September 12, 2011
Software Review: ZW3D Premium 2011 – Capable CAD and CAM In One Package
Please note that contributed articles, blog entries, and comments posted on MCADcafe.com are the views and opinion of the author and do not necessarily represent the views and opinions of the management and staff of Internet Business Systems and its subsidiary web-sites.
Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor


by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
Each MCAD Weekly Review delivers to its readers news concerning the latest developments in the MCAD industry, MCAD product and company news, featured downloads, customer wins, and coming events, along with a selection of other articles that we feel you might find interesting. Brought to you by MCADCafe.com. If we miss a story or subject that you feel deserves to be included, or you just want to suggest a future topic, please contact us! Questions? Feedback? Click here. Thank you!


Sustainability SolidWorks Sustainability’s new, advanced user interface means users can more accurately model products with “what if” scenarios and better support unique and custom materials. Users can also closely model processes with parameters such as recycled content and duration of use. Also, access to the latest SolidWorks Sustainability supplemental materials will be instant and continuous as they become available.

Large design review Allows instant opening and review of massive assemblies or any individual component with walkthroughs, sectioning and measuring without the need for a high-powered computer or any special file preparation.

Feature freeze – Eliminates unwanted feature rebuilds by locking all features above the “freeze” bar, speeding up the design of complex models where rebuilding of specific features isn’t needed. Features can also be unfrozen at any point.

Equation editor – New equation capabilities allow users to create equations faster and understand order more easily, providing new levels of flexibility and productivity.

Design costing – A flexible tool that automates manufacturing cost calculations for sheet metal and machined parts. Designers can make more informed decisions based on cost throughout the design process and continually model new scenarios for instant up-to-the-minute manufacturing estimates.

Sheet metal – Design from scratch or convert customer 3D parts to sheet metal with new tools that provide control over the unique challenges of working with sheet metal — such as precise control of edge flanges, including up-to-vertex end conditions. Designs can be automatically flattened and documented for manufacturing, with export to CNC and manufacturing equipment.

Simulation – SolidWorks Simulation includes enhanced motion optimization that automatically uses motion study results to create sensors and refine complex and time-intensive machine aspects such as motor size, bearing loads and range of travel. Users can optimize designs in a fraction of the time as they refine inputs and immediately see changes to restraints or goals.

EDITOR’S NOTE : We attended a SolidWorks 2012 press launch event last week and will discuss and describe what we heard, saw, and learned in the next edition of MCADCafe Weekly. Later this year we will also feature a detailed review of SolidWorks 2012.

Gstarsoft Launches Portable CAD Software for Apple iPad
GstarCAD launched GstarCAD MC for iPad, that enables users to create, edit, mark up, and share CAD drawings directly on the Apple iPad. The new software works with OCF files, which can be converted from DWG and DXF files quickly using GstarCAD for Windows running on desktop or laptop computers. The OCF format has been optimized to display CAD drawings accurately and quickly on iPads, as well as to ensure that fonts are displayed. OCF files are transferred from PCs to iPads through Apple's iTunes software. The software is available at no charge from the Apple iTunes Store. The latest Windows version of GstarCAD is needed to convert drawings between DWG and OCF formats and a demo version and brief user guide can be downloaded for free.

MCAE Global Market 2011 : Double Digit Growth For a $6.5B Market
The most dynamic segment of the PLM market, with a healthy 12% CAGR in the past five years, the Mechanical Computer Aided Engineering (MCAE) market continues to ignore the economic downturn and almost silently, as per the engineers' traditions it serves, has become the most profitable segment of the PLM business. A first of its kind, this report studies the worldwide market value, the actual growth rate and the vendors revenue form 2006 until now, through an analysis of the top 13 MCAE software vendors in North America, Europe and Asia-Pacific. It provides analysis through multiple criteria, and for each criteria, the ranking per region based on 2010 numbers. This market covers structural analysis, vibration or modal analysis, thermal, fluid dynamics, crash simulation and analysis, fatigue, plastic injection, test simulation and other simulations of modeled systems, assemblies or parts. Smaller than the MCAD market in terms of size, but growing much faster, the MCAE market is experiencing less hype, and has been recording a steady growth for almost 30 years. Most solvers have been available to the market for at least 10 or 15 years. These characteristics of MCAE products separate the market behavior from those of MCAD and PDM, which are much more volatile.

GibbsCAM Reaches Another Landmark Develops 1000th MTM (Multi-Task Machine) Post Processor
Gibbs and Associates announced that it developed its thousandth post processor for GibbsCAM in support of a large variety of Multi-Task Machines (MTMs). Each of the 1,000 post processors is uniquely developed and configured for a specific MTM machine-control combination, representing machines from nearly 60 manufacturers. The landmark is significant for two reasons: 1) the use of MTMs is increasing rapidly because of the productivity that these machines can provide –and most MTMs require a CAM system for programming – and 2) after finding a CAM system that readily programs MTMs and overcomes their complexity, the biggest challenge for users is obtaining post processors that generate CNC code that optimizes efficiency of the machine tools, takes advantage of all available control options, and accommodates shop-process preferences, all critical to minimizing the cost of part production. Whereas most CAM software vendors provide a post processor as a generic tool, and relegate configuration and implementation – reiterative testing, trouble shooting and correcting – to their users and resellers, Gibbs has a complete post processor department that develops, implements, and maintains post processors. In support of customers and machine-tool builders world wide, the GibbsCAM post processor group maintains a current library of over 10,000 unique post processors to accommodate all types of lathes, mills and multitask machines, in combination with their associated controls.

PLMIG calls for Global PLM Benchmark
A major PLM user company ($5 billion sales, 16000 employees, operating in 29 countries) has asked the PLMIG to help benchmark its PLM implementation with other real PLM users. If other user companies wish to join in, then the PLM Interest Group will run a collaborative benchmarking project that will take place during the first quarter of 2012. This will be an international benchmark, on a scale and depth of detail that has never been done before in PLM. It is intended for companies that are seriously interested in quantifying the strengths and weaknesses within their PLM landscape and that are willing to commit time and resources to do so. For its part, the PLMIG will provide the leadership, coordination, benchmarking parameterization, and full documentation. The benchmark will provide participating companies with quantified answers about the whole scope of their PLM implementations:-
  • "What, exactly, is achievable in PLM today, and in the future?"
  • "How well does our operational set-up support our business strategy?"
  • "How do we compare with other companies in the functionality that we provide?"
  • "How efficient are we in using budgets and resources compared to other companies?"

Because it will be a global benchmark, companies and corporations from anywhere in the world are welcome to take part. Depending on the response, we may be able to provide a regional structure for the USA, Europe and Asia. For information about how your company could take part, see the PLMIG web site or contact Roger Tempest at Email Contact.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at Email Contact or 719.221.1867.

 

This Week

 

Product and Company News


MCAD/MCAE Industry View - A September 2011 Update

MSC Software Acquires Acoustics Leader Free Field Technologies

New Market Study: Computer-Aided Engineering in Europe: €1.9B And Growing Fast

DS SolidWorks Corp. Announces Winners of Green Design Contest

Roland Publishes White Paper on Rapid Prototyping Trends and Technologies Shaping the Manufacturing Industry

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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.


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