Autodesk Moldflow Communicator – Introduction

Today I’ve installed the Autodesk Moldflow Communicator Release 2010-R2 software for two reasons.
Firstly I wanted to discover more about what for this software has been developed and to understand which specifities each declinaison of Moldflow (Adviser, Insight and Communicator) have.
Secondly I like exploring unknown (by me) software and search for UI ideas. As software and web site designer and developer, I try to keep on being aware about new trends in interaction design.

Installation

Step 1 :: Welcome introduction

Nothing special to mention except that I like the way Autodesk made change its graphical guideline for its softwares. There is a real trend for 2D and 3D software to integrate black or grey color as background color. All Microsoft Expression set of softwares, all Adobe applications have already adopted this characteristic. I suppose that is due to a better contrast for image, video and in general multimedia assets visualization.

Step 2 :: License agreement

Do you have the curiosity to read the license? Not really in my case. Because I install it just free version and for a personal purpose.

Step 3 :: Select Destination Location

Depending of your strategy and / or computer architecture to manage your softwares installation.
By default in your ‘Program files’ repository.

Step 4 :: Ready to install

Just confirm…

Step 5 :: Installing

Just wait…

Step 6 :: Completed installation

Just enjoy… or install the patch

Moldflow UI Technology Preview

Download the Autodesk Moldflow Communicator 2o1o patch on the Autodesk Labs, unzip it and run the executable. And that’s it! But it worthwhile because the new UI eases really the way to understand the software quickly.

Step 1 :: Welcome to the patch!
Step 2 :: Installing…
Step 3 :: New UI-Patch explanation.
Step 4 :: Done!

Autodesk Ribbon revolution

Before…

As you may see on the below screenshot the previous IDE was traditionnally using unpersonal and very uneasy-to-use toolbars. No distinction is done between the 4 toolsbars :

Standard Open a results file, print, display panels and online help. Overlay, compare and quantify results.
Animation Control the animation of results.

Viewer Manipulate the display of the model.
Viewpoint Select standard view rotations.

After

And now width the patch, all icons from the toolbar are integrated into the Ribbon according to the feature concept it is linked : Properties, Result, Animation, Image capture, etc.

Each ribbon bring directly to the user the possibilities to understand what for is done the software and may access directly to an huge quantity of features in one click!

Ribbon 1 :: Get Started

End of the unique F1 Help key! Now you may go to web site, online documentation, video tutorials and so on without searching for a long time. Just one click!

Ribbon 2 :: View

With this ribbon, you may configure you workspace.

Ribbon 3 :: Home

This ribbon appears when you have opened a project. Now you are really working with this software.

Other UI considerations

I’ve noticed that the Quick Access Toolbar is auto editing. You my make appear or disappear some item of the toolbar thanks to the combo at the end of the bar. May be useful to reduce this bar which can’t be very necessary for a dayly activity.

And that the same approach to manage the workspace. Quite clever.

Open Autodesk Moldflow Communicator project

As defined in the official documentation, Autodesk Moldflow Communicator aims at :

Visualizing To understand what you can visualize, you need to understand what is a study and what is a *.mfr file.

Using Autodesk Moldflow Communicator you can examine 3D models of a part, color-coded to indicate analysis results such as fill time, warpage, part temperature and density. A study is this analysis.

All of the results for an analysis are contained in an Autodesk Moldflow Results file (*.mfr). This file is a package of up to two studies, featuring the same or different models under different sets of processing conditions.

Quantifying Before understanding what is quantifying, you need to know what Autodesk Moldflow Criteria file (*.criteria) is. But for that you need to masterize specific field linked to thermodynamism, physical laws and so on. An opportunity to go back to the university… 😉
Comparing You may visually compare results of two studies included in the same result file (project).

To experiment Autodesk Moldflow Communicator I recommend you to use the wizard to import project and test it, especially if – like me – you don’t have the possibility to create studies from Autodesk Moldflow Adviser or Insight! 😉

Wizard – Step 1 :: Choose result file

Wizard – Step 2 :: Select action

Now Autodesk Moldflow Communicator is installed. We had a look about the user interface and we made a presentation of the main characteristics of the products. I will try to go further in the exploration of this software in a future post. Stay tuned ! By the way I advise you to watch Autodesk video tutorials :

ÂŹ Communicator Experimental Interface Show Me
ÂŹ Experimental Interface Introduction

and read the official documentation :

ÂŹ Getting Started Guide

I flowly recommend Autodesk Moldflow technology and its new UI patch!

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