September 19, 2005
UGS Launches NX 4 With Emphasis On Product And Process
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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Although NX is obviously the flagship for UGS, the company also is supportive of its mid-market offering, Solid Edge. It seems that NX and Solid Edge have more of a symbiotic relationship than a competitive one. The two product lines are able to communicate bi-directionally, and this makes for an attractive proposition for not only huge enterprises, but small- and medium-sized businesses (SMBs), too. The company needs to get this message across, because although it has a pretty solid installed base, including a new contact with an aerospace company and an extension of its agreement with General motors, UGS has really got to start stressing its affordability, scalability, and value
proposition to SMBs. There's only so many $billion+ companies out there, and I doubt many of that scale are anxious to switch PLM investments any time soon.

In the coming months we'll will be evaluating several of the NX 4 design and engineering modules, as well as Teamcenter, and JT, and will report back on our experiences.

The Week's Top 5

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.

This week SolidWorks affirmed its place in the product development mainstream with the release of "SolidWorks for Dummies" (Wiley Publishing, $29.99, Pub Date: September 12, 2005, ISBN: 0-7645-9555-5) written by Greg Jankowski. SolidWorks software 3D mechanical design software for the mainstream market, is the first 3D mechanical design offering to enter the "For Dummies" series, with the intent of expanding the 3D CAD community and transforming everyday users into power users. Written in the series' signature conversational style, "SolidWorks For Dummies" is suitable for seasoned users of AutoCAD, SolidWorks newcomers, as well as long-time SolidWorks users.

An interesting aside to this announcement is the fact that "SolidWorks for Dummies" was the best selling book on on Wednesday, September 14.

Lattice3D announced the immediate availability of the latest versions of its 3D Publishing applications and platform. Lattice3D Embed, Lattice3D Composer, and Lattice3D Publisher, increasing the ability of users to communicate, reduce costs and improve processes, instructions and provide enhanced training using 3D data. XVL Converter Scheduler and Manager turn Lattice3D software into a full enterprise 3D Publishing platform with automated workflow through the 3D Publishing applications to ensure business processes reflect updated 3D CAD files. This enables parts catalogues, web pages, manufacturing instructions, training manuals, etc. to be easily maintained. The latest versions add new
functionality, extensibility, improved ease of use and are fully compatible with the recently launched new XVL Studio family of products. Collectively they enhance manufacturers' abilities to use, share, and repurpose 3D data.

California State University, Chico manufacturing technology students used SolidWorks Education Edition 3D mechanical design software to design a next-generation wheelchair that recently won the grand prize at the WESTEC Expo. The wheelchair's unique design uses pump-action levers for propulsion, three speeds for varying terrain, and disk brakes for stopping. The levers let wheelchair users more easily apply power to the chair, even if their grip is compromised by disability, and keep their hands off dirty wheels. Unlike previous lever-based prototypes, the Chico students' wheelchair levers are inboard of the wheels for better leverage and navigation through doorways.

Erik Buell, Chairman and CTO of Buell Motorcycle Co., described the unique challenges of designing motorcycles, and how he is implementing new design and technology applications during think3's recent annual Industrial Designers Society of America annual conference event. The challenge Buell presented is to build bikes derived from his heritage as a motorcycle racer that perform and are fun to ride. The best bike is the one developed for the person who's actually going to ride it, according to Buell, since most people don't ride on race tracks at 160 miles per hour. As a result, speed and specs are not the only criteria for judging a motorcycle. A premium must be placed on how the bike
performs on the road.

Top automotive designers, steel industry representatives, and CCS faculty members had their senses ignited as three College for Creative Studies (CCS) transportation design students unveiled their extreme automotive designs for the 17th annual American Iron and Steel Institute (AISI) summer automotive design internship. "Extreme Automotive" took control of the road as the theme for the AISI/CCS 2005 summer internship program. Drawing upon innovative steel technologies, Chris Piscitelli, Sylvian Bryan and Sang Hoon Shin took on the challenge to design a functional, innovative and extreme-inspired vehicle that integrates environmental responsibility, cost efficiency and advanced steel
materials.The AISI/CCS internship tackles the challenges automakers encounter to design a vehicle that offers a lightweight steel structure and a flexible platform with attributes like affordability, fuel efficiency, and crashworthiness.

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

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-- Jeff Rowe, Contributing Editor.


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