Tag Archives: SolidWorks

Breaking Free From SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM

Breaking Free From SOLIDWORKS Workgroup PDM

by Neil Cooke, Onshape

Maintaining two different PDM products that do virtually the same thing does not make sound business sense, especially if they came through acquisition and have no common ground or compatibility. This is the situation that many CAD companies have found themselves in over the years. Any decisions to consolidate multiple product lines should not be taken lightly, but in the interests of cost savings and profitability, these decisions are made all too often.

If you are a SOLIDWORKS® Workgroup PDM customer, then no doubt you have been informed by your reseller that your product is being retired at the end of this year. This should not come as a surprise – the push to migrate everyone to SOLIDWORKS Enterprise PDM has been going on for some years.

While Workgroup PDM does have its limitations in terms of capability and performance, customers love its simplicity and ease of use. So being forced to change the product you’ve used successfully for many years, for little or no benefit, is a bitter pill to swallow. You are being told to migrate now or risk being left behind.

Of course, this is pure speculation. There may be other reasons for this forced migration, but that doesn’t help the thousands of companies that find themselves in this quandary. To add insult to injury, migration comes at a cost in terms of both time and money. Your reseller is a small business and cannot afford to have engineers onsite to carry out lengthy data migrations and troubleshoot issues for free. The cost of migration has been made less onerous with the introduction of a “free” cut-down version, SOLIDWORKS PDM Standard, but the compatibility issue remains as well as the additional costs for implementation and training. Continue reading

 

Optimizing the remote sensing instrument of Taiwan’s FORMOSAT-8 satellite

formosat_1
Figure 1: Appearance of the optical RSI payload on FORMOSAT-5 satellite (1). Source: FEA-Opt

Taiwan began designing and developing its first satellite in 1994 in collaboration with a U.S. space systems contractor. FORMOSAT-1 was launched in January 1999 and provided service until its retirement in 2004. FORMOSAT-2 was launched later in 2004, followed by FORMOSAT-3 in 2006. In 2010, FORMOSAT-5 passed design verification and now awaits deployment. FORMOSAT-5 will carry the first optical remote sensing instrument payload completely designed and developed by Taiwan itself.

Today FORMOSAT-8 is under development. This new satellite will inherit the experience from FORMOSAT-5 and will likewise carry an optical remote sensing instrument developed by Taiwan. Opto-mechanical systems integration will be led by the country’s Instrument Technology Research Center, with participation by the Opto-Mechanical Design Analysis (OMDA) Lab supervised by Professor Yi-Cheng Chen at Taiwan’s National Central University, which is responsible for weight reduction of the mirror supporting structure. To achieve the breakthrough improvements required in structural weight, the OMDA Lab is utilizing FEA-Opt Technology’s SmartDO design optimization, system integration and process automation software. Continue reading

Design exploration vs. design optimization

Automating the search for solutions to engineering problems can take either of two broad approaches: design exploration or design optimization. Practitioners making technology choices need to understand which tools do one, which do the other, and which approach best fits their needs. A global roster of commercially available design exploration and optimization software appears at the end of this post. Continue reading