Improving 'intelligent' design capabilities

Paul Boughton

Ironcad is releasing Ironcad V9, the latest offering of the company's award-winning 3D design package known worldwide for its ease of use and end user productivity.

New and innovative capabilities within Ironcad V9 will help designers and engineers bring better products to market faster.

With a level of design freedom that is claimed to be unmatched in the industry today, Ironcad is the tool of choice for many engineers when deadlines are tight and a high degree of unanticipated change is expected. Ironcad has made the design process much more efficient and effectiveallowing our designers more flexibility and freedom in their work than ever before. We could never be this efficient in traditional constraint-based systems" says Anders Uddman of Ankarsrum Motors.

Ironcad V9 focuses on enhancing the intelligent design capabilities that make Ironcad easy to use for new and existing users. Smartsnap technology for precisely snapping geometry and automatic feature reordering are examples of its existing intelligent capabilities that have been standard since Ironcad's inception. Its new 'intelligent' creationmodification and positioning capabilitiesalong with many customer-driven productivity feature requests incorporated in this latest releasecontinue to extend design freedom.

Objects within Ironcad are made 'intelligent' by implementing capabilities like Smartassemblywhich lets users create attachment locations to automatically position components in a scene. With this capabilitycomponents that are dragged or dropped within the Ironcad scene will automatically align to the nearest matching attachment locationthereby ensuring the component's precise placement. This capability helps customers that design assembly configurations from standard components create models more quickly by eliminating repetitive positioning of components.

Modification 'intelligence' can be seen in commands like the Intellistretch Command. With Intellistretchusers can resize components based on a component's overall size box. This capability overcomes typical limitations of traditional history-based parametric systems by allowing multiple component changes regardless of the order in which they were created. “The Intellistretch command breaks the barrier in traditional CAD system by allowing our users to make changes to our machine frames late in the design stage to meet fitting requirements that were not known early in the design. Parametrics and a history-based design philosophy would prevent us from making these structural changes unless we rebuilt the design or spent hours manipulating the model history” says Leif Bengtsson of Stik in StockholmSweden.

Another example of Ironcad's flexibility is the new Assembly Feature Grouping capability for intelligent creation. This capability allows the grouping of components and assembly features in an Ironcad cataloguehence creating a combination that will cut multiple parts and assemblies while placing the grouped components. Inserting a window unit into a solid wallwhere material must be removed before the window and its frame members can be placedis an application of this ability.

Design Variationswhich enable users to store multiple variations of parametric componentsallow users to build intelligent components stored in Ironcad Catalogues. This new feature activates when a shape is dropped from a catalogue into the scene. Users can then select the variation option to applyreducing the need to create multiple configurations of components and eliminating repetitive setting of parameters on components.

“Our goal is to continue to make Ironcad flexible by allowing users the freedom to be creative in the design cycle and to have the power to make unanticipated changes without the system hindering this productivity” states Cary O'ConnorIroncad's marketing director. “Ironcad V9 is a huge leap in providing this flexibility to Ironcad customer's spreading throughout many industries.”

Ironcad V9 and its accompanying bonus CD are available for immediate delivery.

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