Wildfire turns Pro/E into more than a CAD system

A browser in Pro/E connects to the Web without leaving the design program.

Advances in usability, administration, Web, and peer-to-peer connectivity combine to streamline and accelerate product-development workflows. The software addresses the challenge of recent design trends that include larger assemblies with more moving parts, cable harnesses and pipes fitting into tighter spaces, and more testing and analysis on digital prototypes.

Automating assembly work is assisted with Flexible Models and Auto Component Placement. Flexible Models represent multiple states of a single component (or assembly) in a single file definition. This generates more-accurate Bill of Materials, where a single part such as a spring, may be needed in several areas, but each requiring different spring dimensions. Auto Component Placement let users drag and drop common components such as nuts, bolts, and fasteners into the assembly, and Pro/E Wildfire places them correctly.

View Manager lets users see an assembly in several different orientations, from simplified reps and display states to explodes states, by toggling from one to another. The software helps with fluid piping design and electrical cabling. Schematic-driven piping lets users electronically "read" the output of the piping design application, which is typically a 2D schematic. Pro/E Wildfire can read XML output from any XML-capable 2D-design program. Wildfire also checks that all fittings match and connections are correct. A similar capability for electrical cabling lets users apply family-table intelligence to cable harnesses. This lets users populate an assembly with correct cable variations for each connection.

Mechanica improvements include tighter CAD integration. Users will find it easier to set up and run Mechanica, Nastran, Ansys, or other analysis tools without having to launch separate applications. FEM users can interact with a mesh at any time.

Structural and thermal analyses can be included with Pro/E Behavioral Modeling design studies. This lets engineers perform more sophisticated design explorations than before, such as multiobjective design studies that combine fluid analysis and thermal analysis in the same test sequence. This also lets users perform design of experiments studies with Mechanica.

A hierarchical meshing in FEM mode lets users divide large assembly analysis models into several smaller component models, so many analysts can simultaneously generate meshes for testing. This lets users create large, system level models more quickly. In Mechanica, solution and meshing times are 25 to 30% of the previous system. Also, memory usage in the solver has been reduced by up to 40%, making it easier to simulate the performance of complex models on desktop and laptop systems. Also, the software supports Intel's 64-bit processors, providing high-end efficiency for tackling memory-intensive models. For assemblies with moving parts, the software has several motion analysis advances, such as Mechanism Solutions' Mechanism Design Extension (MDX). It evaluates kinematic performance, interference checking, and "space-claim" testing.


PTC Inc., 140 Kendrick St., Needham, MA 02494, (781) 370-5000, www.ptc.com