December 11, 2012 Volume 08 Issue 46

Software News & Products

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COMSOL Multiphysics Version 6.1 is here!

COMSOL has released the latest version of its modeling and simulation software. COMSOL Multiphysics version 6.1 is full of feature additions and workflow enhancements. "This version provides our users with powerful multiphysics simulation tools in areas of highly competitive R&D, like audio technology and vehicle electrification," says Bjorn Sjodin, VP of product management at COMSOL. "We have also strengthened the software's foundation with new capabilities for optimization and the modeling of turbulent flow and mechanical contact."
Learn more.

How to design a 10-in. cast-iron skillet in SOLIDWORKS in 10 min.

The engineers over at TriMech are always providing new tips, tricks, and tutorials. This time around, they have put together a 10-min. SOLIDWORKS demo on how to design a cast-iron skillet. The video covers sketch relations and dimensions to fully define the geometry and applying three-dimensional features. From beginner to advanced user, TriMech provides excellent training support.
View the video.

SOLIDWORKS: What's new for 2023

In 2023, SOLIDWORKS will help you break down barriers, so you can work from anywhere and be even more productive. Expand your horizons beyond the desktop and connect everyone to best-in-class tools using the cloud. 3DEXPERIENCE Works helps you move beyond parts, assemblies, and drawings. New capabilities will help you optimize your workflows for design, simulation, data management, documentation, and so much more. This is the long version of the presentation filled with interviews and examples, so skip around if you are short on time.
View the video.

Verisurf: Automate measurement and inspection

Verisurf software, the only inspection and measurement software built on a full-featured 3D CAD platform, provides measurement and inspection workflows with inspection plans that can be created once and used across the manufacturing enterprise on any portable or fixed coordinate measuring machine (CMM). Embedded Verisurf productivity tools enhance and automate workflows, which shorten inspection and reporting time, help reduce errors, support workforce development, and ensure continuity for repeatable process control during inspection, reverse engineering, and tool-building applications.
See what's new in Verisurf.

How Onshape is helping RoboGym build a better BattleBot

Learn how team RoboGym, five engineering graduates from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, uses cloud-native CAD and collaboration tools to design their 250-lb "killer" BattleBots. After struggling using SOLIDWORKS and Autodesk Inventor between team members, they switched to Onshape and are all on the same design page now, whether creating an updated flamethrower or a better Deadlift bot. [Photo credit: RoboGym]
Read this informative Onshape blog.

MapleSim 2022 offers simpler, more efficient way to create models

MapleSim 2022, an advanced modeling and simulation tool, makes it even easier for engineers to improve the design of machines that incorporate elements from multiple engineering domains. It features a flexible modeling environment, built-in analysis tools, and connectivity to automation systems. The new MapleSim release adds to the range of components, apps, and settings to expand the modeling scope, and makes it faster for engineers to build models and produce more effective machines.
Learn about all the new features.

SOLIDWORKS Tech Tips: Resolving mesh failures

The SOLIDWORKS experts over at TriMech are full of useful information. This tech tip video focuses on what to do if you receive a "mesh terminated" or "failure to create a mesh" error message when working with assemblies or complex parts in SOLIDWORKS Simulation. TriMech takes a look at why this happens and what can be done to remedy the situation. Be sure to check out TriMech's YouTube channel for other helpful tips.
View the video.

Xometry's CAD add-ins make ordering parts a snap

The Xometry Instant Quoting Engine can be integrated into your SOLID-WORKS, Autodesk Inventor, and Autodesk Fusion 360 platforms with a simple add-in. You can use it to order parts from various manufacturing processes including 3D printing, CNC machining, sheet metal, and urethane casting. While each of the CAD add-ins has unique features depending on the platform, they all have the same powerful quoting capability.
Learn more.

COMSOL Version 6.0 is here -- includes Model Manager and Uncertainty Quantification Module

Version 6.0 of COMSOL Multiphysics software has been released. It introduces the Model Manager, a new workspace that enables efficient simulation data management and collaboration. Also new is the Uncertainty Quantification Module, an add-on product that uses probabilistic design methods to quantify uncertainty in analyses and predetermined safety margins. Version 6.0 also brings major improvements to the solvers with performance speedup by a factor of 10 in engineering areas such as heat radiation and models subjected to nonlinear structural material behavior.
Learn more.

Tech Tip: Converting legacy sheet metal parts in Onshape

Converting legacy sheet metal into Sheet Metal parts that users can unfold in Onshape is a straightforward process. Learn how in this short Tech Tip. Onshape is a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) product development platform that combines CAD, built-in data management, real-time collaboration tools, and business analytics.
View the video.

Resolve EMI and EMC challenges with Ansys

EMA3D Cable solves complex EMI and EMC challenges related to high-intensity radiated fields, lightning strikes, radiated emissions and conducted susceptibility, and other issues. It is being used to build complete models of cars and planes, including every cable. Ansys HFSS is the world's foremost antenna design and modeling tool. Its comprehensive set of solvers allows engineers to address diverse electromagnetic problems ranging in detail and scale from passive integrated circuit components to extremely large-scale EM analyses, such as automotive radar scenes for advanced driver-assistance systems.
Read this informative Ansys blog.

3D print full-color models directly from Adobe Substance 3D Painter

3D-printing powerhouse Stratasys has teamed with Adobe to give artists and engineers using Adobe Substance 3D Painter a workflow that allows them to easily turn digital 3D renderings into 3D-printed models using Stratasys PolyJet 3D-printing tech -- all without the need to employ additional software or outside processes. When combined with 3D printing, Substance software can be used to create product prototypes and package designs that can then be translated to 3D-printed objects on Stratasys PolyJet printers.
Learn more.

What's new in SOLIDWORKS 2022?

SOLIDWORKS 2022 has had its big reveal, and the experts at TriMech are ready to give users the rundown. Learn about new capabilities in the 3DEXPERIENCE, better performance upgrades, improved shape creation, interface enhancements, and more. TriMech always does a nice job with review and tips videos, so check out what else they have available.
View the TriMech recap video.
View the 2-hr official SOLIDWORKS release video here.

What's new in AutoCAD 2022?

AutoCAD 2022 from Autodesk includes new industry-specific toolsets, an improved connected experience across platforms, and new automation features. There are also updates/enhancements to sharing features, the user interface, drawing history and measurement capabilities, the AutoCAD web and mobile apps, and much more. Pick and choose what you're interested in learning about on the AutoCAD updates site.
View the AutoCAD 2022 videos page.

Mastercam University courses on the house

You can access no-cost Mastercam courses for Mill 2D and 3D, Lathe, Mastercam Essentials, and STEM Principles from now through Dec. 31. Mastercam University offers 24/7 online training to anyone looking to begin a career in CNC programming -- or to current Mastercam users looking to sharpen their job skills. Regardless of skill level, there is a Mastercam University class able to strengthen user knowledge of most Mastercam products.
Learn more.

Maple helps engineers design propulsion systems for some of the world's biggest ships

Ships keep the global economy moving. Whether they are ultra-large crude carriers transporting oil from the Middle East, container vessels transferring manufactured goods from Asia, or car carriers shifting vehicles from factories in Europe, the global maritime industry moves around 32 trillion ton-miles of cargo every year, four times more than it did at the end of the 1960s.

To deliver this dramatic increase in cargo, the industry has had to change drastically over the past few decades. Vessels have become larger and more efficient as shipping companies work strenuously to keep costs down in the face of rising and ever-more-volatile fuel costs. For marine engineers, that means constant pressure to refine the performance and reliability of vessels and their systems. Nowhere is that pressure felt more acutely than in the most fundamental component of any modern powered vessel: its propellers.

MAN Diesel & Turbo, headquartered in Germany, is at the forefront of the quest for improved performance in marine propulsion systems. MAN designs and builds marine propulsion systems from 4 MW to 40 MW in size, with controllable pitch propellers (CPP) of up to 11 m in diameter and even larger for fixed-pitch propellers. The technical computing software, Maple, from Maplesoft is playing an important role in keeping the propellers efficient and dependable, thus keeping costs down.

In cooperation with Rudolf Diesel, considered the father of the diesel engine, MAN produced the first diesel engine in 1897. The company has been manufacturing propellers for ships since 1902 and has designed, manufactured, and supported more than 7,000 propeller plants.

Modern controllable-pitch propellers, like the MAN Alpha CPP range, improve the efficiency and maneuverability of marine vessels. In propellers of this design, the angle of the blades is controllable, always providing the optimal match between the speed of the engine and the ship, thereby maximizing propulsive efficiency and permitting precise control of the vessel's speed. This is important when maneuvering into a port, for example. The blades can even be set to provide reverse thrust, which eliminates the need to install a separate reversing gear or use a reversible engine.

Mads Hvoldal is a mechanical engineer at the MAN Diesel & Turbo Propulsion Competence Center division in Frederikshavn, Denmark. He works for the team that designs the mechanical and hydraulic control systems used to vary propeller pitch. "We produce a range of standard designs, but it is the nature of the industry that many propulsion systems are engineered for specific vessels," he says. During peaks in demand for new vessels, development of hundreds of different designs per year is common. They need a software system that is robust and flexible.

"We start with the basic specifications, the available hydraulic oil pressure, the size of the propeller itself, and the rate at which we need the blades to change pitch," says Hvoldal. "We use those parameters to calculate the required sizes of components, both for standard parts like bolts and flanges and for the engineered components used in the system. We then pass those dimensions to our Pro/Engineer 3D modelling system for detailed design."

The part-sizing calculations are complex, taking into account the characteristics of the hydraulic control system and the properties of the materials used to make the final parts. They are also critical: transmissions need to perform well and operate reliably over long service lives in tough marine conditions. Shipping is also an intensively cost-competitive business, so over-sizing or over-engineering parts is not an option. After careful consideration, they chose Maple to help them in this complex design process. They also chose Maple for its speed and accuracy.

"We started using Maple for our design calculations, replacing another mathematical software package," explains Hvoldal. "The other system required us to transpose all the relevant equations from their original format into its own language before we ran the calculations. It was a time-consuming process to write the translations by hand and then to check them.

"I had quite a lot of experience using Maple in hydraulic systems design in a previous role," Hvoldal says, "so I could see its potential benefits in our current work."

The critical advantage of Maple, says Hvoldal, is that the engineers can put the design equations in their original form right into the system. "That makes Maple faster to use, with reduced need to check and debug the code."

MAN Diesel & Turbo, Propulsion Competence Center, Frederikshavn, has been using Maple for around six months, and the power, speed, and efficiency of the system has convinced its engineers that there is potential to expand their use considerably in the future.

"So far, Maple has replaced our previous system for design calculations," says Hvoldal. "But we are now exploring the feasibility of building standard models to simplify and automate the process further, and of automating the links between our initial calculations and the detailed part models in the 3D CAD system."

Source: Maplesoft

Published December 2012

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