Transport Vehicle Goes On An Aluminum Diet

It only stands to reason that an aluminum smelter in need of utility vehicles for operations and maintenance would want those vehicles to be made out the same aluminum it manufacturers, not steel.

Manufacturing a structurally-sound utility transport out of a wholly new material wasn’t the only design challenge for this effort, put into play by Aluminerie Alouette, a Canadian aluminum smelter. The new design also had to accommodate an electric power train—a requirement because the smelting process creates such a strong static magnetic field that regular internal combustion engines have a hard time operating properly within that environment. The third requirement was to create a vehicle design that would allow for easy recycling at the end of the transport’s lifecycle. ']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

A New Way to Reduce Weight with NX 8.5

The diet industry and the computer-aided engineering (CAE) segment are heading for a head-on collision, at least in their terminologies. They both share a similar objective too: Like Jenny Craig and WeightWatchers, CAE software programs are now on a quest to help you lose weight. To be precise, more and more of these software are introducing ways to help you shave off materials, or excess weight, from your design. (For more, see “The Twin Forces of Optimization & Inspiration” in December 2012 issue, now available online.) →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

NX 8.5 Plugs Mold Gap with EasyFill

In 2008, when Autodesk got its hands on Moldflow in an acquisition, it gained a huge advantage over rivals CAD developers. The ability to simulate the injection-molding process for molded plastic products brought design (CAD) and manufacturing (CAM) closer than before. The software is still available as a standalone program, rebranded as Autodesk Moldflow. But it’s also tightly integrated with Autodesk’s primary 3D mechanical design software, Autodesk Inventor, though a plug-in called Moldflow Adviser. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

Curiosity Got the Better of Engineering

It takes about 14 minutes for a signal from Curiosity rover to reach Earth. From Mars’ atmosphere, it takes the rover about 7 minutes to reach the surface. That means, on March 5, by the time NASA got words that Curiosity had entered the planet’s top atmosphere, the spacecraft had either crashed into or settled on Mars’ soil. Seven more agonizing minutes would pass before the scientists knew if they should uncork the champagne or face a disappointed worldwide audience. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading

The New Frontier in Digital Design: Automating Optimization

Editors like to nitpick, not just about when to use semicolons and em dashes but also about the way specific terms are used in publications. The term that has lately been stirring up discussions and debates among DE editors is optimization. Last weekend, after visiting Altair‘s office in Troy, Michigan, I found myself deep in conversation with managing editor Jamie Gooch and executive editor Steve Robbins about the very topic. It’s important for us to have consensus because we’re considering a number of articles devoted to the subject in the year-end issue. The tone, the stories, and the perspectives of these stories will very likely be determined by how we define optimization. →']);" class="more-link">Continue reading