Even working for Autodesk, I still get blown away with the technology our developers come up with and create......Autodesk ForceEffect is a tool that is released today and from the moment I first saw it, I fell in love with it. So what is it?
Autodesk ForceEffect is a new free app available for Apple iPad from the iTunes App Store that allows engineers to draw, constrain and simulate concepts using free body diagrams by simply tapping objects to select, move, rotate and scale. Real time solving capabilities provide immediate feedback on the performance of a design, enabling users to bring engineering to the point of the problem, whether they’re out in the field, at the office or in the class room.
It's so easy to create a free-body diagram using the tools available within the app to create dimensionally correct elements by sketching with your finger and snapping to other elements on the sketch. Then apply forces, unknown forces or moments and then add supports such as sliding pins, fixed pins, grounded, fixed or welded. Sketch geometry can be moved, re-sized, deleted and dimensions can be edited simply by tapping the dimension value and entering the size you require.
Applying a force value is determined by the length of the force arrow you insert, the longer the arrow, the higher the force. You can enter an exact force by tapping on the force label and entering the value into the box.
The app takes advantage of the usual Apple UI where you can use your fingers to zoom and pan around the canvas.
The glyph in the top right hand corner is the Degrees of Freedom indicator which highlights if the sketch is statically determinate, over constrained or under constrained. If it's red, it means the current sketch is unsolvable, if it's green it's statically determinate and solvable, if it's blue then it is over constrained.
Autodesk ForceEffect generates a report that can be printed, emailed or viewed using any Web browser. In addition, export capabilities enable easy workflow continuation in any CAD application by emailing and exporting the sketch to a DXF file that can be reused in tools like AutoCAD Mechanical and Autodesk Inventor.
One tip - if you want to set the units you work in, then just tap the 'gear' icon at the top right where you can select metric or imperial, as well as set the length units, force units and moment units.
As you can no doubt tell, I'm pretty excited about this app, I think it will be really useful for engineers to quickly start to get an idea of the forces involved in their designs. So enough of me waffling on about it, have a watch of it in action....
If you want to find out more about Autodesk ForceEffect and download it from the Apple App Store, please use the link below...