Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Steve Robbins, the editorial director at DE, doesn't let me out in public much any more—regular readers probably surmised that long ago—but I'm told that David Weinberg, the CEO at NEi Software, was at SolidWorks World in Anaheim on Monday unveiling version 2.1 of NEi Works. David is one smart guy, and NEi Works is one smart tool for any SolidWorks user who needs to get FEA data to pre- and postprocessors.
I've liked NEi Works since I first saw it at its earliest stages a few years back. The basic outline is that NEi Works is Nastran right smack dab inside of SolidWorks, including SolidWorks 2010. Only NEi Works is Nastran power that looks and feels like SolidWorks as much as possible, meaning that you do not have to shift gears to operate some unfamiliar application. And, since it's embedded so fully, whenever you make a change to your SolidWorks model, all the loads, boundary conditions, and meshes change too.
Version 2.1 makes the associativity between model and analysis more robust, flexible, and quicker. A bunch of new element types are introduced in 2.1, such as user-dimensioned cross-section save and load, section offset, defined profile selection, and tapered beam. You also get things like 3D cross-sectional views of shell elements, the ability to create bolts automatically, combined shell and beam/bar meshing, and the ability to create factor of safety contour plots based upon Von Mises and Maximum Principal shear stress theories. NEi Works even lets you remove items from the analysis tree that you do not want as well as complete and easy access to all advanced nonlinear analysis settings and parameters.
If I have a problem with NEi Works, it is that version 2.1 is so new that its dedicated web pages are not fully updated, although they might be by the time you read this. However, today's Pick of the Week write-up has a couple of PDFs linked off it that give you the full enchilada on all the new features in version 2.1. (Many thanks to Garrett Johnsen, an applications engineer at NEi Software, for sliding me these files to pass on to you.)
So, read today's write-up, go to the web and watch the video on NEi Works, then download the PDFs to learn what's in version 2.1 for you. NEi Works 2.1 is smart and powerful software. You'd do yourself right by getting yourself some smarts about it.
Thanks, Pal. -- Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
Read today's Pick of the Week write-up.