MCAD Tech News #191

1 Nov, 2006 By: Jeffrey Rowe

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Functional Design Revisited

Autodesk’s philosophy supports design by function

The technical software world always seems to have some controversy or point of contention swirling around. I’ve witnessed this time after time during the years I’ve covered and participated in the mechanical/manufacturing CAD industry. Recently, though, I’d be hard-pressed to come up with a software feature, capability, claim — whatever you want to call it — that’s stirred up more attention than functional design in Autodesk Inventor has. I’ve gotten more inquiries about functional design from users, competitors and even other editors -- what it is, what it isn’t, is it really unique and so on -- than just about any other topic in recent memory.

Functional design has materialized in Inventor 11 and is not just a command or tool set, but rather a method or philosophy. This is an evolving Inventor usability issue and a different approach to 3D design. I know that I’ll get arguments from competitors, but with functional design, form doesn’t necessarily follow function; instead, function can drive form. Although still relatively young with a lot of room to grow, functional design is a knowledge content toolset that represents a movement from geometric descriptions to rudimentary knowledge capture. Functional design isn’t just a set of functions for creating 3D representations, it supports design by function.Read more>>

Cadalyst Labs Review: Make it Real -- Visualization Software to Bring Designs to Life

By Ron LaFon

Along with the extraordinary development of 3D design software has come the ability to turn drawings into visualizations that mimic reality. Whether it's to troubleshoot the design, convince a nervous client or sell a design firm's capabilities, the visualization of design data has completely changed the way many of us work. Modern products and structures can be complex and hard to picture from the underlying CAD drawings alone. Visualization is one of the impressive capabilities brought by modern computer systems and the associated software development. Getting a realistic idea of what a new building will look like in its proposed setting is a remarkable achievement, and many of the visualization applications described in this article can produce photorealistic results. Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

The Power of Adobe Acrobat 8 Seminar
Various 2006 dates
Various locations
Attendees will learn how Adobe Acrobat 8 can be used to improve workflows, and can choose from 90-minute breakout sessions designed for AEC/manufacturing, creative/marketing, general business/IT, legal and education/e-learning professionals, as well as a developer briefing. Read more

CAD Technology for Manufacturing and Interoperability Expo
November 3, 2006
Seattle, Washington
This half-day conference, sponsored by Kubotek USA and Cimtech, will address approaches for meeting CAD interoperability demands across the supply chain. Read more

Autodesk 2007 Manufacturing Solutions PremiereNovember 8, 2006
Garden Grove, California
Hagerman & Company is hosting a free technology event for Southern California mechanical design professionals. Hagerman & Company sales and design engineering staff will give presentations on the latest solutions from Autodesk. Read more

MIT Manufacturing Conference December 6-7, 2006
Cambridge, Massachusetts
The Manufacturing Conference is part of the MIT Industrial Liaison Program's Technology and the Corporation conference series. Presentations for the day-and-a-half event will provide insights into the experiences and approaches used by such companies as Cisco Systems, Caterpillar and HP. Read more

10th Annual Applied Ergonomics Conference
March 12-15, 2007
Addison, Texas
"Celebrating the Past -- Shaping the Future" is the theme for this ergonomics conference, which features more than 20 corporations competing for the Ergo Cup awards for innovative process improvements. Read more

2007 LMS Conference
March 20-21, 2007
Detroit, Michigan
During this two-day conference, engineering executives, senior managers and their technical staff will share their strategies and present application cases that illustrate how new physical test and virtual simulation methods and technologies have helped them optimize their product development processes. Read more

2nd Annual 3DQuickPress International User Conference
March 22-23, 2007
Chicago, Illinois
This two-day interactive user conference will cover educational topics focusing on 3DQuickPress and 3DQuickForm, SolidWorks add-ins for die design. Read more

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here >>

what's new at

Online Archives:Click here to view an online version of this newsletter and past issues of MCAD Tech News.

CAD Manager -- Online Approaches to Archiving: Options proliferate for CAD project archives, including Internet-based storage.

Avatech Tricks – Drawing for Dough, Part 1:Useful tips for getting the correct views in Autodesk Inventor.

Job Search: If you're in the market for a new job -- or if you just want to see what's out there -- offers an online Job Search that will help. Powered by Indeed, this search tool offers a state-by-state list of CAD-related job openings, or you can customize a search to find your own list of U.S. job openings based on the keywords and locations you specify. Check it out today! Use the Job Search button on Cadalyst's Manufacturing Web site or click here for a direct link.

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