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Intercad debuts SolidWorks 2011 in Australia

Intercad, Australia’s specialist 3D CAD/CAM company, has worked with vendor partner SolidWorks on the inclusion of Australian-specific improvements targeting sustainable design in the latest version of 3D CAD/CAM software, SolidWorks 2011.

The built-in SolidWorks SustainabilityXpress module within SolidWorks 2011 now includes data from Australia on materials, transport and manufacturing processes. Australian designers can use this functionality to not only ensure their products are eco-friendly but also evaluate the environmental impact on parts that are produced in other regions, off shore manufacturing and distribution around the world. In addition to usual parts and materials, customised materials can also be added to the database.

SolidWorks 2011 also includes hundreds of other refinements, many based on feedback from the global SolidWorks community. Headline improvements include a boost to drawing functionality, new technology for thermal simulations, an enhanced user experience through memory and interface improvements, and new tools for greater collaboration with suppliers, partners and manufacturers.

“We worked closely with SolidWorks on including Australian information in the SustainabilityXpress module for this release,” says Max Piper, Chief Executive Officer, Intercad. “Our account management and services teams work directly with our customers to help solve their business issues so we know green design is one topic on their minds. We provided that feedback to the SolidWorks engineers for this module within SolidWorks 2011.”

The new software will be launched at a series of half-day industry events starting in Sydney and Melbourne today, followed by seminars around Australia over the next three weeks. Intercad is inviting anyone who uses 3D CAD/CAM software to come along to see the new features firsthand, and gain some in-depth insight on CAD/CAM best practice from its technical team.

Intercad’s Mark Duggan, Australia’s only SolidWorks Elite Application Engineer, will be at the events to answer technical queries, walk attendees through the new features in SolidWorks 2011 and show them how to optimise their technology. Duggan has been involved in test driving the new software so is well versed on the improvements and how they can help Australian designers, engineers and manufacturers. Intercad is also offering complimentary and discounted ‘What’s New’ training for subscription and other attending Intercad customers.

“Our services team has also been hard at work actioning some of the requests received in our recent customer survey,” continues Piper. “Coinciding with the launch of SolidWorks 2011, we have re-organised our sales and support teams so that customers with multiple licences have a single point of contact with Intercad so we are closer to each client. It’s about getting under the skin of their businesses and being able to make recommendations on improving efficiency, optimising use of the software and answering any niggling technical issues on the spot.”

Intercad is the leading distributor of SolidWorks in Australia and has more than 20 years’ experience in the design, engineering and manufacturing industries. This knowledge, combined with the company’s training and technical support programs, puts Intercad in a position to strategically assist its customers to not only meet their design challenges but also their business objectives.

To make collaborating with suppliers, partners and manufacturers easier, PhotoView 360 is now fully integrated into SolidWorks 2011, allowing designers to render large animations directly from their models. New walk-through functionality even allows clients to be ‘escorted’ through a design in a ‘video game-like’ fashion, no matter whether the design is a small consumer product, structure or large machinery.

While working with suppliers, partners and manufacturers on designs is essential to product development, protection of intellectual property is one of the key concerns in this region. The new Defeature tool allows designers to strip details out of a design or model and control how much intellectual property is exposed to vendors, partners and customers.

“Australia is renowned for its innovation and unique designs,” says Piper. “But having to submit electronic designs to suppliers, partners, customers and vendors is a fact of working in today’s digital environment. Being able to send a model that includes only the details that are essential for approval or manufacture means you can preserve your design intent and your products can’t be replicated as easily.”

A new feature, SolidWorks Design Checker, has been integrated into SolidWorks Enterprise PDM Software to automatically check designs against company standards to ensure they are correct. It also streamlines the release of designs to manufacturing, and integration with 3DVIA Composer ensures design documentation is also correct.

Drawing details have also been enhanced to ensure models are clear and accurate, and designers no longer need to waste time manually dimensioning their products. SolidWorks 2011 automatically aligns, staggers, or centres dimensions without any overlap. Designers can also select several dimensions for linear, radial, collinear, or staggered alignment, or top/bottom/left/right justification.

Other key features in SolidWorks 2011 include:
· Dedicated HVAC thermal simulation – simulate air and heat flows through electronic and HVAC systems and show heating and cooling performance on a building, room, or subsection.

· Faster structural analysis – analyse 2D parts by selecting intersecting planes and applying loads and constraints. Results are calculated and displayed instantly on the full 3D model.

· Planar simplification – faster analysis of parts with consistent sections by focussing on the geometry of the parts rather than the entire structure.

· Enhanced beam analysis – vary loads along the length of a beam to analyse the real- world stresses more accurately.

· Routing improvements – use existing designs to create faster pipe, tube, electrical cable and conduit courses.

· Welded structure improvements – the new Smart Weld Selection Tool improves accuracy by automatically adding weld beads and completing documentation and appearance of welded structures.

· 3DVIA Composer interactive storyboarding – drag and drop models, drawings and views to communicate more effectively with employees and customers by showing product details in a logical way.

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