Helping design composites better

Vistagy has released Version 3.4 of its FiberSIM software, enabling engineers working with CAD systems to create products made of lightweight composite materials.

New XML tools in the software exchange design information with product data management, ERP, and other enterprise collaboration applications, and allow the automatic creation of text documents, spreadsheets and web pages.

The tools export geometric data, such as ply boundaries, origins and thicknesses. Engineers can also share non-geometric design information, such as ply name, orientation, sequence, and step, along with materials specifications, flat pattern area, material cost, and total laminate weight, with other systems.

Using enhanced editing, customising and display tools in FiberSIM 3.4, engineers can define and change aspects of the design such as ply naming, sorting and listing. Revisions, such as a modification of a ply origin, are signalled by highlighted ply boundaries on the digital model. A customisable display better organises placements of flat patterns in the model.

Updated design automation tools simplify such tasks as creating ply boundaries and splices. The software enables engineers to generate curves on a lay-up surface to assist in defining ply boundaries. It also includes a feature for designing ply overlap that defines the overlap thickness proportional to ply thickness.

Instead of entering an overlap dimension for each splice of a ply, the engineer can choose to use a multiple of the ply thickness value. The software then extrapolates overlap values based on that number, eliminating time-consuming manual data entry. In addition, new tools for generating core and insert boundaries have been developed to handle more complex geometry, minimising curve manipulation and duplication in the CAD system.

The new release of FiberSIM also features enhancements to documentation. Users are now able to shade plies in ply books, resulting in a more intuitive representation of the part. With enhanced annotation capabilities, users can have ply naming information point to its ply boundary. The software also outputs a scaled representation of a 2D flat pattern in a ply book. And a new geodesic propagation vector indicates the initial direction to lay-up plies.

The design database of FiberSIM 3.4 includes additional materials and processes. For example, the software can now simulate producibility and generate flat patterns for +/- 45° woven fabrics.

FiberSIM is integrated with the CATIA, Pro/ENGINEER and Unigraphics CAD systems. It operates on HP (HP-UX), IBM (AIX), SGI (IRIX), and Sun (Solaris) platforms.

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