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September 2005

By DE Editors

Editor’s Pick of the Week—September 14, 2005

Mathcad 13 Drives Engineering Innovation

Company also announces integration with LabVIEW

Mathsoft Engineering & Education, Inc. (Cambridge, MA) has releasedMathcad 13, the latest release of its widely used calculation software.In a related development, Mathsoft also announced the integration ofMathcad with the National Instruments (Austin, TX) LabVIEW graphicaldevelopment environment.

Available immediately, Mathcad 13 builds on the enhancements firstoffered in version 12, such as its its XML and .NET support. Mathcad 13enables engineering and product development innovation through moreefficient creation and management of your engineering information, saysthe company. With Mathcad 13, engineers can document and capture theircalculations, analyses, and engineering-critical values as they createthem. Version 13, as with earlier versions of Mathcad, offers auser-friendly interface that eschews cryptic and difficult to learnuser interfaces deployed by spreadsheets and proprietary programminglanguages. This, in turn, saves custom application development time andeffort.

Mathcad 13 includes new program debugging capabilities, such as theability to insert traces and step through program loops. Versions 13also includes improved 2D plot graphics with a customization menu forspecial line types, symbol markers, and colors. A new AutoSave featureguards against losing your work, and new error messages pinpointmathematical errors that design engineers may otherwise overlook.

Mathcad 13 also now supports nonlinear units such as Fahrenheit,Celsius, and decibels, and enables customers to create custom units. Anew class of “provenance” capabilities helps organizations determineconclusively the source of a particular calculation, value, or result,including those in engineers’ annotations. Mathcad’s provenancecapabilities ensure that your work is fully traceable and auditable.
Mathcad 13 is an essential component of the Mathsoft CalculationManagement Suite. The Suite centrally manages engineering calculationdata for reuse, auditing, oversight, publishing, and collaborationthroughout the development process. The Designate framework, a keycomponent of the Calculation Management Suite, provides forbrowser-based storing, viewing, searching, reporting, auditing, andpublishing of Mathcad worksheets.

The integration of Mathcad with the LabVIEW graphical developmentenvironment creates an end-to-end design, measurement, analysis, andreporting environment to help engineers more efficiently, accurately,and intelligently execute their product development work. Engineers canuse Mathcad calculation software to trigger data capture andmeasurement in LabVIEW, which can then automatically export values backto Mathcad for further calculation, processing, or reporting. Theintegrated products make it easy to test lab data against mathematicalmodels. Users can share LabVIEW results with Mathcad using a drop downmenu in the LabVIEW user interface.

Mathcad 13 is available now at a list price of $1,195 per user. Fordetails the Mathcad-LabVIEW integration, or upgrade pricing or pricingfor multiple purchases, government and academic institutions,maintenance plans, on-site training options, and the CalculationManagement Suite, contact the company by clicking here. Click here to go directly to the Matchcad 13 information page.

Editor’s Pick of the Week—September 7, 2005

Easy Scan to Mold

Delcam says new release of its CopyCAD makes reverse engineering more efficient.

Delcam (Windsor, Ontario, Canada and Birmingham, Warwickshire, UK) saysthat the latest release of its CopyCAD reverse engineering programincludes improved methods for generating split lines that provide amore efficient process for moving directly from scan data to molddesign.  Other enhancements include the ability to flatten 3Dtriangle models into 2D shapes and an extra wrapping option.Significant speed improvements throughout the program are also reported.
CopyCAD’s triangle modeling tools allows mold cores and cavities to begenerated directly from triangle models, whereas mostreverse-engineering software makes you create a surface model from thescan data before you can start tooling design. An essential part ofthis process, says Delcam, is the generation of the horizon lines onthe model. The newest release of CopyCAD lets you apply a self-definedangular tolerance to a curve thereby producing a smoother curve. Thismethodology is also said to avoid the jagged split lines that wouldotherwise be produced by the triangles’ edges.
Once you create a curve, improvements in CopyCAD’s triangle splittingfunctionality enable you to divide large or complex models up to tentimes faster than you could previously. Classification of the two partsof the split has been improved to give more consistent results, withfewer leftover triangles.  Additionally, CopyCAD can now handlenested splits for those times when you need to generate split surfacesto fill any gaps within a model.
Creating geometrically perfect forms within a model has been improvedas well. In addition to its ability to create standard shapes, such ascubes, spheres, and cylinders, CopyCAD can now use morphing technologyto convert scan data into perfect geometry. Other improvements includea new wrapping option that makes it possible to wrap a triangle modelonto a surface model or another triangle model and faster Booleanoperations (up to 4x).

For further information on CopyCAD, go to the Delcam website and click on the software link.

Editor’s Pick of the Week—September 28, 2005 Surfacing and Solids Toolset for 3ds Max and VizAdvanced modeling core brings surfacing and solids tools to 3ds max usersNPower Software (San Diego, CA), a division of Integrityware, Inc.,released Power NURBS 1.0, a modeling kernel that provides 3ds max andViz 3D visualization solution users with a suite of advanced surfacingand solids tools. Power NURBS, says NPower, is like combining ahigh-end surface modeler and a high-end solids modeler with thesuperior animation and rendering of Autodesk 3ds max. Really a hybridmodeling platform based on Integrityware’s Solids ++ Kernel, PowerNURBS brings high-order surfacing, analysis, and tessellationtechnologies to 3ds max and Viz. It provides such advanced solidsmodeling tools as Booleans, shelling, and variable radiusfilleting—tools normally found only in high-end CAD systems. PowerNURBS also provides advanced surface modeling tools likehigh-continuity blending, multirail sweeps, and high-continuity class-Asurfaces normally available only in expensive surface modeling software.Power NURBS’s hybrid modeling paradigm is said to increase flexibilityfor building complex concepts, and its surfacing algorithms, says thecompany, meet the exacting standards of the automotive and aerospaceindustries. Power NURBS also offers Intelligent Objects that retaintheir parameters and update automatically through design revisions. Itsadvanced tangency controls give you interactive feedback and greatercontrol over surface properties.For more information on NPower Software, visit npowersoftware.com.

 Editor’s Pick of the Week—September 21, 2005 UGS Unveils NX 4New features address innovation process, product styling, design, simulation, and manufacturingUGS Corp. (Plano, TX) has announced NX Version 4, the latest release ofthe its digital product development solution. NX 4, says the company,includes hundreds of user-driven enhancements to improve manufacturers’ability to differentiate their products and to transform theirinnovation process. In a related announcement, the company alsoannounced the availability of NX Nastran 4.NX 4 helps manufacturers pursue innovation in four key areas: digitalsimulation, knowledge capture, usability, and systems engineering. Fordigital simulation, NX 4 introduces many advanced CAE capabilities. NX4 includes design simulation tools for use by designers andhighest-performance simulation for the dedicated engineering analysisspecialists. It offers new, integrated CFD and thermal analysisapplications, and expands access to the analysis capabilities in NXNastran and third-party solvers like ABAQUS and ANSYS.DesignLogic, which gives engineers the ability to embed productknowledge into a design and leverage that knowledge throughout thedesign iteration process, has been enhanced in NX 4.  Enhancements include a pre-packaged library ofcommon engineering functions., and manufacturing process knowledge can becaptured using the new Manufacturing Wizard Builder. This Wizard allowscompanies to capture common manufacturing processes in a simpleworkflow environment.A series of industry and experience role-based user interface templatesimprove NX 4’s out-of-the-box usability. Users can select theirexperience level and industry, and NX will display the most productiveset of features for their selection.  Companies can build theirown screen layouts and icon maps based upon their needs to improveproductivity when using NX.NX 4 also offers a new approach to concept design called 2-D Layout.2-D Layout brings early conceptual layout into the integrated designprocess by enabling users to rapidly create design schemes that can beenriched as the product evolves.NX 4 also delivers a new Product and Manufacturing Information (PMI)application that enables users to quickly annotate their 3D models,adding necessary manufacturing information and nongraphical data,allowing designers to communicate product information to manufacturingpersonnel without relying on a 2-D drawing.  The PMI applicationembodies ASME Y14.41and ISO 10 standards.Some other features include tighter links to the company’s TeamcenterPLM system;  enhancements in general and high-speed milling,multifunction machine support, five-axis machining, and programmingautomation; multi-CAD collaboration through the widely used JT dataformat; Java support; and a new tooling capability for electrode design.In related news, UGS Corp. announced the availability of NX Nastran 4,its advanced CAE software. In addition to a variety of functionalenhancements, NX Nastran 4 significantly improves large modelperformance by exploiting the latest 64-bit computing technology. Otheradvances in this release include extending the scalability andperformance of NX Nastran parallel processing on cluster hardwaresystems, enabling solutions of very large models on up to 64 computerssimultaneously.NX Nastran 4 also includes new physics capabilities such as rotordynamics and advanced nonlinear; improvements to the standard LanczosEigensolver that can enable 15-25% reductions in solution times forlarge shell element dominant models; and a new solver capability forefficient simulation of high-speed impact events and metal forminganalysis.Click here for complete details on NX 4. For more on NX Nastran 4, click here.



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