MCAD Tech News #203

7 Mar, 2007 By: Jeffrey Rowe

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3D Printing and Desktop Turf Wars

More than one manufacturer plans to take up residence on the product designer's desktop.

Earlier this year, 3D Systems Corporation, a manufacturer of rapid 3D printing, prototyping and manufacturing machines, announced its plans to introduce the V-Flash desktop modeler this summer.

The V-Flash desktop modeler is the first product 3D Systems plans to bring to market that's based on a new technology platform. The company claims its proprietary FTI (film transfer imaging) technology is what makes this desktop modeler possible, although details on it are lacking beyond broad specifications.

The 25" X 26" X 27" V-Flash desktop modeler weighs about 100lb and has a maximum build volume of 7" X 9" X 8" (WxDxH). The V-Flash desktop modeler will cost about $9,900, making it affordable to a wide range of potential customers.

3D Systems exhibited the V-Flash at the SolidWorks World 2007 user conference in February, and the parts it produced were quite impressive with regard to resolution and surface finish, although not as high quality as those produced by SLS (selective laser sintering) or SLA (stereolithography) processes.

Introducing the V-Flash could be a good move for 3D Systems as it adds this newest machine to round out its product portfolio. With the announcement of the V-Flash modeler, the desktop is fast becoming highly coveted real estate for so-called 3D printers. So, although 3D Systems calls the V-Flash a desktop modeler, I’d classify it as a 3D printer based on its relative low cost, part creation speed and ease of use, although this might be stretching the definition a bit. Read more>>

First Look Review: @Xi PowerGo 2Duo

By Ron LaFon

@Xi Computer has a well-deserved reputation for producing speedy workstation systems for the CAD and engineering markets. Xi has been working for some time to produce a mobile workstation that meets its performance expectations. The result of those efforts is the newly released @Xi PowerGo 2Duo, the fastest mobile workstation to ever come through Cadalyst Labs. Read more>>

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

3D Systems 3DSUG Conference
March 18-22, 2007 
Daytona Beach, Florida
3DSUG was established to encourage and coordinate technical information exchange between owners and operators of 3D Systems equipment and provide feedback to 3D Systems on hardware and software modifications. The 3DSUG conference is the only independent forum catering to users of stereolithography, selective laser sintering and 3D Systems 3D printing equipment. Read more

Webcast: High-Performance Computing with ANSYS Solutions and Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003
March 21, 2007
1:00 p.m. PDT
View this session to see how Microsoft and partner ANSYS are making strides in HPC (high-performance computing). Learn about the ANSYS 11.0 release, and discover how the Workbench Environment integrates with Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 by means of the Workbench Remote Solution Manager and the Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 Job Scheduler. Read more

Webcast: Expand Your Simulation Capacity with FLUENT Software and Windows Compute Cluster Server
March 29, 2007
11:30 a.m. PDT
This Webcast will show how FLUENT CFD (computational fluid dynamics) software from ANSYS provides engineering insight to guide product design and process improvement. Learn how deploying FLUENT technology on Microsoft Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 can expand your simulation capacity and enable you to reduce engineering development costs. Read more

Infolytica Seminar
April 3, 2007
Chicago, Illinois
Infolytica Corporation will offer a free pre-conference seminar at the 2007 Magnetics Conference. The one-day event will feature the latest innovations from the software developer, including a look at MotorSolve motor design software. Read more

SME 3D SCANNING: Reverse Engineering, Inspection & Analysis Conference and Exposition
May 1-2, 2007 
Detroit, Michigan
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers 3D Scanning Conference and Exposition will focus on using noncontact scanning technology to capture and process high-resolution 3D spatial geometries and will provide practical knowledge to support effective technology selection and use. Read more

SME Interoperability and 3D Collaboration
May 2-3, 2007
Detroit, Michigan
The Society of Manufacturing Engineers' two-day international conference provides an opportunity for design, engineering and manufacturing professionals to interact, learn and share experiences in interoperability and collaboration with 3D data. Attendees will learn about the latest strategies, best practices and solutions, while interacting directly with fellow users and leading experts in the field. Read more

Developing a Design/Simulation Framework
May 15, 2007
Atlanta, Georgia
Join industry analysts from Collaborative Product Development Associates (CPDA) and leading-edge users and practitioners for a one-day event that explores in depth the latest thinking on the critical issues facing simulation. Note: This is a change of date for this event. Read more

Frontiers in Design and Simulation Workshop
May 16, 2007
Atlanta, Georgia
This workshop is organized by the  Georgia Tech Product & Systems Lifecycle Management Center in cooperation with CPDA (Collaborative Product Development Associates). There is a need for computer-based support that allows the knowledge and expertise of many domain experts to be shared, managed, and applied toward the thorough exploration of different system architectures while considering complex trade-offs between multiple objectives under uncertainty. Read more

AutoVue Customer Cimm'posium 2007
June 27-28, 2007
Montreal, Canada
The AutoVue Customer Cimm'posium 2007, Cimmetry's first ever annual user and partner conference will showcase AutoVue solutions, integrations, and innovations that have revolutionized the visualization market. During the event, Cimmetry will focus on Enterprise Visualization as a solution to address the mission-critical challenge of efficiently accessing, viewing, and communicating digital information and documents across the global enterprise. Read more

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

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Get the Code!
Cadalyst 's March code from Hot Tip Harry is now available for download. Stahimir Antoljak earned $100 for Polyline Edit Tools in VBA, a Visual Basic routine that contains public functions for inserting and removing vertex points in polylines in AutoCAD.

Cadalyst's March AutoCAD tutorials are live online, including Lynn Allen’s Circles and Lines and Bill Fane’s Learning Curve.

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