MCAD/MCAE Industry View – An August 2010 Update

The consulting firm's study found that for typical drawings, the ease of access afforded by the user interface, together with new features and functionality, resulted in individual user productivity increases ranging from 15% to 94%.

Performance improvements documented in the study include:

  • 50% productivity gain due to new functionality in surface modeling, surface associativity and materials
  • 40% productivity increase through use of dimensional constraints and constraints as annotations
  • 39% increase in productivity due to the hatch enhancements and grip editing
  • 20% productivity gain through use of the ribbon interface, 3D gizmos, subject selection, navigating with the Autodesk ViewCube 3D navigation widget and the ability to extrude a curved edge of a solid to create a surface

David Cohn is a renowned AutoCAD expert with more than 25 years of hands-on experience as a user, developer, author and consultant. He has been benchmarking computer hardware and software since 1985, and has published hundreds of articles and reviews as a contributing editor to Desktop Engineering.

One of Cohn's many hobbies is photography, as his picture here of the Taj Mahal attests. Cohn is the author of more than a dozen books about AutoCAD. A licensed architect, Cohn was also one of the earliest AutoCAD third-party software developers, creating numerous AutoCAD add-on programs.

For more information, visit

Six (6) Dassault Systeme's End-of July 2010 News Highlights:

1. DS Outlined New Five-Year Financial Objectives at Capital Markets Day, June 15, 2010. DS publicly outlined its growth plan including targeting a 30% non-IFRS margin and the five-year goal to more than double non-IFRS EPS in comparison to 2009.

2. Dassault Systèmes Acquires Exalead, a Paris headquartered-company providing Search Platforms and Search-Based Applications (SBA) for consumer and business users. (On May 12, 2010 Dassault Systèmes (DS) had announced an OEM agreement with Exalead).

Every month, over 100 million people rely on Exalead for information search, access and reporting, including people in companies like Sanofi-Aventis and World Bank for business use, and Friendster, Lagardère Active and ViaMichelin for contextual consumer search.

Exalead provides the industry's only platform designed from the ground up to apply advanced semantic processing to Web-scale data volumes and usage. Exalead brings unique scalability, agility and usability to industries such as Banking, Retail, Publishing, Business Services, Life Sciences and Consumer Services where easy access to information is essential. The acquisition price was approximately €135 million.

3. DS Advances Systems Strategy with the Acquisition of Geensoft, a France-based company. Geensoft provides embedded systems development tools and professional services that help engineering teams in the aerospace, automotive, defense, energy, industrial automation, medical and transportation industries to more efficiently manage their engineering processes as well as design, verify and validate their model-based embedded systems applications. With Geensoft, the Company's V6 portfolio is expanded by adding the capacity to model and generate the entire vehicle control software system, allowing a validation loop by connecting the physical equipment with the digital mock-up. The purchase price was approximately €5.5 million.

4. DS launched V6R2011, the latest release of its PLM 2.0 platform as part of its Lifelike Experience strategy. The release includes new advances in collaborative creation with 874 new features, additional collaborative innovation enhancements, as well as an entirely new V6 Academia solution. It includes CATIA advancements in systems functionality and content, such as various automotive-focused Modelica libraries, as well as Lifelike Human and Lifelike Conveyor, two new DELMIA production solutions for enterprise resource modeling. SIMULIA V6R2011 delivers to designers the power of Abaqus technologies for complex assemblies. 3DVIA Composer continues to extend its competitive advantage in 3D lifelike technical publishing experience. V6R2011 also updates Dassault Systèmes' PLM Express offer with new key attributes for the mid-market. V6R2011 features new capabilities in collaborative innovation, extending the depth of ready-to-use solutions in its eleven target industries, including consumer product goods, fashion, high tech, aerospace & defense, and automotive. These ENOVIA-based solutions deliver a strategic foundation for all communities to participate in the product lifecycle online.

5. DS introduced Abaqus Release 6.10 from SIMULIA with New Multiphysics Technology.

In response to expanding industry demand for realistic simulation, the new release delivers more than 100 customer-requested enhancements for modeling, performance, usability, visualization, multiphysics, and core mechanics. Abaqus 6.10 introduces a new multiphysics capability for performing Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) simulation.

6. DS Has Launched Open Online DraftSight Community. DS has made available, aimed at providing all computer-aided design (CAD) users access to new services and products to unlock valuable data stored in billions of DWG files. Building on Dassault Systèmes' vision of enabling social innovation, the launch of this community comes as a direct result of customer demand and marks the next step in bringing DWG file management and storage into an easy-to-use, online, service-oriented environment.

ESI Announces VA One 2010

On July 29, 2010 ESI announced “VA One 2010” in Paris. The software is a complete solution for simulating noise and vibration across the full frequency range and seamlessly combines Finite Elements, Boundary Elements, and Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) in a single model. This new release includes over 80 major enhancements and is focused on improved methods for response diagnosis.

Diagnosing the response of a system is an important step in a vibro-acoustic analysis that can provide physical insights and help guide the design of various counter measures. The VA One 2010 release simplifies this process and includes advanced methods to be applied to this task. In particular, the Statistical Energy Analysis (SEA) module now includes functionality for automatic identification of dominant transmission paths (using advanced algorithms from Graph Theory), along with sensitivity analysis for quickly determining the key parameters that control the response. Furthermore, the low frequency Finite Element and Boundary Element modules include expanded functionality for panel contribution analysis to help identify key radiating surfaces.

VA One model of sound radiated by vehicle horn at 2kHz

The VA One 2010 release also includes functionality for calculating complex or coupled modes for any combination of Finite Element, Boundary Element, Poroelastic Element and SEA subsystems in a model. This new functionality is ideal for diagnosing damped resonances, particularly in open systems or for systems that contain foam and fiber noise control treatments.

"We are pleased to announce the release of VA One 2010”, said Dr. Phil Shorter, Director of Vibro-Acoustic Product Operations, ESI Group. “This release includes over 80 major enhancements across all modules and ensures that our users have access to state-of-the-art methods for vibro-acoustic analysis and design".

For more information, please visit:

Continental To Standardize on PTC's Windchill® Platform for Global Product Development

On July 27, 2010 PTC announced that Continental had selected Windchill , PTC's PLM (product lifecycle management) solution, as its global standard for product development in its Automotive Group.

"PLM is a key component of our IT-Strategy, which aims at standardizing and harmonizing the IT landscape at Continental Automotive," said Ralf Brunken, CIO at Continental Automotive Group. "As a result of our assessment among several PLM vendors, we selected PTC's Windchill for its strong technological performance and for the company's value-oriented approach which both are critical when engaging in such a strategic and long-term partnership."

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