July 25, 2011
Note: This blog post is updated on July 27 with new information from PTC.
The demise of Borders bookstore chain, made public last week, is but another example of how the e-text movement has been reversing fortunes. On the other hand, those who manage to ride the wave of change, like Barnes & Noble did with its e-reader Nook, stand to gain from this revolution.
In engineering, many theorems and equations that used to be static text on printed pages—like Reaction and Deformation Formulas for Circular Arches in Roark’s Formulas for Stress and Strain—are going through a metamorphosis. They’re becoming interactive worksheets, capable to displaying real-time answers based on your input.
One place where you can find many of these dynamic equations and tables is Knovel, an online engineering reference portal, accessible to subscribers. Technical content at Knovel, organized by topic and available for search, spans titles from established publishers like Springer Verlag (specializes in science, technology, and medicine), PenWell (B2B media, publisher of Oil and Gas Journal), and John Wiley & Sons (publisher of scholarly journals and scientific books). More importantly, many of the titles available at Knovel contains interactive graphs, charts, and equations, easily importable to other engineering software and CAD applications.
PTC No Longer Providing Mathcad Worksheets: In the past, PTC Mathcad users had access to a collection of dynamic worksheets (legacy content based on Mathsoft engineering libraries). But the content had not been updated in years, and PTC’s royalty to the content provider, McGraw-Hill, is “not inconsequential,” according to PTC press office. This was one of the reasons PTC struck a partnership with Knovel, whose contractual relationship includes access to fresh content from technical publishers, including McGraw-Hill.
Knovel makes it possible for subscribers to download Mathcad worksheets, ready to import for those using PTC Mathcad software. Last week, Knovel announced that it has uploaded a new batch of Mathcad workssheets, more than 600 in total. After PTC’s agreement with McGraw-Hill comes to expire, PTC will no longer provide Mathcad worksheets, so Mathcad users who want them will need to download them from Knovel.
PTC press office explains, “Mathcad users who had received our libraries prior to the contract expiration can continue to use them with Mathcad 14.0 and 15.0. [The content is] not updated for Mathcad Prime 1.0. If those users, and new Mathcad users, want access to more Mathcad worksheets, covering more use cases, in both Imperial and Metric unit systems, they can create an account with Knovel. Active PTC maintenance customers are eligible for 10 free downloads from Knovel.”
The worksheets recently uploaded to Knovel covers content in:
- Electrical Engineering;
- Power Systems Engineering; and
- Finite Element Basics.
“All in all, we feel that Mathcad users have access to a much broader range of worksheets at a price point that is more affordable through Knovel than when Mathsoft and PTC were charging for the libraries,” explained PTC press office.
Content Expension at Knovel: Last month, Knovel add a new subject area for subscribers, Mining Engineering & Extractive Metallurgy. “This new subject area offers 68 reference titles from well-known publishers and societies such as Society for Mining, Metallurgy & Exploration (SME), Elsevier, and Wiley,” the company announced.
Knovel maintains a thriving fan base on Facebook, at http://www.facebook.com/Knovel.