Say animation and most people think of the latest release of Walt Disney. But as designers have to understand more engineering information than ever before, new tools emerge to make this possible. Visualisation software is one of them. For its part, Applied Computing and Engineering is distributing two such products for the CAD industry: VisLab and VisFly.

The idea behind the software is to allow engineers to communicate ideas and problems in a way that is easier for others to understand. This speeds up the conceptual design, modelling and engineering analysis phases of product development.

VisLab allows engineers to produce animation sequences, pulling together parts assemblies of the highest complexity to study them in motion. In larger organisations which may have more than one CAD system up and running, an added bonus is that 3D data from different systems can be animated.

The tool interfaces seamlessly with most leading systems, including I-Deas Master series, Catia, Cadds and Pro/Engineer. It also takes finite element analysis data from packages by MSC and HKS.

Visfly, on the other hand, can take the engineer through the geometry of an assembly down to component level interactively and in real-time, allowing him to inspect any part. This is an extremely fast rendering tool, because it only makes use of the geometry it needs at any given point in time.

Working together with Vislab, Visfly can be used very effectively to communicate how something works by giving the engineer the ability to `home in’ on parts of a design, such as a car, even while an animation sequence may be running.

Figure 1: A VisLab file created using CAD and FEA data

Figure 2: By using VisFly, an engineer can fly through the car geometry on screen and assemble and disassemble the vehicle to see key components

{{Applied Computing and EngineeringTel: Warrington (01925) 830085Enter 601}}