December 26, 2012 Volume 08 Issue 48

Software News & Products

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Convert any CAD format file into any other CAD system

CAD/CAM Services is well known for its CAD Perfect conversions, and its engineers are capable of converting any CAD format file into any other CAD system. Its highly experienced CAD engineers can also convert hardcopy documents into any 3D CAD program such as Revit, SolidWorks, CATIA, and other 3D software. Consider CAD/CAM Services to be an extension of your in-house team. They have no restrictions on the size or quantity of drawings for their 3D CAD outsourcing services.
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MathWorks releases MATLAB and Simulink 2021a

Release 2021a offers hundreds of new and updated features and functions in MATLAB and Simulink, along with three new products and 12 major updates. New capabilities in MATLAB include dynamic controls in live scripts as well as a new task for adding plots to live scripts without writing any code. Simulink updates enable users to import C code as reusable Simulink libraries and to speed up simulations. R2021a also introduces new products in the areas of satellite communications, radar, and DDS applications.
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Mastercam 2022 Public Beta released for global testing

If you are a currently maintained Mastercam customer, you can now participate in the Public Beta Program for Mastercam 2022. Manufacturers all over the world, from small job shops to Fortune 100 companies, get a chance to test drive Mastercam 2022 before it is released and provide valuable feedback to help shape the final product. Participants in the Public Beta Program get an early look at dozens of powerful new tools for simple to complex jobs, including faster and more flexible multi-axis programming, modeling advances, and enhanced intelligence and automation.
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Is Excel hindering your engineering projects?

While Excel is a great tool for performing quick calculations, it cannot handle the scope of mathematical computation required for advanced engineering projects. Discover why engineers from around the world reap the benefits from the move to robust, interactive mathematical systems such as Maple. Learn how, with the right tools, you can arrive at the right solution faster, while minimizing errors, delays, and rising costs.
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ESPRIT CNC programming Learning Center online

The ESPRIT Learning Center is a new online training platform with on-demand, self-paced training courses created specifically for ESPRIT CAM programmers. ESPRIT's top engineers and instructors have poured a huge amount of effort and energy into creating these courses. The first learning path to be released is New User Milling, with New User Turning and New User Mill-Turn to follow. Each learning path includes five to seven training courses that guide users through several different machine models and part models to introduce different machining processes in ESPRIT. These are paid courses.
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COMSOL Version 5.6 is here!

COMSOL has released version 5.6 of its COMSOL Multiphysics software. The new version features faster and more memory-lean solvers for multicore and cluster computations, more efficient CAD assembly handling, and application layout templates. New graphics features -- including clip planes, realistic material rendering, and partial transparency -- offer enhanced visualization for simulation results. In addition, four new products expand the capabilities of COMSOL Multiphysics for modeling fuel cells and electrolyzers, polymer flow, control systems, and high-accuracy fluid models.
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Reverse engineering with Geomagic

See how 3D Systems' Geomagic Design X software can break down a typical reverse engineering job. Geomagic Design X makes it easy to create CAD models from 3D scans faster, more accurately, and more reliably. It handles large scan data sets and makes complex 3D models with hybrid modeling for solid, surface, and mesh. Users can convert physical parts into CAD for new product designs or make existing parts fit with new parts. This short presentation is a helpful way to view the tool capabilities and functionality using real-world examples.
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Be a better machine designer: SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal

Robbie Hoyler, technical solutions manager, TPM, Inc., takes a look at how SOLIDWORKS Sheet Metal tools can handle some of the most common issues and productivity sinks when manufacturing sheet metal parts. Hoyler addresses wrong and inconsistent flats, part alignment, complex cornering, and exporting to CNC using DXFs.
Read this informative SOLIDWORKS blog.

Sharpen your CAD/CAM skills: Mastercam training is on the house

Mastercam University offers 24/7 access to fully online training, and the courses are designed to be self-paced. Each lesson contains a set of learning objectives, assessment questions, and challenges to be completed. Users will earn a certificate for each course that is completed. Learn Principles of Machining, 2D Mill, 3D Mill, Mastercam Lathe, and more.
Read this informative Mastercam blog for more details.

Maple training for engineers and researchers

Maple is used by mathematicians, educators, students, engineers, and scientists to analyze, explore, visualize, and solve math problems. The new release, Maple 2020, offers a vast collection of enhancements. This webinar offers a quick and easy way to learn some of the fundamental concepts for using Maple. Learn about composing, plotting, and solving a variety of mathematical problems; handling units in your calculations; creating and sharing documents and applications; and more.
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Mastercam software retains top ranking worldwide

More shops and schools invest in Mastercam than any other CAD/CAM software package in the world. According to CIMdata, an independent research firm specializing in the NC industry, Mastercam is the No. 1 CAM software used worldwide for 26 years in a row. In the latest report, Mastercam retained the top spot for CAM software in three categories: industry, education, and support network. For the educational and industrial categories, Mastercam had nearly twice as many installed seats as the nearest competitor.
Learn what's new in Mastercam 2021.

MathWorks introduces Motor Control Blockset for algorithm development

MathWorks has just released Motor Control Blockset, an add-on product for Simulink for designing and implementing motor control algorithms. Now, motor control engineers can use reference examples and Simulink blocks for developing field-oriented control algorithms to spin brushless motors. The blockset extends the set of Simulink products for motor control design, enabling engineers to test algorithms with each design change, generate fast and compact ANSI/ISO C code, and use simulation to validate software, which can reduce certification testing cycles.
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Cool Tools: CadMouse Pro Wireless Left

Attention all southpaws. 3Dconnexion's latest CadMouse product, the CadMouse Pro Wireless Left, provides excellent ergonomics and heavy-use CAD comfort for left-handers. This mouse's angled shape creates natural hand placement and increased comfort. The middle mouse button is CAD user-specific. Other features include an intelligent scroll wheel, high-resolution optical sensor, QuickZoom, easy access to programmable radial menus, and durability rated to over 50 million clicks. This model can also benefit right-handers requiring a left-side transition to reduce Chronic Repetitive Strain Injury (RSI).
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Get instant Xometry build quotes while designing in SOLIDWORKS and CATIA

Engineers can now get their designs made faster with instant access to Xometry part manufacturing price quotes without leaving SOLIDWORKS and CATIA design environments. A new partnership between Xometry and Dassault Systemes makes it possible. This means sourcing manufacturing price quotes can become a one-click experience directly integrated into the design software. Engineers can view Xometry price quotes on their screen in the context of their design and click to have it manufactured. Xometry custom manufacturing services include 3D printing, CNC machining, injection molding, and sheet metal fabrication.
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Reverse engineering software with never-before-seen features

3D Systems' Geomagic Design X 2020 combines robust 3D scan processing and complete CAD design functionality to enable faster, more accurate, and reliable reverse engineering. Using the software's newest features, engineers will benefit from streamlined modeling workflows as well as expanded modeling pathways for complex, revolved parts. The newest Geomagic Design X release includes an Unroll/Reroll function that enables an engineer to unroll the mesh to automatically extract a 2D sketch, make the modifications needed, and then re-roll the sketch for additional engineering. Wait, what? Wow. The software also includes a new Selective Surfacing feature that combines very fast organic surfacing with high-precision feature modeling methods.
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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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