Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
For years now, there's been a lot of talk about CAD and CAE waltzing in harmony like Astaire and Rogers. So, you have a lot of plug-ins that run an FE analysis within your CAD environment, but they tend to be somewhat limited in scope or leave you with a results file that's not ready for prime time analysis with Nastran. NEi Software, however, just released a product called NEi Nastran in-CAD that seems to solve these issues. Small and medium-sized companies as well as any engineer needing professional-level simulation for product development, virtual testing, design validation, and quality assurance will be interested in this.
The thumbnail description of NEi Nastran in-CAD: It's an FEA application that combines mixed (feature-based and direct-editing) 3D design and drawing, pre-/post-processors, and Nastran solvers in one associative environment. Not only does NEi Nastran in-CAD post-processing create images, graphs, data, and visualizations of your simulation results but, since it also outputs Nastran file formats, its output scales to higher-level analysis if you need it.
The NEi Nastran in-CAD modeler itself is a Windows-based, fully associative modeling engine with what seems like a full palette of tools for model creation and manipulation, and it supports a range of CAD import/export formats. The NEi Nastran in-CAD pre-processor offers a comprehensive element library, meshing capabilities, and a material library. Analysis types available include linear statics, steady state heat transfer, normal modes, buckling, pre-stress, dynamics, and nonlinear. Basically, it seems to have the FEA and CAD tools you use the most.
But, really, beyond such nuts and bolts, the takeaway here is that NEi in-CAD appears set on creating a true collaborative work environment between designers and analysts. It allows designers to explore what-if scenarios as well as validate and optimize concepts with full associativity of FEA and CAD data. The results can then be shared with clients or handed off to analysts for more intensive examination without much ado.
You can read some more about NEi in-CAD from today's Pick of the Week write-up. I have to warn you that this software is so new that there is not a lot of information online as of yet. My contact at NEi Software tells me that a demo will be included in a webinar going up shortly and, knowing the company, there will be a lot of videos, white papers, and so forth available before too long. Right now though, you can watch a video of the software in action, and request a very informative brochure and datasheet from links on the NEi in-CAD web page. It's worth learning more about this tool.
Thanks, pal. -- Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
Read today's Pick of the Week write-up.
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