Jeff's MCAD Blogging

Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has over 35 years of experience in all aspects of electro-mechanical design, engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 500 articles for CAD and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the MCAD community. As editor … More »

Hexagon Acquires Vero: Metrology Meets Manufacturing

 
July 22nd, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Hexagon AB, a provider of design, measurement (metrology), and visualization technologies has acquired Vero Software, a provider of CAM software.

Hexagon AB is a global technology group headquartered in Sweden and was founded in 1992. The diverse provides products for designing, measuring, and positioning objects. Surveyors, government agencies, mapping companies, construction, and security and defense related industries are the primary customers of their services.

Although the following video doesn’t have an audio track, it does demonstrate one of Vero Software’s technologies, WorkNC, that is part of the acquisition by Hexagon.

WorkNC CADCAM and Vero Software – EMO Show 2013
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Deloitte University Press Launches Free Online Course on Additive Manufacturing

 
July 17th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

This week Deloitte University Press announced the launch of a massive open online course (MOOC) on the business implications of additive manufacturing (AM). Entitled, “3D Opportunity: The Course on Additive Manufacturing for Business Leaders,” it is the first course of its kind to be offered by a large professional services firm and is designed to help educate the market on the business drivers behind additive manufacturing/3D printing.

3D opportunity: Deloitte’s MOOC on additive manufacturing (3D Printing) for business

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Dassault Systemes Expands Multi-Physics Simulation, Acquires SIMPACK

 
July 15th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Dassault Systemes announced this week that it has acquired simulation technology provider SIMPACK in an all cash deal. The transaction was completed on July 10, 2014. Not surprisingly, financial details of the deal were not revealed.

With the acquisition of Munich-based SIMPACK, Dassault continues to expand its multiphysics simulation technology portfolio to include multi-body mechatronic systems.

SIMPACK has more than 130 customers in the energy, transportation (primarily automotive and rail), and biomedical industries, including Alstom, Bombardier, BMW, Daimler, Honda, Jaguar Land Rover, MAN, and Vestas.

SIMPACK Multibody Simulation (MBS) – Engine Chain

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Is 3D Printing Really A Miracle?

 
July 9th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Is 3D printing truly the miracle it’s purported to be?

That’s a question I’ve asked myself numerous times, especially when I see yet another announcement from a hardware or software vendor or service provider that is often hype and little else. A lot of companies (and their marketing/PR/communications engines) count on the fact that just about anything that states or implies “3D printing” is going to automatically generate “a buzz” of notoriety, and maybe even some venture capital.

On one hand, yes, 3D printing has shown great promise and results. But, on the other, it’s largely wait and see.

Many have been lured into the promise of 3D printing with sensationalistic demonstrations as shown in the following video.

3D Printing: Make Anything You Want

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CAD/PDM Software Evaluation: PTC Creo/Windchill PDM Essentials

 
July 1st, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Editor’s Note: This is the fourth installment of a series of four evaluation articles of CAD/PDM systems for SMBs.

Overview

PTC Windchill PDM Essentials is intended to bring collaborative engineering to smaller companies for organizing and managing product content so that they can improve design reuse, broaden access to product information across roles, and ensure control over design versions and release processes.

PDM Essentials is basically a role-based, template-based, pre-configured bundle in an optimized Microsoft Windows environment.

PTC Windchill PDM Essentials is a scaled-down version of PDMLink, Windchill’s primary data management solution, allowing smaller firms to manage CAD data and product development-related Microsoft Office documents.

Windchill PDM Essentials Quick Tour Video

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Skipping School To Innovate

 
June 27th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

During the course of a year I get the opportunity to attend several events and meet a lot of new people involved with various aspects of design, engineering, and manufacturing. This week I attended an event called “3D Printing Day @ CSU.” Held on the campus of Colorado State University, it showcased the Idea-2-Product Laboratory, the brainchild of its director, and our good friend, Dr. David Prawel. It was a combination seminar series and tours of the Lab where a number of 3D printers were demonstrated.

One of the most interesting and compelling seminar talks was given by Easton LaChappelle, a 17-year-old from Mancos, CO who graduated from high school last month. His talk was on his experience with 3D printing, prosthetics, and telerobotics

Easton LaChappelle – Montage

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SIMULIA Simulates 3D Heart That Helps Define Future Diagnosis and Treatment

 
June 24th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

For a truly unique spin on solving an age-old problem, Dassault Systemes recently unveiled the first 3D realistic simulation model of an entire human heart. Developed with a multidisciplinary team of heart experts to help combat cardiovascular disease, the Living Heart Project is launching the next frontier in diagnosing, treating, and preventing heart conditions through personalized, 3D virtual models.

The Living Heart project, launched in January 2014, unites cardiovascular researchers and educators with medical device manufacturers, regulatory agencies, and practicing cardiologists on a shared mission to develop and validate personalized digital human heart models and establish a unified foundation for cardiovascular in silico medicine. These models can serve as a core technology base for education and training, medical device design, testing and regulatory science—thereby creating a path for rapidly translating cutting edge innovations into improved patient care.

At the center of the project is a 3D heart model powered by SIMULIA applications to develop a comprehensive 3D heart model, capturing the electrical, mechanical, and fluid behavior of the heart in a realistic way. Other DS products used for the project included SolidWorks for modeling the heart and 3DVIA was used for animations and demonstrations.

SIMULIA Introduces the Living Heart Project

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PTC Live Global 2014: IoT and PTC Creo 3.0 Take Center Stage

 
June 19th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Along with over 2,000 other attendees, we just returned from the PTC Live Global 2014 conference and exhibition in Boston. It was a very good show at a very good venue — the Boston Convention Center.

The two biggest things we noted at the conference were PTC’s involvment and commitment to the Internet of Things (IoT) and the introduction of PTC Creo 3.0. We also noted a more upbeat crowd attending the show this year than in years past. The attendees we spoke with said the lighter attitude was due to PTC’s announcements, PTC’s corporate direction, and an economy that continues to slowly improve.

PTC Technology Update – PTC Live Global 2014 Keynote

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CAD/PDM Software Evaluation: Solid Edge/Teamcenter Rapid Start

 
June 13th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

Editor’s Note: This is the third installment of a series of four evaluation articles of CAD/PDM systems for SMBs.

Overview

Siemens’s Teamcenter Rapid Start is a product data management (PDM) solution that is preconfigured, yet extensible. As a preconfigured deployment option of Teamcenter, it is intended to address the most common PDM needs of SMBs. With its “simplified” installation process, Teamcenter Rapid Start applies preconfigured best practices to common engineering tasks and processes for SMBs.

In a stand-alone environment, all server and all client applications are installed on each machine. In a shared environment, server applications are installed on a single server. Each machine has network access to the server and has only the client applications installed.

The video that follows shows how to get started with Teamcenter Rapid Start PDM, and includes demos on CAD data management, document management, and process management.

Teamcenter Rapid Start

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RAPID 2014: New Developments in 3D Printing (and Scanning)

 
June 11th, 2014 by Jeff Rowe

I’m in Detroit this week attending the RAPID Conference & Exhibition produced by the Society of Manufacturing Engineers (SME).  The RAPID conference was co-located as part of a bigger event called the Big M — Manufacturing Convergence. The overall theme of the manufacturing event is “Shaping the Future of Manufacturing.” This theme was especially appropriate for RAPID and its focus on 3D printing and scanning.

This is the best attended RAPID event ever with well over 2,500 attendees from 27 countries.

I’ve seen a number of interesting things on the exhibit floor, but have been most intrigued by a new emerging class of hybrid 3D printers that employ both additive manufacturing (AM) and subtractive (conventional machining) methods. Some of the hybrid 3D printers included the following:

Hybrid (Additive & Subtractive Manufacturing) Machine by DMG Mori 

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