BeamWise Demo at BIOS Conference 2014

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Clients in the News, skmurphy

Here is the extended booth demo we developed for BeamWise at the BIOS Conference, February 1st and 2nd, 2014. The three use cases that seemed to be of the most interest to folks who dropped by the booth:

  • System level design exploration of mechanical and optical layout options both for research teams designing new equipment, instrument manufacturers, and support teams at component companies (e.g. laser and filter manufacturers)  who work with customer designing their component into new equipment.
  • Component catalog providers who wanted to enable rapid exploration of component options in a system context.
  • Other design automation tool vendors with complementary offerings for detailed mechanical modeling or optical simulation.

I  had not really appreciated how large, varied, and complex optical systems had become and the number of distinct industries–e.g. communications, medical, industrial processing–where they were applied. One engineer who had experience in both electrical and optical design characterized BeamWise as a “schematic capture tool at a system level for rapid prototyping of optical systems” which I think is as good a description as any.

Building on more than two decades of production deployments of design++ based systems gives us an advantage in terms of the scale of the rule sets–e.g. thousands to tens of thousands of rules–we can manage. In other industries design++ applications have been integrated with specialized simulation applications, both internal and commercially available and often support libraries of thousands of components. I think we will be able to incorporate these same extensions into BeamWise as appropriate for optical and biophotonic systems.

I have blogged about BeamWise™ in

BeamWise Demo For BiOS 2014

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Clients in the News, Demos, skmurphy, Video

I have blogged about BeamWise™ in

If you are interested in getting a closer look, Kinetic River will be demonstrating it in booth 8639 at the BiOS Conference February 1-2, 2014. If you don’t want to wait that long contact Giacomo Vacca directly or take a look at a new BeamWise demo video.

Here is the script for the audio track:

BeamWise™ is a software tool for automating biophotonic systems design. It captures an optical layout and generates a detailed optical system design automatically. Outputs include a 3D CAD model for visualization and fully annotated and dimensioned 2D drawings and parts list.

BeamWise also lets designers explore design options as any changes are implemented instantly.

BeamWise is implemented using Design++, a design automation platform that simplifies the capture of engineering expertise

This video will take you through the process of designing an optical system using BeamWise. We will start with a simple sketch on a whiteboard, capture key parameters in BeamWise, review the resulting 3D mechanical model, and generate an annotated and dimensioned drawings and parts lists.

Beams are the key reference points in an optical layout. BeamWise allows you to specify them directly in the mechanical design and use them as reference elements.

Optical system design is a combination of simulation and tinkering in the lab. We start by creating a new design from your optical layout and design parameters. The optical layout is entered as a vector file that lists the system components and their optical connections. From this input, BeamWise generates a detailed optical system design using real optomechanical components.

Next, BeamWise produces a 3D CAD model to visualize the new design. For design verification and release to manufacturing, BeamWise generates annotated dimensioned assembly drawings and a parts list

You have seen us define the beam paths for an optical system and use them as references for the positions of the optical and mechanical elements.

This optical layout is used as an input for BeamWise to create a new optical system design, visualize it in a 3D CAD model, produce fully annotated and dimensioned drawings, and generate a parts list for manufacturing.

We will now demonstrate how BeamWise lets designers explore design options on the fly using the beam as the reference. We will start by shortening a beam segment. This is useful when exploring how to fit the new design into a target enclosure. The design is updated automatically to reflect the new length. Next, we will redirect a beam segment: the change is propagated through the rest of the beam path on the fly.

The design changes are reflected automatically in the 2D drawings and parts list. After BeamWise generates the drawings, the designer can adjust dimensioning and add annotations as needed. The final design can be exported to PDF for easy sharing and review.

Working from a few key parameters, BeamWise can generate a 3D CAD model for the visualization of an optical system design. Dimensioned drawings and parts list are also produced automatically. Changes can be made on the fly using the beams as reference points to explore how best to fit the system into a target enclosure.

If you are interested in getting a closer look, Kinetic River will be in booth 8639 at the BiOS Conference February 1-2, 2014.

We will also be presenting in “Session 1: Sensors and Ruggedized Systems I” on Sunday 2 February 2014 1:30 PM – 3:00 PM

Automated design tools for biophotonic systems (Invited Paper) Paper 8992-1
Author(s): Giacomo Vacca, Kinetic River Corp. (United States); Hannu Lehtimäki, Plan Energy Ltd. (Finland); Tapio Karras, Design Parametrics, Inc. (United States); Sean Murphy, SKMurphy, Inc. (United States)

Abstract: Traditional design methods for flow cytometers and other complex biophotonic systems are increasingly recognized as a major bottleneck in instrumentation development. The many manual steps involved in the analysis and translation of the design, from optical layout to a detailed mechanical model and ultimately to a fully functional instrument, are labor-intensive and prone to wasteful trial-and-error iterations. We have developed two complementary, linked technologies that address this problem: one design tool, LiveIdeasTM provides an intuitive environment for interactive, real-time simulations of system-level performance; the other tool, BeamWiseTM automates the generation of 3D CAD mechanical models based on those simulations. The strength of our approach lies in a parametric modeling strategy that breaks boundaries between engineering subsystems (e.g., optics and fluidics) to predict critical behavior of the instrument as a whole. The results: 70 percent reduction in early-stage project effort, significantly enhancing the probability of success by virtue of a more efficient exploration of the design space.

A First Look at BeamWise In Operation

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Clients in the News, Demos, skmurphy

Dr. Giacomo Vacca of Kinetic River will present a briefing on BeamWise™ at the Twenty-Third Cytometry Development Workshop in Asilomar today. Here is a silent four minute video of some key aspects of BeamWise operation he will narrate live as a part of the briefing. Tapio Karras of Design Parametrics will also be on hand to answer questions. The video was created from a screen capture of BeamWise in operation by Hannu Lehtimäki.

A couple of key points

  • The beams are a key organizing principle for the flow cytometry system.
  • Specifying the beam relationships and distances for each vector between optical elements (e.g. light source (laser), filters, lens, mirrors, prisms, etc..) allow the designer to restrict the changes to those that are relevant to the optical design.

The video starts with a whiteboard sketch of a system that’s then entered into a simple table that specifies key relationships and distances. A 3 dimensional mechanical model is generated based on mechanical dimension data supplied by the manufacturer’s web site for each component., a dimensioned assembly drawing and a bill of materials are also automatically generated.

In a second pass the designer selects a vector between two optical elements and changes it’s length, all of the down stream elements are updated to maintain the distances in the vector specification table. He then changes the direction and related layout for another vector and all the downstream locations are adjusted appropriately. A revised assembly is then generated (the bill of materials is also re-generated but is not affected by the two changes).

Dr. Vacca will also show a scale model mockup of the original assembly that has been 3D printed with the assistance of Paul Spaan of Spaan Enterprises. The video is based on working software and is intended to give designers a sense of the speed of iteration about  configuration options, essentially design space exploration. A prototype instrument might have the base and fixtures 3D printed for speed and accuracy of assembly.


BeamWise Blends Biophotonic And Model Based Design Expertise

Written by Sean Murphy. Posted in Clients in the News

The following announcement went out this morning: Biophotonic System Design Optimized Through New Technology BeamWise from Design Parametrics, Kinetic River, and Plan Energy I have added some additional hyperlinks for clarity. Giacomo Vacca will include a brief overview of BeamWise in his talk at the Bio2Devices Group on Sep-24-2013, “New Tools for Cancer Research: Probing Cellular Processes at High Throughput,” and describe how it contributed to the design of an innovative flow cytometer currently in use for research.

SAN JOSE, Calif., Sept. 13, 2013  – Design Parametrics, Incorporated, Kinetic River Corporation, and Plan Energy Ltd. announced a partnership to develop and market a set of software tools and related services for the design of flow cytometers and other complex optical biomedical systems. The software and service offering is called BeamWise™ and is available from Design Parametrics and Kinetic River for evaluation. With BeamWise, a researcher or instrument developer can intuitively and concisely define an optical system; the software automatically generates 2D functional drawings, full 3D CAD models, and a parts list for implementation using real optomechanical components.

BeamWise builds on Design Parametrics’ two decades of experience in developing model-based design automation and configuration solutions for products and systems as diversified as electrical systems, capital equipment, building structures, and process plants. Kinetic River, with more than 15 years of optical system design experience, offers design services enhanced by the BeamWise technology. Plan Energy, with 9 years of Design++ model development experience, offers customization and enhancement services for BeamWise-based system models.

Tapio Karras, CEO of Design Parametrics, commented on the collaboration with Kinetic River: “Design Parametrics has always been successful by working with industry experts who have deep domain knowledge. It’s been a pleasure to collaborate with Giacomo Vacca, Ph.D. on the development of BeamWise. He combines a strong understanding of theoretical principles with the practical insights that come from his extensive hands-on experience in designing flow cytometers. He has been of invaluable assistance in offering a practitioner’s perspective on the design process as well as specific guidance on how to translate conceptual designs into functional models.”

Karras added, “Services from Kinetic River and Plan Energy using Design Parametrics’ Design++ knowledge-based engineering platform will allow biomedical instrumentation companies to simplify and automate the design of optical systems. Kinetic River and Plan Energy enable both researchers and engineers to jumpstart their development process.”

“With Design Parametrics’ Design++ based BeamWise package, design and engineering tasks that typically take experienced teams days to weeks to complete can now be handled in a matter of minutes. With this kind of dramatic efficiency improvement, I believe that BeamWise will become a standard platform for high-level exploration of design options, as well as for the generation of manufacturing documentation and commercialization specifications,” said Giacomo Vacca, Ph.D., founder and President of Kinetic River.

Hannu Lehtimaki, a seasoned Design++ application developer and principal of Plan Energy, observed, “While there is always a role for tinkering and trial-and-error methods in the design of innovative instrumentation, we have seen that development effort can be substantially reduced by using software models, as we have done successfully in several industries. The time needed for the release to production of an optical design can be shortened considerably using the Design++ platform and the BeamWise tools.”

About Design Parametrics
Design Parametrics is a Silicon Valley technology company offering Design++, a knowledge-based engineering platform that significantly simplifies the capture of in-house engineering expertise and streamlines integration of legacy systems into design automation and product configuration solutions. Design++ has an over 20-year history of supporting high-value design automation and product configuration applications at companies such as NCI Building Systems, General Electric Oil & Gas, Fluor Corporation, and Buhler AG. Design++ is also the foundation for a commercial end-user application product for conceptual plant design: Bentley PlantWise, which has been on the market for 16 years.

About Kinetic River
Kinetic River is a biophotonics design and product development company with a passion for creating and enabling tools for innovative and disruptive life science research, biomedical instrumentation, and clinical diagnostics. The list of Kinetic River clients includes EMD Millipore, National Instruments, the U.S. National Institutes of Health, and leading universities, as well as startup companies. Recent projects range from concept formation to design, prototyping, and engineering of research systems and volume production cell-analysis instrumentation.

About Plan Energy
Plan Energy is a consulting company participating in international energy projects (oil, gas, power generation, electricity transmission, and renewable energy), and design automation and data management projects. Clients served over the last 20 years include the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Bank, ministries of several countries, the European Union, and industrial companies. Hannu Lehtimaki of Plan Energy is one of the original Design++ developers and a cofounder of the first Design++ startup company that spun out of Nokia. Today he provides expert consulting services for Design++ based applications development.

We have been working with the three firms for more than six months to define and develop the technology. I have had the privilege to work on some high performance teams,; the BeamWise collaboration has reminded me how satisfying it is. There are always challenges when you are blending expertise from many separate domains, in this case optics, mechanical modeling, artificial intelligence, and design automation. But the mutual respect and joint commitment to solving problems that will enable the design of new instruments for both life sciences research and clinical practice has allowed us to make substantial progress in what is a relatively short amount of time.

“I get quiet joy from the observation of any man who does his job well.”
William Feather

Robert Felten Software Recognized by EE Times

Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Clients in the News

Source: EE Times

Source: EE Times

We are excited to see Robert Felten’s recent project, GUI for a flash drive, featured in EE Times. Robert Felten Software provides Software Development Consulting and Contracting. He specializes in Qt/C++ GUI and embedded software.

See the Rick Merritt’s round up of the Flash Memory Summit at “Slideshow: Flash Innovators Flood Show

Robert is a new client, we are excited to see his expertise recognized.

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Written by Theresa Shafer. Posted in Clients in the News

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