MCAD Tech News (#226)

7 Nov, 2007 By: Jeffrey Rowe

Analysis for the Masses with CAE 2.0

If the developers of SymLab and other CAE applications have their way, a lot more users will be performing analysis, doing it earlier in the design process, and paying less to do so.

By Jeffrey Rowe

A lot of CAD, CAM, and CAE products and services are pitched my way. Some are interesting, some aren't, and a few are intriguing because they are unique. Recently, through a letter from a reader, I became aware of a CAE company and product line that are truly intriguing and unique. The reader, Richard Smith, is the principal of a company called Symscape, and the product line is known as SymLab.

Smith wrote after reading the October 18 edition of MCAD Tech News that provided an update on CAD's relative newcomer, SpaceClaim. That company likens itself to CAD 2.0, an analogy to Web 2.0 that refers to a so-called second generation of Web-based communities and hosted services such as social-networking sites (MySpace, YouTube, and Facebook) and wikis (Wikipedia and Wikispaces). Like Web 2.0, SpaceClaim's CAD 2.0 is intended to facilitate collaboration and sharing between users, where the company defines CAD 2.0 as a multi-CAD environment. The 2.0 version doesn't eliminate the 1.0 version, but rather broadens the ability to create and distribute content to a larger circle of users.

Smith wrote that he thought the analogy drawn between CAD 2.0 and Web 2.0 could be extended to cover CAE 2.0, which is where his company, Symscape, and its SymLab product line fits in.

According to him, like SpaceClaim, Symscape is a small company (founded in 2006) trying to address the two Achilles' heels of current CAE analysis products: affordability and ease of use. The company's Web site is also an integral part of its product and strategy -- providing automated purchasing, product documentation, and product updates.

Symscape's primary mission is to provide a different way of doing things by opening up CAE analysis to the masses via affordability (the prices will surprise you and will be discussed later) and usability with a shallow learning curve. Relying on these two basic tenets, Symscape hopes to expand the CAE market beyond its traditional home in the hands of engineers and encourage greater numbers of users to experiment with analysis.  Read more 

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Cadalyst contributing editor Jeffrey Rowe is the principal of Cairowest Group, an independent industrial design, mechanical engineering and technical communication consulting firm with offices in Colorado and Michigan. You can reach him by e-mail at or by phone at 719.539.8549.


MCAD Modeling — Sharing and Collaborating with Your Team

By Mike Hudspeth, IDSA

We've all heard the saying, "No man is an island." Well, there is another, somewhat less-known version that goes, "No one designs in a vacuum." Whether we like it or not, we all belong to a team. That team has higher-profile members, to be sure, but everyone has something they must contribute if the project is to see the light of day. What sets a team apart from an individual is that each member has expertise, and everyone has to work together. A team is all about cooperation. As they say, there's no I in teamwork. Read more


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Webinar: Standards Based Engineering
November 8, 2007
11:00 a.m. EST
In this webinar, titled "Standards Based Engineering -- Bringing Knowledge Capture and Reuse to the PLM Product Lifecycle," PLM expert Mike Burkett of AMR Research and David Vredenburgh of RuleStream will present the benefits of RuleStream's Standards Based Engineering (SBE) system. The SBE solution acts as a knowledge foundation, supporting a number of engineering applications such as engineer-to-order, digital manufacturing, and simulation. Read more

For Cadalyst's full calendar of eventsclick here.