June 15, 2009
Overview/First Look: Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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A new dynamic feature edit is accessible via Pro/E’s RMB in the model tree or graphics window. With it you see real time feature updating and regeneration. You can also use it to modify sketch and feature dimensions by select sketch entities or drag handles. By using dynamic change and not manual iterations, you can tweak features for purposes of aesthetics or function.

Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0 is the first release that really shows significant sharing of features and capabilities from CoCreate. This is only the beginning, so expect to see this trend continue going forward. Campbell said that the Wildfire and CoCreate development teams report to the same people, so there is cooperation and each product team is able to leverage features of both products. How this works exactly is still a mystery, but it seems to be working, at least for now.

As I said at the outset, Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0 doesn’t appear to be a “blockbuster” release bloated with new features, capabilities, and bells and whistles. It does, however, seem to offer many things that will make users and their workflows more efficient. It's also more adaptable and this is important because even within an organization with design rules and methods, no two users are the same. Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0 demonstrates that PTC is committed to releasing its products with a release strategy and schedule that should benefit its customers going forward.

In this regard, PTC is saying that Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 5.0 will be shipping in late July or early August. Campbell said that while that is a realistic and expected timeframe target, the software will be released when it fully meets the company’s quality criteria.

Once the software ships, we are hoping to take a close and detailed look at the new release and see how it stacks up with PTC’s claims, previous releases, and the competition.

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.

PTC announced that Volvo Group, has, in a directional decision, selected PTC as a strategic partner for the Volvo Group PLM solution. “Our Windchill solution is a key strategic enabler for product development and manufacturing processes. By creating an environment that fosters internal, external and group-wide collaboration, PTC can help companies to drive competitive advantage,” said C. Richard Harrison, chairman and CEO, PTC. “We know that the selection of a single strategic partner for such an important PLM solution is not an easy decision. Volvo Group has performed a comprehensive and extensive selection process and benchmark of leading PLM vendors and solutions.
We are very satisfied that PTC in the end came up with the most convincing solution that best serves Volvo Group’s business needs. This selection underscores PTC’s strength in the product development industry and we look forward to continuing a long-term strategic partnership with the Volvo Group,” said James Heppelmann, president and chief operating officer, PTC.

Aras announced download availability of the latest release of the Aras Innovator suite of PLM software solutions. The download with complete access for unlimited users is available at:
http://aras.com/plm/001004. According to the company, with the new Aras release customers have more usable functionality from the initial installation than with PTC’s Windchill, Oracle’s Agile PLM, or any other PLM system on the market. New features and enhancements include:
  • ECO / MCO online change workflows for fast & easy engineering and supply chain changes
  • New Redline revision compare for BOMs, suppliers, documents, and more for easy, visual identification of changes
  • Modular process planner for reuse of groups of manufacturing operations or workcells in Process Flow Definition, FMEAs, and inspection and test Control Plans
  • Updated Web browser screens
  • Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 [MOSS] standard integration
  • Graphical Web services “builder” in Solution Studio for even easier integrations
  • Single system, multi-language internationalization for global collaboration

  • Siemens PLM Software announced that Kunming Shipbuilding Equipment Co. (KSEC) selected Solid Edge and Teamcenter to upgrade its digital design and product data management solutions, respectively. KSEC, a major machinery and automated logistic systems manufacturer and exporter, expects end-to-end PLM solutions to add value to its business by automating the design, engineering and customization of its innovative products. KSEC also expects to reduce its product time to market cycle and enhance its competitive strength in today’s challenging economic conditions. KSEC’s quest for a PLM solution was driven by the company’s need to enhance efficiency while boosting its
    capability to design machinery. Solid Edge allows KSEC to migrate from 2D to a 3D design platform, and Teamcenter helps simplify and accelerate implementations, enhance productivity, streamline collaboration, and expand control of the entire product lifecycle process.

    It used to take Ulysse Nardin, one of the world's premier makers of fine mechanical watches, four years to develop the complex insides of a new watch that can contain as many as 400 moving parts. According to the company, the process has been cut in half using Autodesk Inventor. Autodesk named Ulysse Nardin as its Inventor of the Month for May 2009 for bringing its innovative and artistic watches to market. Few products pack so much mechanical complexity into such a small area as fine watches. Working with a 3D model in Inventor, Ulysse Nardin designers can visualize how the gears and springs fit with other components as they design. This capability makes it much easier to identify and
    fix interferences early in the design process. Designers can also optimize the position of mechanical parts that integrate with external portions of the watch, such as the case or the watchband, which are initially drawn in 2D by a conceptual designer. To help refine its watch cases, Ulysse Nardin designers also use Autodesk Showcase to create accurate, photorealistic images of digital prototypes created in Inventor, enabling more efficient decision making. For example, design teams can visually explore a wide range of decorative and watchband options without having to produce a single physical prototype.

    Dassault Systèmes SolidWorks announced a new version of its SolidWorks Education Edition 3D CAD software that features a 65 percent performance boost and new resources that help educators use the software as an effective tool for teaching math, science, and technical concepts. SolidWorks Education Edition 2009 also streamlines licensing procedures to give learning institutions easy access to the software and supporting materials. A Web-based licensing system, the Student Access Module, enables schools to more easily acquire and manage large numbers of SolidWorks software licenses to meet their students’ needs. Once they have the software, new training and curriculum help
    educators teach academic subjects and engineering skills students need in the professional world. In addition to the performance boost, Education Edition 2009 includes 260 technical improvements. Among the most significant are:
  • Support for Windows Vista 32 and 64-bit applications.
  • The PhotoView 360 rendering tool, based on SolidWorks Intelligent Feature Technology (SWIFT), which lets students render a photorealistic scene while they’re working on it. Most software forces users to wait until scenes are complete.
  • A Simulation Advisor for finding hidden flaws by guiding users through every stage of analysis.
  • Simulation Sensors that alert users when parts and assemblies deviate from user-defined limits. Users set goals such as allowable stress, displacement, part weight, measurement, and interference, and the sensors react when users exceed the limits, providing a competitive advantage for FSAE, Formula Student, and robot teams.
  • 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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