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January 09, 2006
ALGOR Launches FEMPRO To Compete With Femap
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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!

ALGOR, Inc., a provider of design, analysis and simulation software, announced the immediate availability of FEMPRO, which has been designed to compete with Femap in the arena of pre- and post-processing for NASTRAN-compatible and other finite element analysis (FEA) software.

"FEMPRO is a modern, easy-to-use and complete system with full finite element modeling, results evaluation and presentation capabilities. Using FEMPRO, users build FEA models which can be processed by a variety of solvers for the purpose of performing mechanical simulation, which is often called virtual prototyping," said Bob Williams, ALGOR Product Manager.
Some important advantages of FEMPRO over competing software include:
  • Complete support for leading CAD solid modeling systems such as NX and Solid Edge from UGS Corp., CATIA and SolidWorks from Dassault Systemes, Pro/ENGINEER from Parametric Technology Corporation, and Autodesk Inventor and Mechanical Desktop from Autodesk, Inc. Additional CAD systems supported include Alibre Design, IronCAD, KeyCreator, Rhinoceros and others. For most systems, FEMPRO provides direct CAD/CAE data exchange and full associativity with each design change.
  • Hex-dominant hybrid meshing provides automatic mesh generation from CAD, resulting in finite element models that are populated primarily of hexahedral or "brick" elements on the surface. This method places the most accurate elements on the surface of the model where results are the highest and utilizes tetrahedral elements for the interior of the model, thereby providing the maximum combination of accuracy and solving speed.
  • A robust and extensive array of user interfacing for analyses including static stress and Mechanical Event Simulation (MES) with linear and nonlinear material models, linear dynamics, fatigue, steady-state and transient heat transfer, computational fluid dynamics, electrostatics and full multiphysics.
  • Over the past 20 years, FEMPRO was developed as a primary component of ALGOR's complete finite element modeling and analysis software system. Beginning in 2002, ALGOR began adding full NASTRAN compatibility to its software line. This includes the ability for FEMPRO, its finite element modeling and post-processing tool, to create models for NASTRAN processors and to read in the results from NASTRAN analyses to graphically display result contours including displacements, stresses, mode shapes resulting from vibration, temperature profiles and other engineering parameters.

    Now, for the first time, ALGOR is making FEMPRO widely available for users of other finite element systems including NASTRAN solvers, which are offered by a number of companies such as MSC.Software and UGS Corp.

    This is a pretty hefty aim and claim by ALGOR to start the year off with - taking on UGS' popular Femap product line with FEMPRO. It's interesting how broad the spectrum of CAD products FEMPRO works with is, including UGS NX and Solid Edge. This is the beginning of a trend I see coming. By that I mean more competition within the CAE product space, including FEA, CFD, etc. At present, there are a lot of good CAE tools out there, from large and small companies alike. Vendor company size is actually becoming less and less significant, because there is a growing number of very innovative, capable, and economical CAE tools coming out of relatively small companies - small, both in terms of
    employees and current revenues - and this forces the big players to keep up the pace, as well.

    CAE is actually a good place to be (as it has been for the past couple of years), because overall, it is one of the few bright spots in terms of growth, compared with some other segments of technical/engineering software which are relatively flat, including CAD, CAM, and PLM. I think to a large extent, CAE can attribute its growth rate to the fact that more and more companies realize that performing analysis early in the design process can save money - the earlier the more savings realized. CAE has also become more affordable to a greater number of potential users, both in terms of dollars expended and a relatively short learning curve compared to years past when a PhD was practically
    required to understand how to run them and interpret their results. Admittedly, these can still be complex applications to optimize and there will always be a place for CAE simulation/analysis specialists, but these tools are finding their way into the hands and work places of more designers and engineers every year - and that's a good thing.

    As I said at the outset, the competition is really going to begin heating up in the CAE space - I think more this coming year than ever before. I just wonder, though, if and when this competition will lead to market consolidation, much like what has transpired in the past and continues in the CAD space. Whatever you want to call CAE - virtual prototyping, simulation, whatever - this market promises to be an interesting one to watch in terms of innovation, competition, and potential growth.

    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.

    Leatherman Tool Group Switches To SolidWorks

    Leatherman Tool Group has standardized on SolidWorks to help expand its line of knives and multi-tools. The company chose SolidWorks software over competing offerings because of its control and accuracy in the design of complex blades, tool heads, handles, and accessories. Leatherman offers 18 different multi-tools - each including a combination of knife blades, screwdrivers, openers, saws, pliers, wire cutters, files, awl punches, rulers, clamps - as well as six models of folding knives. Despite the numerous features, each product fits in the palm of the hand with contoured handles and other ergonomic features. Leatherman will also use SolidWorks' COSMOS design analysis software to check
    the integrity of designs; PDMWorks product data management software will help Leatherman manage files, versions, and modifications, and SolidWorks' eDrawings collaboration tool will streamline communications.

    ANSYS Expands Relationship With AREVA

    ANSYS announced that AREVA, an energy technology firm, has signed a worldwide corporate agreement with the company for three years. This new global agreement expands the long- term relationship between the two companies and allows for more efficient access to simulation technology and better coordination of the use of this technology across the AREVA enterprise. AREVA has chosen ANSYS as a preferred supplier of simulation software. ANSYS simulation software provides design optimization solutions for a wide variety of equipment used in AREVA's nuclear projects and is used to perform multi-field analyses, such as seismic calculations of concrete buildings, thermo-mechanical fatigue of
    pressure vessels, and cask transport calculations.

    CoCreate 2D Drafting-To-3D Modeling Free Upgrade Offer

    CoCreate Software announced a special upgrade offer for CoCreate Designer Drafting customers - upgrade to OneSpace Designer Modeling for free. The only out-of-pocket cost is the first year of support, which must be purchased for each upgrade license for $1,390. In addition to full support, each license includes access to all major and minor upgrades throughout the year. Since Designer Drafting is packaged into Designer Modeling, there is no loss of functionality -- only the addition of 3D power. This upgrade opportunity ends February 28, 2006 or when all 1000 upgrades available within this offer have been requested. Only Designer Drafting customers that have not yet added Designer Modeling
    to their CoCreate product portfolio are eligible for this offer, and other conditions may apply.

    Boeing Ends 2005 With New Records For Airplane Orders

    The Boeing Co. recorded 1,002 net commercial airplane orders during 2005, setting a new Boeing record for total orders in a single year. The 2005 total surpasses the previous Boeing record of 877 net orders in 1988, which includes both Boeing and then-McDonnell Douglas totals; the companies merged in 1997. Boeing posted 272 net orders for commercial airplanes in 2004. Gross orders in 2005, which exclude cancellations and conversions, totaled 1,029. Three airplane programs -- the 737, 777 and 787 programs -- also achieved individual records with net orders of 569 for 737s, 154 for 777s and 235 for 787s. Previous record totals for these programs were 438 737s in 1996, 116 777s in 2000, and 56
    787s in 2004. The 747 and 767 programs also had a very successful sales year with 43 and 15 net new orders, respectively. In total, more than 72 different customers ordered Boeing airplanes in 2005, including passenger airlines, cargo carriers, leasing companies and private customers. The 2005 totals include 28 aircraft from customers who wish to remain unidentified.

    LEGO Group Unveils LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT Robotics Toolset

    LEGO Group announced LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT, a new system that redefines the consumer robotics category the company created in 1998. Smarter, stronger and more intuitive than ever, LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT is a robotics toolset that provides opportunities for inventors, robotics fanatics and LEGO builders ages 10 and older to build and program robots that do what they want. Building upon the success of the globally-renowned Robotics Invention System, the next generation of LEGO MINDSTORMS makes it quicker and easier for robot creators to build and program a working robot in just 30 minutes. Simultaneously, new technologies and expanded sensor capabilities add a level of sophistication to excite
    and challenge more experienced robot creators. The heart of the new system is the NXT brick, an autonomous 32-bit LEGO microprocessor that can be programmed using a PC, or for the first time in the retail offering, a Mac. After building their robots, users create a program within easy-to-use yet feature-rich software, powered by LabVIEW from National Instruments. LEGO MINDSTORMS NXT will be available in August 2006

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

    This Week

    Lead Story
  • ALGOR Launches FEMPRO
    Product and Company News
  • Moldflow Announces Moldflow Plastics Insight 6.0 Plastics Simulation Software
  • ALGOR Launches Expansion Plan
  • Creaform Combines Handyscan 3D And Geomagic For Real-Time Processing And Graphics
  • Metris Announces Scan Handheld 2.1
  • Moldflow Achieves Significant Product And Technology Milestones In 2005
  • Spirit AeroSystems Expands Use Of MSC.Software's Enterprise Software
  • rapidformXO Verifier Receives Best New Technologies Of 2005 Award
  • SCICON Technologies Purchases 3D Systems' First Dual-Vat Viper Pro SLA System
  • CADDetails.com Symbols And Drawings Now Available For CADopia Users
  • Delcam Software Makes Trains Run On Time
  • 2006 FIRST Robotics Competition Details Revealed
    Related MCAD News
  • IBSystems Awards $500 To Richard Williams For December 2005's Most Read MCADCafe.com User Submitted Article
  • GM Displays Creativity With Concept
  • Microsoft Delivers Bumper-to-Bumper Coverage Of Premier U.S. Automotive Showcase
  • American Superconductor Awarded DoD Follow-on Contract For Manufacturing Second-Generation High-Temperature Superconductor Wire
  • Are Semiconductor And Computer Manufacturing Poised To Boom Again?
  • Ford Details 2005 Financial Results And 2006 Business Review
  • Where do YOU fit?
  • Breakthrough Year For Oracle Fusion Middleware
  • Ford Achieves First Car Sales Increase Since 1999
  • Delphi Provides Advanced Collision Warning System For European Platform
  • New Study Finds Quality Management Leads To Competitive Advantage
  • DaimlerChrysler And VW Announce Manufacturing Alliance
  • Delcam To Demonstrate Jewelry Design Software
  • NuFlo Measurement Systems Acquires Ultrasonic Meter Manufacturer Caldon
  • INTERSAT Introduces Virtual Reality Flight Simulator
  • Jabil And Carl Zeiss Create Joint Venture For Optical Modules And Engines
  • SEMATECH Announces 2006 SEMATECH Knowledge Series
  • Source Scientific Chosen To Manufacture System For NeoMatrix
    Corporate Moves
  • Raser Technologies Adds Former GM Exec To Board
  • Management Changes At Dassault Aviation
    Upcoming Events
  • PLM World 2006
  • PTC To Present At Conference
  • 3D Systems To Present At Needham Growth Conference
  • Stratasys To Present At Needham Conference
  • ANSYS CEO To Present At Needham & Company Growth Conference
  • Moldflow Executives To Speak At Needham & Company Growth Conference
  • MSC.Software CEO To Present At Needham & Company Growth Conference
  • Lean Manufacturing And Logistics Training To Help California Businesses
  • Manufacturing & Measurement Conference & Workshop
  • Kubotek USA's VP Of Development To Speak At SolidWorks World

    You can find the full MCADCafe event calendar here.

    To read more news, click here.

    -- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.