June 02, 2008
PTC Announces CoCreate 2008
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!

Dassault Systèmes (DS) announced the inauguration of a global virtual campus for students and educators, as well as employers interested in the education ecosystem. This international community Web site is designed to inspire visitors through its forums, tutorials, project showcases, articles, training materials and downloadable software, ultimately helping them develop the knowledge and skills necessary for success in tomorrow’s dynamic workplace environments. The site, named “DS Campus”, helps future engineers and technicians master cutting-edge 3D and PLM solutions used by the most innovative companies and that are quickly becoming mainstream. The global virtual campus provides
among other services free online video training materials to help members boost their PLM software skills. It also facilitates international collaboration through its discussion forums, project showcases, and capabilities for students to recruit sponsors. It also enables students to download software packages, including CATIA V5, for only the price of a textbook. To learn more about DS Campus, visit:

IBM announced a research breakthrough in photovoltaics technology that could significantly reduce the cost of harnessing the sun's power for electricity. IBM scientists are using a large lens to concentrate the sun's power, capturing a record 230 watts onto a centimeter square solar cell, in a technology known as concentrator photovoltaics, or CPV. That energy is then converted into 70 watts of usable electrical power, about five times the electrical power density generated by typical cells using CPV technology in solar farms. If it can overcome additional challenges to move this project from the lab to the fab, IBM believes it can significantly reduce the cost of a typical CPV based system. By using a much lower number of photovoltaic cells in a solar farm and concentrating more light onto each cell using larger lenses, IBM's system enables a significant cost advantage in terms of a lesser number of total components. The trick lies in IBM's ability to cool the tiny solar cell. Concentrating the equivalent of 2000 suns on such a small area generates enough heat to melt stainless steel, something the researchers experienced first hand in their experiments. But by borrowing innovations from its own R&D in cooling computer chips, the team was able to cool the solar cell from greater than 1600 degrees Celsius to just 85 degrees Celsius. The IBM research team developed a
system that achieved breakthrough results by coupling a commercial solar cell to an advanced IBM liquid metal thermal cooling system using methods developed for the microprocessor industry.

VX Corp. announced assembly visualization tools in VX CAD/CAM Version 13 for improving the overall mechanical design process and the communication of designs. 3D assembly modeling has proven to be more effective than 2D design in helping designers find and correct interference, clearance and assembly problems. Often designers were forced to investigate assemblies by hiding and showing components to see into and through assemblies. While most design systems have tools for visualization, they do not highlight problems. With Version 13, VX has introduced has an assembly level display tool that lets users toggle the display mode of any component. So, if a user wants to see inside a gear box or through a mold plate, instead of hiding parts, all he has to do is right-click a part and render it as transparent or wireframe. VX gives the user even more control by allowing multiple instances of the same part to be displayed differently. The use of these display tools results in time saved designing and communicating ideas. Dynamic Slicing in VX CAD/CAM Version 13 has taken the visualization tools one step further. To meet customer needs VX took dynamic slicing beyond the norm as simply a “cool visualization tool.” One of the key features of dynamic slicing is the real-time interference check. Users can see all interferences as the slice plane is moved across the assembly. This
functionality gives instant interference feedback and virtually eliminates the need to process a separate interference check. Users can continue to model while in a sliced display and furthermore can save sliced views to be recalled later.

Siemens PLM Software announced new versions of the complete Velocity Series portfolio. Solid Edge is the CAD component of the Velocity Series. Solid Edge with synchronous technology is a feature-based 2D/3D CAD system that combines direct modeling with dimension-driven design. In addition to history-free, feature-based modeling, new features include breakthroughs in "Procedural Features" for parameterized edits without an ordered recompute, a "Synchronous Solve" that allows edits regardless of creation order, new "Live Rules" to infer function from existing geometry, and 3D "Driving Dimensions" that allow dimensional changes to completed models -- all of which are enabled by a new flexible user "Grab and Go" interaction paradigm. Teamcenter Express is the preconfigured collaborative product data management (cPDM) component of the Velocity Series. Two new modules help SMBs streamline their engineering resources and widen access to their product data. The first is an embedded project and program management option for project managers. The second is a lower cost web client for shop floor users that delivers the same fast access to product data. CAM Express is the NC programming component of the Velocity Series. It covers a wide variety of programming requirements, including high speed machining, multi-function mill-turning and 5-axis machining. The latest release is Version 6 and features substantial advances in 3-axis machining and feature-based automation. Features include new cutting strategies for curve/edge and 3D profile cutting, optimized corner rounding techniques, smoother finish cuts through specialized point distribution, as well as new toolpath editing/dividing tools. In addition, version 6 includes feature recognition and knowledge editor technology from Tecnomatix. Femap is the finite element analysis (FEA) component of the Velocity Series. The latest release, Version 10 helps users create FEA models easily and quickly from CAD data through new meshing capabilities. It automates current meshing technology, while adding new interactive
meshing and model and element checking functionality. These enhancements combined with new pre-defined and standardized workflow methods make it easier to consistently and accurately produce meshed models for analysis an order of magnitude faster than today. Version 10 also strengthens Femap's solver integration support to continue its strength as a standalone solver-neutral FEA modeling solution.

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

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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.


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