MCAD Tech News (#348)

11 Jul, 2013 By: Cadalyst Staff

Window Maker Speeds File Retrieval Time with AutoCAD Search Tool

With a quarter-million CAD drawings on file, Sierra Pacific Industries depends on DrawingSearcher to fulfill customer requests in a timely fashion.

By David Miesbauer and Steve Gaston

As anyone in the housing, construction, and home improvement industries can attest, the past few years have been among the most challenging in recent history. Because of the tough economic climate, construction companies are forgoing customized products and homeowners are putting off home renovations. When there aren't as many new orders coming in, existing customers become even more important to a business's success.

Providing our customers with timely, professional service is a priority for Sierra Pacific Industries, a forest products company that makes specialized doors and windows. To meet this goal, Sierra Pacific relies on its employees and some sophisticated technology: a search tool that reduces the time it takes service personnel to find AutoCAD drawings in the company's archive.

Every product Sierra Pacific makes starts with CAD drawings that detail the precise shape, size, and design of the doors or windows the customer has requested. All products Sierra Pacific makes are custom-made — customized for each individual job and each client's specific needs. There may be dozens of drawings per project, based on the customer's specifications.

At Sierra Pacific, workers craft windows and doors customized for each architectural application.
At Sierra Pacific, workers craft windows and doors customized for each architectural application.

Read more »

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David Miesbauer is a systems analyst at Sierra Pacific Industries. Steve Gaston is the chief information officer for Sierra Pacific Industries.

Femap Tips and Tricks: Restore Associativity between Imported CAD and FEA Models

Bringing in data from outside platforms may break associativity between models. Here's a method to fix the problem.

By Alastair Robertson

With Femap, you can import CAD and finite element analysis (FEA) models from a wide variety of sources. To import a CAD model, select the File > Import > Geometry menu option, then browse and select the CAD file you wish to import. Femap provides the option to specify a geometry scale factor, if desired, select OK.

To import an FEA model, select the File > Import > Analysis Model menu option, select the Analysis Format in the Import Form, and click OK. Now browse to and select the corresponding FEA model for the CAD geometry imported earlier.

Read more »

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Alastair Robertson is the product marketing manager for Siemens PLM Software Velocity Series CAE solutions, including Femap with NX Nastran and Solid Edge Simulation.


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Multibody Sheet Metal Design in SolidWorks
July 17, 2013
6 p.m. ET
Part of the Fisher/Unitech "Night School" series, this webinar will offer tips, tricks, and knowledge to help attendees stay ahead of the competition and learn more about SolidWorks. Read more »

An Introduction to Luxion KeyShot
July 17, 2013
11 a.m. PT
This webinar is a beginner's course, instructing attendees about how to use KeyShot Pro 4.1 to create professional-quality renderings. Topics will include importing files, using the material library, and rendering output. Read more »

Reduce the Risk Inherent to Innovation with SolidWorks Simulation
July 19, 2013
2 p.m. ET
In this Fisher/Unitech webinar, attendees can learn how to inexpensively test new ideas with SolidWorks Simulation Professional and Simulation Premium. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on Are you hosting an event that you would like to include in our calendar? Submit details at least two weeks in advance to


What’s New at

Vacation Planning for the CAD Manager
Follow these simple tips to maximize your summer fun — and minimize the chance of work-related interruptions. Read more »

Seven Pitfalls to Avoid as You Transition to 3D Modeling
You've heard plenty about what to do when moving from 2D CAD to 3D and building information modeling. Now it's time to learn what not to do. Read more »

Three Ways to Change Your Current AutoCAD Layer
Changing layers is a fact of life in AutoCAD — are you doing it the fastest possible way? Join Autodesk Evangelist Lynn Allen as she shows you three different ways to change your current layer. Watch the video »

IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Generate an FEA Report in Inventor Professional 2014
Any Inventor user can create a finite element analysis (FEA) report by following these steps. Read more »

Solid Edge University 2013, Part 1:
Solid Edge ST6 Adds 1,300 User-Requested Features

Announced this week at the annual user conference, the "greatest version ever" is said to increase performance sixfold on some tasks. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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