TROY — The design software firm solidThinking Tuesday announced the latest version of its solidThinking Inspire software, which allows design engineers, product designers and architects to create and investigate structurally efficient concepts quickly and easily.

Traditional structural simulations allow engineers to check if a design will support the required loads. Inspire assists this process by generating a new material layout within a package space using the loads as an input. The software is easy to learn and works with existing CAD tools to help design structural parts right the first time, reducing costs, development time, material consumption and product weight.

“SolidThinking Inspire changes the way product designers and structural engineers approach design. It enhances human creativity by proposing designs that can be evolved into a finished product and easily exported to your preferred CAD tool,” said Andy Bartels, Program Manager for solidThinking Inspire. “The new features in this release will allow customers to apply Inspire to an even larger set of their designs than before and make better early design decisions.”

Important new features in solidThinking Inspire 9.5 include:
* Minimizing Mass – When running an optimization, users can now choose to either maximize stiffness or minimize mass.
* Stress Constraint – A global stress constraint can be applied to limit the maximum stress in the model during optimization.
* Displacement Constraints – Displacement constraints can be applied to a model to limit deflections in desired locations and directions.
* Extrude Draw Direction – The new extrusion shape control generates constant cross-section topologies in a specified direction.
* Localized Language Support – Chinese, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese and Spanish are now supported.

More details are available at the new The website features a large collection of new videos including a tour of the user interface, a review of the latest features added for 9.5, and an overview of how Inspire fits into the product design process. In addition, customers can access tutorials created specifically for the Inspire 9.5 release. New users of Inspire usually need, at most, a few hours of training, and many require none at all.

In 2009, solidThinking brought the underlying technology within Inspire, known as topology optimization, to a broader audience. This process generates the ideal design for a given package space, material properties and loading. Inspire utilizes Altair’s industry-leading OptiStruct technology, but its straightforward user interface simplifies the application of topology optimization, allowing use by more engineers earlier in the product development process. It allows customers to create a package space with the simplicity of a sketch and generates solutions to problems with multiple loads applied in three dimensions.

In addition, solidThinking is also preparing for the release of solidThinking Evolve® 9.5. Evolve allows industrial designers to develop forms faster, using either a Windows PC or Mac. Evolve captures an initial sketch, then allows exploration of styling alternatives and the visualization of products with high quality renderings generated in real time. It combines both the modeling freedom of organic surfaces and the control of parametric solids with its unique ConstructionTree history feature. Evolve releases designers from the constraints of engineering-oriented CAD tools, while allowing the export of digital models required by others in the product development process.

SolidThinking is a subsidiary of Troy-based Altair.

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