1585. Mass Property Calculations Using a Computervision Cad System


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T C Judd: 1585. Mass Property Calculations Using a Computervision Cad System. 1984.



The world of Computer Aided Design (CAD) is slowly, but surely, changing the engineers approach to design and analysis. Mass property calculations certainly fall within this realm of change, resulting in significant gains in productivity over the manual, or hand calculation method. Productivity gains can also be realized over a main frame algorythm since the geometry defining the object to be analyzed is much faster and easier to create using a CAD system.
Computervision Corporation (CV), a renowned leader in the CAD industry, has an excellent mass properties software package. This, obviously, is in addition to CV’s outstanding 3D geometric modeling software which supplies many tools to make 3D model generation a pleasure, instead of a frustration. Using the 3D model geometry, the mass properties package can generate a mass point at the centroid which contains all the mass property data associated to that model. The mass property data can then be extracted from the mass point with respect to the centroid, a specific coordinate system, or some skewed axis in space. The mass points can also be translated, rotated and/or copied to eliminate redundant calculations and can be used as a powerful tool to balance an assembly.
Even though the current CAD technology uses ‘wire frame’ models where solid regions are non-existent, the CV mass property package is still a quick and simple approach which gets the job done in a very productive manner. Also, the CV mass property package can be taught to a designer who is already familiar with the 3D model generation software in less than one day.
This paper will illustrate the approaches CV uses in the mass properties package and will give an example of the power of the mass point as a design tool. The examples used in this paper are oriented towards mechanical design. However, the CV mass properties package can be used anywhere from balancing a satellite to calculating cuts and fills for road construction. In any event, it will be shown that Computervision’s Mass Properties software package is a viable, productive tool for design engineers.


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