January 19, 2004
Build or Buy - The Ongoing Manufacturing Dilemma
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!


I've been an SME member for a number of years and wholeheartedly support these types of competitions that spark interest and encourage future engineers. Although a number of other professional organizations and societies sponsor events for future practitioners, this one encompasses a wide variety of technical and social issues and parameters that more closely resemble the real world and what the students might actually encounter and have to deal with in the future.



New Design Simulation/Optimization Suite

PlassoTech Inc. has released its 3G.Design Simulation/Optimization Suite 2004, including 3G.author, 3G.central and 3G.access. New capabilities include connectivity to Autodesk Inventor, a new simulation wizard, and enhanced contact analysis.


Built on a collaborative backbone, the 3G.Design Simulation/Optimization Suite 2004 provides standalone, enterprise, and extended enterprise simulation, optimization, and communication solutions. It offers bi-directional support, with peer-to-peer access, of CAD/CAE/PDM platforms including Inventor, Pro/Engineer, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, SmarTeam, Parasolid, IGES, STEP and SAT. Unigraphics NX will be added in the future. In addition, the software connects to other special-purpose finite element analysis (FEA) programs such as MSC.Nastran and SINDA/G for additional types of analysis.


3G.author provides connectivity with Autodesk geometry intelligence from the sub-assembly level, including features and dimensions, which dramatically simplifies design optimization. Bi-directional associativity makes it possible for users to quickly run fully adaptive, parametric-based structural, thermal and dynamic response simulations on Autodesk Inventor models.


"3G.author provides engineers and the growing number of Autodesk Inventor users with the ability to out-perform competitors by enabling them to improve, optimize and test designs more reliably and quicker than ever before," said Tomi Mossessian, CEO of PlassoTech. "With PlassoTech's highly scalable suite of tools, users can work individually, collaborate with internal workgroups and collaborate with an extended enterprise."


For users who aren't familiar with the GUI, a new Simulation Wizard guides them through the process of setting up the design for simulation. This includes specifying the simulation type, selecting material properties, defining loads and boundary conditions and obtaining the results.


The 3G.Design Simulation/Optimization Suite 2004 also features enhancements to the dynamic response module that provide time response analysis capability in addition to frequency response. The module contains a very easy-to-use and robust post-processing functionality allowing users to view various 3D responses, as well transient responses at any point of the structure. It allows users to modify input parameters and time ranges and still get instant results. In addition, the results can be linked to MS Excel for further processing.


Enhanced comprehensive contact capabilities for assembly analysis include separation between various parts with variable distances. Users can now define arbitrary load distribution function on various parts of a given face.


3G.central's web-based report generation allows the size/resolution of JPEG images to be changed and results can also be presented as an AVI, which is particularly helpful in reviewing time response.


The new release also features many visualization enhancements to 3G.access that enable users to view results of validation and optimization runs. This includes the presentation of results as a spatial 3D distribution at any point in time or as time response at a given point.


3G.author distinguishes itself from other design analysis packages in a couple of different and significant ways. First, it can be used collaboratively with another Plassotech module called 3G.central. It can also create virtual/digital prototype assemblies from parts created in different MCAD packages. Results from multiple analyses can be written in spreadsheets for comparative studies. Because 3G.author has parametric capabilities, you can check a design's structural or thermal parameters and optimize the design without having to rerun analyses. This is an interesting FEA product that does things a little differently than the competition. In the next few weeks I'll review 3G.author
and post my findings in an upcoming MCADWeekly.


Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
Email Contact or 408.850.9230.



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