Mathcad is the global standard for mechanical engineering calculation software that drives innovation and offers significant personal and process productivity advantages for product development and engineering design projects. Unlike proprietary calculating tools and spreadsheets, Mathcad lets Mechanical Engineers design and document engineering calculations simultaneously with comprehensive applied math functionality and dynamic, unit-aware calculations.
Where it fits
- Concept planning. Early sizing, or early validation, can save time by answering top-level questions about basic form and fit. For example to build a refrigeration unit, the CAD designer might use engineering calculation software to see if the piping will fit within the refrigerator casing.
- Requirements definition. Here’s where the Mechanical engineer can use engineering calculation software for “scratchpad math”, to explore alternatives that might come up during this early stage and doing the math on-the-fly lets the engineer take advantage of the spontaneity of various suggestions and design possibilities.
- Design modelling. A design engineer may begin this phase by looking for previous parts or assemblies that can be reused. As an example; in building a shock absorber, the designer might retrieve the current generation model from the CAD library, along with any axle or other assemblies that make use of that shock absorber. If the files contain engineering calculations, then the designer can save valuable time by gaining a precise understanding of the conditions – and the compromises – surrounding the original designer’s work.
- Analysis. Engineering calculation software can be very useful for pre- and post-processing support of industry standard finite element analysis (FEA) and other tools. As a pre-processor, engineering calculation software helps with basic sizing and testing of top-level assumptions, and thus can sharpen the focus of the problem that’s presented to the analysis application. This can save the considerable time and resources needed to run a full FEA. As a tool for post-processing, engineering calculation software helps the designer sanity-check the analysis results by running simplified tests that will deliver numbers in the same range as the FEA outputs.
- Quality Assurance and Quality Control. Before turning the model over to Manufacturing, the designer can use engineering calculation software to check that the product will meet manufacturing specifications. These could range from tolerance requirements to safety and/or Six Sigma parameters.
Mathcad contains a Mechanical Engineering library which provides hundreds of standard calculation procedures, formulae and reference tables used by Mechanical Engineers. Some of these libraries and extensions are outlined below.
- Mathcad Mechanical Engineering Library. Combines the encyclopaedic “Roark’s Formulas for Stress and Strain” with easy-to-adapt calculations from a classic McGraw-Hill reference book, along with an interactive introduction to the finite element method.
- Mathcad Data Analysis Extension Pack. Add the latest data analysis technology in fitting algorithms for quicker, more robust, more accurate solutions. Designed with industrial applications in mind, the Mathcad Data Analysis Extension Pack delivers a powerful design solution for analyzing data patterns and relationships. It appeals to a broad base of professionals from Mechanical Engineers to statisticians to physicists to business analysts, all of whom rely on analyses of data in their field of work.