SolidWorks users do it. Solid Edge users do it. I’m sure Inventor users, Creo users, and NX users do it too.
I’m talking about the all-American pumpkin-carving ritual during this time of the year. Except, CAD-skilled carvers tend to go a step farther. They dig into the primitive shapes in 3D modelers to shape their virtual Jack-O-Lanterns.
Imre Szucs, a Hungarian partner of Siemens PLM Software, published this video of how to model a pumpkin in Solid Edge with Synchronous Technology (ST) 5. His use of surfacing tools to create the outer profile of the pumpkin is impressive enough. But he didn’t stop there. He went on to trim the geometry to give the pumpkin eyes and mouth, adding menace to his design. Continue reading
First, let’s deal with the elephant in the room. Even though the press folks assembled at Dassault Systemes‘ Waltham campus last week were officially there for a sneak peek of SolidWorks 2014, many were also hoping to get the scoop on Mechanical Conceptual, announced at SolidWorks World 2013 in January.
SolidWorks CEO Bertrand Sicot decided to tackle it during his welcome speech, without waiting for someone to bring it up during the Q&A at the end of the day. “Today, we have ten customers in production [using Mechanical Conceptual],” he said. “We don’t call that Beta program. We call it Lighthouse program. And when I say ‘in production,’ I mean they’re designing real products using our solution. The goal is to have 30 [users] by the end of October. We’re on track to have 20 by the end of September.” Continue reading
Mountain climbers know Piz Daint, measuring 9,700 feet, as part of Switzerland’s snow-dusted Ortler Alps. Researchers and supercomputer nerds, however, know another Piz Daint, installed inside the Swiss National Supercomputing Center (abbreviated as CSCS in Swiss). The center is a unit of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology in Zurich, where Albert Einstein once studied. Since supercomputers are used for, among other things, accurate weather prediction, the micro-climates of the Piz Daint in the Alps could very well be computed on the Piz Daint at the CSCS.
The supercomputer is a Cray XC30 system. Its current performance is listed as 216 TFlops, according to Top 500 Supercomputers. It’s the largest supercomputing giant Cray has assembled and delivered to date. But it’s about to get faster. When it’s retrofitted with Kepler GPUs, its speed will go up to 1 PFlops (1,000 trillion floating point operations per sec), announced NVIDIA. By early 2004, the Piz Daint will become “the fastest GPU accelerator-based scientific supercomputer in Europe,” NVIDIA noted.
More than a decade ago, when stress analysis modules started showing up in mechanical design packages, users squirmed: Can we trust the software to accurately predict how steel and plastic shapes would deform under a certain weight or pressure? The inputs required are too complex. Where do I get these values? How do I make sense of the color-coded results? What does the Von Mises numbers say about my design?
But over time, the user interface for CAD-embedded linear stress analysis tools became simpler. Now, they have become so standardized that if you know how to perform stress analysis in SolidWorks, you can, with minimum training, perform the same task in Autodesk Inventor, Siemens PLM Software’s Solid Edge, or PTC Creo on first contact. Continue reading
By Sunday morning, I’ll be on a plane, bound for SolidWorks World (Jan 20-23, Swan and Dolphin, Orlando, Florida). If I seem a bit dazed and confused when you spot me in the hotel lobby, it’s probably because I’ve come straight from an all-night costumed ball in San Francisco without sufficient sleep. But I’ll be my usual self once I get some caffeine and newsworthy tidbits to perk me up. What, in your view, is the anticipated revelation this year? Continue reading