Innovation is the lifeblood of companies in the fast-moving electronics industry, yet the very process of product development can become a roadblock to beating a competitor to market.
CoCreate Software Inc., a product lifecycle management software provider, is trying to eliminate those design bottlenecks using an approach to 3D product development the company calls "dynamic modeling."
In the traditional history-based modeling approach, each successive step in the design process becomes part of the foundation that supports the next step, constraining designers from making late-stage changes. CoCreate claims a dynamic modeling approach allows each product or part to be created anew or by using a slice from another product without having to follow a history tree.
"CoCreate is changing the rules in the CAD and PLM industry by taking the overhead out of the PLM process," said chief executive, William Gascoigne, in a statement.
In the 2007 release of its OneSpace PLM suite—which includes the OneSpace Modeling, Model Manager, and OneSpace.Net tools—CoCreate carries the dynamic modeling concept further to give users more flexibility and "freedom to innovate," said Scott Carlin, director of technical marketing for the Fort Collins, Colo.-based company.
"You can spend a lot of time struggling with history-based tools and and missing key market windows. You can practically go broke trying to implement a monolithic CAD or monolithic PLM system," Carlin said. "What we offer is a very cost-effective, easy-to-implement, and powerful alternative."
New design features in the 2007 release include the ability to create more stylized forms; to simultaneously modify, stretch and position parts and assemblies in 3D; and to design and modify in 3D cross section.
Even while giving designers more freedom, it's important to ensure what they create is manufacturable. An expanded FE Analysis capability allows for more analysis for sheet metal and thiin-walled components without leaving the 3D design environment, the company claims.
A new cabling module helps designers work through connector issues—such as whether all the cables will fit through one opening—before the design reaches the manufacturing stage.
What's more, new task agents in the data management tool allow continuous "build and check" simulations, like clash analyses that tell what design issues need to be resolved before the design moves forward.
Real-time rendering, another new feature, allows people anywhere in the organization to see what the product will look like before the complete product design is done, by creating a photo-realistic image from a rough mock up.
Also, CoCreate has added support for Adobe PDF, to be able to share design data throughout the organization.
The 2007 OneSpace Suite is being touted as an "out-of-the-box" solution that automatically deploys the Microsoft SQL Server Express database to allow small and midsize companies to implement the full range of capabilities, rather than a scaled-down version of the product. According to Carlin, the same product can support anywhere from one to several thousands of users.
The solution is designed to share data with a company's existing enterprise system, and includes enhancements to the bill of materials transition between engineering and manufacturing.
The 2007 OneSpace Suite is available for a traditional license, or can be "rented" to be more affordable to smaller and startup companies, CoCreate said.