MCAD Tech News (#237)

2 Apr, 2008

Photoshop CS3 Extended Measures Up

Latest version from Adobe makes it easy to collect measurement data for analytical engineering tasks.

By Jeffrey Rowe

Jeffrey Rowe photoI've been a hobbyist photographer since I was a teenager, first with film and paper, and eventually all digital -- somewhat analogous to my path as a mechanical designer. With film, I loved processing and printing my shots in the rudimentary darkrooms I had assembled over the years, but the film and processing supplies made it an expensive hobby.

About 15 years ago, I got into digital photography. I was interested in the new technology and I wanted to save some money. As part of that initiation, I purchased my first version of Adobe Photoshop for the PC. It was one of the first releases of Photoshop for the PC, which had previously been available only for Apple's Macintosh platform. Over the years I've become comfortable with a lot of aspects of Photoshop and often wondered if and how some of its features could be applied to mechanical engineering and design.

That question was finally answered when Adobe released a turbocharged version of Photoshop just over a year ago: Photoshop CS3 Extended. This completely new edition of Photoshop is designed to help creative professionals push the limits of digital imaging. On top of everything in the standard Photoshop CS3, it includes a new set of capabilities to integrate 3D and motion graphics, image measurement, and analysis. Adobe claims that Photoshop CS3 Extended can simplify the workflow for professionals in engineering, architecture, medical, and scientific disciplines.

As a mechanical designer, I wanted to try out Photoshop CS3 Extended for inspecting, measuring, and reconstructing a piston rod for an antique engine via 3D modeling. It worked quite well -- in fact, I was so pleased with the results that I can recommend Photoshop CS3 Extended for similar applications. Following is a look at how you can tap this new solution in the mechanical design environment. Read more »

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .
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 719.221.1867.


Thicker Than Water: Using CFD to Analyze How Blood Flows

By Kenneth Wong

In the field of fluid dynamics, blood falls under the non-Newtonian category because its behavior defies the classic Newtonian principle that governs water's movement. In other words, with blood, the rate of shear is not proportional to the corresponding stress (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, McGraw-Hill Companies, 2003).

It was up to Don Novkov, Luminous Medical's senior mechanical engineer, to figure out how blood behaves when it trickles into an automated glucose-measurement device, the premier product from Luminous. A veteran SolidWorks user, Novkov found that COSMOSFloWorks, a computational fluid dynamics (CFD) analysis program for SolidWorks users, had precisely what he needed to deconstruct the non-Newtonian flow. Read more »


Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

3D Modeling Symposium Berlin
April 7-9, 2008
Berlin, Germany
This three-day event for professionals and students will include lectures, case studies, and master classes. Sponsored by The Universitat der Kunste Berlin (University of Arts Berlin) in cooperation with Visual-Dream. Read more »

CPDA Design/Simulation Workshops
May 13-14, 2008
Atlanta, Georgia
Developing a design/simulation framework (May 13) will look at simulation data management, process support, and integration. Frontiers in Design and Simulation (May 14) will explore how to model and support system-level design decisions in SysML Read more »

Webinar: Enterprise Cost Management
April 8, 2008
2 p.m. EDT
aPriori and AGCO will sponsor this one-hour Webinar for discrete manufacturing and product companies. Learn how to generate precise, repeatable, and relevant product cost assessments in real time from design to production. Read more »

Abaqus Users' Conference
May 19-22, 2008
Newport, Rhode Island
The 2008 AUC will mark the 30th anniversary of the commercialization of Abaqus FEA software. This annual conference provides an opportunity to learn how experts in engineering and academia are applying the latest simulation technology and methods to accelerate and improve product development. Read more »

For a complete list of CAD meetings, conferences, training sessions, and more, check out our calendar of events on

What’s New at

New Digital Prototyping Channel Now Live
Brought to you by Cadalyst and Autodesk, the new Digital Prototyping Channel is now live on Check it out for exclusive Cadalyst features and other resources that demonstrate the applications and benefits of digital prototyping in the product development process. Don't forget to bookmark the page!

Be Among the First to Hear What's New!
Back by popular demand, What's New at Cadalyst e-newsletters will alert you when new content is posted each month on, including all the latest magazine features, hardware and software reviews, online tutorials, code downloads, CAD cartoon, and much more. Sign up now to receive What's New at Cadalyst: AEC or What's New at Cadalyst: Manufacturing.