ICEM Launches ICEM Shape Design.

Software integrates seamlessly with automotive, aerospace and other manufacturing companies’ Dassault Systèmes CAA V5-based collaborative product development, manufacturing and PLM software environments.

London, 15 December, 2005. – At an international press conference in London today, ICEM Ltd., the leading global developer of surface modelling, surface validation and design visualisation software, announced and demonstrated its new-generation software suite for automotive vehicle body and interior and other product design development, ICEM Shape Design.

ICEM Shape Design is the first product release following a strategic software development and marketing agreement between ICEM Ltd and Dassault Systèmes announced at the end of March, 2005. The new software suite provides a range of highly intuitive tools for the creation, validation and modification of any type of surface, from freeform surfaces to complex mechanical shapes. Significantly, having been developed on Dassault Systèmes’ CAA V5 software architecture, it integrates seamlessly with Dassault’s CATIA V5 collaborative product development and manufacturing software suite and other CAA V5-based product lifecycle management (PLM) environments.

The new software is available either as a collaborative installation, where access is granted to all CATIA V5 products that are licensed on a network, or as ‘standalone’ solutions, where no installed CATIA V5 software is required.

The advanced surface modelling facilities of ICEM Shape Design deliver solutions ranging from general surface modelling to the specialised surface design and engineering requirements of specific industry sectors, such as automotive body and interior components, aircraft exterior skins, business jet and luxury yacht interiors, consumer durable goods and complex tyre designs.

Announcing the new software suite, Lee Cureton, chief executive, ICEM Ltd., said, “The release of ICEM Shape Design represents a significant step forward to the fulfilment of our committed vision of providing advanced design development software solutions that fit seamlessly into design and manufacturing companies’ existing product development and product lifecycle management (PLM) software environments. By enabling design development and engineering processes to proceed in parallel at a much earlier stage, ICEM Shape Design will help automotive and other manufacturing companies meet ever shorter product development time-scales, as well as the demands for higher perceived and actual product quality.”

Philippe Laufer, director of research & development, shape design and styling solutions, Dassault Systèmes, added, “Automotive companies in particular are facing increasing pressures today on their styling and engineering processes and need to consider innovative approaches to reducing design cycle time. By combining the best software technologies from ICEM and Dassault Systèmes, we are able to offer a unique and innovative V5-based styling-to-manufacturing solution that can reduce that cycle time and that also forms an integral part of a company’s PLM software environment.”

Jeff King, digital design data manager, Bentley Motors Ltd, stated, “We applaud both ICEM and Dassault Systèmes for this development. In the future, as we enhance the computer systems that support our new vehicle development processes, the use of ICEM Shape Design will enable native CAA V5-based design data to be used throughout the entire vehicle design development, engineering and manufacturing process. This would remove the need to translate data at any stage, thereby improving the overall product development workflow and avoiding the possibility of costly delays caused by incomplete data.”

Comprehensive software suite.
The ICEM Shape Design (ISD) software suite comprises a family of software modules addressing different aspects of the product development process. Entry into the suite is through any one of three standard configurations – CE3, EX3 and RE3 – each of which acts as the pre-requisite for further modules. All three standard configurations are based on the ICEM Shape Design Centre (ISD Centre) product, which provides comprehensive surface modelling and validation tools, including tools for the modelling of Class A surfaces.

Onto the three standard configurations can be added a range of optional, specialised modules providing more advanced surface modelling capabilities, as well as reverse engineering, data manipulation and surface model analysis and photo-realistic design visualisation facilities.

The three standard configurations are:

1.        Configuration CE3 - comprising ICEM Shape Design Centre plus ISD Realtime Renderer and an IGES interface.
2.        Configuration EX3 - comprising ICEM Shape Design Centre plus ISD Expert and an IGES interface.
3.        Configuration RE3 - comprising ICEM Shape Design Centre plus ISD Scan, ISD Quick Surfacer, ISD Form and an IGES interface.

Any one of these configurations can act as the pre-requisite for further optional, add-on modules. These are:

•        ISD Expert: complementary to ICEM Shape Design Centre, this provides a tool-set that enables the creation and modelling of aesthetic and ergonomic shapes using global surface and shape modelling techniques and global feature creation methods. It also provides specialised Class A functionality, such as the creation of tube surfaces, helix features and advanced fillets and profiles.
•        ISD Theme: this allows for the integration of designers’ initial work, such as 2D sketches and renderings, into a 3D format as the basis for 3D virtual mock-up. It provides an intuitive toolbox for helping the user to convert 2D data into 3D data.
•        ISD Scan: this module takes its place at the beginning of the reverse engineering cycle, after the receipt of digitised data and before the Class A surface generation process. It addresses the import, filtering, trimming, tessellation and character-line definition of digitised data and also enables shape and surface quality analysis in real time.
•        ISD Quick Surfacer: enabling the simple and rapid construction of surfaces from digitised data, this module offers several approaches to generating surfaces, depending on the type of shape required, for example, freeform fitting surfaces, or mechanical shapes and primitives (planes, cylinders, spheres, cones).
•        ISD Form: this enhances collaboration between the design and engineering offices through an easy-to-use ‘sculpting’ technique which can be used to generate shapes from curves or surfaces, to add details to a model, to sculpt and then copy and paste features from one model to another, or to simply work on a polygonal model such as that obtained from ISD Scan. With its new approach to creating aesthetic and conceptual forms, it enables non-CAD specialists to manipulate and test 3D virtual models.
•        ISD Realtime Renderer: this enables designers to interactively create realistic and dynamic renderings and animations of digital models, in real time. Users can dynamically create and manipulate materials, lights and environments and immediately view the results of geometric modifications, allowing efficient design evaluation and validation at any time during the product development process.
•        ISD Renderer: this generates high quality, photo-realistic images and movies of a digital mock-up, using a powerful ray-tracing engine. This drastically enhances the realism of the resulting images by computing real soft shadows as well as accurate reflections and refractions of light. The visually realistic simulations of the digital model generated by this module can also be used for final design validation, as well as in sales and marketing material.

All three standard configurations, as well as the first seven optional, add-on modules in the ICEM Shape Design product portfolio, began shipping to customers on 5 December, 2005. Worldwide marketing, sales and support for the ICEM Shape Design software suite is provided exclusively by ICEM Ltd. and its approved distributors.

About ICEM Ltd.
With its headquarters in the UK, ICEM Ltd. is the leading worldwide developer of advanced surface modelling, design and visualisation software. ICEM software is a key component of the product lifecycle management (PLM) software environments of many of the world’s leading automotive and aerospace manufacturers and their suppliers.

With a worldwide network of sales and support offices and specialist distributors, ICEM’s principal market sector is the worldwide automotive industry. Here it includes most of the leading manufacturers among its customers, including the Ford Motor Company, DaimlerChrysler Group, Volkswagen Audi Group, Porsche, BMW, PSA Peugeot Citroën, Renault and Nissan.


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