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ITI Transcendata will soon demonstrate the key role that its CADfix computer-aided-design (CAD) translation and repair software played in the development of the Bloodhound Supersonic Car (SSC).

The Bloodhound vehicle has been designed to break the land-speed record by clocking more than 1,000mph (1,609kph).

The company will explain the role that its CADfix software played in the design and analysis phase of the project on its stand at the Siemens PLM Europe conference in Linz, Austria, on 18-20 October, where the Bloodhound team will also be giving a keynote presentation, and at Aero Engineering 2010 at the NEC in Birmingham, UK, on 29-30 September.

If the Bloodhound SSC achieves its target, it will mark the greatest incremental increase in the history of the world land-speed record – which currently stands at just more than 763mph – and will also see a car exceeding the low-altitude speed record for aircraft.

CADfix removes the barriers that prevent the effective reuse of CAD geometry in downstream applications by providing a set of geometry manipulation tools for importing and repairing CAD data and then conditioning and exporting it in the most suitable form for reuse in the receiving software package.

It also features specific tools designed to refine 3D geometry for use in mesh-based analysis tools, where, for instance, small ‘sliver’ surfaces can cause unnecessary mathematical complications.

CADfix played an important role in the Bloodhound SSC design phase, acting as a link between the Bristol-based design team and the aerodynamics team, based at Swansea University.

The master design was created in NX, from Siemens PLM, while the simulation of the car was undertaken in Flite, a specialist computational fluid dynamics (CFD) tool developed at the university, versions of which are used by various European aerospace manufacturers.

Prof Oubay Hassan, who was awarded an MBE for his work on Noble’s first supersonic car, Thrust SSC, said: ‘Flite is a dedicated meshing and CFD solving application, and it’s very good at what it does.

‘But while we’re experts on engineering software, we haven’t evolved a CAD interface.

‘In order to work with the geometry coming out of the design team, we’d have had to write a new converter or input it all by hand.

‘Given the tight development schedule, this would have been too much of a challenge,’ he added.

According to Transcendata, CADfix provided the vital link.

Without it, Hassan estimates that the analysis would have taken an extra 12 months and the project would have failed to meet its tight design window.

Andy Chinn, business development manager of Transcendata, said: ‘Efficient CAD and CAE [computer-aided-engineering] integration is a major issue for any engineering process that relies on computational analysis, particularly where time is of the essence.

‘Experienced engineers are an expensive commodity and they often find themselves spending too much time building and meshing analysis models, instead of focusing on interpreting results and running design optimisation iterations,’ he added.

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