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Old May 12 2009, 06:58 AM   #151
Cary L. Brown
Rear Admiral
Location: Austin, Texas
Re: Another take on the Original Enterprise...

Gep Malakai wrote: View Post
Maybe a silly question, but: how good a simulation of reality is this engineering software? By which I mean, if you build something in there, can you operate it and see if it really would work? If so, would it be possible to fuel this thing up and try to fly it/subject it to the g-forces it would experience and see if it would really operate?
It's not "silly" but I'd need rooms full of supercomputers to do that sort of thing. As it is, the Vega got so large that it overwhelmed my system (part of why I'm leaving it... which is a much more complicated ship than this one is... alone for the time being. Until I get a new machine that can handle it!)

What this does is models volumes, and can calculate mass properties (that is... assign the proper material to all your bits and pieces and you'll know exactly how much it weights, what the center of gravity is, the center of inertia, etc, etc.

I can also simulate mechanisms... and basic kinematics. That is.. I can apply a force and it will tell me how the part responds. I can model all sorts of mechanical elements (springs, pins, cams, etc). This lets you do complete mechanisms.

For instance... a transit vehicle door system I did once, I drove through the physical motion by applying an "air pressure" value. This told me how fast, and with what force, the door would operate, given a particular air pressure supplied by the vehicle... and since there are safety regulations dictating that you can't have a door which slams on someone standing in it and cut them in half, is sort of important!

But... "fueling it up?" Not so much. There is other software which CAN do that, but that's a different problem and requires a different means of solution. Propulsion systems... that's really out of the realm of this. At best, I can determine how fast the ship will spin out of control if the impulse engines aren't located properly!
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