Latest Mechanical Automation Project Is Unwrapped . . . . .

One of our latest mechanical design projects hits the shop floor into manufacture. Nova produced mechanical designs and detailed manufacture drawings for the mechanical automation of the animated cheeseburger prop, soon to be bound for a theme park in Dubai.

UK Loco - Mechanical automation of cheeseburger for Dubai theme park

Animated Mechanical Cheeseburger – Image used courtesy of UK Loco Limited.

All mechanical items were designed and detailed using Autodesk Inventor software, with the FEA requirements undertaken using Ansys DesignSpace analysis software.

It’s certainly a good conversation opener when asked “What did you do today ?” . . . . .


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Posted in Engineering Design

Nova add Advance Steel to CAD software capabilities

Structural design for steelwork - Autodesk Advance Steel - 3D CAD modelOver the last 27 years of trading, Nova have successfully undertaken the site survey, layout, structural design and structural detailing for many structural steelwork design projects. Previous engineering design projects have included staircases, platform design and detailing through to access ways and bridge detailing for road and rail access.

To aid in the 3D design and production of 2D detailed manufacture drawings Nova have invested in dedicated CAD packages designed for specific industries.

For the structural steel industry we have selected Advance Steel from Autodesk as a structural design, automated detailing and scheduling package.

3D CAD model of structural steelwork produced using Autodesk Advance Steel

Autodesk Advance Steel structural design and detailing software is built to help structural design engineers and steelwork detailers easily create information rich building models/ these 3D CAD models are then used to assist in the fabrication of structural steelwork components. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is a process-based workflow that helps businesses work more efficiently and helps teams complete projects on time and on budget.

Construction process of structural steelwork 3D CAD model produced using Autodesk Advance Steel

Advance Steel helps steelwork designers, structural detailers and fabricators model with intelligence and helps designers and engineers extend their BIM workflows through to detailed modelling.

Advance Steel Steelwork Connection Design Engine

In-built to Advance Steel is a connection design engine, giving access to simple and complex structural connections. These connections are parametrically driven meaning that as structural members change during the design process, the connections are automatically updated.

Intelligent connection design engine within Advance Steel for structural design steelwork connections

This connection design engine checks compliance against both EC3 (EuroCode 3) and AISC (American Institute of Steel Construction) standards to validate structural design models. Steelwork design members and connections can be checked and validated against industry standards at any time with a report generated containing relevant formulas and standards for reference.

Intelligent Design Wizards

The structural modelling process is greatly simplified in the latest releases of Advance Steel through the use of several intelligent features. Advance Steel contains an extensive library of objects and powerful tools to help designers create structural elements including trusses, bracings, purlins, and portal frames.

Staircase and railing intelligent design wizard from Autodesk Advance Steel

As an example, Advance Steel allows the creation of more accurate stairs and railings with the use of special wizards. These dedicated wizards save time by assisting engineering teams to quickly generate straight and spiral stairs, straight and curved railings, and cage ladders. Once created, engineers can easily modify the properties using a large selection of customisable parameters to suit the project requirements.

Complex sheet metal 3D CAD model and 2D detailed manufacture drawing produced using Advance Steel

Complex sheet metal designs can be modelled by using specific commands. These miscellaneous elements can be automatically unfolded during the creation of the detailed manufacture drawings. The unfolded pattern is then fully represented within the exported CNC data to assist in streamlining the fabrication process.

Users of Advance Steel can also import other non-standard components for detailing and the production of detailed manufacture drawings, helping them create a full as-built model. For example, detailed design engineers can import components such as engines and tanks and add welds and bolts to them for better coordination, clash detection, and more accurate bills of material.

2D detailed manufacture drawing produced using Autodesk Advance SteelAutodesk Advance Steel software helps to improve the steel detailing process by providing ready to use drawing templates that aid the creation of detailed manufacture drawings. Detailed design engineers can also produce general arrangement drawings for use during erection at the jobsite.

These clear drawings can be quickly created in isometric, top (plan), front and side elevation views, and automatically dimensioned and labelled by using the customisable drawing styles. The detailed manufacture drawing templates are easily customisable so that they can be refined to fit in with the current business needs.

Bills of Materials / Parts Lists

Bills of material (BOMs) can be easily created using ready-to-use templates. Quantities are defined by the parts used in the underlying model, helping to eliminate waste with more accurate BOMs. Information can also be exported to different file formats so that it can be used in third party systems, such as procurement solutions.

The latest releases of Advance Steel offer bidirectional links to design, analysis, and coordination tools to help the various design teams work better with different disciplines and help provide a validated end-result to your client.

Data Transfer and Interoperability

To assist with the smooth BIM workflow, the Advance Steel Extension for Revit® enables detail designers to import a Revit design model and not only the structural member but also the steel connections into Advance Steel so that they can continue to work where the designer left off. Once detailing is complete, the model can be taken back into Revit and resaved as a native Revit software file.

Advance Steel 3D CAD model opened using Revit showing bi directional file transfer

Finally, models created using Advance Steel can be taken into Autodesk Navisworks software for multidiscipline collaboration, construction simulation, and whole project analysis, enabling engineering team to work closer and more efficiently with other project stakeholders reducing the risk of unexpected issues when the different project disciplines reach the construction site.

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Posted in Autocad, Autodesk, CAD News, CAD Software, Design, Engineering Design, Engineering Design News, Engineering News, Manufacturing, Nova Design News, Software News

Nova Appoint Engineering Manager

Nova are pleased to announce that following an internal promotion, our new Engineering Manager is Steve Holt.

Working alongside Nick Parry (Engineering Director), Steve is now responsible for the day to day running of our internal design office allocating engineering design projects to the appropriate design engineer(s) and managing the design office resource loadings.

Acting as the interface between Nova’s design team and our various clients, Steve will be running the design office in accordance with Nova’s ISO 9001:2008 Quality Assurance procedures to ensure all engineering design projects meet our customers expected requirements.

Steve can be contacted via email or via his direct dial – 01384 405 987

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Posted in CAD News, Design, Engineering Design, Engineering Design News, Nova Design News, Vacancies

Ansys 17.0 FEA Software Downloaded and Installed

FEA – Ansys DesignSpace V17.0

Nova have recently upgraded our ANSYS Finite Element Analysis software package to ANSYS V17.0, the latest release of the engineering simulation technology suite, designed to optimise product development processes. This ensures our FEA and engineering design team keep the latest tools at their disposal, in order to provide a reliable, high quality service.FEA - Ansys Designspace

Built on a platform that accurately streamlines workflow among simulation applications, ANSYS 17.0 delivers critical multi-physics solutions, enhancements to pre-processing and meshing capabilities as well as a new parametric high performance computing (HPC) licensing model to make design exploration more scalable.”

As part of our in-house engineering design consultancy, we offer Finite Element Analysis as part of our design service. We use ANSYS DesignSpace to carry out our FEA work and it forms a crucial part of many of our client’s projects. In modern times we feel that the growing importance of FEA cannot be understated.

Ansys DesignSpace V17.0The importance behind FEA lies in its ability to perform tests on a concept before it is made real, reducing the time and cost needed to foster product innovations. This can save you thousands of pounds in design and manufacturing stages, by using FEA tests as the design stage progresses. ANSYS DesignSpace allows us to perform a number of real world simulations such as thermal, structural, weight optimisation and more.

Taken from

ANSYS DesignSpace software is an easy-to-use simulation package that provides designers with tools to conceptualise, design and validate their ideas right on the desktop. ANSYS DesignSpace software, a subset of the ANSYS Professional product, enables real-world, static structural and thermal, dynamic, weight optimisation, vibration mode, and safety factor simulations to be performed on designs without the need for advanced analysis knowledge.

FEA - Finite Element AnalysisExisting native CAD geometry can be used directly with ANSYS structural analysis software — with no translation, no IGES and no intermediate geometry formats. ANSYS has provided native bidirectional integration with the most popular CAD systems for more than a decade. Integration directly into the CAD menu bar makes it very simple to launch world-class simulation directly from a CAD system.

Since the ANSYS geometry import mechanism is common to all CAD systems, the user has the flexibility to work within a single common simulation environment while using multiple CAD packages.

Once the geometry has been imported, ANSYS structural software tools automatically detect and perform setup for contacts or joints between parts of an assembly. The contact settings and options can be modified, and additional manual contact definitions can be added. Joints for flexible/rigid dynamics are automatically detected. Each contact or joint is easily identified using the graphical tools provided in the environment.

ANSYS structural analysis software offers a large library of out-of-the box equation solvers. The library contains the sparse direct solver, preconditioned conjugate gradient (PCG) iterative solver, Jacobi conjugate gradient (JCG) solution and more. In addition, the distributed versions of PCG, JCG, and sparse solvers are available for use in large-scale computing via parallel processing. By combining our parallel algorithms with the power of GPUs, you can further reduce the solution time required for large models.

Variational technology from ANSYS allows accelerating computation of normal modes for cyclic structures, especially when a large number of harmonic indexes are required. Frequency sweeps such as those found in harmonic analyses benefit from variational technology as well. Typical speedup factors range from three to 10 times. Transient thermal runs and certain classes of nonlinear structural transient problems are computed in a shorter time using these same principles.

Ansys DesignSpace V17.0 FEAANSYS FEA software provides a comprehensive set of post-processing tools to display results on models as contours or vector plots to provide summaries of the results (like min/max values and locations). Powerful and intuitive slicing techniques allow the user to get more detailed results over given parts of geometries. All results can be exported as text data or to a spreadsheet for further calculations. Animations are provided for static cases as well as for nonlinear or transient histories. Any result or boundary condition can be used to create customised charts.

“ANSYS 17.0 provides a great number of new and advanced features that bolster product performance and integrity through deeper design insight. The many new features in ANSYS 17.0, combined with ANSYS Workbench, deliver additional physics depth and breadth that can be scaled to meet the changing needs of customers.

The latest release from ANSYS supports our existing mechanical design software packages including AutoCAD, Inventor, Creo, Inventor, Unigraphics NX, Solid Edge, SolidWorks, Mechanical Desktop and Catia.

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Posted in CAD News, CAD Software, Engineering Design, Engineering Design News, Engineering News, Manufacturing, Nova Design News, Simulation, Technical Documentation, UK Manufacturing

Nova retain ISO 9001:2008 Certification

Nova have once again proved that our internal ISO 9001:2008 Mission Statement of “Right First Time” is worthy of the way in which we conduct our design services.

ISO 9001:2008 CertificateWe have successfully passed the first external ISO 9001:2008 audit of 2016 with flying colours – NO non-conformances 🙂

Said a delighted Simon Parry (Nova’s Business Development Director) “At Nova Design, we have always been proud of the service we offer our clients. Now with the continuation of our ISO award this has been confirmed by outside experts who are used to judging service on a daily basis in a wide variety of trades and industries”.

Steve Berry, who undertook the assessment for CQS (Certified Quality Systems) Limited, paid particular tribute to the “investment in people and training that enables Nova to provide an efficient service to their customers.”

The Nova Design team is committed to total quality, and operate under a “Right First Time” philosophy and remain – Certified for “The Provision of Engineering Design Services”.

Next step for Nova is to upgrade the certification to the latest ISO standard – ISO9001:2015

This will be undertaken before Easter 2016, giving us 8 months or so to iron out any new procedures before the next external ISO 9001 audit.

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Posted in CAD News, Design, Engineering Design, Engineering Design News, Nova Design News, UK Manufacturing

Nova Design Wish All A Merry Christmas 2015

All the staff at Nova would like to wish all clients past, present and hopefully future a Merry Christmas 2015 and our best wishes for a prosperous 2016.

Christmas Greetings - Nova Design

2016 is certainly looking positive in the field of mechanical engineering and our recruitment team are ready and waiting to employ additional design engineers as client successes dictate.

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Posted in CAD News, Design, Engineering Design, Engineering News, Manufacturing, UK Manufacturing