PTC Mathcad Prime 3.1 Speeds Revisions at Boston Engineering

Boston Engineering, a product design and engineering services firm (and PTC reseller), might be best known for its famed BIOSwimmer™, a biologically-inspired Unmanned Underwater Vehicle (UUV) that replicates the dynamics of a fish to move more rapidly, more accurately, and  in more challenging areas than other marine solutions.



Natural forms are difficult to duplicate and simulate electronically, and BIOSwimmer’s requirement for high performance in harsh sub-sea conditions creates an added degree of complexity in the development process.

That’s why Will Ober and Mike Conry, two members of Boston Engineering’s Advanced Systems Group (ASG), use PTC Mathcad to help calculate the performance of their autonomous fish — which includes performance in areas like buoyancy, endurance of battery power, drag in the water, and actuator speeds. The figure below is an example of these calculations that shows how they developed requirements for sonar scans. In fact, PTC Mathcad has become ASG’s engineering notebook.

“We use PTC Mathcad from the beginning of the product development cycle to the end, starting with the design specifications through the engineering calculations,” says Ober. “It is a great tool and we are confident in the results it provides.”

Design verification is often the most difficult – and the most important – job that engineers undertake. You cannot simply create a CAD model and then add the calculations at the end. Rather, engineers form the math as the model and its parameters evolve. PTC Mathcad proves invaluable to engineers who want accurate, easy-to-troubleshoot and -share calculations with reliable unit conversions as they work.

The only problem? If a CAD model is “spun off” to create a new revision or model, as happens frequently with Boston Engineering robotics projects, the team needs to update and map the calculation file to the new product. That can cost time when setting up new projects. But with PTC Mathcad Prime 3.1, users can embed the worksheet directly within the PTC Creo model at the part or assembly level. It then becomes part of the model and part of any iteration that’s leveraged from the part or file.

“Being able to link these calculations with the part or assembly that we are developing is incredibly beneficial because that saves time managing two completely different files,” says Conry.

For Boston Engineering’s BIOswimmer, many parts rely on PTC Mathcad calculations. To update these calculations the Boston Engineering team has worked anywhere from 8 to 10 hours. This latest release will help the team save significant time and control their calculations at every stage of the model revision process.

Look for worksheets embedded in PTC Creo and these other new enhancements in the latest PTC Mathcad Prime 3.1 release:

  • Large Data Handling: For 64-bit architectures, the system no longer enforces a memory limit of 2 GB.
  • Hundreds of Pre-built Worksheets: Draw from 500+ ready-made templates for all your engineering calculations.
  • Integration with Other Tools: Connect to Prode© physical properties, CoolProp© fluid properties, any ODBC-compliant database, read and write in MATLAB© HDF5 file format, and export matrices to C++ code.
  • New, Improved API with SDK: Integrate PTC Mathcad with any CAD platform, design software, analysis tool, PDM system, or other application.

To test out the latest integration for yourself, try it out for free with PTC Mathcad Express.

To learn more about PTC Mathcad Prime 3.1 watch the demo.