datacenter budget. EnergyFit uses the new algorithm while delivering computational results by a deadline. Inventors Chung-Hsing Hsu and Wu-chun Feng note, “In addition to providing direct energy savings, we expect ]it] to deliver enhanced reliability by reducing system operating temperatures.”

Intended applications for EnergyFit include HPC, financial data centers, ISP providers, and scientific computing. It is available for commercial licensing and is compatible with Linux with the support of AMD PowerNow technology, but can be applied to any system that supports dynamic voltage and frequency scaling, e.g., Intel Enhanced SpeedStep.

For more information, click here.

FLOTHERM and FLO/EMC V6 Improve Integration of Thermal/EMC Simulation

Flomerics (Marlborough, MA) has released Version 6 of its integrated analysis environment for physical design of electronics, with improved communication between thermal and electromagnetic compatibility (EMC) simulation. The latest FLOTHERM and FLO/EMC software packages further reduce the time required for integrated simulation by automatically generating two different meshes, one optimized for thermal simulation and one for EMC simulation.

The need for two meshes arises from the fact that the physics are different in thermal and EMC problems; grid refinement is required in different places. Examples of critical areas in thermal models include the areas between the fins of a heat sink and regions surrounding components that dissipate a lot of power. On the other hand, critical areas for EMC simulation include seams and small openings in the enclosure where radiated emissions occur. FLOTHERM and FLO/EMC Version 6 make it possible for users to optimize thermal and EMC meshes independently.

FLOTHERM can now access the Web-based SmartParts3D library directly, using compact models and reducing the time required for modeling and analysis. Many manufacturers of fans, heat sinks, thermal interface materials, and other components have contributed data to the SmartParts3D library. Version 6 now makes it possible to launch a Web browser from within the thermal analysis software and simply click on a compact model to add it to the thermal simulation. FLO/EMC V6 enables users to create compact models that accurately describe the electromagnetic signature of radiating items such as printed-circuit boards. Solvers will be supported with a number of 64-bit processors including AMD Athlon 64, AMD Opteron, Intel Xeon with EM64T and Intel Pentium 4 with EM64T.

Flomerics offers a new step-by-step guide (click here) that explains how engineers can integrate thermal and EMC design to help identify and resolve system-level mechanical design issues. For more information, click here.

Advanced Engineering Mathematics with Maple

The electronic version of Advanced Engineering Mathematics with Maple is being called the definitive reference software and textbook for engineering mathematics by its publisher, Maplesoft (Waterloo, ONT). The release is the first electronic, interactive version in the classic series that features several books from multiple publishers all under the same title. The print version was published by Addison-Wesley (Boston, MA) in 2001.

Advanced Engineering Mathematics
with Maple is intended to be an essential resource for every engineering professional, student, and instructor. It provides complete coverage of all major areas of engineering mathematics. The author, Dr. Robert J. Lopez, is a renowned professor and Maple expert, who pioneered the instructional use of Maple for general and engineering mathematics.

Its logical topic breakdown allows the reader to focus on concepts of interest, and the examples can be easily modified to help solve similar problems. Advanced Engineering Mathematics with Maple can be used as a companion for mathematics courses including ODEs, PDEs, Vector Calculus, Matrix Algebra, Complex Variables, Numerical Methods, and the Calculus of Variations. With its explanations, modifiable examples, and exercises, this single e-book helps students learn and solve problems quickly, and serves as a reference after finishing the courses. A solution manual is also available.

The e-book features nine major subject areas, 48 chapters, and 273 section topics. There are modifiable examples and interactive graphs throughout. The text provides a logical arrangement of topics with many short self-contained sections for easy, direct access. Concepts are explored before, rather than after, the mechanical calculation techniques are introduced. It includes many real-world applications of interest to engineers selected from a wide spectrum of physical and mathematical disciplines.

Price: $99. The e-book requires Maple 10.

For more information and to get a list of Maple resellers, click here.

On-Demand Product Performance Service Eliminates Need for Desktop Test Tools or Installation of Hardware

SigmaQuest Inc. (Santa Clara, CA) has introduced SigmaExpress, a product performance intelligence software program specifically designed to be offered as an “on-demand” service. SigmaExpress provides OEMs with the means to upload product test, engineering, manufacturing, and supplier data. At the site, information is aggregated and synchronized for the purpose of helping OEM customers ensure quality throughout their product lifecycles. Details such as real-time yield comparisons, and marginal measurements between multiple sites and/or lines, along with analyses, are provided to the customer in the form of real-time, web-based dashboards and discovery wizards. The system also includes alerts that describe potential defects or problems as well as a list of actionable information.

SigmaExpress securely and easily collaborates data anywhere and at anytime from an IT infrastructure that features reliability and security. The pay-as-you-go service is designed to lower costs; users don’t need to install additional hardware and software or hire additional IT resources for managing product performance intelligence information systems.

SigmaExpress is based on SigmaSure Enterprise Edition software and helps customers gain knowledge into product development and manufacturing challenges throughout their product lifecycles. It gives users real-time insight into how to improve products and processes. The comprehensive software provides for real-time capturing, aggregating, and analyzing of functional test results and quality data from any location regardless of existing systems.

About DE Editors

DE's editors contribute news and new product announcements to Digital Engineering. Press releases can be sent to them via DE-Editors@digitaleng.news.