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Software Speeds Nanotechnology Research Development at Brookhaven National Laboratory

Published on August 2, 2010 at 8:22 PM

Autodesk, Inc. (NASDAQ: ADSK) has named Brookhaven National Laboratory (Brookhaven Lab) — a national research laboratory overseen by the Office of Science of the U.S. Department of Energy — as the Autodesk Inventor of the Month for July in recognition of its innovative nanotechnology equipment.

Brookhaven Lab is the current home of the National Synchrotron Light Source (NSLS), one of the world’s most widely used scientific user research facilities. Each year, thousands of researchers use the facility’s bright beams of X-ray, ultraviolet and infrared light while conducting research in such diverse fields as biology, medicine, chemistry, environmental sciences, physics and materials science.

Brookhaven Lab is building NSLS-II, an electron storage ring designed to produce X-rays more than 10,000 times brighter than the current NSLS. Nearly 900 feet in diameter, the NSLS-II will enable scientists to focus on important scientific challenges at the nanoscale level, such as generating new types of materials to harvest solar energy or developing high-temperature superconductors to transmit electricity more efficiently.

Digital Prototyping Keeps Project Moving
Brookhaven Lab mechanical designers, engineers and scientists are relying on Autodesk Inventor software from authorized Autodesk system integrator Widom Associates to design and digitally prototype the complex NSLS-II equipment.

“There’s so much information we can get from a digital prototype created in Inventor software,” said Mike Loftus, supervisor of the mechanical design group for the NSLS-II project at Brookhaven Lab. “Inventor helps us select different materials, perform analysis and truly visualize our designs of the NSLS-II.”

Brookhaven Lab keeps track of its designs using Autodesk Vault Manufacturing software and uses Autodesk Navisworks software to share project models with Torcon, the general contractor charged with building the facility that will house the various NSLS-II components. The enhanced communication helps Brookhaven Lab and Torcon collaborate effectively while ensuring that construction of the NSLS-II remains on schedule.

“On the largest and most complex mechanical engineering projects, Digital Prototyping keeps everyone on the same page,” said Robert “Buzz” Kross, senior vice president, Manufacturing Industry Group at Autodesk. “Brookhaven Lab’s NSLS-II venture shows how digital prototypes enable efficient coordination across myriad internal and external teams, helping to avoid mistakes and reduce overall time and costs.”

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