Software Certification Questions on Virtual Machines

Can a virtual machine be certified for CAD software? It’s not an existential philosophical question like, “If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” It’s a question that might sway some businesses to buy into — or opt out of — the emerging virtualization ecosystem.

Traditionally, when IT managers representing engineering and design firms go shopping, they make sure the hardware they’re purchasing — workstations from the Dell Precision family, HP Z series, or Lenovo ThinkStation lines, for example — are certified for the software the staff is planning to use. This effort ensures that the CPU-GPU-RAM configuration of the machine has been tested and approved by software vendors like Autodesk, Dassault Systemes, PTC, Siemens PLM Software, or SolidWorks. Certification is the cornerstone of vendors’ obligation to provide support, because it means they’ve endorsed a specific piece of hardware for use with your favorite CAD software.

Many of the mini-server or private-cloud appliances developed to support enterprise virtualization are put together with components certified for CAD. For example, NVIDIA’s the Grid Visual Computing Appliance (VCA) is built with NVIDIA Quadro GPUs, certified to run major CAD applications. But does that mean the certification extend to the virtual machines created from that hardware? →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

London Calling, Nissan Comes Through With New Taxi Design

London’s iconic black cab, as synonymous with taxis as the yellow cab is in New York City, is about to hit the streets with a full design makeover, in part to ensure it conforms to new regulations governing the Hackney Carriage status and to serve as a launch pad for a soon-to-be-released EV version.

Nissan, which is using its multi-purpose NV200 platform as the base for the taxi redesign, is planning to release a 1.6-liter petrol engine fleet with an automatic gearbox this December, following up with a zero emissions electric version in 2015. London’s current Mayor Boris Johnson has called for all city cabs to be emission-free by 2020. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Aras Serves Up PLM Licensing Program for OEMs

Aras has a long history of innovation in the PLM space. It was the first to embrace an open source model for its Aras PLM platform, it was among the frontrunners to release a hosted version in the cloud, and now it’s rolling out an OEM strategy that is bound to set it apart from competitors.

Under its new OEM licensing program, independent software vendors can license the entire Aras PLM product suite or just a subset of the underlying technology. The idea is to give ISVs a way to get their hands on advanced PLM technology without having to go through a laborious development cycle to build out the capabilities on their own. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

DE Editor Digitally Captured in Photogrammetry and Hand-Held Scanner

Recently, by sheer coincidence, I found myself in two successive press briefings where I was digitized into a 3D mesh model, by two distinctly different methods. During a visit to the Autodesk Gallery in San Francisco, the Autodesk ReCap team offered to digitize me through its photogrammetry technology (previously called 123D Catch). A few days later, while visiting 3D Systems‘ San Francisco office, the product managers offered to digitize me using Cubify Sense, a handheld scanner. This serendipitous alignment of tech demos gave me the opportunity to observe in person how the different approaches work. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Data Visualization for Optimization and Lightweighting

The use of simulation in engineering is shifting from sequential (one at a time) to parallel (many at a time, running simultaneously on high-performance computing systems). The move is precipitated largely by optimization and lightweighting, which require evaluating a series of design options or families of designs to identify the best candidates.

But this adds a new dimension to simulation. Now, you need a way to view the results — the best ones, as identified by the software’s algorithm — in a comprehensible fashion to understand the correlations between different parameters and the geometry. For example, what happens to the aerodynamic performances of the vehicle when you increase the curvature of the hood by a certain degree? Or how does the position of the side mirrors affect the car’s drag? →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading