AMEC, a UK-based company that builds new additions to infrastructure, provides design and construction services to Heathrow International and other regional airports. When John Albinson, Product and Development Manager to the Product and Infrastructure Team (P&IT), designed the A390, a test machine that assesses a structure's resistance to impact, he turned to Alibre, Inc., for a solid modeler.
The A390 works like a compressed-air gun. An external air source pressurizes the air chamber within the cylinder. A simple mechanical escapement releases a 3 m-long, 590 mm-diameter piston, which executes a powerful thrust, releasing about 80 KJoules of impact energy. Transducers, which sample at 0.5 µs, record both the movement of the piston and the instantaneous pressure changes, so that the tests can be later analyzed.
Alibre Design Professional publishes in 3D PDF. For a department like AMEC's P&IT, which is not heavily invested in 3D CAD, the 3D PDF capability allows everyone in the department to participate in new product development through 3D visualization. The 3D modeler had no problem scaling the big gun. A full set of 2D drawings went to the fabricators, along with accompanying 3D pictures from the model. The water cut steel sections were profiled using 2D export files.
Engineers can view models in 3D PDF files from any angle or magnification; assemblies may include animated exploded views, or sequences of steps to communicate design intent and document assembly processes. Personnel without CAD programs can read the 3D PDF files. According to Albinson, the affordable 3D technology has eliminated hand-drawn detailed concept sketches that were used to describe the product to the entire team.
:: Design World ::
Filed Under: Aerospace + defense, 3D CAD, Software