Kenneth Wong has been a regular contributor to the CAD industry press since 2000, first an an editor, later as a columnist and freelance writer for various publications. During his nine-year tenure, he has closely followed the migration from 2D to 3D, the growth of PLM (product lifecycle management), and the impact of globalization on manufacturing. His writings have appeared in Cadalyst, Computer Graphics World, and Manufacturing Business Technology, among others.

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 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

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

MSC Software Launches Roadshow to Explain Material Simulation

MSC Software, well-known as the developer behind MSC Nastran, is launching a roadshow this year to discuss the importance of advanced materials. Between Sep. 3 to Oct. 9, MSC plans to host talks and discussions in five different cities:

  • Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 – Newport Beach, CA
  • Wednesday, September 24th, 2014 – Wichita, KS
  • Thursday, September 25th, 2014 – Dallas, TX
  • Wednesday, October 8th, 2014 – Huntsville, AL
  • Thursday, October 9th, 2014 – Seattle, WA

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Intel Releases Xeon E5-2600/1600 v3 Lineup, Targeting Data Centers and Virtualization

A week ago, Diane Bryant, senior VP and general manager, Intel Data Center Group, introduced the new processor lineup — E5 2600/1600 v3 series — at an event at the Terra Gallery in San Francisco, California. The processors, Intel says in its press release, are “central to enabling a software defined infrastructure,” what Intel calls “the foundation for cloud computing.”

Intel writes, “With up to 18 cores per socket and 45MB of last-level cache, the Intel Xeon E5-2600 v3 product family provides up to 50% more cores and cache compared to the previous generation processors.”

In a presentation showcasing possible applications, Intel offers statistics showing that the E5-2600/1600 v3 processors give significantly better performance over their predecessors. LS-DYNA simulation software, for instance, shows up to 50% faster on E5-2697 v3 compared to E5-2697 v2. Furthermore, MSC Nastran Software shows up to 46% faster, and ANSYS Mechanical up to 38% faster on v3 compared to v2. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading