November 23, 2009
SolidWorks Launches Sustainable Design Donation Program
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Jeff Rowe - Managing Editor

by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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• Autodesk Inventor users can examine the sustainability information of individual components or entire designs and easily create a Sustainability Report to communicate and compare their design decisions.

Admittedly, while these sustainability design tools are not all encompassing (yet), they both make great strides toward the future of responsible design. They are both definitely steps in the right direction for responsible and sustainable design. I also commend what SolidWorks is doing and contributing toward this end with its donation program

In the very near future I will evaluate the sustainability features and capabilties of SolidWorks 2010 and Inventor 2010. Both are very interesting and a vital part of MCAD and the product design process moving forward.

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.

Autodesk has developed a new and more rigorous methodology for corporate greenhouse gas (GHG) target setting. Autodesk developed the
Corporate Finance Approach to Climate-Stabilizing Targets (C-FACT) to align its own GHG reduction targets with global scientific and policy climate stabilization targets. C-FACT is more science-driven, business-friendly, and transparent than current methodologies being used by most companies. In measuring its GHG emissions, Autodesk aims to lead the field in taking responsibility not just for direct emissions, but also for a wide range of indirect emissions including business travel, leased facilities, employee commuting, major conferences, and data center vendors. These are all included under Autodesk’s new GHG target. Autodesk has committed to C-FACT through 2020, as well as performance reports against the stated target at the close of each fiscal year (FY). Using the new methodology calculation to set targets for FY10, Autodesk will aim to reduce its absolute emissions by 4.52 percent compared to FY09, translating to 3,756 metric tons of GHG. Between FY08 and FY09, Autodesk’s total GHG footprint increased by one percent. This absolute increase in emissions was accompanied by a significant increase in
contribution to gross domestic product (GDP), so Autodesk’s carbon intensity per unit of added value dropped. Carbon intensity also dropped per employee (by nine percent) and per square foot (by five percent) between those two years.

LEDAS Ltd., a provider of variational design tools and software development services for CAD/CAM/CAE/PLM market, announced the availability of the first commercial version of the Rhino Assembly 1.0 plug-in. After installing LEDAS plug-in and starting Rhino, users see the Assembly toolbar that was specially designed to look like Rhino’s other built-in tools. The Assembly Manager allows users to easily navigate geometric constraints and driving dimensions, which for large assemblies can number in the thousands. The Driving dimension editor with its spin buttons easily modifies values of driving dimension parameters. The Animation panel and its slider are familiar to anyone who uses
video or audio players. During kinematic animation, Rhino users can pan, rotate and zoom the model.

Icelandic Hydrogen used Autodesk Inventor to design an on-board hydrogen energy system that powers the auxiliary engine for one of Iceland's largest whale-watching vessels, enabling it to generate the electricity on board with clean, sustainable energy rather than oil. For its groundbreaking example of how ships can reduce their environmental impact, the Iceland-based hydrogen fuel cell company has been named the Autodesk Inventor of the Month for October 2009. As part of the SMART-H2 project managed by the public-private company Icelandic New Energy Ltd, Icelandic Hydrogen developed its hydrogen energy system for The Elding -- a 130-ton, 150-passenger ship that serves as the flagship
vessel for Iceland's largest whale-watching operation. Icelandic Hydrogen also used AutoCAD Electrical software to create piping and instrumentation diagrams for the hydrogen system, switching to Autodesk Inventor to visualize and analyze the storage tanks, enclosures, tubing and other components. The company was able to complete the project in less than seven months, helping to bring a viable hydrogen energy system to the open seas -- an important point for a country exploring the possibilities of converting its entire transport system to hydrogen by 2050 and having an economy run only on locally sourced renewable energy.

ITI TranscenData announced the release of Proficiency Collaboration Gateway 8.1, the latest edition of its leading Feature Based CAD Interoperability solution for manufacturers and their suppliers. Collaboration Gateway enables the transfer of complete design intelligence between major CAD systems which includes geometry, features, sketches, manufacturing info, metadata, assembly information and drawings in the conversion process. Collaboration Gateway 8.1 features an enhanced, state-of-the-art Completion Wizard, which operates as a plug-in and tracks and validates any manual changes that a user makes involving portions of the model that could not be automatically exchanged due to CAD
incompatibility differences. From within the CAD system they are using, the user is presented with detailed information about pending issues, and presented options as how to successfully complete the model. Once an option is selected the model is automatically updated and all changes are documented. Highlights of the new release include:

• 3D Completion Wizard for NX that allows completion of exchanged models

• 2D Wizard for CATIA V5 that allows for correction of converted drawings

• Faster Geometry Engine

NEi Software announced the addition of an explicit dynamics program to its simulation software suite — NEi Explicit 2010. This code has been used commercially since 2006, but has been enhanced specifically to meet the needs of NEi's customers in the aerospace, automotive and maritime industries. NEi Explicit solves nonlinear impact problems that involve large deformations with complex contact and motion. Typical applications include crash, metal forming processes, drop tests, and ballistic scenarios. NEi Explicit can also be used to solve static problems with millions of degrees of freedom. Key Features of NEi Explicit include:
  • Integration with the NEi Nastran environment
  • Automatic contact generation
  • Rigid materials definition
  • Material deletion criteria with element deletion and automatic reconstruction of contact surface due to surface erosion
  • Parallel performance

  • 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, Contributing Editor.

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