CADCAM

Designers get more 3D model detail

With the introduction of the virtual reality modelling language (VRML) it is possible to create on-line catalogues of models and then quickly and easily navigate around them in 3D using a Web browser.

Delcam has responded to the development by releasing a range of productivity tools for product designers within its Duct5.5 software.

New options include different shading to show whether the draft angle is greater or less than the target, or to indicate the value of the draft angle. Duct5.5 also allows the automatic generation of cores and cavities from an imported solid model, reducing time in tooling production.

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* A much needed system developed by toolmakers for toolmakers is how Toolroom Technology bills Time/Machine, its PC-based management system.

The package gives toolmakers control over the quotation process, time and facilities planning and hour-by-hour monitoring of jobs. Instant information gives the ability to cope more easily with any sudden change, such as machinery breakdown.

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* Rapid prototyping is becoming widely used and it is seen as crucial to competitiveness in many areas. But a problem was that the machines available could not usually generate a prototype bigger than a 500mm cube.

JP System 6 from Leonardo Computer Systems will do the job. Running on a PC, it imports any 3D cad model, splits it into manageable sections and sends the information to a cutter. With highly accurate registration holes programmed in, the pieces are easily assembled.

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The latest incarnation of MCS’s Anvil total engineering solution, version six, has more than 30 new features. These include the ability to display and evaluate up to five tool paths and also more sophisticated viewing controls.

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3D IMAGES IN HARMONY WITH WINDOWS

Sophisticated 3D graphics used to be available only on Unix systems. Now Windows NT users can get the same results.

The breakthrough comes with Universal 3D Architecture products from Evans & Sutherland.

At the high end of the product family is Harmony, a realtime image generator, while Integrator NT, which creates synthetic worlds, offers lower database production costs.

Realimage, at the desktop level, allows the creation of workstation-class graphics on low-cost systems.

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* Finding problems early is important to designers, so plastics analysis software specialist Moldflow has got together with Autodesk to give designers moulding information earlier, thus reducing development times and waste.

The package, MF/Flowcheck, used with Mechanical Desktop, gives visual information on confidence of fill, flow pattern and details of possible weld lines and air traps.

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* The automotive and aerospace industries are the beneficiaries of a specialist set of software tools that allow concurrent engineering when developing products with free-form shapes.

With ICEM Surf, surfaces are precisely designed and maintained without sacrificing design freedom.

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* Tech Illustrator engineering drawing software, is now available on Windows NT. Previously it was only available on Unix.

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