New software to improve design tools developed

January 14th, 2009 - 5:04 pm ICT by ANI  

Washington, Jan 14 (ANI): Researchers from Carnegie Mellon University have developed software that will let engineers design new products by simply sketching their ideas on a tablet computer.

The software, dubbed SketchCAD, is a digital pen-based computer system that can be used to design 3D products for a variety of industry sectors.

“The idea is to empower engineers and designers with tools that are already familiar to them and are the most natural for the task,” said Levent Burak Kara, an assistant professor of mechanical engineering at Carnegie Mellon.

“Right now, our technology is being adopted by Honda designers for designing new cars in fast and cost-effective ways,” said co researcher Kenji Shimada, the Theodore Ahrens Professor of Engineering at Carnegie Mellon.

As thinking about a new product shape by sketching is more expressive and more intuitive for engineers than the traditional mouse-and-menu-based design interfaces, the new system gives users more freedom to be creative.

The researchers also hope that their new software system could be used by physicians for planning surgeries or by university professors to teach basic engineering design methods.

The researchers are also developing a software named SimuSketch that can recognize and simulate engineers” hand-drawn diagrams and mechanical systems.

The system enables engineers to quickly implement their ideas in the form of diagrammatic sketches and test their feasibility with real-time simulations.

“These software have the potential to greatly enhance engineering practice by allowing users to design and analyze complex engineered systems by simply sketching their ideas,” said the researchers. (ANI)

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