Issue: Volume: 23 Issue: 7 (July 2000)

SPOTLIGHT: The Suite-ening of I-deas 8

I-deas 8 combines the company's Master and Artisan Series products, incorporating the power and superior functionality of the former with the lower pricing of the latter. Altogether, the suite includes modules for drafting, solid modeling (including assemblies and mold base design), simulation, manufacturing, and project team data management. I-deas 8 is also compatible with the Windows 2000 operating environment.

One of the particular strengths of this version is that, through the scalable range of modules it provides, it offers mid-range and high-end functionality in a single architecture. So users at all stages and levels of design and manufacturing can share information without losing design intelligence, history, etc., and without having to use third-party data exchange tools. I-deas 8 also incorporates the ability to document and communicate all manufacturing information in 3D, without requiring paper-based documentation.

According to Bob Brown, a member of the technical staff in the Enterprise Net works Group of Lucent Tech nologies (Holmdel, NJ), what makes I-deas 8 particularly attractive are the enhancements to its finite-element analysis tools. "With I-deas 8, SDRC is showing a renewed commitment to its simulation customers," says Brown.

"With the latest version," he says, "I will be able to prepare solid/surface models for analysis, regardless of the source or complexity of the geometry, in a fraction of the time it takes me today. I can also associatively share finite-element models with my team members, and prepare analysis results in a matter of minutes. These enhancements will enable me to provide feedback on product performance much more effectively to the development teams I support."

I-deas 8 runs on a wide variety of platforms: SGI Irix, HP-UX, Sun Solaris, IBM AIX, and Microsoft Windows NT/2000. A minimum of 128mb of RAM and 300mb of hard disk space is required. The product was scheduled to begin shipping in June of this year. Pricing depends on configuration requirements-2D applications start at $2000, and 3D applications at $4995. (SDRC; Milford, OH; 512-576-2400;
-Jenny Donelan