celebrating 17 years of reporting
on the business of cad


Issue #736 |  May 19, 2012
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In This Issue


1. COMSOL Multiphysics v4.3


2. New eBook: Tailoring CUI for AutoCAD 2013


3. Out of the Inbox, and other regular columns.


This issue of upFront.eZine is early, because of my Sunday-Sunday travel to and from Australia for next week's Revit Technology Conference.


This issue sponsored by:

Revit Technology Conference, North America 2012

June 30-28, 2012


COMSOL Multiphysics v4.3

Bjorn Sjodin last week give the CAD media a quick overview of what's new in COMSOL Multiphysics. He's vp of product management at the Swedish company's Boston office.

Multiphysics is a collection of software modules that let you simulate everything from structural steel and chemical engineering, to electromagnetics and acoustics. See figure 1. Yes, there was a new version to talk about, but Mr Sjodin wanted to emphasize three new modules.


Figure 1: The collection of COMSOL modules now number 30. Those in yellow are links to CAD packages.


Non Linear Structural Materials
Most analysis programs assume that materials fail linearly. The assumption is correct under normal conditions, but failure becomes non-linear when stresses become extreme. This module handles non-linear strain in structures (elastoplastic, hyperelastic, viscoplastic, creep), as well as at very high temperatures like melting solder.


Pipe Flow
This module simulates fluids flowing in pipes, and can check for water hammers (like when you turn off a tap too fast), the sounds created by fluids in pipes, and even handles bi-directional heat transfer.


And the third new module simulates electrochemical corrosion conditions, and then lets you check if anti-corrosion designs work, such as applying cathodes. Mr Sjodin noted that CAD models could be read, and then analyzed for corrosion.


Core Functions

The core program gets improvements in v4.3, such as 10x-100x faster meshing, especially useful for biomedical CAD models. The speed up is due to COMSOL using virtual geometry to eliminate non-essential edges. This lets the program apply multiphysics to any imported mesh, including ones created in the very earliest days of CAD.


To end off, Mr Sjodin ran through some of the improvements to existing modules. For instance, the AC/DC module now handles 3D, instead of 2D. This lets it handle axial torques and coil currents, and generate electromagnetic field plots. The Particle Tracing module now does interactions between particles (electrical, molecular and other forces), and handles secondary emissions of particles, such as electron emitting other electrons while bouncing around the inside of a microwave oven.


The RF [radio frequency] and Acoustics modules now support Far Field Plots with asymptotic radiation patterns, such as the air pressure field surrounding a speaker. The CFD [computational fluid dynamics] module simulates turbulent mixing, such as a baffle mixer in a cylinder. The Heat Transfer module can apply radiation from the sun to objects, and determines the subsequent cooling needs.


All of version 4.3 is a no-charge upgrade for existing customers on subscription, and will ship by June 1. The single-user price for the base software is $9995; add-on modules are between $2,000 and $10,000 -- roughly. You can try out the software at workshops given by COMSOL around the world, and a 14-day demo is available.




New eBook: Tailoring CUI for AutoCAD 2013
I've updated Tailoring CUI for AutoCAD 2013, and so the ebook is available for purchase ($30). Frankly, Autodesk has only a few changes to the CUI interface of AutoCAD 2013, but all those changes are documented by my 200-page PDF full-color ebook.


The ebook covers all aspects of CUI (customize user interface), teaching you how to tailor it with step-by-step tutorials: workspaces, toolbars, Quick Access toolbar; ribbon tabs, panels, and contextual tabs; menu bar, Quick Properties, Rollover tooltips, shortcut menus; keyboard shortcuts and temporary override keys; double-click actions and mouse muttons, LISP file loading, and the legacy section.


To get the ebook through Paypal, go to the ebook's Web page at www.upfrontezine.com/cui13, and then click the button part way down the page.


If you prefer to mail a cheque or money order, then please use the following address:

Tailoring CUI for AutoCAD 2013
34486 Donlyn Avenue
Abbotsford, BC
V2S 4W7 Canada


Out of the Inbox

We'd seen MassMotion from Arup, and now Vectorworks has SimTread: pedestrian simulation software from partner A&A Co of Japan. Software like this lets you see if your building design can handle peak flows of people, like leaving a subway or in emergencies. http://www.vectorworks.net


ExtrusionPower from MIPS Group is a 3D application for designing dies for aluminium extrusions. It runs inside Creo Elements, and a no-charge demo is available. Careful, this is one the most eye-poping Web sites I've seen in a long time: http://www.mip-group.com


HyperSizer v6.2 was developed by NASA, and now Collier Research is selling it to non-astronauts. It optimized (reduces) the amount of composites and metal needed for things like airplane wings. http://www.hypersizer.com


KARALIT says their 3D CFD software lets you import CAD models directly into their computational fluid dynamics software with needing to mesh the models first. Instead, they use immersed boundary (IB) technology in which discrete points are located on the nodes of a Cartesian grid. http://www.karalit.com


Intel has new CPUs out, and HP's got new servers: ProLiant Gen8 computers come in racks or towers. http://www.hp.com/go/proliantgen8


Dell's Precision division says they are the first with a multi-user 2U-rack workstation for virtualized 3D workloads. http://www.dell.com/precision


In related news, nVidia's got itself the first virtualized graphics board, the $1,000 VGX with its four GPUs and 16GB memory. Basically, the included User Selectable Machines software lets up to 100 users access the graphics board running on a central server. http://www.nvidia.com/object/vdi-desktop-virtualization.html


Jimmy Bergmark's SmartPurger 3.4 does scripting and batch processing for AutoCAD 2013 drawings, like run routines or modify drawings. Details at http://blog.jtbworld.com/2012/04/smartpurger-34-with-support-for.html


I forgot to mention this one earlier, but Dassault Systemes now has an office just 70km from the world headquarters of upFront.eZine Publishing. Last month the French company bought Gemcom Software International of Vancouver Canada for $360 million, renaming it GEOVIA. The software does geological modeling for miners. http://www.gemcomsoftware.com


Autodesk had its free 123D Catch turn-photos-into-3D-models software on Windows, but now there is an iPad version, too -- but not on Mac, tho'. It's downloadable from http://itunes.apple.com/ca/app/123d-catch/id513913018


Also now on iPad: Tecnomatix 360 from Siemens PLM Software. http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/tecnomatix-360/id498450268


Letters to the Editor
Re: New Name for SolidWorks Corp
"Isn't that a first? A software company renaming their company and KEEPING the part of the name that their customers actually recognize? What next?"
        - Jess Davis


The editor replies: "True, I had not thot of that. DS should have named SW something like 'Cloudopia' or 'Arriva4D'."


Mr Davis responds: "Remember the Dilbert cartoon where Dogbert's marketing consulting company has software that combines random terms from electronics and astronomy to get names for the new division?"

Re: Autodesk 2013

"I have a standalone license of Building Design Suite Premium 2013. After installing I started the products up and I get an splash screen with a privacy statement. See attached. I am the administrator and I do not remember configuring any of the software to share my personal data and I sure did not say that they could share it with off-shore or cross-border transfers. Is this the new business model for Autodesk. If you do not agree to the sharing of personal data you cannot use the software. What is your take on this?"
        - Joe Liston


The editor replies: "I think agreeing to giving away your private data is due to Autodesk's inclusion of links to Facebook and Twitter, Web sites I doubt many corporations encourage their workers to visit during working hours."


Re: celebrating 17 years of reporting on the business of cad:

"Still a teenager, eh? <smile> Happy anniversary, Ralph!"
      - Royal Farros, ceo


"Thank you for interesting upFront.eZine."
      - J. Banaszkiewicz

Notable Quotable

"The browser's doomed, because apps are the future. Wait! Apps are doomed because HTML5 is the future."
      - Tim Bray

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Entire contents copyright 2012 by upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd. All rights reserved worldwide. Letters sent to the editor are subject to publication. Article reprint fee: $250 and up. All trademarks belong to their respective holders. "upFront.eZine," "The Business of CAD," and "WorldCAD Access" are trademarks of upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd. Letters to the editor may be edited for clarity and brevity. Translations and opinions expressed are not necessarily shared by upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.


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