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TOOLS//SOFTWARE [Mechanical Engineering]
[February 12, 2013]

TOOLS//SOFTWARE [Mechanical Engineering]

(Mechanical Engineering Via Acquire Media NewsEdge) PORTABLE 3-D CAPABILITY: Three-dimensional portable document format files can be shared from desktop to mobile devices with the 3D PDF Reader application. On their iPads or iPhones, users can rotate, pan, zoom, and interact with 3-D data embedded within a 3D PDF file. The application allows users within the construction, aerospace, defense, and other industries to share 3-D information via Adobe Reader.

HARDWARE: iPhone or iPad.

DEVELOPER: Tech Soft 3D. 931 AshbyAve.. Berkeley, CA 94710-2806: 510-883-2180; fax 510-883-2193;

COST: $4.99 via the iTunes app store.

GEAR DEVELOPMENT CAPABILITY: The design and analysis tool PowerGear can be used for spur, single helical and double helical gears of either external or internal configuration. With a prompted input sequence the program will calculate all required basic gear tooth geometry, including tooth thickness, fillet geometry, contact ratios, tool geometry, bending and contact stresses, flash temperature, and strength and durability ratings in accordance with AGMA Standard 2001. The program calculates all these factors based on user input, though the user may override them at any time. All manufacturing data needed to prepare an engineering drawing of the gear can be input. For input, users fill in each screen in sequence. Input features multiple data entry modes including direct geometry and parametric analysis, and the capability to add text notes and to input measurements in either the U.S. customary or metric units.

HARDWARE: PC running the Windows operating system.

DEVELOPER: Drive Systems Technology Inc., 24 Marlborough Lane. Glen Mills. PA 19342-1519; 610358-0785; fax 610-358-2776;

COST: $795.

PHOTOS IN 3-D CAPABILITY: With the customizable photo application, Cubify Pics, users can turn their two-dimensional photos into Cube 3D printable art. Those with the Cube 3D printer at home can then print the 3-D cube photo directly with their printers. Those without a printer can receive a free stereolithography file of their 3-D photo for use with the developers cloud printing service or with other 3-D printers. To use the application, customers upload a photo, pick a custom frame, apply stamping and stenciling effects as desired, and print the result on their home 3-D printer. The printed photos can be backlit to form a night light cover or equipped with a loop for a custom hanging gift.

HARDWARE: PC with Internet connection.

DEVELOPER: 3D Systems Inc., 333 Three D Systems Circle. Rock Hill, SC 29730;

COST: Free to use at the developer's web site.

STUDENT NC AND CNC CAPABILITY: The developer of GibbsCAM software for programming CNC machine tools is also now shipping the GibbsCAM Student Edition, available to numerically controlled programming or machining students at high schools, technical schools, colleges, and universities that use GibbsCAM in their curricula. The student edition is compatible with the developer's classroom edition, though the former can be used outside the classroom to augment instruction. Students can use the tool to learn and practice NC programming and to become familiar with common configurations of CNC machine tools on their personal computers. The program includes solid modeling, 3-D milling and turning, and polar and cylindrical capabilities. It also includes machine simulation and the ability to read ACIS and SAT files, such as SolidWorks and Autodesk Inventor. Toolpath verification and cut-part rendering features are also included.

HARDWARE: PC running Windows Vista or 7.

DEVELOPER: Gibbs and Associates. 323 Science Drive. Moorpark, CA 93021 ; 805-523-0004; fax 805523-0006;

COST: $100 for a calendar-year license to students enrolled in a qualified curriculum.

SMALL SCALE PLM CAPABILITY: The Aras Innovator product lifecycte management system is suitable for small-business owners in search of a PLM system, according to the developer. After downloading the system, owners and users may choose to attend training sessions or purchase consulting services, for a fee, as needed. The system can be downloaded via the developer's website, customized, and used across the workgroup, department, or enterprise. No need for a PLM software license and users also receive access to Aras Community Solutions and new releases of the software.

HARDWARE: PC or network running the Windows operating system.

DEVELOPER: Aras Corp., 300 Brickstone Square. Suite 700. Andover. MA 01810-1492; 978-691-8900; fax 978-794-9826;

COST: Free for download at

CAD TRANSFER CAPABILITY: The plug-in Catia V5 3D to SolidWorks enables CAD data transfer between the CAD systems Catia version five to SolidWorks. Users don't need a Catia license. The plug-in converts part and assembly files and translates all 3-D data including Catia exact solids. Data can also be filtered based on entity type and visibility. The developer is a SolidWorks certified gold product provider.

HARDWARE: PC running Windows XP. Vista, or 7.

DEVELOPER: Datakit 6 Place des Terreaux. 69001 Lyon, France; +33 478 396 369; fax +33 478 284 248; www.

COST: Approximately $3.270; euro 2.500.

SUBMISSIONS Submit hard copy or e-mail using subject line "Software Exchange." ME does not test or endorse software described here.

(c) 2013 American Society of Mechanical Engineers

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