December 10, 2013 Volume 09 Issue 46

Software News & Products

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Manufacturing Center
Product Spotlight

Modern Applications News
Metalworking Ideas For
Today's Job Shops

Tooling and Production
Strategies for large
metalworking plants

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.

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.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.

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.
Learn more.

SwRI deploys novel vehicle-to-grid aggregation system

Southwest Research Institute (SwRI) has deployed the first electric vehicle (EV) aggregation system using the new Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) standard for bidirectional power using direct current (DC) fast charging. The system, part of the Smart Power Infrastructure Demonstration for Energy Reliability and Security (SPIDERS) Phase II program, is controlling five DC fast-charge stations at the Fort Carson Army Base in Colorado Springs, CO. In August, the system passed integration and acceptance testing, successfully aggregating electric vehicles from two vehicle manufacturers equipped with SAE-compliant bidirectional charging interfaces.

"The SwRI aggregation system manages a fleet of electric vehicles, controlling both vehicle charging and microgrid needs and supporting vehicle schedules as well as supplementing the base's energy supply," said Sean Mitchem, project manager and a principal analyst in SwRI's Automation and Data Systems Division.

"SPIDERS is pioneering a new way of managing energy," said Yaxi Liu, a research analyst also in the Automation and Data Systems Division. "The batteries in electric vehicles are used as cushions against fluctuations in the grid, creating more stability and resiliency while improving its ability to accommodate renewable energy. This helps satisfy goals of reducing dependence on fossil fuels and the impact of emissions."

The aggregation system features a distributed architecture with a dynamic capacity for self-recovery to ensure maximum reliability and redundancy in the military environment. Cyber security components meet military requirements, and variable charge and discharge controls precisely manage EV energy consumption or generation in real time.

"Aggregating the fleet of vehicles using software control algorithms allows the microgrid to see the electric vehicles as a single energy resource," said Mitchem. "Reactive power management allows chargers to absorb or inject power to better manage energy resources, particularly variable energy produced by a solar energy array at the base. Using this new technology, electric vehicles can use or store this green energy more efficiently than previously was possible."

The aggregation system is an important component of the SPIDERS Secure Microgrid project because it allows EVs to participate in vehicle-to-grid (V2G) services, such as peak shaving, demand charge mitigation, and frequency regulation. These V2G services allow the base to save on energy costs with the potential to generate income by participating as an ancillary service in energy markets.

SwRI's electric vehicle aggregation system is an integrated component of the SPIDERS Secure Microgrid. The SPIDERS project is led by Burns and McDonnell Engineering Company, Inc. Working with SwRI on the electric vehicle system are Intelligent Power and Energy Research Corporation (IPERC) as the microgrid control developer, Coritech Services Inc. for the electric vehicle charging systems, and Boulder Electric Vehicles and Smith Electric Vehicles as the electric vehicle suppliers.

Source: SwRI

Published December 2013

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