By DE Editors
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Latest CFX-5 Leverages More ANSYS Technology
CFD toolset CFX-5.7 offers further integration into the ANSYS family of analysis technologies, according to ANSYS, Inc. (Canonsburg, PA; an sys.com). Because of tighter integration, version 5.7 provides better performance, enhanced interoperability with other ANSYS tools, and more accessible complex physics and multiphase simulations.
CFX-5.7 also includes extensions in physical models, such as new Lagrangian coal and droplet combustion models and new turbulence models that predict laminar to turbulent transition. It includes either ANSYS DesignModeler for geometry creation or CAD import along with a special version of ANSYS ICEM CFD for robust meshing capability when applied to industrial CAD models.
CFX-5.7 introduces a fluid structure interaction (FSI) capability. A simple, one-way transfer of data from a CFX solution to ANSYS enables 5.7 to pass information between a fluid and structural simulation. CFX 5.7 interacts dynamically with ANSYS stress analysis for complex interactions requiring bidirectional effects.
CFX-5.7 from ANSYS received the most Reader Service responses in our July 2004 issue. Vote for your favorite product from this issue below.
Catia Visualization Tool
nPower Software (San Diego, CA; npowersoftware.com) and Datakit (Lyon, France; datakit. com) have jointly developed Power CatiaToMax for 3ds Max/ Viz so that CATIA users can translate native CATIA models directly into 3ds Max/Viz. It allows for high-quality rendering, animation, and more without intermediate formats and without losing precision. Power CatiaToMax uses a precise NURBS-based boundary representation object for accurate modeling. Instead of importing imprecise polygonal approximations, Power CatiaToMax uses its precise representation to generate smooth, crack-free renderings without poly- gonal artifacts. It opens a streamlined portal to the advanced 3D modeling and rendering environment of 3ds Max.
Power CatiaToMax is powered by Datakit’s translation tools and by SOLIDS++, a NURBS-based modeling kernel from IntegrityWare (San Diego, CA; integrityware. com). Power CatiaToMax costs $2,995. Find Power CatiaToMax at nPowerSoftware.com or datakit. com. Get a free 30-day evaluation version at npower software.com.
USB Devices Offer accurate Portable DA
National Instruments (Austin, TX; ni.com) has announced the first in a new series of high-accuracy USB-based data acquisition (DA) hardware. The small size and easy connectivity of NI USB DA devices make them suitable for such operations as in-vehicle data logging and environmental monitoring.
The NI DAQPad-6015 and NI DAQPad-6016 add 16-bit accuracy to the NI USB multifunction DA product line and increase the maximum sampling rate of the product line to 200ksps for a single channel. Both devices offer built-in screw terminal connectivity, eliminating the need to purchase a cable and terminal block.
The NI USB-9211 and -9215 deliver integrated signal conditioning and are the first in a series of single-function USB DA devices. The USB-9211 is a four-channel, 24-bit, highly accurate thermocouple measurement device that includes built-in screw terminal connectivity. The USB-9215 is a four-channel, 16-bit, simultaneous sampling analog input device that accurately measures multiple signals with minimal phase delay. Both ship with free ready-to-run data logging software.
The SCXI-1600 module delivers plug-and-play USB connectivity to 40 measurement modules within the NI SCXI signal-conditioning platform. Engineers can create high-channel-count sensor measurement systems without the extra cost and setup time of connecting an NI DA device and cable to the SCXI signal conditioning hardware. Since the NI DA device is integrated into the SCXI-1600 module, you need only one cable to make a computer connection. Price: Starts a t $395.
MathML Extends to XMetaL
MathFlow Editor 1.0, a publishing workflow release for XMetaL users from Design Science (Long Beach, CA; dessci.com) gives users of Blast Radius’s XMetaL 4.5 Author and XMAX (XMetaL for ActiveX) the ability to compose and edit mathematical expressions in documents expressed in MathML, the XML-based standard for mathematical notation. MathFlow Editor for XMetaL was developed in partnership with Blast Radius.
MathFlow Editor provides a point and click interface for creating and editing mathematical notation represented in MathML. MathFlow Editor for XMetaL is now shipping. Visit dessci.com for more.
Wireless CyberGlove Captures Hand Motion
Immersion Corp. (San Jose, CA; immersion.com), a developer of touch feedback technology and the MicroScribe digitizer, has announced a wireless version of its high-accuracy CyberGlove hand motion-capture glove. The new Wireless CyberGlove system will help animators increase production efficiency. Instead of needing a separate setup for hand motion capture, the freedom of wireless will allow the recording of hand motion along with full body movement.
“The CyberGlove system sets the standard for high-accuracy hand-motion capture, and now the new Wireless CyberGlove system is the world’s first high-accuracy wireless hand-motion capture tool,” explains Tim Tight, general manager of Immersion‘s Industrial Business Group. “It fills a gap in the market. No other system supplies field-proven high-quality motion capture and wireless freedom. With this combination, productions using multiple actors, in particular, can enjoy reduced time and costs by avoiding separate body and hand motion-capture setups.”
The new lightweight, wireless glove takes up to 22 high-accuracy joint-angle measurements. The glove works with all versions of VirtualHand software. This combination transforms hand and finger motions into real-time digital joint-angle data that feeds directly into most popular motion-capture applications.
Ergonomic interface electronics comfortably strap onto an actor’s forearm or upper arm and the industry-standard Bluetooth communications protocol supplies the wire-free 30m3 workspace.
Turret Punch Press and Laser machining for SolidWorks
SolidWorks 2005 users can now quickly and easily generate machine code for their CNC turret punch press or laser machine using ProFab Sheet Metal CAM software from Applied Production, Inc. (Milford, OH: appliedproduction.com). SolidWorks 2005 expands on the software’s legacy of ease of use and design power by also providing users with comprehensive drawing tools and new productivity features. By using the information already in the flat pattern of a SolidWorks 2005 sheet metal model, the need for file translation is eliminated.
For more information, and a new demo and video introduction to ProFab, visit the SolidWorks Manufacturing Network at solidworks.com. The network is a free online directory of SolidWorks users and offers information for the benefit of users.
Wireless Temp/Humidity Transmitter with two-year Battery Life
The OMWT-TEMPRH wireless temperature and relative humidity (RH) transmitter from Omega Engineering (Stamford, CT; omega. com) is a battery-operated digital sensor with a microprocessor-controlled 418MHz FCC-certified radio transmitter. It has an onboard time of day clock that allows it to spend most of the time dormant. At predetermined time intervals the clock will awake the microprocessor and begin measuring and transmitting data collected by a digital temperature sensor and an RH sensor. Transmission lasts 15ms. This results in low energy consumption for a battery life of up to two years.
The electronics are coated with rubber to prevent internal condensation, but submersion in water is not recommended. A hole in the top ABS cover permits a special tool to be inserted to activate the service switch.
Data can be viewed in a real-time or historical time-base chart or numerical view using OMWT Series software. High/low alarms can be set for each transmitter signal with either a visual or audible alarm indication on the PC. Data can be logged to disk at a user-specified rate in a text file format that can be opened in Excel. Additional features include a 600-foot (180m) transmitting range, 64-bit unique ID, up to 100 coexisting sensors, and an internal loop antenna. Price: $138. For more details, go to omega.com.
PNY Technologies Expands Graphics
PNY Technologies (Parsippany, NJ; pny.com), teaming up with NVIDIA Corp. (Santa Clara, CA; nvidia.com), has released a new line of NVIDIA Quadro professional graphics boards that capitalize on the new high-bandwidth PCI Express bus architecture. The graphics solutions include the 512MB FX 4400 model that supports NVIDIA SLI (Scalable Link Interface), which is designed to allow multiple pro-grade graphics boards to operate in a single workstation. Linking two NVIDIA Quadro FX 4000 boards together with NVIDIA SLI technology reportedly broke an industry record with a score of 103 during an internal test on the SPECviewperf 7.1.1 UGS benchmark.
The new graphics boards supplement the first PCI Express-based models announced in June. Other new members of the line include the FX 1400 with 128MB of DDR memory and NVIDIA’s advanced feature set, including support for Shader Model 3.0, 32-bit floating-point precision, and NVIDIA SLI; and the FX 540 with 128MB of DDR memory, an entry level board for nonlinear video-editing applications.
The boards feature isochronous data transfer to reduce system bottlenecks and bidirectional data transfer for fast read-back performance. The high-end FX 4400, 3400, and 1400 models support SLI, which offers an intelligent communication protocol embedded in the GPU and a high-speed digital interface on the graphics board to facilitate data flow.
Components provide compact DA capability for Ethernet-based test systems
IOtech (Cleveland, OH; iotech.com) has introduced the DaqScan/2000 series of Ethernet-based system components, providing high-performance analog, digital, and frequency I/O capability. The DaqScan series is used to augment traditional test instruments in a rack-and-stack test system and can provide higher resolution measurements than an oscilloscope (16 bits), or higher speed measurements than a DMM (200kHz). Some models in the series are exclusively for generating voltages or waveforms. The digital I/O model can be used to develop custom switching instruments, where the DaqScan handles all of the communication between switches or relays and the Ethernet-based PC.
The DaqScan builds on IOtech’s IEEE 488-based predecessors and the TempScan/1100 that provide similar capability for IEEE 488-based systems.
There are four DaqScan modules ranging from the DaqScan/2002, which offers digital/frequency I/O, to the full-featured DaqScan/2001, which includes 16 analog inputs, 4 analog outputs, 40 digital I/O, 4 frequency inputs, and 2 timer outputs.
A wide variety of signal conditioning and expansion options are available. High-channel count voltage and thermocouple measurements up to 900 channels, high-isolation voltage and thermocouple measurements up to 500V isolation, and up to 256 channels of isolated I/O control and monitoring up to 500V can be easily accomplished. All models are packaged in 1U high, full-rack package, and include a rack-mount kit that can attach to either the front or the rear of the enclosure. Multiple DaqScan models can be combined in the same system and easily synchronized.
All models include comprehensive drivers for all popular Windows-based environments, including Visual Basic, C/C+, IVI, ActiveX/COM, LabVIEW, MATLAB, and DASYLab. Also included with DaqScan is DaqView, an interactive spreadsheet-style application for verifying signal connections during system design. Price: $999 to $2,499 (depending on configuration).
Efficient Flow and Heat Transfer Simulations
Two new releases from Nika Fluid Solutions (Colfax, CA; nikafs.com), EFD.Lab and EFD.V5, increase the efficiency of fluid flow and heat transfer simulation programs. EFD.Lab provides fluid flow and heat transfer simulations and EFD.V5 offers seamless integration with Dassault Systemes’s CATIA V5 and Nika’s analysis technology.
EFD.Lab and EFD.V5 feature incompressible (liquid or gas) or compressible (gas) flows; laminar, turbulent, steady-state, and transient flows; surface roughness, conjugated heat transfer, particle tracking; and more physical models. EFD.Lab and EFD.V5 are mainly used for the development and optimization of products for automobiles, computer housings, switching units, electronic devices, HVAC systems, valves and regulators, medical equipment, and fire protection devices.
EFD.Lab includes a preprocessor with parametric solid modeling of the geometry, and a powerful postprocessor for easy processing and visualization of results. The preprocessor imports native MCAD files from the most popular MCAD systems and supports numerous standard file formats. EFD.V5 is seamlessly integrated into CATIA V5. The MCAD geometry of a design can be directly used without modeling a separate domain of the flow space.
The latest enhancements to the core technology include a remote solver function that allows users to operate the solver separately from the pre- and postprocessor on different networked computers; simplified preprocessing for less time spent on model setup; and automatic results processing (including x,y plots and engineering goals reports) according to corporate standards and saved as MS Office documents. To learn more, visit nikafs.com.
VX 10 Delivers Shape Morphing, Enhanced Reverse Engineering, and Much More
VX Version 10 from VX Corporation (Palm Bay, FL; vx.com) adds speed and functionality for model morphing, reverse engineering, and 2D layout. VX CAD/CAM is aimed at a wide range of industries and disciplines, and is suitable for high-end product design as well as machine shop operations in any size business. Its hybrid modeling and integrated 2- to 5-axis CAM were built on the VX kernel to create an integrated package with a shorter learning curve and lower investment costs for both software and training.
The modeling power of VX has new global shape deformation commands. Users can drag, pull, and warp model geometry with tools that provide dimensional precision and symmetry. It also has a new toolbar with point cloud manipulation such as grouping, thinning, sectioning, and surfacing. In addition to NURBS surfaces, point blocks (groups) can be used to define tessellated (i.e., STL, face geometry) and then taken straight into CAM for CNC machining. Point-data files from a wide variety of devices can be quickly imported. Additionally, a direct interface for the popular Romer Cimcore Arm is introduced.
Other features include new tools for automatic, associative 2D drawing layouts; automatic hole feature recognition and enhanced duplicate face filtering; a new built-in standard parts library for mold and die designers; a new function to import and export CAM operations; and a new postprocessor for CAM. For more information, visit vx.com.
Top-Quality Images At Low Cost
The Hawk-Eye Cx 36-inch color scanner from Contex Scanning Technology (Ontario, CA; contex. com) offers Contex’s Accuracy Lens Enhancement technology, all-wheel drive for handling large originals and connectivity with both FireWire and USB 2.0.
Hawk-Eye captures color at 48 bits for maximum precision, passing the best 24 bits of data to the computer to enhance color fidelity. An all-digital camera with advanced point-of-origin color capture and on-board digital conversion ensures minimum noise and an extended dynamic range. Color-matched fluorescent lamps ensure color correctness and images can be enhanced to provide clean results from poor-quality originals.
Hawk-Eye also handles thick media up to 12mm or 0.47 in. It offers 16-bit gray-tone capture for reproduction of gray shades; a scan-to-PDF format option; and one-touch scanning. For more information, visit contex.com.
Presenter 3D for SketchUp In Beta
SketchUp users can add real-time rendering, animation, and lighting to enhance designs with Presenter 3D for SketchUp beta from Digital Immersion Software (Wixom, MI; presenter3d. com). The software is intended to eliminate confusion when trying to convey an idea to other team members and customers.
Communicating design intent is key when securing buy-off on conceptual design. Presenter 3D for SketchUp makes the job easier for team members who do not have SketchUp-they will still be able to open a SketchUp or 3DS file in Presenter 3D for SketchUp. This will increase the number of people that can participate in the design process without increasing the cost by requiring everyone to own the conceptual design package.
SketchUp users who would like to participate in this beta program should contact the company. New users can view a quick tutorial at presenter3d.com.
Conduant Announces PXI Data Capture Support for Serial ATA Disk Drives
The StreamStor PXI-808 real-time recorder and playback disk controller and Big River DM4 1U rack mount chassis from Conduant Corporation (Longmont, CO; conduant.com) deliver 200MBps of sustained performance, reliability, and security for PXI bus data capture. It supports up to eight serial ATA disk drives for a variety of laboratory and benchtop instrumentation applications.
Conduant’s PXI disk controller provides compatibility with National Instruments’s LabVIEW software and PC-based instrumentation hardware. Serial output from one StreamStor PXI-808 disk controller connected to two DM4 units will accommodate up to 2TB of online data storage.
Conduant is calling the PXI controller a cost-effective advantage to 32-bit users like engineers who need to generate and acquire complex signals for long time periods. Price: $7,310 (StreamStor PXI-808); $2,860 (Big River DM4 chassis).
Portable Coordinate Measurement Machine For Industrial Quality Control
Designed on an entirely open platform, the Actiris350, a new CMM from ActiCM (Chicago, IL; acticm.com), is a multipurpose quality control system for checking the dimensional and geometric accuracy of everything from small items to larger sheet-metal parts. The Actiris350 is also a portable solution, with neither wires nor mechanical links between its lightweight probe and the measurement device. It can be used for a wide range of applications from metallurgy and machine tool production to automotive and aerospace industries.
This technology has gained recognition in the production sector as it provides accuracy by relying on a combination of advanced photogrammetry and digital image processing. It also increases reliability and speed of controls performed on parts, equipment, or complex assemblies. The new CMM offers users complete freedom of movement and allows for both automatic and manual setups. Added features like easy installation and automatic calibration survey mean the system can be set up and ready to use in less than 30 minutes.
The system includes an optical head, lightweight ergonomic probe, tripod, and wheeled transportation case. It weighs 37.5 lbs and is generally sold with Delcam’s (delcam.com) PowerInspect software package including CAD file importation and a customized part inspection program. For more information, visit the ActiCM website.