This, I love, in all the right ways. I’ve always been of the opinion that perhaps the one missing piece in the 3D design toolkit is a set of decent materials selection tools that integrate with the workhorse design systems we use every day. After, aside from form, perhaps one of the biggest contributing factors in the performance of the part or a product, is materials and ensuring that you’re using the correct material for the job at hand. Often, it’s a known factor, but in these days of drive for cost efficiency or indeed, green design or the simple drive to do less for more, a change in materials can help push that forward.
So, it’s with great pleasure I read today’s news out of the Simulia Customer Conference over in Providence, that Granta Design (based in Cambridge – that’s UK, not Mass), has release the GRANTA MI:Materials Gateway which provides “integration of materials information technology with computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE).” Alongside the Simulia event, it’ll also be shown at the forthcoming PTC/User Event in Florida in June.
GRANTA MI (The MI standing for Materials Intelligence) a system for “managing and applying corporate materials information including: results and analysis from the company’s materials testing, research, and previous project experience; materials property reference data; company-approved property data for use in design; economic and environmental data on materials; the company’s lists of preferred materials and suppliers; and information on the restricted substance status of materials.” The new tools make this information available directly from with NX and Pro/Engineer (initially). Now, here’s something I don’t usually do, and that’s include a company executive, but in this case I’ll make an exception.
“This new generation of integration technology is a major step forward in providing materials data and related software applications to the design and analysis communities in engineering enterprises,” comments Dr David Cebon, Managing Director at Granta Design. “We have delivered quick, error-free access to approved corporate materials data from within two leading engineering software systems, and the ability to embed valuable new tools for applications like materials selection and eco-design. Further, the flexible architecture and cross-platform capability of GRANTA MI:Materials Gateway will allow us to quickly replicate this capability for other engineering software.”
Now, why did i do that? The answer is that David Cebon, alongside being the MD of Granta, is also the research partner of Mike Ashby, both of whom invented the Ashby/Cebon Materials Selection method, which many engineers and designers have studies during their training. And as far as I’m concerned, anything Dave says, goes – it’s a respect thing.
Oh and if you’re a materials geek like me, then you might also consider a purchase of a rather splendid book written by Mike Ashby in collaboration with IDEO’s Kara Johnson (Also co-author of I Miss My Pencil, which you should own anyway).