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Autodesk Vault is a robust PDM system with sundry nuances and features.  In this post, I will be showing various links to websites that have a ton of great information.  These links will be useful for seasoned administrators to the first time end user.

First, help docs.  These online help docs from Autodesk are the definitive resource for anything and everything Vault.

Vault 2018 – http://help.autodesk.com/view/VAULT/2018/ENU/

Vault 2017 – http://help.autodesk.com/view/VAULT/2017/ENU/

Vault 2016 – http://help.autodesk.com/view/VAULT/2016/ENU/

Next we have some community sites from Autodesk, where you can get assistance, offer advice, and even contribute ideas that may be implemented in a future release.

Autodesk Vault Forum – http://forums.autodesk.com/t5/vault/ct-p/2004

Autodesk Vault Ideas – https://forums.autodesk.com/t5/vault-ideas/idb-p/2/tab/most-recent

Autodesk Knowledge Network Screencast – https://knowledge.autodesk.com/community/screencasts/VAULTPRODUCTS

This site is like a YouTube channel designed and built by Autodesk, specifically for Autodesk Products.  What makes it different is the recording software will actually tracks which commands you are using, which product is currently being shown, dialog boxes, and files in use.  This gives the viewer a much more meaningful learning experience.  These features are only implemented in Inventor, Revit, and AutoCAD at the time of this post, however, I expect Autodesk to be adding this functionality for Vault as well.

Next we have some blogs from Autodesk.

Cracking the Vault – http://autodesk.com/crackingthevault

Just Ones and Zeros – http://justonesandzeros.typepad.com/

This is a great site for the coders out there, looking to get more out of their Vault experience.

Under the Hood – http://underthehood-autodesk.typepad.com/

This last one is a shared product blog with Fusion Lifecycle (formerly PLM 360).

Now for some more administrator type content; system requirements and readme’s

Vault 2017 System requirements – https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/vault-products/getting-started/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2017/ENU/Vault-Install/files/GUID-B64117E4-FA07-4145-8B5F-86973B13EB11-htm.html

Vault 2016 System Requirements – https://knowledge.autodesk.com/support/vault-products/getting-started/caas/CloudHelp/cloudhelp/2016/ENU/Vault-Install/files/GUID-B64117E4-FA07-4145-8B5F-86973B13EB11-htm.html

Vault 2017 Readme – http://download.autodesk.com/us/support/files/vault_2017/readme_autodesk_vault.html

Vault 2016 Readme – http://download.autodesk.com/SWDLDDLM/Updates/Vault/2016/readme_autodesk_vault.html

Does your organization build mutiple prototypes for physical testing and verification? Do you feel that you could leverage more CAE and simulation technology? Is getting simulation results a bottleneck in your engineering process? If the answer is yes, you could benefit from a Simulation Benchmark.

The Simulation Benchmark assessment captures the opinions of senior and knowledgeable personnel in your organization on the current state and future Simulation requirements for your business. In addition, a priority for improvement and an assessment of current effectiveness is recorded. It centers on 17 key Simulation “Pillars” ranging from Physical Prototypes, through to Best Practices. The pillars are listed below:

  1. Simulation Tools and Technology
  2. Physical Prototypes and Testing
  3. Complexity of Physical Prototyping
  4. Regulatory Requirements
  5. Materials Library
  6. Simulation Automation
  7. Management of Simulation Data
  8. Simulation Process
  9. Simulation organization
  10. Optimization Tools
  11. Stiffness and Deflection
  12. Durability and Fatigue
  13. Crash or Drop
  14. Fluid Dynamics
  15. Thermal
  16. Simulation demand
  17. Best Practices

After the 17 pillars have been covered, senior and knowledgeable personnel are also invited to “spend” an assumed benefit in value areas within your business. The areas identified are improving time to market, increasing the portfolio of the company and improving product quality.

Finally, the tool produces a comprehensive report showing the customer’s current state of maturity and a benchmark comparison with the industry.

Participants have found this process to be very useful as it allows them to prioritize their initiatives, gives a high-level view of their roadmap to success and provides them with industry benchmark information.

Does your organization rely on creating and using CAM (Computer Aided Machining) programs? Do you have difficulty keeping track of all your CAM data? Do you struggle with quality issues in your machining operation? If the answer is yes, you could benefit from a Machining Benchmark.

The Machining Benchmark assessment captures the opinions of senior and knowledgeable personnel in your organization on the current state and future Machining requirements for your business. In addition, a priority for improvement and an assessment of current effectiveness is recorded. It centers on 17 key Machining “Pillars” ranging from PLM Training, through to Automation and Development. The pillars are listed below:

  1. CAM Programming Capabilities
  2. CAM Maturity
  3. CAD/CAM/CNC/CMM Integration
  4. Tooling and Fixture Design
  5. CAM Best Practices
  6. CAM Validation and Simulation
  7. CAM Efficiency
  8. Version and Revision control of CAM data
  9. Supplier Collaboration
  10. Shop floor Documentation
  11. Model based Definition
  12. Quality Management
  13. Dimensional Control
  14. CAM User Support
  15. CAM Application Maintenance
  16. On boarding for CAM systems
  17. Ongoing training for CAM systems

After the 17 pillars have been covered, senior and knowledgeable personnel are also invited to “spend” an assumed benefit in value areas within your business. The areas identified are improving time to market, increasing the portfolio of the company and improving product quality.

Finally, the tool produces a comprehensive report showing the customer’s current state of maturity and a benchmark comparison with the industry.

Participants have found this process to be very useful as it allows them to prioritize their initiatives, gives a high-level view of their roadmap to success and provides them with industry benchmark information.

Does your organization struggle launch a product into manufacturing? Do you have costly launch cycles that overrun both budget and time? If the answer is yes, you could benefit from a Digital Factory Benchmark.

The Digital Factory Benchmark assessment captures the opinions of senior and knowledgeable personnel in your organization on the current state and future Digital Factory requirements for your business. In addition, a priority for improvement and an assessment of current effectiveness is recorded. It centers on 17 key Digital Factory “Pillars” ranging from Factory as Built, through to Robotic programming. The pillars are listed below:

  1. Factory As-built
  2. Digital Factory
  3. MBOM
  4. Process Planning
  5. Assembly Simulation
  6. Work Instructions
  7. Ergonomics Task Definition
  8. Ergonomic Analysis
  9. Manufacturing time library
  10. Resource Modeling
  11. Production Line Simulation
  12. Materials flow
  13. Factory infrastructure optimization
  14. Robotic offline programming
  15. Robotic Simulation
  16. Robotic Arc Welding
  17. Robotic Spot Welding

After the 17 pillars have been covered, senior and knowledgeable personnel are also invited to “spend” an assumed benefit in value areas within your business. The areas identified are improving time to market, increasing the portfolio of the company and improving product quality.

Finally, the tool produces a comprehensive report showing the customer’s current state of maturity and a benchmark comparison with the industry.

Participants have found this process to be very useful as it allows them to prioritize their initiatives, gives a high-level view of their roadmap to success and provides them with industry benchmark information.

A quick recap of Fluid Mechanics solutions from Dassault Systemes. It’s not a one offering anymore. With recent acquisitions of world class technology such as XFlow, PowerFlow and Exa the offerings span across a wide range of application from Navier-Stokes formulation to Lattice-Boltzmann formulation. Let’s get started:

  • FLA and FMK unite together: FLA has been an analyst role and FMK the designer role till 2018x. Starting 2019 GA, FLA will merge into FMK. That means all the functionalities of FLA will now be available in FMK. As FMK is a designer role with its own assistant panel, using CFD feature would be a much easier starting 2019 GA.

Both on cloud and on-premise options remain available. However, the basic prerequisite will be SEI that can be upgraded to SPI in case of existing customers. The bonus is that FMK role comes with enough tokes to submit an 8 core job 😊. Additional on-premise or on-cloud tokens can be used if needed.

Enhancements in Physics of Flow

  • Radiation solver available: The combination of CFD and thermal is now enhanced by adding one prominent mode of heat transfer that is radiation. The surface to surface radiation module is available in 2019xGA and surface to ambient module will be available in 2019xFD01. Emissivity and ambient temperature are the key inputs.

  • General solver enhancements: Mesh size independent convergence rate, better shock capture for high Mach flows, buoyancy dominated natural convection flow.
  • Comfort and e-cooling: Number of cabin comfort parameters for whole human body have been added for T&M as well as A&D industry. These parameters are based on ASHRAE55 specifications.

Enhancements in Meshing

  • Intelligent feature capture: In case of complicated surfaces with lots of geometry, surface mesher initially created fine mesh over the surface where fine features need to be captured. In conventional approach, the same surface mesh creates extra fine volume mesh inside the fluid domain resulting in extremely large volume mesh. The new intelligent feature capture option allows mesher to obtain coarser volume mesh using fine surface mesh.

  • Partition hex mesher: This application can be of tremendous use in FSI applications on the 3D EXPERIENCE Platform. While Hybrid Hex mesher is still considered a piece of diamond for fluid meshing applications, user may have requirement of hex meshing for the structural counterpart. As a result, hex meshing using partition approach (just like in CAE) has been introduced in the platform as well.

Enhancements in Scenarios and post processing

  • Duplicating scenarios: This feature was requested multiple times by many customers. There is often a requirement for duplicating scenarios in situations where one or more of the scenario parameter should be changed such as mesh parameter or any fluid BC while the user wish to retain previous scenario for sake of comparisons. Earlier, user had to recreate scenario from scratch. Now a duplicate option exists along with option of activating/deactivating scenario.
  • FEM Rep option: When Scenario app is launched, the UI asks the user whether to create a new FEM Rep or use an existing one.
  • Uniformity index: Additional output on scale of 0 to 1 to quantify uniformity of flow across a given section.
  • User Field Expressions: User can now create customized field expressions using standard field expressions with mathematical operators. Our Abaqus CAE buddies know it is a very useful field output capability that is now available in 3DX for fluid applications.

Enhancements in performance and stability

  • Automatic solver configuration: Let CFD engineers perform simulations rather loosing time in juggling with numbers!

The solver has been made increasingly mesh agnostic when it comes to convergence. Earlier with change in mesh, user was expected to manually change solver under relaxation factors to avoid problems of slow convergence or no convergence. Starting 2019x, these factors are updated automatically by the solver with change in mesh. Available in all incompressible steady-state flow.

  • Bad cells treatment: Let’s not penalize the whole model due to presence of only few bad elements!

In case of bad mesh that cannot be fixed, solver parameters need to me modified for the whole mesh and that too manually to obtain a converged solution. Starting 2019x, solver automatically detects such bad cells and simplifies or alter solution parameters only in those cells to obtain a solution.

Enhancements in user documentation

  • Verification guide: Verification guide has been introduced that can be accessed either from the SWYM learning center or from the HELP option of rich client install.
  • Theory guide: Provided for every feature in 3D EXPERIENCE Help starting 2019x GA. In addition to how to set up, information on underlying formulation is available as well.
  • Assistant Panel is an added advantage by default that would provide additional text information as well.

 

 

 

From solver perspective, number of enhancements have been made but as additive manufacturing is gaining popularity these days, let’s start with what’s new is available at AM front.

Additive manufacturing functionality enhancement

  • Until past release, number of basic AM simulation features were not a part of main solver and required specific configuration to access. Starting 2018x all AM is in FD05 and in 2019x all AM is in GA.
  • Eigen strain has been added as an input/output in AM that can be accesses using existing subroutine UEPACTIVATIONVOL that now has eigenstrain as an argument. The material orientations can be defined as well as modified. As eigen strain is treated as instantaneous load, it can cause convergence problem. In such cases, eigen strain can be applied as a ramp input.

 

  • The conventional displacement of nodal output includes displacement prior to activation as well. New output variables UACT and URACT contain translational and rotational displacement only after activation.

  • Improved convergence of heat transfer analysis when linear elements are used with temperature dependent material properties.
  • The event series data is no longer limited to 53 million events. It has now been extended to 420 million events. Available from 2019xGA.
  • Property and parameter tables now available for Abaqus explicit as well starting 2019xFD01. Earlier this functionality was limited to standard only.
  • Number of heat energy outputs have been added for non-uniform moving flux. These are element internal heat energy called as EHUMDFLUX and element internal heat energy density called as EHUMDFLUXDEN. Both field and history outputs are available.
  • 2D and axisymmetric elements are not available that support *FILM parameter as well for convective heat transfer.

This blog is a part of series “what’s new in SIMULIA 2019”. Please follow our blog site regularly for next blog article on this topic.

Every year around this time, SIMULIA comes up with official declaration of new releases. That news is followed by discussion and buzzes around new functionalities and features. Last year we released a series of blog articles on new features in 2018 suite of products and we are following a similar pattern this year starting with Abaqus CAE.

  • Translation of parts and instances: Additional parameters have been introduced to ease this operation. Earlier CAE prompted to pick a start and end points to define direction vector. Now it possible to define the direction by picking global or local coordinate axis, datum axis as well as any straight edge. Moreover, the start and end point method is supplemented by a local coordinate system, if needed. Here is how user interface looks like:
  • CAE support for CAXA/SAXA element types: CAXA/SAXA element types are very useful in modeling structures that have axisymmetric geometry but not axisymmetric load. These element types are present in solver since long time but only option to use them was through manual keyword input. Now these element types are part of Abaqus CAE.
  • Optimization enhancement for additive manufacturing: Overhands can be difficult to print and they require support structures as well. It is advisable not to have overhand structures in the part subjected to AM process. Now an additional geometric restriction is available in optimization module of CAE to prevent overhangs formation.
  • Other optimization enhancements:
  • Shape optimization is often used after topology optimization to reduce hotspots. Earlier only controller based algorithm was supported for shape optimization that imposed many restrictions on choice of design responses. Now sensitivity based algorithm is also available in CAE for shape optimization. Moreover, for all types of optimization schemes, it is not possible to export the output in IGES format as well. Earlier this output feature was available only in form based native TOSCA GUI.
  • The envelop contours can not be created for complex stress values as well. Three types of complex stress contours are supported as shown below:
  • Another significant enhancement in viewer is the visualization of variable beam radius. This is applicable to the output of TOSCA sizing when beam elements are present in the structure. The name of field variable is BRADIUS.

This blog is a part of series “what’s new in SIMULIA 2019”. Please follow our blog site regularly for next blog article on this topic.

This year 2019 Abaqus release has seen number of potential enhancements in Abaqus explicit. Some are general purpose while others are tied to specific procedure and application. Let’s have a look at what’s new in the explicit basket.

  • Lumped Kinetic Molecular model: This model has been developed to simulate behavior of gases that can be of much use in air bag deployment simulation. The method is based on kinetic theory of gases which states that pressure exerted by a gas in closed chamber is a result of collisions between gas molecules as well as between gas and chamber surface. These collisions are perfectly elastic in nature. As number of molecules in a mole of gas is equal to Avogadro number (6.023e23) which is very large from computational perspective, lumped mass approach is used in Abaqus in which a gas particle is defined as a collection of many molecules. The method has been validated with analytical approaches. This method now replaces the Unified Pressure Method that cannot capture the change in pressure as the airbag expands. However, LKM is computationally more expensive than UPM. Best approach might be to use LKM during airbag expansion when pressure variation is large and then switch to UPM method. Switching time should be defined in such a case. Most expensive method is still CEL.

  • C3D10 element has been introduced in explicit that is a true second order element that offers larger stable time increment compared to C3D10M or linear element. It supports all the loads and BC’s supported by conventional continuum elements in explicit.
  • Limiting stop feature: It is not possible to stop the explicit analysis when a certain output parameter reaches a limiting value. These physical parameters may be node based such as reaction forces or element based such as equivalent plastic strains. The keyword is *FILTER.
  • Improved performance: Substantial decrease in solver time when performing large system level crash simulation over high performance cluster. Below is the example of a 5M DOF crash model on multiple cores.

This blog is a part of series “what’s new in SIMULIA 2019”. Please follow our blog site regularly for next blog article on this topic.

One of the noticeable change that has been made in 2019 solver is its capability to handle large models. SIMULIA has noticed that in recent past customers have shown increased interest in dealing with very large models with 2M degrees of freedom or more. There are multiple reasons for this requirement. First is scalability. More and more customers are interested in large system level simulations compared to part or assembly level. Second is fidelity and accuracy. Mesh size is getting finer to capture behavior at micro level instead of macro level.

When it comes to solving very large models, iterative solver has many advantages compared to direct solver such as less memory consumption, scalability and speed. A new hybrid iterative solver scheme has been introduced that offers more flexibility for choosing number of MPI ranks and number of threads per rank for a given node. These parameters can be defined in the abaqus_v6 environment file. This is equivalent to DMP+SMP allowing efficient memory management.

The iterative solver is available in 3DExperience 2018x FD05 and 2019x FD01 release. It supports many more Abaqus features compared to conventional iterative solver such as gaskets, friction, plasticity, creep, periodic boundary conditions etc.

This blog is a part of series “what’s new in SIMULIA 2019”. Please follow our blog site regularly for next blog article on this topic.

In Active Workspace 3.4, Siemens PLM has made some significant improvements to search capabilities. Here are some of the highlights

Numerical Range Filters

Users can now filter and narrow down search results by entering a range of values for numerical properties in the filter panel so that they  get results only in the range of what they’re have specified. For example find bolts with a length between 60 and 100 mm.  They can also use open ended ranges by leaving the lower or upper range value blank.  This is supported for both classification & object properties in both global and in-context search using  integers and real numbers.

Pre-filter for Add Objects 

Active Workspace 3.4 allows application of property based pre-filter for in-context search.  This provides a better control of allowable choices when adding related objects with the ability to retrieve context sensitive search results via configuration.  The configuration is to set a “query type” pre-filter in the XRT definition of the “Add” command, which can be based on any property value. User can always widen the scope by deactivating the filter.

Search for Business Objects based on Form Properties

Users can now search and filter on properties of Master Forms and other Forms attached to any item revision without using compound properties . Master forms are supported OOTB, other forms (including custom forms) require adding a reference to the form storage class . The properties from forms can be configured to display as Form Name.Property or  only Property . This is used in filter panel and search string syntax. This can be also used in conjunction with dynamic compound properties (DCP) to avoid making schema changes to enable search and filters for properties on related forms.

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