Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Interest in technical education has declined for decades, leaving us with too few engineers to replace the old and retiring engineers. So, when that crotchety retiree shuffles out your door with a box of personal effects, in all probability he or she is also taking away a ton of your outfit’s intellectual property. No heist here. Just opportunity lost. Reverse engineering spreadsheets and shifting through notebooks doesn’t cut it. A toolkit such as PTC Mathcad Prime can be invaluable here. Not only does it solve engineering calculations in ways spreadsheets are not meant to do, PTC Mathcad Prime is engineered to document engineering calculations as they’re made so that they can be readily shared and understood later.
PTC recently released version 3.0 of PTC Mathcad Prime. At the same time, it also released a complementary version of PTC Mathcad Express, its no-cost application for engineering calculations that you can start using today. More on PTC Mathcad Express in a bit.
Version 3.0 of PTC Mathcad Prime has been enhanced to handle more complex equations faster and now incorporates new functionality like math in text and formatting math regions. Numeric enhancements include new, faster matrix decomposition functions with support for pivoting and complex numbers. Version 3.0 has what’s called a Global Definition Operator that lets you define constants and parameters you can use anywhere in the worksheet. You can also now make a contour plot of a set of unordered 3D points with a PTC Creo design software surface interpolation algorithm.
Speaking of PTC Creo, PTC Mathcad Prime 3.0 integrates with it and PTC Windchill PLM (product lifecycle management) software. The PTC Creo connection means you can link design inputs and calculation results so that you can test analyses, optimize geometry and easily verify and validate final designs. Having PTC Windchill manage your PTC Mathcad worksheets brings more than collaboration among engineering teams. It also means that version control, traceability and all that engineering intellectual property documented in PTC Mathcad are kept securely in house for later reuse come what may.
Now PTC Mathcad Express. This is a no-brainer.
PTC Mathcad Express starts out as a 30-day trial version showing off some of the advanced features found in PTC Mathcad Prime 3.0. Then, rather than self-destructing, it becomes an everyday engineering tool. The trial features include advanced numeric functions and a solve block capability for solving systems of linear, non-linear and differential equations. It also has other PTC Mathcad Prime features like symbolic algebra for manipulating symbolic and numeric calculations in real time, some advanced 3D plotting tools, and functionality for creating templates.
After your 30-day evaluation of the extra features, you still have a highly capable engineering calculation tool, and it cost you nothing. No cost, as a wise one somewhere surely once said, is good. Among the features of PTC Mathcad Express you still have are math equation editing, more than 200 basic numeric functions and operators, unit checking, and X,Y plotting. You can also integrate live math, text, plots, and images into documents.
I’ve downloaded the new version of PTC Mathcad Express onto my old notebook (the software’s system requirements and those of PTC Mathcad Prime 3.0 are easy to meet). The whole process will take you just a couple of minutes and then you can begin using it.
You can learn more about PTC Mathcad Prime 3.0 then begin using PTC Mathcad Express today by hitting the link to the Pick of the Week write-up. PTC Mathcad Prime is a one of the principal engineering systems -- something like an NI LabVIEW or Nastran for engineering calculations. With its PTC Mathcad Express complement, you can really get an idea of what PTC Mathcad Prime 3.0 is all about and you can have yourself a engineering calculation and documentation tool that you can use day in and day out. Good stuff.
Thanks, Pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering
Read today's pick of the week write-up.
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