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FiberSIM/CATIA 3.3 introduced by CDT

VISTAGY : 05 July, 2007  (New Product)
Composite Design Technologies, Inc., the market leader in creating CAD integrated software solutions for composite design and manufacturing, announced that it has introduced FiberSIM/CATIA 3.3, a new version of its software suite that provides major enhancements in productivity and part performance while significantly increasing its support of leading-edge technologies such as fiber placement and liquid flow modeling.
The new release provides a wide range of design automation tools that make it possible for engineers designing composite parts to spend less time on tedious, repetitious tasks and more time on solving problems and optimizing designs. The release also provides new tools for improving part performance, such as a core sample tool that analyzes the symmetry and balance of the lay-up. Finally, FiberSIM/CATIA 3.3 has new features that equip it to handle additional types of composite parts and manufacturing processes, such as a fiber placement interface that allows users to automatically generate fiber placement data files from within their CAD system.

While previous versions of FiberSIM have offered the ability to automate major portions of the composite design process, the new release provides the opportunity to raise engineering productivity to a new level with the addition of significant new design automation tools. For example, zone to ply functionality automatically generates plies to satisfy design requirements that have been specified using FiberSIM-defined zones and associated target laminate definitions. The engineer creates zone laminate definitions using ply counts with thickness and orientation percentages. FiberSIM then determines zone adjacency, examines orientations and ply totals, and automatically creates plies to satisfy the defined zones and the target laminate definition. Another new feature automates the creation of ply drop-offs. The user selects the plies to drop-off and the drop-off pattern (linear, symmetric or asymmetric), and then the program generates the correct ply geometry. An automatic change notification alerts users to related items that may require updating. In addition, improved generation of darts over complex geometries enables the user to direct the dart path for optimum results. And a symmetric part creation tool automatically mirrors ply geometry for creating left- and right-hand parts. All of these tools speed the design process and make the engineer's job easier and more efficient.

Along with making the design engineer more productive, the new release also provides features that make it possible to design parts with improved performance. A new type of core sample output has been added that provides information on the symmetry and balance of the lay-up to determine whether the part meets the design specifications. The laminate rating analyzes symmetry, weighted symmetry and mechanical symmetry and provides information about laminate balance and warpage. Both the stagger index and the offset value are now provided for each ply to ensure that all staggering conditions are being met at specific locations on the part. By providing this type of feedback in the early stages of design, FiberSIM enables engineers to evaluate design tradeoffs so they can optimize the performance of a part.

In addition to adding depth to the FiberSIM product line with the new design automation and performance optimization tools, the new release also adds breadth by providing the capability to work on increased types of composite parts and manufacturing processes. With FiberSIM 3.3, engineers can now work with parametric core, fiber placed parts and liquid flow modeling. FiberSIM provides a direct link between the CAD model and the fiber placement programming software so that engineers can design specifically for the fiber placement manufacturing process and take full advantage of all its benefits. Engineers can design parts for fiber placement, then automatically generate fiber placement data files from within their CAD system. The producibility information generated by the fiber placement programming software can then be viewed in FiberSIM where changes can easily be made. FiberSIM 3.3 also includes the first commercial solution for accurately simulating complex curvature parts using liquid composite molding manufacturing techniques through a link to LCMFLOT, mold filling analysis software from Liquid Process Performance Prediction, Inc. This makes it possible for companies investigating this fast growing composite manufacturing method to more accurately simulate the flow of resin through the mold without the expense and time involved in building and testing a prototype mold.
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