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Fujitsu Ltd.

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Product News: World’s First Ultrafast 3-D CAD Engine

Process data for one million parts in 0.2 seconds.

Published: Monday, June 7, 2010 - 12:56

(Fujitsu Ltd.: Tokyo) -- Fujitsu Ltd. announces the development of the world’s first computer-aided design (CAD) engine, designed to be used as part of a 3-D CAD system for designing machinery that is capable of processing data for 1 million parts in 0.2 seconds.

The new engine features processing performance that is 200 times the speed of existing 3-D CAD systems, giving it the power to process large-scale machinery with 1 million parts in only 0.2 seconds. Although the processing performance limitations of existing systems have traditionally forced engineers to design mechanical, electrical, and control systems using separate systems, the new engine enables the design of these elements to be consolidated into one system, streamlining the task of designing large-scale machinery.

In addition, the ability to share 3-D data between departments, from design to manufacturing, prevents wasted effort and information discrepancies that can take place at each stage in the design process, thereby reducing the need for revisions during manufacturing, shortening development lead times, and increasing product quality.

This engine is to be incorporated into a iCAD V7 software package which Fujitsu plans to release at the end of 2010.

In the machinery industry, 3-D CAD has become an indispensable tool in the race to quickly bring new, high-quality products to market. But given the massive volumes of data involved in designing large-scale machinery, coupled with limitations on the volumes of data that can be handled, engineers are forced to develop designs using simplified or segmented data. Furthermore, because of increasing data volumes of electrical and control system informationincluding machining and assembly informationmechanical, electrical, and control systems must be designed using separate systems. As a result, when analyzing the consistency of machines as a whole and inspecting the actual equipment, engineers often need to make revisions or extend lead times.

The method typically used for representing 3-D bodies on a computer is to split them into numerous small surfaces that approximate their intended shape. With large machinery, however, this greatly increases the volume of data that must be processed. The new 3-D CAD engine employs a new representation method that allows most of a machine's parts to be precisely represented as mathematical expressions, making it possible to dramatically reduce the amount of memory required. This allows for a 200-fold increase in performance compared with the surface-approximation method.

Handles designs for complex machinery

Machinery can include an extraordinarily large number of parts, exceeding the limits of conventional CAD tools that can only handle tens of thousands of parts. This engine can quickly process extremely large data sets comprised of one million parts in only 0.2 seconds, making it possible to design an entire machine, or even relationships between multiple machines, without restrictions.

Data volume limitations have traditionally forced designers to use separate systems to design a machine’s mechanical components, electrical wiring, and control software. Using this 3-D CAD engine, engineers are able to handle these design elements using one system without any data restrictions, making it possible to control system costs. In addition, by using unified design data to automatically connect wires and check their connections, the engine prevents oversights in wiring installations and misconnections, reducing the need for revisions during testing and greatly accelerating the testing cycle.

Allows for preapproval from manufacturing departments

It was previously impossible to perform a design review using the 3-D data for complex machinery. Instead, representatives from the design and manufacturing departments conducted hands-on testing with the actual machine. The product, which incorporates the new engine, will allow manufacturing departments to review and verify designs using 3-D data before the designs are finalized, making it possible to conduct “digital reviews” that detect problems in advance that would otherwise only emerge during manufacturing. Because 3-D data for the entire machine are kept consistent throughout the design phase and shared between design and manufacturing departments, the development lead time can be reduced.

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Fujitsu Ltd.

Fujitsu Ltd., based in Tokyo, is a leading provider of ICT-based business solutions for the global marketplace. With approximately 170,000 employees supporting customers in 70 countries, Fujitsu combines a worldwide corporation of systems and services experts with highly reliable computing and communications products and advanced microelectronics to deliver added value to customers.