Editors Pick: IronCAD Design Collaboration Suite 2013

Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:

My old man drove my brother crazy when they played tennis. R. Phillip was a teenage champion, as nimble as a gazelle. The old man was 50-something and lumbering. But he knew the game. He’d plunked the ball away from my brother, compelling him to speed to the net to return the ball. While he was in transit, my old man would plod over to the exact spot he had forced my brother to return the ball to. He’d then rocket the ball to the back court and score. He’d repeat this exercise until my brother dropped from exhaustion. It was only after my brother applied brains to his nimbleness did he begin to beat the old man at tennis. Today’s Pick of the Week is about nimbleness and brains.

IronCAD recently released the 2013 version of its Design Collaboration Suite. IRONCAD, whether the 3D MCAD application or the entire suite, is used by a lot of those competitors from overseas who drive you nuts by being there first with something. Part of the reason for that is this system seems to help you apply both brains and agility to the design process. For example, the IRONCAD 3D modeler deploys both the ACIS and Parasolid kernels, and you can use the strengths of both simultaneously as you design.

IRONCAD also offers you both parametric or explicit modeling. The neat thing here is that you can use both in combination in a single environment on-demand. That means you use the most appropriate process — structured or freeform — down to a single part in an assembly as you design.

Or take IRONCAD DRAFT for 2D mechanical drafting. It also lets you view, leverage, analyze, render, and reference 3D model data. And INOVATE, which is a combination 3D concept design development and collaboration tool on steroids, lets you interrogate, modify, and communicate models or create photorealistic images or animations.

The newest member of the suite, COMPOSE, lets you view/markup and manipulate models and assemblies in 3D. But you can also make changes to the structure and assembly, and you can add intelligence to control how and where parts may be placed within assemblies. And all of this is seamlessly interoperable across the suite, and all the applications play nice with the other major CAD applications, so your supply chain and client base relationships are secure. Oh, and IronCAD works in the small shop and scales for the far bigger enterprise.

There’s so much going on here that I can honestly say that I’ve hardly done justice to the combination of agility and smarts in the IronCAD Design Collaboration Suite. The two best bets for you to learn about it from today’s Pick of the Week write-up are, first, the link at the very end of the narrative. This takes you to a new features page. It has a ton of short videos on most all of the system’s new functions. Two, hit the link for a trial unit then download and play with the tools in the IronCAD Design Collaboration Suite. This is a full version download, BTW.

If you’re not the 600-pound gorilla in your field, you’ve got to be the nimblest to make it. But speed alone won’t do it. You’ve got to have the smarts too. The IronCAD Design Collaboration Suite seems like a well-thought-out system that could enable smarter, more nimble processes for a lot of outfits.

Thanks, pal. — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering

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