Computer-aided design (CAD) software is at the cutting edge of engineering and design for numerous industries. Computer-aided design (CAD) software is at the cutting edge of engineering and design for numerous industries. It also plays a significant role in scientific operations, as evidenced by the latest NASA spacecraft design - the "Curiosity" land rover scheduled to land on the surface of Mars in August of 2012.
According to Fast Company, CAD systems served as a major aspect of this spacecraft's design, so it could be engineered to travel most efficiently during its journey through space, as well as once it arrives on the surface of the red planet. 3D simulations in the engineering process allowed the NASA team to effectively plot out how space would be filled in the craft.
Due to the demands of space travel and the atmosphere of Mars, certain sacrifices have to be made. Bill Allen, of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, elaborated on this part of the project.
"By the time it reaches my area, it's a conceptual design so we do a lot of trade studies, trade space if you will," Allen told the news source. "We do trades like lower the fuel, therefore we can't do as long a mission."
The advanced technological uses of CAD and related systems such as product lifecycle management (PLM) software include First Solar's reduction of its carbon emissions, as reported by Semiconductor Today.
3Dconnexion is known as a prominent manufacturer of computer mice equipped with 3D design technology. On November 29, it announced the latest of these products, the SpaceMouse Pro, which improves on its predecessors' features, ergonomics and capabilities.
New features of the SpaceMouse Pro include an improved version of 3Dconnexion's signature six-degrees-of-freedom (6DoF) sensor, five QuickView keys for rapid access to view options, ergonomic design for ease of use, four new intelligent function keys and keyboard modifiers for quick execution of standard keyboard commands.
The mouse, like its predecessors, is optimized for use in a variety of design and engineering industries, including product design, healthcare, architecture, entertainment and mechanical engineering. Antonio Pascucci, vice president of products for 3Dconnexion, commented on the new device's capabilities.
"3D mice revolutionize the way people interact with digital 3D content," Pascucci said. "SpaceMouse Pro provides a professional 3D navigation experience, enabling users to better understand their 3D content, while its new advanced ergonomic design ensures a comfortable working experience."
According to ECN, 3Dconnexion offered its products as prizes during various events that took place as part of the recent SolidWorks 2012 promotional tour.
Turbo Dynamics is well-known in its field for its production of high-powered race cars with turbocharger-equipped engines. In one of its best-known models, the DJ Firehawk, the company's designers used SolidWorks 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software for various aspects of the design process, according to Easier.
The news source reports that the turbocharger's 3D modelling was largely conducted with the use of SolidWorks, which allowed Turbo Dynamics designers to determine its place in the DJ Firehawk, as well as to help design the necessary pipework for fitting it into the vehicle.
Technical specifications for the turbocharger are impressive. It is encased within a compact, ceramic-coated stainless steel cast turbine housing, and features a twin ball-bearing cartridge assembly and billet-machined compressor wheel. Once the remaining design and testing tasks are complete, the vehicle will be re-launched sometime in 2012.
The use of turbocharging in racing is becoming more prevalent. By 2014, for example, vehicles designed for Formula One races will be equipped with turbochargers across the board. This may lead to new and revolutionary designs by companies like Turbo Dynamics and increased use of SolidWorks for the 3D design of these products.
SolidWorks is used for numerous auto design purposes, including a solar-powered car developed by students at the University of Michigan.
3D computer-aided design (CAD) software applications are used to design a constantly-expanding range of products. The Carson Portable Rotisserie Grill, design with the aid of SolidWorks' CAD platform, is one of the more unconventional items developed in this fashion.
According to The Gadgeteer, the grill is large enough to provide space for seven skewers ideal for roasting meat, fruit and vegetables while still being small enough to fold up into a package the size of a standard suitcase. When open, it offers approximately 4,000 cubic inches of cooking space.
The news source reports that the Carson portable grill, which is listed for sale at $719, uses charcoal stored in a removable pan above an open flame. Additionally, it turns the meat on the skewers and bastes it automatically as well. It can be powered either through standard AC current or with the grill's rechargeable battery.
This grill is one of many recent products produced with the aid of SolidWorks 3D CAD applications. The software developer announced the availability of a slew of new items designed with its products, including the Bresh single-use toothbrush, the 2011 Wilson bicycle by Cycles Devinci and the Cool Gear water bottle with a built-in filter.
Known for its CATIA and ENOVIA 3D computer-aided design (CAD) and product lifecycle management (PLM) programs, Dassault Systemes extended its line of technical software with the release of CATIA Natural Sketch. A new 3D design platform, Natural Sketch provides a combination of the benefits found in 2D drawing and 3D modeling.
Using this program, designers and engineers can have the ability to fine-tune a 2D design while still maintaining the more realistic rendering and modeling inherent in 3D. Jens Paulus, head of the Jens Paulus Design firm, extolled the virtues of Natural Sketch's capabilities upon the announcement of the product's release.
"The strokes look like real pencil on paper and it's great fun to sketch," Paulus said. "I imagine that it would revolutionize the way I design every day. Maybe the greatest advantage is that you get inspired while creating 3D as you are sketching at the same time."
By using Natural Sketch in the early aspects of the product development process, designers can provide a model that will be easily adaptable to the later step of 3D modeling.
Fisker Automotive, a manufacturer of energy-efficient automobiles, recently announced its adoption of Dassault's CATIA and ENOVIA programs for use in its product development.
On November 25, Dassault Systemes SolidWorks formally announced the Indian finalists of its SolidWorks Skill Design Competition contest in New Delhi. The two winning designers in the country, which brought in the largest number of competitors in this design methods contest, are slated to compete in Singapore on November 28 against winners from other countries.
Karuppusamy Selvaraj and Vijayakumar Muthu, both from the Bannari Amman Institute of Technology in Tamil Nadu, stood out among over 400 competitors to be chosen as India's national finalists in this contest. The nine remaining finalists hail from Malaysia, Korea and Singapore.
Sharon Toh, general manager of the Southeast Asia, Pacific and Korea branch of Dassault Systemes SolidWorks, hailed the performance of the finalists in the design contest.
"With growing focus on innovation and product precision, the demand for qualified designing engineers has skyrocketed. Computer-aided designing is a niche segment demanding high expertise," Toh said. "The response to SolidWorks Skill Design Contest has been highly encouraging and has reinstated our faith in the designing talent of our young engineering community.
Business Standard recently reported that Dassault's CEO, Bertrand Sicot, cited the Indian market as a major aspect in the company's plans for the future.
At Chaney High School in Youngstown, Ohio, over 200 students in grades 6-12 are participating in the pilot iteration of the Youngstown City Schools Science, Technology, Education and Math (STEM) program. In addition to numerous other skills and technologies, these youngsters are slated to learn about the numerous applications of computer-aided design (CAD) software.
According to local CBS affiliate WKBN-27, students receive extra time throughout their school day to work on their STEM assignments. STEM classes are occasionally twice or three times the duration of standard classes at Chaney High, providing program participants ample time to stimulate their imagination in a productive manner.
The news source reports that STEM students must still complete all standard educational requirements set by the state of Ohio, while learning about engineering, manufacturing, technology and design during the program. Cory Rudibaugh, a STEM teacher, cited the benefits of the program's CAD classes.
"Whenever they enter the real workforce, they have the advance knowledge of all the CAD software industry standards," Rudibaugh told the news source. "So when they do get there, they're prepared."
In Ontario, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported that aerospace manufacturer Aero-Safe Technologies brought local high school students into its facilities to learn hands-on about the applications of CAD in engineering and manufacturing.
The market research firm Cambashi Market Observatories is known for providing analysis of the technology and software fields in the Asia/Pacific region. Its most recent figures predict that a number of software categories, including computer-aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) are expected to experience significant growth in this geographical market.
According to CAD CAM News, these predictions are being attributed to the notable successes in various emerging economies through this region, in addition to other markets like Russia and Brazil. The Cambashi report also details the current state of the CAD and technical software in Asia and the Pacific as of 2011's third quarter.
Mike Evans, Cambashi's research director, commented on the implications of these findings for the market's future.
"Despite economic volatility, there are still places where demand for technical software is growing fast," he told the news source. "Those suppliers who can adjust their resources to respond to this demand in Asia are more likely to continue to grow in a difficult economy."
Last week, TechNavio released its report on the state of the CAD market in Australia, which came to similar conclusions about its future.
Dassault Systemes SolidWorks Corporation has been known as one of the prominent businesses in the development and production of 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software since its founding in 1993. Recently, the company announced plans to bring some of its design solutions to the market in India, concentrating specifically on small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs).
According to Business Standard, Betrand Sicot, CEO of Dassault Systemes, has cited these plans as a major aspect of the company's operational strategy for the near future. He stated that the Indian market is a prime area for development in all aspects of engineering research, development and design services, constituting 22 percent of the market for these technologies.
The news source reports that in the past, India's engineering and design market had largely been based in 2D design software, with 3D CAD only gaining traction with the introduction of SolidWorks to the country in 2002. The previous trend of 2D dominance is cited by Sicot as stemming from Indian SME's reluctance to adopt new technologies, a trend now beginning to subside.
Dassault Systemes plans to invest in 3D CAD training for design students in India, potentially accelerating the spread of the software.
According to CAD CAM News, the company recently showcased a webcast series highlighting the benefits of integrated SolidWorks design solutions.
The prevalence of 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software in various industries has been spreading to global markets in recent years. TechNavio covered this trend's emergence in Australia, with its latest report covering the market for CAD software in Australia from 2010 through 2014.
TechNavio's research confirms that this software and related solutions are prevalent in Australian businesses from sectors where CAD usage is common, as well as other, less typical fields. In addition to expected industries such as engineering and architectural design, CAD is popping up in woodworking, textile designs, jewelry, and the healthcare sector.
The report gleaned its information from a variety of different sources within the industries where the application of CAD software has become common, providing a wide range of data on the key players in this region of the software market. It cites improved cost-efficiency and expedited product design as the primary reasons for the large-scale implementation of these programs.
Additionally, it states that open-source software is the main threat to the future financial viability of CAD's prevalence in Australia.
In mid-October, TechNavio released a report covering the global prevalence of CAD, coming to similar conclusions regarding its spread to other industries.
In early September of 2011, SolidWorks released the latest in its line of 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software programs - SolidWorks 2012. As a part of the marketing effort for the new product, the company sent some of its representatives out on the road as part of its "What ELSE is New in SolidWorks 2012?" tour, to showcase the software's benefits and improvements in various venues during October.
According to ECN, the tour covered over 10 different events, in venues ranging from movie theaters and casinos to golf resorts, throughout the United States. Users of the SolidWorks software, resellers of the platform and employees of the company were able to come together and discuss their experiences working with the system, while focusing prominently on the hundreds of new features in SolidWorks 2012.
The news source reports that the events were largely distinguished by presentations highlighting the ways in which SolidWorks 2012 could benefit the design industry. Various contests were held and attendees competed for prizes such as Apple iPads and several different products from 3D Connexion.
SolidWorks 2012 contains more than 200 new functions that greatly expand the software's capabilities beyond those of previous releases in the product line.
JUGS Sports, a manufacturer of sports practice equipment, has adopted the SolidWorks Professional 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software for its operations. It intends to use this design platform to expedite the development of new, revolutionary products in its industry, according to Ferret.
The news source reports that JUGS Sports recently moved to expand its product line, and as a result needed to reevaluate its design strategy accordingly. The company planned to expand into ball-throwing machines for football, soccer, tennis, field hockey and cricket. Previously, the company primarily manufactured baseball and softball pitching machines, batting cages and radar guns.
As a result, the company looked to SolidWorks, adopting the Professional version of that software. The benefits provided by this system, including advanced modeling capabilities, photorealistic rendering, integration with other systems and design reuse, gave JUGS Sports a considerable advantage, allowing it to create prototypes that had previously been out of its designers' reach.
Implementing SolidWorks cut JUGS Sports' product development time and time from design to prototype in half. Additionally, the software allowed the company to release products intended to expand its market to a younger audience.
SolidWorks' design programs have been used in businesses ranging from motorcycle design to manufacturing food packing systems, the latter recently reported on by Design World Online.
SolidWorks 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software is used for the design purposes of companies in numerous fields. Orange County Choppers (OCC), the California motorcycle design firm known for its ustom craftsmanship, is arguably one of the most high-profile businesses to use SolidWorks Premium.
According to Ferret, OCC began using SolidWorks at the behest of its founder, Paul Teutul Sr. After the company began receiving an influx of orders for custom motorcycles, prompted in part by the "American Chopper" reality television series that depicts their work, Teutul decided that OCC needed a solution for effectively balancing elaborate design demands and the capabilities of advanced manufacturing systems.
The news source reports that the company experienced significant benefits after introducing SolidWorks Premium into its design and production process. Through its seamless integration with the computer numerical control (CNC) machining systems, the CAD software shortened the design time by 75 percent, cut development costs in half and expedited time-to-market by 100 percent.
Additionally, the process acceleration provided by the use of SolidWorks allowed OCC's designers to greatly reduce the amount of rapid prototyping necessary to develop a workable design.
BostInnovation reports that SolidWorks is currently looking to expand its online and social media marketing efforts to extend its business into new markets and fields.
David McLay Kidd, a golf course architect and designer, is well-known among aficionados of the sport for the greens he has masterminded, including Bandon Dunes on the Pacific Ocean coastline in Bandon, Oregon. His business, DMK Golf Design of Bend, Oregon, uses computer-aided design (CAD) software as one of its primary tools.
According to the Napa Valley Register, CAD technology supplements the methods of traditional design and architecture in the work of Kidd and his dedicated staff. Agronomists, course shapers and CAD experts have combined their efforts to create numerous award-winning and critically acclaimed golf courses around the world.
One of his best-known greens, aside from Bandon Dunes, is the Castle Course-St. Andrews, located in Kidd's native Scotland. Other courses DMK can count among its successes include Tetherow in Oregon, Fancourt in South Africa, Huntsman Springs in Idaho and Powerscourt in County Wicklow, Ireland.
Kidd recently earned the distinction of being selected as the keynote speaker at the California Chapter of the Golf Course Superintendents Association annual conference, in Silverado, California. Commenting on his work, he told the news source, "The creation of a golf course is a very hands-on thing, it's a bit like sculpture."
CAD software has found its way into designs for unconventional sports as well, as when Team ETHOS at Wright Patterson Air Force Base used SolidWorks to design a pumpkin-throwing catapult for a charitable competition.
Various colleges in the United States have earned praise for featuring leading programs in design, a field increasingly reliant on 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software. The Graduate School of Architecture & Urban Design at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, part of the Sam Fox School of Design & Visual Arts, was recently cited as the fourth-best school of its kind in the United States, according to the periodical DesignIntelligence.
Each year, the magazine publishes a guide with this list, entitled America's Best Architecture and Design Schools. The report that cites Washington University's fourth place rank is the 13th DesignIntelligence has published. Previously, the school came in as the ninth-best in the nation.
Carmon Colangelo, dean of the Sam Fox School, commented positively on this year's ranking.
"This is our highest ranking to date and a significant national recognition of the excellent work and tremendous dedication of our architecture students and alumni," Colangelo said. "It is also a testament to the deep commitment of our outstanding faculty."
Rankings are contingent on factors including construction methods and materials, research, use of CAD and other computer applications, design and sustainability.
Design students at the University of Maryland were recently recognized for using SolidWorks 3D CAD software to design an entirely human-powered helicopter.
For many years, Cessna Aircraft Corporation has used 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software programs provided by the French software developer Dassault Systemes, including CATIA and ENOVIA. According to the Boston Globe, Cessna is renewing their contract with Dassault and tapping the company to provide more product design software solutions.
The news source reports that while Cessna has performed well in terms of developing new products in a reliable and cost-efficient manner - producing 535 aircraft and reaping $2.6 billion in revenue in 2010 - it is looking to improve on those numbers. The company's renewal of the software contract with Dassault is one of their means of doing so, potentially lowering development costs and reducing the production and certification time associated with new designs.
Meanwhile, Dassault, which currently runs its United States operations out of the Massachusetts cities of Concord and Lowell, is looking to expand its own U.S. presence. It plans to do so through consolidating these facilities in a 27-acre location in nearby Waltham, according to an announcement made in 2010.
In October, Graphics.com reported that Dassault had made notable updates to its 3DVIA CAD design platform, specifically to the program's catalog of character designs.
In the design of high fidelity loudspeakers, it is not always possible to produce a sound frequency output that flows smoothly in all directions. As a result, the National Physics Laboratory announced the design of a new technology intended specifically for this purpose, called a laser vibrometer, according to Laboratory Equipment.
The news source reports that this method may be of considerable benefit to manufacturers in the business of designing speakers and their related components. It has the potential to supplement existing techniques of simulating the spatial distribution of the sound these speakers produce, which in the past has been accomplished largely through the use of computer-aided design (CAD) software simulations.
Although this method will not replace the use of CAD simulations in this aspect of speaker design, it may help measure the loudspeaker's performance in spite of variables that come up in production. Ian Butterworth, who is spearheading the laser vibrometer project for NPL, commented on this.
"Manufacturers will be able to better understand how different designs impact the loudspeaker's directionality, and design out the dead spots that could limit the quality," he told the news source.
Lasers are often used in conjunction with other CAD-based processes, such as in the work of the Institute of Physics in the United Kingdom, who used 3D laser scanning to help design models for breast tissue reconstruction.
Since 1986, the World Championship Punkin' Chunkin' Association (WCPCA) has hosted the annual Punkin' Chunkin' World Championship, a hobbyist's event intended to raise money for various charitable organizations and scholarships. Recently, Team ETHOS, a group of participants in this event hailing from Wright Patterson Air Force Base, competed with the use of catapults designed with SolidWorks 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software.
The most recent occasion of this event, held on October 31 of this year, was not the first time Team ETHOS used SolidWorks-designed catapults. In the 2009 competition, the team finished first in the Adult Torsion Catapult category with such a contraption, acheiving a throw of 2,088 feet.
This year, the team also participated in a similar competition at their base, raising $900 for charitable causes with a 2,972-foot shot that won them the contest and exceeded their 2009 distance. David Mollenhauer, a member of the team, spoke to the benefits of SolidWorks in designing their Phoenix catapult.
"Solidworks is integral to everything we do for Phoenix," he said. "It's a complete game changer for the way we design things."
The latest release from SolidWorks is the 2012 edition of the software, released in September and equipped with hundreds of new features not included in previous versions.
In today's business world, even companies that already have something of an established audience for their product, such as 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software providers, need to maintain a viable marketing campaign. SolidWorks is no exception, exemplifying how such a company can succeed in this field.
According to BostInnovation, this success is largely due to the efforts of SolidWorks' social media manager, Matthew West. Through his efforts and those of his team, the company has developed a strong following on Facebook and Twitter, along with 445 uploads to YouTube. West explains that he aims to maintain the company's appeal with its more than 1.6 million commercial and student users, while expanding into new markets.
The news source reports that SolidWorks benefited from having an established audience of customers who were tech- and internet-savvy by nature of their studies or professions, essentially guaranteeing a respectable presence in social networking as soon as it entered the field. West states that he and his team carefully monitor users' comments to use as feedback for future performance improvements.
SolidWorks also benefits its market reputation by sponsoring educational initiatives such as the Women's Technology Program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, according to Design News.
3D computer-aided design (CAD) software is at the forefront of a great deal of modern engineering and design work, and SolidWorks, a subsidiary of Dassault Systemes, is known as one of the major providers of these programs. Recently, students in the Aerospace Engineering department of the University of Maryland (UMD) A. James Clark School of Engineering used Solidworks software to help design a new helicopter - one that runs solely on human power.
Joseph Schmaus, a UMD graduate student involved with this project, explained the benefits of using SolidWorks in his team's efforts.
"Between the simulation capabilities, which allow us to perform stress analysis on individual components, and the ability to rapidly prototype complex parts, SolidWorks has helped us to ensure we create effective, safe, lightweight pieces for the larger design," Schmaus said.
The helicopter is controlled solely by hand and foot pedals and weighs 100 pounds. It has broken two world records for the flight of such a device, the highest being 12.4 seconds. UMD students hope to reach a duration of 60 seconds.
According to Vizworld, the level of hardware acceleration seen when using SolidWorks 2012 varies based on the capabilities of a computer's graphics processing unit (GPU).
Companies that have moved to adopt a 3D computer-aided design (CAD) software system for their operations or are considering doing so have the potential to benefit their business. However, it may be worthwhile to take a number of considerations into account when making this decision, rather than simply choosing the most readily available CAD platform.
According to Design World Online, the primary attributes of a CAD program to consider are the capability for efficient and reliable designs, compatibility with a business' customers and partners, reliability, features and ease of use. The last of these will be most important to businesses that have previously used 2D design and drafting systems, but may be unfamiliar with 3D.
The news source reports that compatibility, reliability and features are all important for similar reasons - namely, their role in designing quality products that will be ideal for consumers and partners. For example, if the 3D CAD system a company adopts ends up leading to the production of products that do not sell, or the tools are not compatible with those used by a business partner, this will create an unfavorable situation.
SolidWorks, one of the best-known producers of 3D CAD software, released its most recent 2012 edition in early September, adding hundreds of new functions.
Fujitsu released a new product that could be beneficial to designers using computer-aided design (CAD) or computer-aided engineering (CAE) software. The P23T-6 FPR 3D display monitor, which is 23 inches wide, offers a dual display that provides separate sections for 2D and 3D graphics.
According to CAD CAM News, this product allows users to quickly switch back and forth between 2D and 3D displays, and comes packaged with ultra-light, battery-free glasses to provide optimal viewing of 3D graphics. Additionally, its 3D capabilities are not limited by use in daylight settings.
The news source reports that Fujitsu appears to be targeting a professional audience with this display - those who work in engineering and design as well as architects, medical scientists, advertisers and consultants, all of whom have made use of various 3D technologies. The company's head of product marketing for the United Kingdom and Ireland, Craig Parker, also claimed the measure had cost benefits for consumers.
"The dual output display means savings both on budget - because there's no need to buy a separate display just for 3D applications - and desk space," Parker told the news source.
A recent TechNavio research report highlighted the recent success of the 3D CAD market, and speculated on its future possibilities.
Many companies use computer-aided design (CAD) software in a wide variety of today's industries. in a wide variety of today's industries. For those who use CAD as an important element of their operations, it may be beneficial to maintain the position of a CAD manager, someone with significant experience in the technology, according to Cadalyst magazine.
The news source reports that the benefits of a CAD manager can be numerous for businesses that do not have a large staff maintaining their CAD processes, but still consider the technology to be vital. In addition to being on-site at all times to quickly address any software or hardware problems that could arise, a CAD manager could provide consulting as to the best practices for setting up a new CAD system, or for revamping an existing one.
Other factors that make the retention of a CAD manager worthy of consideration, according to the news provider, involve recent industry trends. The software has become more complex than ever, encompassing numerous complex functions, and many CAD solutions providers may soon be integrating it with cloud computing, another emerging and intricate technology requiring expert handling.
Supply Chain Digital recently reported that cloud systems would have a major role in CAD within the next few years.