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Industry Spotlights
Interoperability
2009 Collaboration & Interoperability Industry Spotlight

Welcome to the Collaboration & Interoperability Industry Spotlight sponsored by Premier Sponsor Longview Advisors, and contributing sponsors Kubotek and CT CoreTechnologie. Please see their ads in the Vendors Directory and submitted material on collaboration and interoperability updates, product offerings and more in the articles mentioned below.

In addition, ConnectPress has rounded up a selection of features posted during the 2009 calendar year on collaboration and interoperability, including a few new articles.

ConnectPress would like to thank those who sponsored this Industry Spotlight, including ITI TranscenData for their support. We hope you enjoy this special report.

Featured Articles:

Collaboration & Interoperability Industry Update by David Prawel, Longview Advisors
An update on the hottest topics, valuable strategies, new technologies and costly challenges that remain in collaboration and interoperability. Plus, three exclusive presentations from the Collaboration & Interoperability Conference (CIC 09).

Mastering Geometry for Interoperability by John McCullough, Kubotek USA
Kubotek is driven by a passion to continuously improve manufacturing efficiency by focusing on geometry-based software. Through this leadership Kubotek believes they can provide significant relief to interoperability issues currently plaguing manufacturing productivity.

Bridging the Gap between Computer Aided Design and Computer Aided Engineering by CT CoreTechnologie by David A. Selliman, CT CoreTechnologie
A profile of CT CoreTechnologie and their collaboration tool 3D_Evolution, including feature highlights on de-featuring and geometry simplification.

From Physical to Digital Models by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor
Jeff Holmlund of Lockheed Martin, discuses how his team met the challenge of migrating literally decades worth of legacy data. Also, features the presentation given by Holmlund at the 2009 CIC Conference.

Social Media Popularized in Engineering Collaboration by ConnectPress Editor, John Myers
CAD industry professionals weigh in on the recent developments in the field of collaboration technology and some possibilities for the future.

Communication Tools Aim to Streamline Collaboration and Enhance Workflow by Claudia Stahley, ConnectPress Editor
Collaboration tools are gaining in strength and usefulness. Here is a brief view of some tools available to make interoperability a bit easier.

Service Oriented Architecture - What Is It and Why Does It Matter? By Jeff Cope, Extensible CAD
Jeff Cope takes a look at service oriented architecture and how it can be important for the integration of additional software.

Anark Tightens Link to CAD Products in New Release by Kathleen Maher, Jon Peddie Research
Anark Core 2.2 now supports DWG offering better interoperability in AEC applications and can be distributed in a compact, secure package.

The Advent of Visual Manufacturing by David Prawel
Longview Advisors' Founder David Prawel discusses the benefits of visual manufacturing and progress in collaboration and interoperability software.

Model Validation: 5 Steps to Risk Avoidance and Cost Reduction by David Prawel
David Prawel identifies five steps users can take to avoid risk and cost in model validation.

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2009 Collaboration & Interoperability Guide
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Hardware
Workstations, Large-Format Printers and Scanners & More

Hardware is one of few universal challenges for all CAD users. After all without the necessary equipment the CAD software itself is next to useless.

Today's users now have a large selection of hardware tools available to help them get the most from their CAD experience.

These tools include powerful workstations to process intensely sophisticated 3D designs and computationally powerful analysis projects, server networks to back up and store data, and high-end monitors capable of displaying high-levels of detail.

This spring saw the new launch of many hardware advances and products, including Intel's Xeon Processor 5500 series, HP's Z Workstation Series, Lenovo's ThinkStation S20 and D20, plus new graphics cards like AMD's ATI FirePro V7750 and NVIDIA's new Quadro Professional line.

For these reasons ConnectPress has chosen to give the hardware industry some well-deserved attention. The special edition will focus on the latest developments in workstations, large-format printers and scanners, and other products that can improve the day-to-day experience of CAD design.

We'd like to give a special thanks to Intel for sponsoring this year's Hardware Industry Spotlight. Please see their article titled "Can Your Workstation Do This?" and listing in the Hardware Vendors Directory accompanying this Industry Spotlight.

Features

Can Your Workstation Do This by Wes Shimanek, Art Copeland, Vishal Sanghvi and Sandhya Gorman, Intel Corporation
Intel representatives discuss how workflows that include processes like digital prototyping or algorithmic analysis and simulation based design are placing greater demand for compute capacity earlier in the development cycle and how Intel Xeon processor 5500 series based workstations with two processors provide the performance needed to move analysis further upstream in the design process.

Intel Corp. – A Leader in Making Green a Priority by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor
Intel displays through its products and leadership that being green is integral in their company.

High End Graphics Are Not Optional in Some Professions by Jon Peddie and Kathleen Maher, Jon Peddie Research
The Jon Peddie Research Group reports on the computer graphics market for the first quarter this year and provides a forecast of what's ahead for the industry.

A New Era of Hardware by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor
An interview with Cyon Research President Brad Holtz and Jon Peddie Research Senior Analyst Alex Herrera on how the hardware industry is holding up in spite of the economic global crisis.

New Hardware Products Pack Power by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor
A rundown of some of the latest workstations, servers, graphics cards and more.

Get Your Ideas to Designs Faster with Lenovo's ThinkStation S20 and D20 Workstations by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor
A closer look at Lenovo's latest workstations for mechanical computer aided-design (MCAD) and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals.

Be More Competitive and Save Money in This Economy with a Server Refresh by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor
How HP and Intel recommend to stay ahead in the economic downturn.

NVIDIA and AMD Release New Professional Graphics Cards to Accompany Intel's Nehalem-EP Release for Workstations by Alex Herrera, Jon Peddie Senior Analyst
Alex Herrera discusses the characteristics of NVIDIA's and AMD's new graphics cards.

The Latest in Large Format Scanners by Claudia Stahley, ConnectPress Editor
See what large format scanner might best fit your business in this overview of some of the most popular scanners for CAD professionals.

Large Format Printing Industry Beholds Digitalization, Decentralization & Sustainability by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor
Find out why it might be time to invest in a large format printer and learn about the many options for mechanical computer aided-design (MCAD) and architecture, engineering and construction (AEC) professionals from vendors such as Océ, HP, Canon and more.

HP Releases Updated Version of the Designjet 500 by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor
In December 2008 HP announced the release of the updated version: the Designjet 510, now with more features, the 510 has kept its affordable price points while giving customers more bang for their buck.

Vendors Directory by ConnectPress
Find out more about each of the hardware vendors and analysts by checking out each of their websites listed in this directory.

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2009 Hardware Guide
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Computer Aided Manufacturing
2009 Computer-aided Manufacturing (CAM) Roundup
Compiled by ConnectPress

Welcome to the ConnectPress special report on CAM. ConnectPress would like to thank Delcam for sponsoring this roundup. Please see their feature and case study below and advertisement in the Vendors Directory.

In the changing world of manufacturing CNC machinery and computer-aided manufacturing, one constant challenge has remained, how can manufacturing companies take designs from the conceptual stage to the digital stage to final machined product stage with as few errors as possible?

For years software developers have struggled with finding ways to find a solution to this challenge. Typically this has taken the form of CAM software, tools created to help designers and machinists reduce errors before they enter the potentially catastrophic production phase. With effective coordination between the designer and the manufacturer numerous critical errors can be avoided and improvements can be made to time to market and cost reduction strategies.

For this reason ConnectPress has chose CAM as the focus for its current roundup, contained within is a series of articles focusing on how users can best take advantage of and prepare for the future of CAM.

The Origins of CAM – A Tribute to Donald Welbourn by Delcam
Delcam reminisces about CAM pioneer Donald Welbourn's achievements and contributions to the industry, including creating Delcam.

The Automation of CAM Continues by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor
Industry insiders discuss current trends and what they see as the future of computer-aided manufacturing.

Bridging the Gap Between CAD Design and Manufacturing by John Myers
A look at one of the biggest challenges in computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) today.

CATIA Machining Capitalizes on Powerful Modeling Capabilities- Compiled by ConnectPress
A summary of various computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) products from Dassault Systemes and third-party CAM specialists.

Fill the Machining Void with VX CAD/CAM Products by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor
VX CAD/CAM's 3D Machinist and Mold and Die products compliment MCAD software to offer specialized application know-how.

Design Guide for Cost Effective Machined Parts by Pro CNC
Pro CNC provides a design guide to help engineers make choices during the design process on how to reduce the cost of the end product. Plus look out for Pro CNC President Paul Van Metre's new column in April.

Delcam's PartMaker Part of a New Philosophy at Dental Manufacturer by Delcam
Delcam's PartMaker CAM software has been part of a new philosophy at dental manufacturer Sterngold Dental LLC.

Vendors Directory by ConnectPress
ConnectPress provides a comprehensive list of CAM vendors.

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2009 Computer Aided Manufacturing Guide
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Reverse Engineering
Reverse Engineering Round Up
by ConnectPress

ConnectPress is proud to offer its 2008 Reverse Engineering Roundup. This special report features a collection of articles designed to keep readers up to date on the latest developments in reverse engineering and laser scanning technology. Readers will find an overview of what's going on in the reverse engineering industry, information on hardware and products, plus case studies. In addition, we've included a comprehensive list of companies who offer key products and services in the reverse engineering and laser scanning markets in the 2008 Vendors Directory.

Reverse Engineering: The Steps, Processes and Trends by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor - Feature-based scanning, laser scanning and hybrid scanning characterize the current reverse engineering marketplace.

Scan This: Laser Scanners for Reverse Engineering by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor - This article highlights some of the most exciting entrants into the competitive world of laser scanning technology.

Measuring Up: Laser Scanning Software Tools by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor - Creating laser models with various software measuring processes is the goal of these robust software offerings.

NVision Saves OEM 4-1/2 Months in Reverse Engineering Steam Turbine by NVision - NVision's Contract Service Division recently reverse engineered the complete core of a steam turbine for an OEM in only 6 weeks.

ReverseEngineering.com Releases New Point Processor Software by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor - ReverseEngineering.com released its new point processor software, HIPP (HighRes Integrated Point Processor), designed to make 3D point clouds easier.

Case Study: Anchors Aweigh! High Speed Scanner Captures Nuances of Civil War USS Monitor Artifact submitted by Hexagon Metrology - Leica Scanning Technology delivers a bounty of benefits for non-Contact data acquisition.

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2008 Reverse Engineering Guide
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Workstations
2008 Workstations Roundup
by ConnectPress

ConnectPress is proud to offer its 2008 Roundup on Workstations. Contained in this special report is a collection of articles designed to keep readers apprised of the latest developments in workstation technology. Readers will also find a comprehensive list of companies who offer key products and services to the high power-powered computing market in the 2008 Vendors Directory.

This year's roundup will focus on topics that directly affect users in need of high-powered computing resources, processors, workstations, graphics cards, cloud computing and cluster networks. Workstations are a combination of components to give users all the parts they need for computing tasks. Graphics cards are plug-and-play devices that allow a workstation to handle high-powered 3D graphics. Processors are the internal resources users need to handle powerful computing processes. Cloud computing is a low-cost alternative to traditional high powered computing that allows users to lease compute power. Finally, cluster computing is an evolving technique that allows users to build powerful computing networks with low-cost parts and accessories.

No matter what sort of computing challenge an organization has, they will find something useful in this special report.

Need Help Choosing a Workstation? by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor - There are plenty of workstations to choose from, but how do you know if the workstation you are choosing is best for CAD professionals? This article outlines the popular workstation companies and which workstations are best for the average CAD user who utilizes analysis driven design.

Save Time and Increase Productivity by Tuning Your Workstation by Hewlett Packard - Find out how the Hewlett Packard exclusive Performance Tuning Framework (PTF) helps you make the most of your workstation.

Peddie Research Report 2Q Results In: Positive News by Jon Peddie Research - Get a glance at JPR's Workstation Report – Professional Computing Markets and Technologies, a reference guide for hardware and software vendors and suppliers serving the workstation and professional graphics markets.

HP's Workstation Lineup by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor - HP has three types of workstations for customers to choose from: desktop, mobile and the new HP Blade Workstation. As with any computer or workstation, the number of programs and functions the user wants to run on his device will determine how extreme and expensive a workstation they will need. Tom Salomone, HP's marketing manager for the CAD/MCAD market, offers his recommendations.

Lenovo Packs Power with Both Mobile and Standard Workstation by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor - Today CAD professionals need more computing power for graphics and analysis-driven design. Lenovo has several workstations, both mobile and standard, on the market for CAD users. Lenovo representatives discuss which Lenovo products are a fit for CAD professionals.

The Heart of a Workstation Lies in its Processor by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor - Intel manufactures different types of microprocessors to enable CAD design. Wes Shimanek, the strategic manager for technical computing at Intel fills ConnectPress in on how CAD professionals can get the full potential and value out of their CAD software and workstation with the help of Intel processors.

Cloud Computing: Is There a Silver Lining? - Cynthea Kinnaman, ConnectPress Editor, sorts out the myriad of definitions inspired by cloud computing in this insightful feature.

Will CAD Move into the Cloud? – Cynthea Kinnaman, ConnectPress Editor explores a major shift evolving in the way companies obtain software and computing capacity as more companies tap into Internet-based applications.

Cluster Computer Networks Provide Low-Cost Supercomputing Option by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor - In recent years cluster computer networks have become a popular and viable alternative to supercomputing. They allow companies to harness the massive computing resources necessary for applications that rely heavily on intense 3D graphics or require massive complex calculations in very short periods of time.

Graphics Cards with a Sizzle by Lauren Browne and Cynthea Kinnaman, ConnectPress Editors - The CAD industry represents a large percentage of the people who purchase graphics cards, second only to those in the gaming industry. Find out what options are out there for CAD professionals.

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2008 Workstations Guide
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Visualization Simulation Tools
The 2008 CATIA Community Visualization & Simulation Roundup

by ConnectPress

ConnectPress is proud to present its 2008 Roundup of Visualization and Simulation. Within this special edition readers will find nearly a dozen stories focusing on the capabilities of tools designed to take engineering data to the next level. In addition to our collection of stories and case studies, we also offer our 2008 Visualization and Simulation Vendors Directory, a comprehensive guide to companies who offer products in the Visualization and Simulation arena.

This roundup focuses on three key topics: Viewers, Visualization and Simulation. Viewers are tools designed to help designers share sophisticated resources and product data with others who may not have access to the necessary native software. Visualization tools allow users to repurpose engineering data for a variety of business purposes including, collaborations, presentations and documentation. Lastly, simulation products allow users to create powerful models of their data and apply them to real-world situations.

Whether an organization needs to find a neutral format and viewer for sharing data, a tool to visualize their engineering data or a way to simulate how that data will perform in the real world, they will find something of interest here.

Lightweight 3D Formats Expand Digital Prototyping Abilities to the Next Level by Bill Barnes, Lattice Technology General Manager. Barnes explains how Lattice Technology's Lightweight 3D format XVL and its applications bring digital prototyping up to the next level of functionality by inexpensively giving everyone in the process usable, flexible access to 3D data.

Visualization Serves Designs Out to a Larger Audience by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor. Visualization makes it possible for team members to share, comment and collaborate on designs before product manufacture.

The Latest Picks in Viewers by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor. Here is a run-down of 10 popular viewers including two featured highlights on Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended and Autodesk Labs' Project Freewheel.

The Simulation Landscape: Products and New Releases in Simulation Tools by Cynthea Kinnaman, ConnectPress Editor. A look at the simulation landscape through the lens of specific products.

Designers of mechatronics products must create highly complex mechatronics systems that successfully integrate electrical, mechanical, and information-processing components. This presents a considerable challenge, particularly when it comes to identifying problems with system product behavior prior to physical prototype testing. Leading companies are attempting to address these issues by leveraging a simulation-driven approach to mechatronic product development.

One such company is Mentor Graphics with its system modeling and virtual prototyping tool SystemVision. At the core of SystemVision lies an extremely powerful and versatile simulation engine, which accepts mixed-signal, mixed domain (mixed technology) as well as multi-language formats. For more about Mentor Graphics breakthrough System Modeling, read A Simulation-Driven Approach to Mechatronics, by Cynthea Kinnaman, ConnectPress Editor.

Real-life Simulation for Intelligent System Engineering, by Cynthea Kinnaman, ConnectPress Editor. A look at Belgian-based LMS. While other organizations are delaying physical model building until extensive simulation has been accomplished, LMS takes a long view and believes that the next generation of simulation must include both worlds---simulation and testing with physical prototypes.

ChangAn Suzuki Cuts CAD Licensing Costs by 80% with Enterprise Visualization Solution submitted by Oracle. Find out how ChangAn Suzuki benefitted by implementing Oracle's AutoVue 3D Professional Advanced bringing "greater reliability, efficiency, and convenience" to the company.

Functional performance engineering and refining those vital yet "invisible" features forms an equally important part of the development process. Legislation often dictates the standards for objective attributes, such as structural integrity, sound levels and emission levels. And clearly the structure must withstand the forces it encounters in real life.

The answer to a real life engineering challenge is found in the application case study, An Integrated Approach to the Dynamic Simulation of Landing Gear Systems, submitted by LMS.

Lattice Technology Announces Release of Version 9 of their XVL Player by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor. New free viewer combines 3D visualization capabilities with rotate, pan and zoom functions for viewing compressed parts and assemblies in the XVL format.

Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended Version 9 by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor. Adobe, makers of the ubiquitous .PDF file format, discuss the release of version Acrobat 9 Pro Extended Version 9.

Right Hemisphere Closes the Gap Between CAD Data and Business Data by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor. Seeing is believing: visual product data enhances business processes in solving real-world problems.

Innovation Trend Spurs MSC Software's Latest Product Releases by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor. MSC Software announces R3 versions of their SimXpert and SimDesigner Simulation tools.

mental images Creates Patented Technologies Dealing with 3D Component Software by John Myers, ConnectPress Editor. Users can remotely view CAD data from locations all over the world while allowing real-time visual collaboration.

HP's SVA Offers Exceptional Visualization Capabilities by Lauren Browne, ConnectPress Editor - HP's SVA is designed for large data sets and high performance computing.

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2008 Visualization Simulation Tools Guide
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Analysis
Even a perfect CAD model can still have flaws discovered in the manufacturing phase; catching errors before this stage can save a business crucial time and resources.

In the evolving world of analysis software, users can expect to see a growing trend toward bringing analysis software to the everyday engineer. In one example, direct integration into CAD software allows designers and engineers to analyze their geometry without risking their data to time-consuming – and often problematic – translation tools. Similarly, it is becoming increasingly popular to create analysis tools that are user-friendly and do not require the depth of specialization they may have needed in the past.

Other major trends that have staked a claim in the analysis industry include the growing popularity of multiphysics analysis, a feature designed to allow analysts to combine different kinds of analysis into a single simulation.

Another factor that is heavily influencing the development of modern analysis software is the increasingly powerful hardware available; this allows users to run increasingly complex simulations in shorter periods of time, dramatically improving the efficiency of analysis simulations.

These topics and more are handled in the 2008 ConnectPress Analysis Roundup, featuring our 2008 vendors directory with more than 25 feature articles and case studies focusing on issues relating to the analysis field.

SLM White Paper: The Case for Simulation Lifecycle Management prepared by SIMULIA, a Dassault Systemes Brand - The use of engineering and scientific simulation techniques to understand and predict the real-world behavior of physical phenomena is widespread across a number of diverse industries. This is true for simulations involving product performance attributes, manufacturing processes, or fundamental research. The benefits that result from the use of simulation are around us every day, from the vehicles we travel in, to products we use every day in work or play, to medical devices that provide treatments seemingly impossible only a few years ago. These techniques, when used effectively, provide a distinct business advantage to product manufacturers if they replace or augment costly, time-consuming physical prototyping and testing.

White Paper: Surface Wrapping for Industrial CAE by Stephen Ferguson and Joel Davison, CD-adapco, London, UK - Surface preparation and CAD repair are often identified as the most significant bottlenecks in the CAE process. In this paper we describe a fully-automatic surface wrapping process, now in its third generation, which shrink wraps a high quality triangulated surface onto a collection of imported CAD parts, and which is guaranteed to provide a closed manifold surface at every wrap.

Efficient Wall Thickness Analysis Methods for Optimal Design of Casting Parts by Bhaskar Sinha, Geometric Limited - Wall thickness is an important parameter for casting design. Thin wall sections cause breakage of parts during manufacturing or during usage of the part. Thick wall sections cause problems in castings and increase weight, needs more material thus increasing the cost. Optimal wall thickness is also important for adequate and sufficient strength of parts.

The current process of wall thickness measurement involves taking sections of the design along standard axis and then measuring those sections using tools available in Computer Aided Design (CAD) Software. Designers use these methods to measure wall thickness. It takes a couple of weeks time to analyze a complete casting for power train parts. Moreover, the process is not accurate and error prone. Most of these errors may be detected during simulation and analysis phase. This phase is a complex and time consuming process. Also it requires specialized knowledge to use these softwares.

Electronic Caliper Shows Where to Add Muscle and Cut Fat by Geometric Limited - Measuring thin and thick wall conditions are tedious and time-consuming, yet crucial manual processes, for ensuring design performance, reducing material costs and improving fuel efficiency as well as performance. After a nod from Chrysler's IT department, the powertrain department at Chrysler began evaluating GeomCaliper®, developed by Geometric Software. In less than an hour, GeomCaliper® measures thin and thick conditions of CATIA V5 models that used to take up to two days.

You Do the Math: Calculation Tools for Engineers and the CAD Community by Cynthea Kinnaman, ConnectPress - One of one of the most magnificent military jets ever developed was designed with little more than a slide rule and a notebook.

Unofficially nicknamed The Blackbird, the SR-71 was the fastest manned jet-propelled aircraft ever built. Developed as a long-range advanced, strategic reconnaissance aircraft capable of flying at speeds over Mach 3.2 and at 85,000 feet, it was designed in 1962 by Clarence "Kelly" Johnson at the Lockheed Skunkworks in a matter of weeks and without benefit of a calculator. Desktop calculators didn't appear until 1963.

Electromagnetic and Coupled EMAG Thermal Analysis by Jennifer Swiderski, ConnectPress - I had the pleasure of meeting with Cranes Software's Ravi Singh - Assistant Vice President of Global Technical Marketing, Dr. Siuchung Wong, Director of Development, and Vipul Kinariwala, Head of Business Development, last week at their new facility on East Maple Road in Troy, MI. Cranes Software International Limited is a company that provides enterprise statistical analytics and engineering simulation software products and solutions across the globe. Business interests span products, productized solutions, services and research and development in future technologies.

Today, Cranes Software has its presence in 39 countries across the world and has 350,000 global users. Cranes Software Enterprise includes all of the following: FE modeling and stress mesh generation, stress analysis, electromagnetic analysis, laminated composite analysis, vibration analysis, seismic/earthquake analysis, fatigue and fracture analysis as well as optimization. The industries that use Cranes' services are the automotive, aerospace, energy and power, oil and gas, electronic packaging, biomedical and civil engineering industry, to name a few.

Ask the Expert: How to Manage Analysis Data by Ed Miller - Question: How can companies better manage their analysis-related information and work processes?

Miller: The use of engineering simulation and analysis has increasingly become an indispensable part of product development. Technologies such as structural analysis, multibody simulation, and computational fluid dynamics let engineers quickly and cost effectively run through what-if scenarios, explore new ideas, evaluate alternatives, and gain deeper insight into product behavior. In this way, simulation and analysis tools are powerful enablers for developing innovative products as well as establishing innovative design processes. But the area of simulation and analysis has long been one that is not well understood by the rest of the organization.

Sigmetrix - Tolerance Analysis by John Myers, ConnectPress Staff Writer - Tim Bogard, President of Sigmetrix has announced CETOL V8 has entered beta testing.

Sigmetrix is the maker of CETOL and CETOL Lite, tools for geometric tolerance analysis. "We deal in the field of how users deal with design variance," says Bogard. "We've been focused for a long time on developing research around the subject of variance modeling. Variance modeling is the creation of a statistical analysis to build a mathematical representation and we've finally come to terms with the technology."

Field Precision by John Myers - Stan Humphries created Field Precision to offer finite-element-analysis software and consulting (FEA) for users working with electromagnetic energy. He founded Field Precision shortly after retiring from a professorship at the University of New Mexico.

Currently, the company is a small business ran by Humphries who designs the software and offers consulting and his wife who handles marketing.

Get the Most From Simulation by John Myers - High performance computing and cluster networking are important for anyone who wants to run detailed simulations, says Barbara Hutchings, Manager of Strategic Partnerships for ANSYS.

ANSYS is a software company who works in the field of computer-aided engineering and provides software for engineering simulation. The company's overall goal is to help engineers use their simulation tools to improve the design process. "Our customers are primarily using our products to examine how a particular design idea is going to perform," says Hutchings. "They want to look at a design change and see how it improves the performance and do so in a way that is faster and more productive then traditional engineering prototyping."

Meet Challenges with Cluster Networks by John Myers - Joe Cieslak, Industry Manager of High Performance Computing for Platform Computing explains how computer networks can be over burdened by the demands of engineers and how cluster networking can alleviate some of these problems.

Platform Computing has been offering hardware solutions and information technology consulting for the last 15 years. It has offices around the globe, serving more than 2000 customers, including 80 percent of the Fortune 500 List.

Computational Fluid Dynamics: Past, Present and Future by John Myers - Computational-fluid-dynamics (CFD) has experienced numerous changes in its 30-year history.

CFD is a branch of fluid dynamics that uses numerical methods and algorithms to solve problems involving fluid flows. In the world of computer-aided design, CFD is an integral element of software tools designed to predict how certain fluids will react.

CFD for More than Just Analysts by John Myers - Flomerics was born in the year 1988 as part of a plan to create a truly unique analysis company.

Today, Flomerics provides analysis tools for virtual prototyping and computer-aided-engineering companies. The company provides engineering simulation software and consultancy services for analysis in the fluid flow, heat transfer and electromagnetic radiation arenas.

Building Tolerance by John Myers - The biggest challenge for individuals who specialize in tolerances and tolerance analysis is convincing management there is a need, says Bryan Fischer, President of Advanced Dimensional Management.

He explains that geometric dimensioning and tolerancing and tolerance analysis have existed in one form or another since World War II. They were created to address the numerous problems that arose when several manufacturing companies suddenly found themselves converted to munitions productions for the war effort. In essence geometric dimensioning and tolerancing is a way of describing acceptable variances for parts used in manufacturing.

CFDesign by John Myers - In 1992 Blue Ridge Numerics accepted the mission to bring Computational-Fluid-Dynamics (CFD) to the average engineer. In the past, CFD was a process created by highly skilled scientists looking for a way to create accurate numerical analysis for predicting the way fluids behave. "The people who created CFD tools for the marketplace were smart enough to run the calculations and able to spend a month working through them," says Vice President of Marketing for Blue Ridge Numerics, Jim Spann. Blue Ridge Numerics are makers of CFDesign a software tool designed to let CAD users run CFD analysis inside their native software.

Abaqus Version 6.7 by John Myers - Dassault Systemes has announced the release of the new version, 6.7, of their Abaqus Finite-element analysis (FEA) software.

Abaqus has recently been re-branded as part of Dassault's SIMULIA line of simulation-based products. No longer an independent product, Abaqus is being marketed as a division of Dassault's SIMULIA line, says Greg Brown Product Manager for Abaqus.

NX Nastran DMP Job on a Cluster by Pari Rajaram, HP - NX Nastran application offers better parallel scalability with DMP option. Each MPI process in the DMP job places demanding load on memory and I/O system. Hence we get better performance if we take advantage of all the memory and I/O disks in every compute node. However, running multiple MPI process on a compute node could degrade performance asymmetrically depending upon the cluster configuration as show below in the chart.

UGS Femap with NX Nastran Structural Analysis Toolkit by Siemens PLM Software - UGS Femap with NX Nastran Structural Analysis Toolkit features an advanced post-processing capability for general purpose Nastran analyses. It also includes efficient, state-of-the-art analytical tools for conducting Nastran modal-based response dynamics simulation.

GrafiCalc Expert Prototyping Platform: If You Can Sketch It, Software Can Solve It by Kirsten Fox - GrafiCalc Expert 2007, developed by GEOMATE, is the tool of choice when geometry and numerical issues in an engineering challenge are inseparable. GrafiCalc combines the disciplines of constrained sketching, calculations, optimization, mechanism simulation, and tolerance analysis within one application – enabling users to validate critical design parameters prior to committing to expensive product development resources.

GrafiCalc Expert 2007 can be used standalone or in conjunction with Excel and all popular CAD applications, and it is Windows VISTA compatible.

Finite Element Analysis Today by John Myers - and evolved over the following decades thanks, primarily, to its use in the space industry. By the end of the 1950s its use had stabilized and NASA began working to develop a software solution to handle the complex mathematics necessary to solve FEA equations.

Historically, FEA has been used in the MCAD arena as a way to test for errors in CAD designs before a product was manufactured. The goal was to give designers a way to detect potentially devastating errors that could cost a manufacturer a fortune in time and resources before they become problematic.

HPCC: Overview by John Myers - Several Dell representatives gathered together to explain the basics of high performance compute clusters (HPCC) in a Podcast titled, HPCC Overview.

The team explained that HPCC is a system for tackling an environment with a large amount of computational activity occurring. In the past, these kinds of problems were solved with large, expensive super computers. With a compute cluster users take a building block approach that allows users to tailor the size and cost of the HPCC closer to their own needs.

Optical Solutions Manages Calculations with Mathcad by PTC - Will light streams and tiny fibers deliver the future of home entertainment and Internet? They will if Optical Solutions has its way. Optical Solutions designs and manufactures optical access systems that enable local service providers to offer a wide range of integrated voice, video and high-speed data services to residences, multi-tenant dwellings and small-to-medium-sized businesses.

Headquartered in Minneapolis, Minn., Optical Solutions' 100-plus employees are leading the fiber-to-the-community revolution with the company's patented FiberPath® system for delivery of broadband converged services: voice, high-definition video and high-speed data. With thousands of units in service throughout the United States and Canada, Optical Solutions is the only supplier with field-deployed installations generating revenue and profits for service providers today.

Alleviate Analysis Fears: A Profile of Analysis Providers by Kirsten Fox, ConnectPress - Engineering and design is stressful enough, without the added pressure of ensuring your design will perform at its optimum under stressful conditions. Analysis relieves some of the headaches, and now that computing power has increased phenomenally, analysis has become incredibly precise. Whether you need to calculate thermal dynamics, fluid flow or determine design modifications under changing conditions, analysis will, without a doubt, make your job easier.

Analysis software and consultants have become ubiquitousâ – thankfully! Here is an in-depth sampling of how some analysis companies can help you succeed.

Off the Drawing Board: Analysis Today by Kirsten Fox – A lot has changed in engineering analysis in the last ten years. Once the domain of specialists, now most designers can perform their own analysis using sophisticated software – and vendors have raced to make this software even easier to use. There are a plethora of promises that claim anyone can easily use analysis software to ensure their designs make it to the production floor – and it is evident this belief is growing as sales of analysis packages have skyrocketed.

Speed-to-market is the top priority today for companies, aided by analysis now performed during the design stage by the designer. Upfront analysis is becoming more common in the areas of finite element analysis (FEA), mold flow analysis and computational fluid dynamics (CFD). However, design and analysis are not quite seamless but software developers are working to merge these two processes. Yet, it remains to be seen whether a specialist would provide more accurate analysis results. Now engineers can now easily combine fluid and structural analyses to determine how a product will be affected. Read this report on analysis today.

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2008 Analysis Guide
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Rapid Prototyping & 3D Printing
2008 Rapid Prototyping Roundup

In this Special Report ConnectPress brings Community Members groundbreaking coverage on key players and issues in the rapid prototyping industry – including rapid prototyping's latest trends and its outlook.

In the 2008 ConnectPress Rapid Prototyping Special Report we present a plethora of feature stories and case studies relating to the challenges and capabilities of the various technologies.

This extensive report would not have been possible without all the contributors that shared their expertise with ConnectPress and the financial support of this year's 2008 ConnectPress Rapid Prototyping Roundup sponsors: American Precision Prototyping, Dimension 3D Printing, 3D Systems, Wohlers Associates and 3D Prototype Design.

ConnectPress presents our exclusive 2008 Rapid Prototyping Vendors Directory and this outstanding selection of articles:

Wohlers Talk: Design and Manufacturing in the Future By Terry Wohlers, Wohlers Associates- Terry Wohlers shares some statistics from Wohlers Report 2007, an industry study focusing on the advances in additive fabrication technology.

Industries Benefiting from Additive Fabrication Technology By Terry Wohlers- Terry Wohlers discusses how advances in additive fabrication will lead to a new wave of unimaginable design.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Enhances Architectural Learning and Research Using a Z Corp. 3D Printer By Z Corporation - learn how the MIT School of Architecture and Planning, Department of Architecture utilized Z Corporation's 3D printer to produce architectural models. Lawrence Sass, assistant professor in MIT's Department of Architecture fulfilled his research project in the late 1990s by completing a replication of famous architect Andrea Palladio's Italian Villas by constructing accurate scaled models. The case study also looks at how Sass encouraged MIT to use the Z Corporation printer to teach students how to use rapid prototyping techniques in a class called Advanced Course in Digital Fabrication.

Differences in Rapid Prototyping and 3D Printing By Rita Stange, ConnectPress Staff Writer- Learn about the differences between rapid prototyping and 3D printing in this interview with Dimension 3D Printing Vice President Jon Cobb where he discusses the two methods and also touches on the process of fused deposition modeling, trends in the industry and Dimension 3D Printings offerings. Plus, find out what Cobb thinks are five key factors that will fuel the market going forward.

Quickparts Talks SLA and Future of Rapid Prototyping By Rita Stange, ConnectPress Staff Writer - ConnectPress got with Quickparts for the inside scoop on rapid prototyping and the ins and outs of stereolithography (SLA). Get a crash course on Quickparts' services and more in this insightful interview with Quickparts' Vice President of Sales Patrick Hunter.

American Precision Prototyping By John Myers, ConnectPress Staff Writer – Jason Dickman, co-founder of American Precision Prototyping, explains the differences between stereolithography and selective laser sintering.

Proto Labs By John Myers, ConnectPress Staff Writer – A profile of Proto Labs who rapidly creates useable parts from 3D geometry.

Faster Prototypes, Faster Sheet Metal By John Myers, ConnectPress Staff Writer – An interview with Jay Jacobs, Rapid Sheet Metal president, who create prototypes in two weeks or less.

ExtrudeHone Creates Metal Tools with MIT's 3DP Technology By MIT - Metal parts for injection molding tooling inserts and for direct use have been built using MIT's patented 3DP process and placed into use. ExtrudeHone Corporation has licensed the 3DP technology for the fabrication of metal parts and tools. Read how this company's parts have been created in an increasingly diverse range of materials including stainless steel, tungsten and tungsten carbide. Printed parts are sintered for strength, then infiltrated with low melting point alloys to produce fully dense parts. The 3DP process is easily adaptable to a variety of materials systems, allowing the production of metallic/ceramic parts with novel compositions.

Cut from a Different Mold By Kirsten Fox, ConnectPress Senior Editor - This feature offers an industry outlook for rapid prototyping and 3D printing. Learn about the technology, techniques and trends. Many manufacturers and designers are bringing 3D printing in-house. The benefits of 3D printers for reducing design and turn-around time and improving product quality are high, allowing developers to validate design early. Also, it provides manufacturers with the flexibility for managing and prioritizing their own model production queues. In-house printing does have its drawbacks, leading many to outsource a lot of projects that demand precise results. Read why this exploding and dynamic field provides fast, relatively inexpensive prototypes.

What is 3D Printing and How Can it Help Me? By Kirsten Fox, ConnectPress Senior Editor - Here's a look at what rapid prototyping industry players are doing. Technology academic leader MIT's 3DP department develops 3D printing for the rapid and flexible production of prototype parts, end-use parts, and tools directly from a CAD model. Their cutting edge technology creates parts of any geometry, and out of any material, including ceramics, metals, polymers and composites. Furthermore, it can exercise local control over the material composition, microstructure, and surface texture. 3DP commercial licensees include ExtrudeHone, Soligen, TDK Corporation and Z Corporation.

Soligen uses MIT-based DSPC (Direct Shell Production Casting) to produce the actual ceramic molds for metal castings directly from 3-D CAD designs. No tooling or patterns are required. DSPC is a patternless casting process developed at Soligen, Inc., which licenses MIT's 3DP technology for use in metal casting. DSPC machines produce the actual ceramic molds for metal casting.

This article also discusses how DSM Somos has been rapid prototyping materials since the late 1980s. Learn about Somo - first commercial stereolithography resin in 1992 to today's introduction of DMX-SL 100.

Custom Sports Car Benefits from FDM By Materialise - Yoshiyuki Hayashi, a Japanese car collector, commissioned the design of a one-off sports car to Zagato's company, who turned to Materialise to assist in the building of the headlights. Read how Materialise used Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM) for headlight design. FDM was chosen for the durability of the material used, the stability of the mechanical properties over time and the quality of the part.

ConnectPress would like to thank:

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2008 Rapid Prototyping & 3D Printing Guide
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Digital Parts Catalogs
ConnectPress is proud to present the 2008 Digital Parts Catalog Special Report and Vendor's Directory. Here you will find a collection of informative articles, brought to you by the ConnectPress editorial staff and sponsored by Catalog Data Solutions and TraceParts.

Manufacturers spend an estimated $2 trillion on standardized components such as springs, fasteners and bearings. This figure, according to a leading service provider of online industrial parts libraries, accounts for approximately one-half of the U.S. manufactured products market.

Design engineers spend a significant proportion of their time searching for stock parts and creating CAD representations of these parts for their designs. In 2008, the trend continues for more of those parts to be made available online in a downloadable format; while this saves time and streamlines the engineering process, other corporate functions are realizing savings too – manufacturing, prototyping and marketing, as well as engineering.

The Convergence of Market Trends Creates New Online Opportunity for Manufacturers and Distributors, a whitepaper authored by Catalog Data Solutions, identifies the convergence of five key trends in the manufacturing products market that has resulted, they conclude, in a significant sales and marketing opportunity for industrial suppliers.

Gearing for Growth details how Rockwell Automation outsourced their online product catalog to PARTsolutions. The motors, drives and Dodge transmission component manufacturer increased visibility and customer satisfaction by delivering native data in 85 CAD and graphics formats, reducing designer's efforts and cost to design Rockwell's products into their systems.

TraceParts by ConnectPress' John Myers. In this interview Bob Noftle, North American President of TraceParts, explains some of the realties and challenges of the digital parts field.

3D PartStream.net by John Myers offers a profile summarizing the features included in 3DPartStream.net and 3DContentCentral.com, two digital part solutions offered by SolidWorks.

CADParts by John Myers reveals an interview with Dave Richins, founder of CADParts, a company that offers a series of digital parts catalogs.

Creating Digital Parts from Scanned Data by staff writer Cynthea Kinnaman takes a look at how California company Reverse Modeling Inc. helps customers build a digital library from scanned data. Company President Ray Reveles claims their approach to updating legacy data and outdated parts is a more cost-effective way of creating a digital parts library, compared to traditional CAD modeling.

And last but not least: Top Tips for Using Digital Parts Catalogs by Cynthea Kinnaman and John Myers. Some of the big names in the digital parts industry weigh-in with advice for users and manufacturers with suggestions on how to optimize the digital parts experience.

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2008 Digital Parts Catalogs Guide
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