By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
Organizations are rife with inefficient processes that rob time, resources, and money. Many of these processes have a life of their own because no one has thought about them or considered alternatives for years. Wrestling with CAD and CAE interoperability is one of those processes that reeks of inefficiency and needless expense but is ingrained in many outfits. CADNexus develops CAPRI, a line of vendor-independent interoperability systems for collaborative multi-CAD and CAE environments. Today’s Check It Out focuses on their MATLAB Connector for MATLAB from MathWorks, but first a few words on CAPRI.
CAPRI enables CAD-to-CAE interoperability throughout the entire product development lifecycle. Through it, analysts can access the design intelligence in the CAD models. CAPRI establishes a bidirectional link to CAD, which means that simulation preprocessing can be automatically updated without any manual intervention. Bidirectional also means that communications are improved, downtime waiting for a design fix is minimized, and process efficiency is improved.
The nickel tour of the MATLAB Connector is that it enables CAPRI to establish bidirectional access to native CAD models from within the MATLAB physical modeling and simulation environment. So, instead of using simplified model representations, you can use real CAD data in your MATLAB simulation and modeling jobs early and often. This can result in fewer errors between the engineering designs and system models as well as shorter product development cycles.
Now, once you import a CAD design into your M-Scripts, you can query geometric details such mass properties, visualize CAD parts and assemblies, extract discrete representations for analysis, and perform advanced geometric operations such extracting 2D cross sections from 3D bodies. More importantly, directly from MATLAB you have access to design intent like features and parameters. And if you update parameters, the CAD model refreshes.
Not sure that brief outline really conveys the MATLAB Connector’s potential to change your process. But here’s something I found interesting researching CADNexus: It seems to me they approach interoperability solutions from the vantage point of getting CAD to CAE (and back) rather than from CAD to CAD with CAE being a side benefit. This is a vital distinction for analysts. You’re the ones who are often saddled with CAD-like tools that don’t think like you while being charged at the same time to make simulation-driven design happen.
Your core competency is the design and analysis of products, not wasting time and resources working out interoperability messes among your CAD and CAE applications. Really, you do it because it has to be done. It still stinks. The MATLAB Connector could help you do the job the right way while advancing the bottom line. That’s why learning about it is a good use of your time.
So, hit the link over there. No registration required. Be sure to scroll down the page you land on and take in some of the demos. The on-demand webinar is terrific, BTW.
Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering