Wow, Autodesk just announced the purchase of Mechsoft. For those that are not aware, Mechsoft is a pretty comprehensive suite of Mechanical Design tools for AutoCAD based products and Inventor.
More than 50 calculators and design wizards (e.g. bolted joint, shaft generation, gear, cam and spring wizards) that provide critical engineering information during the product development process, resulting in huge savings in manual calculations and lookups for each and every component; A drag-and-drop content library consisting of more than 1.5 million parts representing all prominent international standards; and A built-in mechanical engineering handbook that provides instant access to reference materials that design engineers use daily.
Autodesk Inventor and MechSoft: Pioneering 1944 Hiller Helicopter Recreated
Charles Bliss is a lead engineer on a project charged with modeling the historic XH44 (eXperimental Hiller 1944) helicopter on loan to the Hiller Aviation Museum in San Carlos, Calif. The XH44 was the pioneering helicopter for Hiller Aviation, and they wanted a permanent replica at the Hiller Aviation Museum; however, the plans no longer existed. With only archived photos and limited access to the historical helicopter, the project was extremely challenging.
By combining Autodesk Inventor® Series software with MechSoft technology, the Bliss team was able to model the airframe. Generating models of the mechanical components, which were inside inaccessible housings, posed a bigger challenge. To overcome this hurdle, they entered known data into MechSoft wizards, which in turn automatically created the gears, bearings, and shafts. Because it allowed them to change the design variables and quickly see the corresponding changes to the components, the team could very rapidly determine which gears could handle the load and would fit the casings.
"With MechSoft and Inventor, it couldn't be simpler. Knowing the loads and speeds, MechSoft can find the parts that work. It frees me up to think about my designs and worry less about whether a component is going to fail," said Bliss. "Instead of poring through catalogs and doing calculations, I just tell MechSoft what I need the parts to do and it finds them for me, presenting me with all the choices that fall within the range I specify. It puts all the handbooks I need inside Inventor, which removes the guesswork."