Top 10 Emerging Tech Companies of 2012

1. Solazyme (Positive) – One of the few advanced fermentation companies generating revenue today, Solazyme is aligning partners and scaling production facilities to sell into high value markets before bringing down costs to compete in commodity fuels and chemicals.

2. EOS (Positive) – A leader in the burgeoning 3D printing space, EOS boasts a long list of development partners and employs a savvy business model that includes selling “optimized” raw material input powders at very high margins to go along with laser sintering tools.

3. Vigilent (Positive) – Vigilent’s artificial intelligence-based energy management software learns operational habits and optimizes building energy efficiency and consumption, offering payback periods to customers of less than two years.

4. Cambrios Technologies (Positive) – Cambrios develops silver nanowire-based transparent conductive films to replace indium tin oxide, particularly for touchscreen applications. Along with partners Nissha Printing and Synaptics, it released its first commercial product in the Huawei Ascend.

5. Oxford Pharmascience (Positive) – The ability to manipulate properties such as taste and viscosity to improve oral delivery of medicine makes Oxford Pharmascience appealing. Calcium supplements gained the company entry into emerging markets and doubled its revenue in one year.

6. SunPower (Positive) – As the manufacturer of the highest efficiency crystalline silicon modules on the market at 21% efficiency, SunPower has strong strategic partners and a multi-gigawatt project pipeline in the high profit margin regions of the Americas and Asia.

7. Efficient Power Conversion (Positive) – This fab-less manufacturer of gallium nitride (GaN) power electronics devices is already offering products in the 40 V to 200 V range, and is well positioned to expand its offering to 600 V applications, taking advantage of GaN’s improved efficiency over today’s silicon-based devices.

8. Enviro Voraxial (Positive) – The company sells high efficiency, low footprint oil-water separators especially suitable for the offshore market, and quadrupled its revenues in 2012.

9. Itaconix (Positive) – With a low-capex, low-opex process expanding to 5,000 MT/year to produce itaconic acid polymers for chemical intermediates, binders, and super-absorbents, Itaconix is one of the few bio-based chemical companies we expect to run in the black in 2013.

10. Desso (Positive) – This developer of carpet for residential, office, and hospitality sectors and artificial grass for sports stadiums uses "cradle-to-cradle" principles, making its products biodegradable and recyclable, while offering functionality like capture and retention of allergens and enhanced sound insulation.


SolidWorks Tutorial: Creating Drawings for SolidWorks Multi-body Parts

When you have a multi-body part in SolidWorks the question that comes into play at some point is how do I make a drawing for each of the different bodies “parts”. The answer to this is like many items in SolidWorks is open ended and has many different solutions and I am going to run you thru a few of these options.

Option 1 – Insert into New Part

This option creates a new derived part that contains a reference back to the parent part. Each new part contains a single feature named Stock- <parent part name> – n ->.

If you change the geometry of the original part, the new parts also change. The software updates the existing derived parts, preserving parent-child relations.

The items I see that can be a downfall to this method is that you now have an additional part that you need to maintain as well as a part the has no dimensions when you go to create a drawing of the part.

Option 2 – Save Bodies

This works much like Option 1 but does give you a few more items that you can control such as the file name, creating an assembly of all the different solid bodies, and part template choice.

Overall it is up to you which of these options will work best for your application.

Option 3 – Creating Configurations

You can always create a configuration(s) to represent the different bodies and their features.

For our example all we needed to do was create a new configuration called Steel Rule and suppress all of the features that were not related to our “target body”. One warning is you have to make sure that when doing this you check all Parent/Child Relations to make sure when you suppress one feature it does not take out others you do not want suppressed.

The benefit to this is that you now have a configuration you can reference on the drawing or for an assembly later and you have dimensions that you can easily show on your drawing. The downside to this is you have to be aware of changes that you make to the file and managing all of the features.

Option 4 – Select Bodies (Model View)

The last option we have is Select Bodies which allows us to choose which body we want to create a drawing view of. The one item to consider is if your body is not oriented in a standard drawing view you will need to create a new named view to use in the drawing.

The downfall to this method is when inserting dimensions it brings in the dimensions for the entire model and not just the solid body.

I hope this helps everyone as they create different drawings.

Also a special thanks to Ken Zirbel from Fox Valley Tool & Die Inc. for letting my use his models for this example.

Josh Altergott is Support Manager at Computer Aided Technology, a SolidWorks Value Added Reseller with locations in Kentucky, Missouri, Kansas, Indiana, Wisconsin and Illinois. He is a regular contributor to the CATI Tech Notes blog.…

New in SolidWorks 2013: Orientation dialog and View Selector

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Orientation Dialog Box

Switching between views in the SolidWorks modelling environment has always been a fairly painless exercise.  Press the SPACEBAR and choose your view, or use the Normal to command.  The Orientation dialog window has now been improved in SolidWorks 2013.   In addition to icongraphic layout, you can now create custom views and save them for reuse in different documents.

To save views for use in other documents, create a new view same as before using the New View button.  The view will then appear in the Orientation dialog box between the standard views and the view port buttons.  When you highlight that view, a save icon appears.  When saved, a globe icon will appear next to new view indicating that it is now available for use in other documents.






View Selector

Another cool addition to the Orientation interface is the View Selector.  To turn on the View Selector, start the Orientation dialog box and click on the View Selector button in the upper right next to the pin.  While this button is depressed, the View Selector will automatically engage when you launch the Orientation dialog box.

The View Selector allows you to quickly and visually select your next view orientation of the model between standard views.  It provides quick access to the opposite views too (the other side of each standard orientation).  That means you can quickly jump to the backside upper isometric view as easily and you can jump to the front view!


New in SolidWorks Simulation 2013: Sub-Modeling and Parametric Optimization inside Flow


Most users of Simulation are concerned about one or two components in an assembly. However, the load transfer occurs through a bunch of other nearby components. Thus, the user is left with no choice but to run simulations on the entire assembly – until 2013. In Simulation 2013, the user can now start off with a simple coarse analysis on the entire assembly. This sets up a baseline estimate of the deflections that happen on each component. Deflections converge fast, and so a coarse mesh should generally be sufficient. The user can then launch a sub-model study where they are prompted to select only the components they care about. All the deflections up to the component of interest are then transferred as boundary conditions onto the new study, thus mapping the behavior at the assembly level down to the component level analysis. Once that is done, the user can easily perform many iterations – design changes, material changes etc. on the component in a fraction of the time that it would have taken if the work were to be done at the assembly level. It is a great tool, and one that will come in handy to the majority of Simulation users. This functionality is available in Simulation Professional and Simulation Premium.

Parametric Optimization in Flow

For those who have used Flow, you might be familiar with a hidden gem called Parametric Study. This tool allows for a single dimension/parameter optimization based on specifying a certain goal. For instance, the user can ask Flow to determine the optimal bore diameter to achieve a certain pressure drop. Because it is integrated within SolidWorks, Flow Simulation can vary the dimension until goal convergence is reached. However, it was limited in that it could only vary one dimension or parameter at a time. In 2013, the user can now start a parametric study mode to run multiple variables, which could be a combination of flow parameters and dimensions. This, in effect, is Design Study for Flow. With this power, Flow reaches new heights in terms of optimization. The user can start with a baseline run (I would recommend a coarse mesh, just enough to satisfy global flow convergence) and then set up multiple variables to determine the best configuration. It appears from my initial testing that it is going to run each and every combination of parameters and dimensions, rather than cherry picking the critical ones using intelligent DOE (like Design Study in FEA does). It remains to be seen if that will be an enhancement downstream or a “hidden” option that I haven’t found yet. However, there are many positives, such as easy workflow, great post-processing when coupled with Compare Configuration Mode (another nice enhancement in 2013) and so forth. All in all, another good release of SolidWorks Simulation. There are other tools that have received an upgrade. Be sure to check out What’s New from the help file.

Vikram Vedantham is the Simulation Product Manager at 3DVision Technologies, a SolidWorks Value Added Reseller with locations across Ohio, Indiana, and Kentucky.  He is a regular contributor to 3DVision Technologies’ Blog where you will find new ideas to improve your productivity with SolidWorks Simulation.…:+SolidWorksBlog+(SolidWorks+Blog)

SolidWorks Podcast: December Tech News | Episode 422

December Tech News:

 This podcast covers the SolidWorks and CAD-related tech news that broke since mid-November covering the SolidWorks Blog, various tech alerts and other industry tech news. Topics covered:

SolidWorks Blog:
– Tips:
   – Why are some of my dimensions grey and other black?
   – Something Intersecting in SolidWorks 2013: Join Your Parts to Find Volumes
   – Viewing different sheets at the same time
   – Using SolidWorks to Create a Helical Pattern
   – Make A Single Body with Multiple Open Contours in SolidWorks 2013
   – Enterprise PDM: How to Map to Microsoft Office

– SolidWorks World 2013 Partner Profiles:
   – AMD (graphics cards)
   – Software Cradle (CFD software)
   – DriveWorks (design automation)
   – Striker Systems (sheet metal CAD/CAM & nesting software)
   – Hewlet Packard (workstations)
   – Mastercam (CAM software)
   – ATR Soft (Office-EPDM integration and EPDM services)

– Maker Movement Articles:
   – 3D Printers and the Emergence of the Maker Movement
   – Stirring up the Maker Movement with the MakerBot Replicator 2 Desktop 3D Printer 

Tech Alerts:
– Participate in defining the future of SolidWorks
– SolidWorks Top Ten list idea creation launches
– SolidWorks 2013 SP1 is available for download
– 3DVIA Composer V6R2013x SP0 is available for download
– Enterprise PDM 2013 SP1 is available for download

Support Monthly FAQ:
– Top Questions and Issues:
– New Knowledge Base articles

Industry News:
TeamPlatorm free version adds teams and API access

December is always a busy month of news in the weeks before SolidWorks World 2013.  For the past few years SolidWorks has done partner profiles on some of the headliners of the Partner Pavilion since it is one of the event’s most untapped resources.  So start making your partner hit list and make a plan to spend your time wisely in this year’s partner pavillon.   

SolidWorks was also busy pushing out SolidWorks and EPDM 2013 SP1 in addition to launching the new build of 3DVIA Composer (typically on a 6 month release cycle) V6R2013x SP0.  They also opened up the top 10 list, which always is a big part of the 3rd day at SolidWorks World general session.

The excitement behind the Maker Movement is something I believe is in the hearts of every engineer and watching it soar is encouraging.  Improvements in web-based tools for CAD are also on the rise and one of our new favorite players, TeamPlatform is raising the bar in experience and integration (now with free API access). ~Lou

SWH Episode 422


New in SolidWorks 2013: Create a design study that changes the material of the part file.

A brand new feature for SolidWorks 2013 is the ability to create a design study that changes the material of the part file. This will allow you run multiple simulation studies on the same part with different materials. The process is as follows.

Begin a new design study.

Insert a new design study parameter.


Name the parameter, change the category to material, and make sure the body you want included is checked at the bottom.

In the design study select the material parameter you just created.


You will have the familiar material selection box. Select and apply any material you would like to add to the design study.

The final step is to add a constraint to monitor any of the static study results. Choose the run button and it will calcuate all of the studies.

When the design study is finished you will get a result list displaying the material used and the monitored constraint.


Jordan Nardick, CSWE
Technical Analyst
Computer Aided Technology

Hiriko: A Folding Electric Car

hiriko folding electric car

One of the most novel electric vehicles we’ve seen in recent years is the Hiriko.


The Hiriko is designed for inner city car sharing schemes, initially in Europe but also touted for some U.S. cities. And it has a party piece: The Smart-sized electric vehicle can effectively fold in half to fit tiny parking spaces.

In previous years this might have sounded like vaporware, but L’Expansion reports (via Auto123that the Hiriko is set to go into production in the Spring, following a reveal at the 2013 Geneva Motor Show.

Developed between a group of Basque entrepreneurs and experts at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), the Hiriko Fold is eight inches shorter than a Smart Fortwo.

Hinged in the middle, it can be shrunk further, folding in half to occupy only 59 inches of space when parking — just under five feet.

Its wheels rotate up to 60 degrees to make parking even easier. Range is said to be around 75 miles, and its four in-wheel electric motors produce 20 horsepower.

 Top speed is only 31 mph, but if you’ve ever driven around some of the car’s expected markets, such as Barcelona, London or Berlin, you’ll be aware that traffic and restrictions often preclude greater speeds anyway. A charge of the battery is much quicker — only 15 minutes.

The car is expected to be used in car-sharing schemes, and it may even come to some U.S. cities — San Francisco and Boston have both expressed an interest.