Mechanical Computer Aided Design (MCAD)

Going Mainstream: Transitioning from Concept to Detailed Design

Back in February 2011, I let loose. In a post titled Every Engineer’s Dirty Little Secret? The Stigma of 2D, I lambasted an overarching message in the industry that derided the use of 2D tools as an archaic and laggard practice. I argued that 2D tools offer a legitimate means of designing products. I’ll admit it… that post was cathartic.

Direct or Parametric: Which is the Best for Winning New Business?

There you are, at the conference table across from the prospective customer. They’re sitting back. You’re leaning forward. Rapid fire questions fill the room. One of your tasks is to answer them with surety — to make them feel comfortable that your company can fulfill their needs completely.

Simulation Needs Parametric and Direct Modeling

In recent years, much has been made about the relevance of direct modeling on simulation activities. Somewhere along the way, many have forgotten how parametric modeling is just as important. In this post, we’ll take a look at why simulation activities need to be enabled by both.

Software Profile: CATIA

CATIA is a longstanding CAD application with traditional as well as progressive capabilities.

Delving into CATIA, you’ll find all of the capabilities one would expect from a traditional CAD application. You’ll find parametric feature-based modeling along with extensive drawing documentation functionality. You’ll also uncover NC machining, CMM and tool design tools. Routed system functionality is there with wiring, harness and piping. As opposed to Solidworks, most of the niche CAD areas has been filled with CATIA modules instead of 3rd party partners.

The Splintering Needs of Engineering Simulation

A couple weeks ago, I found myself in an interesting conversation. I was talking with a software executive who was considering starting up a new software company in the simulation space. His most basic question was “where is the greatest need in simulation today?” I’ll be frank; I struggled to answer. Not because all of …

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The Diverging State of PDM

A little more than a year ago, I wrote post titled The PDM Revolution is Upon Us, Brought to You by CAD in the Cloud, which postulated what would happen as some PLM providers moved their CAD offerings to the cloud. Fast forward to today, and things haven’t quite played out as I suggested.

3D CAD model of a brake clutch

Software Profile: Spaceclaim

SpaceClaim is a relatively newer CAD application, having launched in 2005, that is primarily focused on enabling design exploration by engineers, bid development by sales engineers, manufacturing preparation by machinists and simulation preparation by analysts.

3D CAD Model Software

Direct Modeling is Better at Capturing Design Intent

If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the past five years, it’s that debate gives you new perspectives. Such was the case coming out of a webinar I presented in that was titled The Pros and Cons of 3D Modeling Paradigms: Direct Modeling and History-based Modeling. Brian Thompson of PTC and Dan Staples of Siemens PLM discussed which modeling approaches best fit the concept design and detailed design phases. The whole webinar is good, but the Q&A session at the end is where the real discussion began. That got me thinking about this topic.

Simulation CFD Fan New

Software Profile: NX from Siemens PLM

NX is a longstanding combined desktop CAD and CAE software application with mature capabilities. From a modeling perspective, you’ll find a well developed set of parametric feature-based functionality you would expect from any CAD application that’s been around for a while. But the most interestingly, tools from Siemens PLM’s Synchronous Technology has been integrated into NX in unique ways.