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Physical Digital Majenta PLM partnership
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The Physical Digital Team
Tim Rapley (centre) with members of the Physical Digital team.
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3D printing industry stalwarts Majenta PLM and Physical Digital are joining forces and the partnership promises to benefit many designers and manufacturers.
On April 16th, the companies announced they have teamed up in a bid to offer clients seamless workflow between Physical Digital's 3D scanning data and software within Majenta's production portfolio, which includes NX, Solid Edge, Femap, Tecnomatix and Teamcenter.
Mark Parry, Managing Director of Majenta, said: "This is a partnership between Physical Digital and ourselves. Tim [Rapley, Managing Director of Physical Digital] and I are fairly well known throughout the industry, especially in automotive and aerospace, so we try and collaborate with those parties that offer the best service and are open."
"The 3D world"
Physical Digital uses NX supported by Majenta PLM to offer design and reverse engineering solutions to its customers - including those in the turbine and aerospace industries. The advanced surfacing capabilities within NX enables quick modelling of complex geometries, which can be easily prepared using Femap for use in CAE packages like FloEF. Design optimisations of legacy components can be compiled using information gathered in the FEA process and changes to materials can e evaluated quickly. Leading to a reduction in development time. Tooling for the production of these components can then be created in line with the product.
Moreover, scan data can be used as a design space to enable retrofitted components to be modelled using NX or Solid Edge to offer a fast route for conceptual design.
Parry explained the partnership came about when his Majenta team decided that in the next five years, it wants to reach out to interesting and innovative industry partners.
"If 3D was at the heart of what everybody does in design and manufacturing, it's clear some people won’t start from First Principles every time. Conceptual design, analysis and legacy data were quick to adapt to the 3D world and that's what Physical Digital does and is very good at.
"When I met Tim, it was apparent this would be a good company to partner with. We work with automotive OEMs, Aston Martin, Jaguar Land Rover, Nissan and Rolls Royce for aerospace parts and this is a good collaboration because we can offer them the ability to get data into the 3D world and manipulate that data with the tools we give them. But once that data is in the 3D world, what do you do with it? People can make best design they can with the service we offer along with validation, FEA, costing, weight and competitive analysis. Tim can then offer, once it's made, to scan it again so we can compare back to either the original or the actual design and work out which is best.
"It really is a great turnkey solution that we can now offer thanks to this partnership."
Making informed decisions
Parry explained that the ability to complete this work in the 3D world means comparative analysis with competitive products is easier, as Physical Digital can 3D scan, for example, rival cars and then Majenta can put them on the screen to gather direct comparison data.
"The end goal is, if you get all your information in one place and it's the right information, it's easy to make informed decisions. A lot of people do not have the original data and you can imaging what you see it isn't necessarily what you get, so if you can scan a design - be it a ship or an environment - then it’s easier to make informed decisions," Parry explained.
When quizzed about what he meant by "whole environments", he elaborated, explaining that some people are indeed scanning the area in which a product is intended to reside, such as a submarine.
"This helps the designers out and it’s a lot easier for them to immerse themselves in the task itself," he said.
The ability to accurately gather physical data provides huge advantages in product development, while lifelike renderings can be created using KeyShot to enable designs to be quickly evaluated and components modified. Capturing high quality accurate scan data closes the loop from concept through to design and evaluation (CFD FEA) into production and then quality inspection of the final part back to the CAD.
"It really is a design/manufacture process, but the physical relationship with reverse engineering pulls the real world and design truly together," Parry stated.
Thinking on a screen
When asked how important the ability to reverse engineer using 3D scanning is to the future of the 3D industry, Parry said he thinks reverse engineering can sometimes be something of an afterthought, but this new partnership will hopefully allow people to think of reverse engineering as a proactive step in the design-manufacturing process.
"If you're starting from First Principles you can go straight onto the computer screen. You can design an entire car in 3D. But by the time it's fully designed, a lot of people will have been involved, so how do you get back to how it was meant to have been designed? How best to do aerodynamics or airflow or heat flow testing, for instance, rather than going into wind tunnels and doing it in the physical environment? It's all done in the virtual 3D world."
He added: "I've been in automotive for 14 years and the boundaries of where people work have changed. The ability to interact with your design on a computer screen is incredible. As things go forward, younger engineers will be able to think on their screens."
Majenta PLM and Physical Digital will be demonstrating the benefits of this partnership at TCT Show + Personalize 2014 in Birmingham on September 30th-October 2nd and Parry is confident the new venture will be met with enthusiasm.
"I think the relationship both parties have and how well known we are, us coming together is the first I've heard of. Tim's organisation can get physical parts into the digital world quickly and allow customers to manipulate that data and 3D print it quickly. Majenta is at the heart of all of this and what we need to do is work and collaborate with what I consider to be the best people out there.
"I feel we have some excellent people to help people into the 3D world looking around the marketplace."