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Unboxing Views in CAD

When working in any CAD environment, quickly and intuitively being able to manipulate views will improve efficiency. The basic premise is with the use of the number pad, shortcuts and if you want some scripting most CAD programs can be customized to speed up your workflow.

Dental X-Ray to Bite Simulation

Designing a medical device commonly starts with the healthy or diseased anatomy. Geometry without significant simplifications typically comes from various 3D scanning technologies such as CT or MRI. Here we will go through turning scanned point cloud data into usable NURBS CAD geometry with Catia. FOR FREE ACCESS THE FILES CREATED FOR THIS POST PLEASE CLICK HERE

Process Streamlining: Catia Custom Toolbar

During an interview I was once asked “You’re a mechanical engineer why did you get into programming?” My response was “I’m lazy and repetitive tasks are boring!” Some repetitive tasks do not lend them selves to automation, however, they are still boring and error prone as your mind wanders. This post details how creating a custom toolbar in Catia that can alleviate some of this tedium. These methods can be extrapolated to just about anything. For example I have a specific toolbox that I use when working on: mountain, road or now kids bikes.

Parametric Design Optimization with Isight and Abaqus

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Abaqus is itself a powerful tool for Finite Element Analysis, but coupling it with Dassault Systèmes Isight can open up new worlds of capabilities when it comes to design optimization. Isight is a system integration tool that is designed to execute other engineering software codes; providing inputs, executing models, parsing results, linking them into integrated

Abaqus and Catia on Windows 10

Being a perpetual early adopter of software updates we are already up and running Windows 10 on our server, laptops and even a Surface. The upgrades went without any issues and we have tested: Catia, Abaqus, Isight, Tosca and fe-safe with the DSLS (Dassault Systèms License Server) hosting the license files. One of our customers, Optimax Systems Inc has installed their DSLS on Windows 10 as well and provided their installation notes for DSLS and Abaqus. It’s great to have cool customers that are willing to help out!

Analyzing Data from a 3D CT Scan of a Part with CATIA

While 3D printing has been widely embraced as a means of speeding up the product development process X-Ray 3D scanning has been somewhat less utilized, despite its tremendous usefulness. Part of the reason for this may be that while a 3D print can be held and touched the data files from CT scans are enormous

Femur CT Scan to Finite Element Analysis

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Introduction The purpose of this post is to explain how to utilize medical imaging data in the development of a prosthetic implant. The two most common medical imaging technologies are CT and MRI. Both export a stack of 2D grey scale images over a 3D domain in the standard Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) format. In this post I will go through the development of geometric (CAD) and mechanical (FEA) models based off anatomical imaging data. Through this workflow designs can be tuned for specific biometry based on realistic loading scenarios. As always all of the models used to develop this post are available at the end of the article.

Lacrosse Head Topology Optimization Part 2: Designing for 3D Printing

Topology optimization creates an organic geometry flowing material to where it is needed and eroding where it is not efficient. This technology is ideally suited to the limited manufacturing constraints that 3D printing offers. 3D printed parts by virtue of their layer by layer additive manufacturing approach have complex material properties. These properties are similar to wood where there is a stiff direction (with the grain) and a weak direction (across the grain). To gain the highest performance in 3D printed parts these material properties must be considered in the design process.

Creating a Plugin for Abaqus with Scripting

One of the most powerful features of Abaqus is that the GUI is essentially a command generator for python, which is itself a very powerful open source scripting language. Any action that you take in Abaqus CAE is recorded as a python script and these scripts are available to you to modify and execute at

Design Requirements: Faster, Better, Cheaper…pick 2

One NASA adage is: Better, Faster, Cheaper…pick 2 The premise is that the third desire is mutually exclusive. This is obviously an oversimplification of the process however it quickly brings to light the interplay between goals. I like to think of design requirements from an optimization standpoint. There are constraints and goals. Constraints are those that the design must meet otherwise it is not a viable product. Goals are parameters that you would like to improve.