Posts in category: ‘Tips of the Trade’

Not your father’s NASTRAN (structural simulation isn’t safe from multi-domain 3D either)

Engineering is not art. There's much more to product development than welding on whatever you find lying around, Mad Max style, as long as it fits and functions. Engineering must last for a design life that for some products can span decades; and be safe to boot. It's here where the discipline of structural analysis comes to the forefront.

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Don’t know anything about rapid prototyping? Start here.

With modern software, you can create a part in 3D CAD, perform digital analyses, and then send it directly to manufacturing for tooling and production. So why does anyone prototype anymore? It’s not that they’re old fashioned or just enjoy throwing away money. It’s that there are still things you can’t know just by looking at a model on a screen—like how it feels in your hands, how potential customers will respond, and whether it will do the job it was built to do in a world full of inexact measurements.

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CAD modeling etiquette: Do your colleagues need a refresher?

I hear it every day from other engineers: “I could use that model in my assembly, but it's so bad. I might as well just remodel it.” Bad modeling techniques and a lack of solid expectations (or standards) in the hardware industry have driven the majority of us in product design at least a little crazy over the course of our careers. Unfortunately, for many, “bad models” are an everyday reality. Trouble is, the definition of a “good” model depends on who you ask. That's probably not how engineering should work.

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How to design for roll forming

Reduce manufacturing costs. Improve lead times. Decrease shipping costs. Maintain consistency and quality. Sounds ideal, right? It may seem like a tall order, but all of these production goals are possible through roll forming—if your design is optimized for this process.

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