Part designed using solidThinking's design optimisation tool.
During a sneak peek of solidThinking’s product offerings for 2016, Jaideep Bengal, Application Engineer for the software developer, said: “This is going to be a game changing year for everyone.” With significant improvements and additions on both the Inspire and Evolve ends of its portfolio, it looks like software is going to play a big part in that change.
Inspire is solidThinking’s design optimisation tool which provides engineers with the most efficient designs possible and in 2016, those optimised designs can be simulated and sent straight to a 3D printer, speeding up the product iteration process once more.
Starting with an improved user interface with section cuts that allow 2D cross sections and a Move Tool for manipulation, Inspire has a lot to shout about this year. The PolyNURBS toolset now allows you to create free-form solid geometry quickly and includes new wrap, loop, bridge and sharpen tools that provide enhanced control over part geometry.
Speaking of geometry, you can now use a Midsurface Tool to find and extract 2D sheets from stampable thin, solid geometries whilst Scale, Mirror and Revolve buttons allow you to resize, reflect and rotate selected parts.
Analysis and optimisation now includes Buckling Analysis, which detects when a part will collapse or bend and a Compare function, which allows users to compare analysis and optimisation runs.
Setup tools have been added to allow users to determine enforced placements when the magnitude of a force applied to a part is unknown. Angular Velocity and Acceleration lets users define the speed of rotation and axis of a model whilst the g-Loads and Temperature Loads features let you simulate acceleration and temperature changes. In addition to this, a new 1 Step Stamping Module allows you to check feasibility or formability based on geometry and inverse analysis technology.
It’s not just Inspire that’s Evolving
Inspire’s sister product, Evolve, is also getting a refresh for 2016 with over 30 new features added in this year’s release including improved rendering capabilities, new modelling tools and enhanced user interface. It’s all about adding convenience to the Evolve toolset and giving designers the power to get to end results faster and more efficiently. solidThinking Evolve 2016 allows designers to develop forms faster, visualise products and produce realistic rendering in real time.
In last year’s edition, the biggest improvement was in the new PolyNURBS toolset and this has been improved once again with a host of new features like the Create Bridge button which allows edges and faces to be bridged together more efficiently and new auto-align axis to facilitate face editing.
Again, the interface has had a makeover with manipulation tools, Snaps, default camera controls, Snapshot feature and other subtle improvements that improve usability and visibility. On the modelling side, a Draft Analysis tool has been added which improves the design of products for injection moulding. Improvements in Curve, Trim and Loft and Sweep tools offer more control over alignment, curvature and trim direction.
Allowing designers to test their ideas more quickly, rendering has been given a boost with improvements to the Interactive Rendering display mode so that it always uses GPU and stops when the specified samples per pixel had been reached. Textures have been adjusted to support brightness and contrast in texture maps whilst a new Metallic Flakes option has been added which allows users to include metallic flakes to the base colour of plastic materials.
Customers in various industries have been using the product and testing in beta for the last few months and according to Jaideep they’re already saying “we need this today”. Luckily for them both software products are set for release as this issue goes to print.
Join solidThinking for a TCT hosted interactive webinar on 30th March 2016 at 3pm (GMT) to learn how to leverage the full potential out of additive manufacturing. Jaideep will present strategies for reducing part weight and increasing performance by pairing additive manufacturing with early-stage topology optimization. Register for FREE.