September 2009 Blog Posts (34)

Oval Gears (non circular)

I have tried to design a pair of oval gears using solid works. It seems that I have a problem getting the teeth to mesh properly through 360 degrees. I used the principal of creating a rack type gear (envolute) to act as a guide to cut the the path of the oval. The design of the oval rotates through the centres of both gears and the position is perpendicular to each other. Does anyone have a clue as to how some one would draw this in solid works… Continue

Added by Leon Ladewig on September 30, 2009 at 3:44pm — No Comments

Southern ILlinois University news

Any grads out there from Southern Illinois University Edwardsville? You might be interested in knowing that 8 bachelor degree programs are now reaccredited by the Engineering Accreditation Commission of the Accreditation Board of Engineering and Technology. The programs include civil, electrical, computer, industrial, manufacturing, and mechanical engineering. That's good news for those students enrolled in those programs! Any comments on the quality of these departments from anyone who… Continue

Added by laura carrabine on September 29, 2009 at 11:38am — No Comments

Turbine Hydraulics Design Requires Some Thought

An efficient, responsive, and reliable blade-pitch control (BPC) on a wind turbine requires many valves, pumps, hoses, reservoirs, and brakes, and they all must work flawlessly together. I think often when we think about wind turbine design, we think of the blade span and the drive train components, but think about this. How effective would your turbine be without proper yaw brakes? It would be hardly more efficient than the old school turbines from the Netherlands.…


Added by Taylor Johnson on September 28, 2009 at 1:02pm — No Comments

Dynapar Encoder Solutions for Wind Turbines

Dynapar encoders provide critical speed and positioning control for pitch control units, and generators in the turbine.

Added by Dynapar on September 28, 2009 at 12:18pm — No Comments

How To: Maximize your Turbines Performance

>Simulation software enables the pairing of turbine design and site development

New methods of Computational Fluid Dynamics are allowing windpower turbine OEM's to match their products to a particular site and vise-versa. Traditionally, testing has involved the classical Blade Element Momentum (BEM) modeling. BEM has been sufficient for many applications but is unable to adequately account for the impact of large 3D effects on flow, nor the impact of new blade… Continue

Added by Taylor Johnson on September 25, 2009 at 1:00pm — No Comments

CFD Analysis and its Impact on Windpower

Computational Fluid Dynamics finds ways to reduce maintenance and repair costs of large wind plants.

Much emphasis has been placed on the repair and maintenance aspects of windpower production as of late. Questions such as how often to schedule maintenance? How much of your budget do you allocate to maintenance? If properly maintained, how will the life of the turbine be extended? These are all very valuable questions, and they relate directly to the costs and subsequent… Continue

Added by Taylor Johnson on September 25, 2009 at 1:00pm — No Comments

The Greatest Scientific Special of All Time: Absolute Zero, The Science of Cold

Dewar Absolute Zero

Nova produces wonderful scientific specials. They are compelling, interesting, and timely. Their two hour season premier this year (2009), however, is the greatest piece of scientific television I have ever seen. Since I found it about six months ago, I have watched it a half dozen times to introduce it to my friends and family.

"… Continue

Added by Brian Jones on September 24, 2009 at 7:00pm — 2 Comments


While reading that Siemens just announced Parasolid version 22, I wondered what the pros and cons of using the Parasolid modeling kernel versus other modelers. Do you have an opinion or comment?

Added by laura carrabine on September 24, 2009 at 8:14am — No Comments

8 Reasons Engineers Should Spend Their Free Time In The Machine Shop

machine shop 1950s

8. Machinists will often need to alter your part to machine some of the features. Work through this together and you'll both be happier.

7. When you first bring your drawing to the machine shop, it's common to scribble notes and explain what's "not that critical." This is a valuable exercise, but take the time to alter the drawing in your design software before giving it back to the machine shop.

6.… Continue

Added by Brian Jones on September 23, 2009 at 7:00pm — No Comments

On-line training

I came upon a website today from A. Routsis Associates. This outfit offers online training for the plastics industry. I'm wondering if these type of services are as helpful and comprehensive as traditional training especially for sophisticated operations? Have you tried/invested in any type of online training? If so, were you satisfied with the results?

Added by laura carrabine on September 22, 2009 at 5:14am — 5 Comments

Staying Offline

I've had 3 Dells over the last 8 years to run Solidworks for new product creation, and other than the first updates to get all XP Pro OS & MS Office updates done, none of the computers EVER went on a network or internet again.

My current Dell has run without glitch or hickup now for over 2 years, since a clean install when a new larger hard drive was installed.

My Mac Book Pro is the only computer that ever sees the internet.

These techniques are not out of… Continue

Added by Burrell (Bo) Clawson on September 21, 2009 at 7:05am — 2 Comments

Cultivate Innovation: What Companies, Managers, and Engineers Can Do

Note: This post is the final entry in a series on Engineers, Workplace Change and Cultivating Innovation from an engineer on our team at Industrial Interface.


In past blog posts (here and here), I discussed change in the high-tech design… Continue

Added by Brian Jones on September 17, 2009 at 5:30pm — 2 Comments

Software donation

VX Corporation and its Asian distributor Machineware donated 60 licenses of VX End-to-End with 5 Axis, to Samutsongkhram Technical College (S.T. College) in Thailand to help teach students design and manufacturing disciplines. The donated software contains all of the functions of the full commercial product. The gift is part of VX Corporation’s commitment to support the use of technology in education. The company says that state of the art CAD/CAM software better equips teachers and students,… Continue

Added by laura carrabine on September 17, 2009 at 11:32am — No Comments

MSC investor news

MSC.Software Corp. announced that on September 16, 2009, the MSC Board of Directors received a revised offer from an affiliate of Symphony Technology Group (“Symphony”) to acquire all of the issued and outstanding common shares of MSC for $8.15 per share in cash, subject to certain terms and conditions (the “Symphony Revised Offer”).

On July 7, 2009, MSC entered into an Agreement and Plan of Merger among MSC, Maximus Holdings Inc., a wholly-owned subsidiary of Symphony, and Maximus… Continue

Added by laura carrabine on September 17, 2009 at 8:06am — No Comments

Reducing product development time

MSC.Software Corp. says that agricultural machine manufacturer, MAM, reduced weeks off of tractor product development time in the nine months since it installed SimXpert. MAM selected the software for nonlinear FEA and motion analysis of its agricultural machinery.

Added by laura carrabine on September 17, 2009 at 7:06am — No Comments

Product catalog

Portescap offers a new product catalog featuring its complete family of high performance miniature motion solutions. This 290+ page resource details Portescap brushless and brush DC motors, TurboDisc, CanStack, CanStack vector and hybrid stepper motors, gearheads and encoders, as well as drives and electronics.

There are also guidelines on where to apply each technology type, and how to select the optimum product for a given application. You will also find information on… Continue

Added by laura carrabine on September 17, 2009 at 6:55am — No Comments

GrafiCalc software

GrafiCalc is simulation software. Its maker, Geomate, touts a LONG list of customers. I've never heard of the product. If you're using it, please let me know more about it and how you use it. You can view the software at

Added by laura carrabine on September 17, 2009 at 5:11am — No Comments

5 Reasons Engineers Call Sales Reps Before They Google


It takes a tremendous amount of time and skill to be the first person called about a problem. Below are five tips that helped me become more than just a Sales Engineer.

1. Know Your Stuff - Become a RESOURCE

If you know your products and services inside and out, great! You can go meet with engineers, be an awesome order taker, and repeat the same spiel like a broken record. Now, you know your competitors products TOO! You are starting to become dangerous now… Continue

Added by Chris Powell on September 16, 2009 at 4:00pm — 1 Comment

Arbortext software in use at Rockwell Collins

Aerospace and defense manufacturer Rockwell Collins (RC) recently selected PTC's Arbortext® product information delivery software, for its S1000D initiative. RC will use the product to improve and address product documentation delivery requirements across its aerospace and defense customers.

The S1000D specification is an international standard for creating, maintaining, and delivering technical publications within the civil and military Aerospace & Defense (A&D) industries.… Continue

Added by laura carrabine on September 16, 2009 at 7:11am — 2 Comments

StudioGPU releases MachStudio Pro 1.2 software

StudioGPU released MachStudio™ Pro 1.2, a real-time 3D workflow and rendering package. It leverages off-the-shelf professional graphics processing units (GPUs) to deliver real-time workflow performance on a desktop workstation. The software includes many new features powered by AMD ATI FirePro™ V8750 professional 3D workstation graphics accelerator, which is included with the program. The MachStudio Pro workflow is similar to a virtual real-time 3D studio environment, allowing you to work with… Continue

Added by laura carrabine on September 15, 2009 at 8:41am — No Comments

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