System Requirements

System Requirements

System Performance


System Requirements

Recommended hardware requirements?
  • Recommended hardware
    • 2+ GHz processor.
    • 2+ GB RAM.
    • 500 MB of available hard-disk space.
    • 3D class Video Card with 512+ MB of memory or higher. Please ensure that the video card driver supports OpenGL version 3.0 or higher and up to date.
  • Minimum hardware
    • 1 GHz processor.
    • 512 MB RAM.
    • 300 MB of available hard-disk space.
    • 3D class Video Card with 128 MB of memory or higher. Please ensure that the video card driver supports OpenGL version 3.0 or higher and up to date.
    • 3-button, scroll-wheel mouse
    • an active internet connection for Product Key checking
Is MechDesigner compatible with Windows XP, Vista, Windows 7?

Yes. MechDesigner is compatible with Windows 7 (interface, features, UAC...).

Can MechDesigner run on a 64bit operating system.

Yes. MechDesigner 10 will work on both 32bit and 64bit operating systems.

MechDesigner 11 Pro64 will only run on Windows 64bit operating Systems, with Windows 7,8,10


System Performance

MechDesigner and OpenGL

MechDesigner is a 3D application.  Ideally you should have a fast CPU, lots of  RAM, and your video card and video card drivers should be 100% OpenGL compliant. MechDesigner is extremely efficient and can show your mechanisms faster than any other CAD software product - we believe, but prove us wrong. As such, you can run MechDesigner very effectively on 'low' performance systems.  However, it is mainly the appearance of some of the graphical representations where MechDesigner appears to be struggling.  This is where you might need to know about how graphic cards work and why you might consider getting a better one.

OpenGL

OpenGL is an industry-standard. Most Microsoft Windows operating systems come with a Software OpenGL driver.  We recommend a Driver better than version 1.5, and better than version 3.0 is even better.

Many video card manufacturers have cards to support the OpenGL standard. These cards render and perform calculations using a chip called the Graphics Processing Unit or GPU.  This is instead of the CPU. These chips significantly enhance OpenGL performance. This performance enhancement is known as Hardware OpenGL Acceleration.

Hardware Acceleration

MechDesigner uses the hardware acceleration if your computer has a OpenGL compatible video card.

Some 3D drivers in the consumer video card market are 100% OpenGL compatible and can use this feature. However, incompatibility problems occur requiring a fix from the video card manufacturer.

PSMotion recommends that you display colors to a 32-bit color depth (using Control panel > Display Properties) to ensure that your MechDesigner renders accurately when using hardware acceleration.

MechDesigner cannot control the quality of the OpenGL driver on your computer system or that MechDesigner will work with hardware acceleration on your system. After all, video card device drivers are proprietary to the manufacturer of the video card in your system.

We recommend you try MechDesigner as a Trial before you buy.  If only to ensure that the graphics works well with your PC system.

How can I find out which graphics card I have in my PC?

MechDesigner is a graphics-heavy program. Knowing your graphics card can help you troubleshoot odd visual behaviors or recommend a good-performing card to other users. The easiest way to find your graphics card is to run the DirectX Diagnostic Tool:

  1. Click Start.
  2. On the Start menu, click Run.
  3. In the Open box, type "dxdiag" (without the quotation marks), and then click OK.
  4. The DirectX Diagnostic Tool opens. Click the Display tab.
  5. On the Display tab, information about your graphics card is shown in the Device section. You can see the name of your card, as well as how much video memory it has.
 How do I update my computer's graphics driver?

MechDesigner is a graphics-heavy application. We suggest always keeping your graphics drivers up-to-date. Updating drivers can often correct odd visual behaviors such as freezing, artifacts, model slicing, and slow performance.

If you have a notebook or laptop computer:

You should visit the website of the notebook manufacturer to download the latest driver!

If you have a desktop or workstation computer:

Before you can update the graphics driver, you need to know what kind of graphics card you have.

Once you know the kind of graphics card you have, visit the manufacturer's website to download the latest driver. Here are links for downloading drivers from the most common graphics card manufacturers:

If you upgraded your driver to resolve a display issue, and it didn't resolve the issue, you may consider installing an older driver for your graphics card instead. Older drivers may be available online or in a resource CD that came with your computer. NVIDIA, for example, offers a driver archive.
 

How can I make MechDesigner run even Faster?

MechDesigner animates kinematics quickly.  That is important to us, because we believe it is important to you.

We want MechDesigner to keep its animation fast even though you have many, many mechanisms, cams, motions, with many steps per machine cycle.  There are ways you can help MechDesigner run faster and perform better:

  • "Computer settings"

    • Note: A 64bit version is nearly ready - we are just trying to find a protection method for it.
    • Having enough RAM is also helpful. Make sure to review the minimum and suggested hardware and software requirements for MechDesigner.
    • When you're using MechDesigner, close any other applications that you don't need.
    • Make sure you have the latest driver for your video card.
    • Ensure your Card Driver has an OpenGL driver of least 12.0, ideally 3.
    • If you have a fairly new video card, make sure you're using hardware acceleration.
  • "MechDesigner settings"

    • Motion Update: If you have many motions in MotionDesigner, then de-select the Motion Update tool.  This will allow you to switch quickly between motions and edit them without MechDesigner re-calculating everything each edit..
    • Auto-Update: If you have many motions and many mechanisms, deselect the Auto-update tool in MechDesigner so that as you edit the geometry the complete model is not recalculated with each edit.
    • Keep MechDesigner updated: You can check whether a new version of MechDesigner is available.  Look in MechDesigner > Help > About.  You see which build you have by looking under the 'MechDesigner' tab and seeing which build you have.  Compare this with the 'update file' in your account under File Downloads. We are regularly increasing the speed of the user interface.
    • While building models: Keep the number-of-steps in a machine cycle in the Machine Settings dialog to about 120.  Once your model is complete, then you can increase this number to anything you want, within reason so that your cams are as accurate as you need or your servo motion profiles have the correct number of steps in them.
    • Kinematically Define your Mechanisms:  defining your mechanisms using motion dimensions or by using valid dyads is very important.  If the parts have green outlines, then all is good.  If the parts have blue outlines, then the model will be slow and not provide valid data.
    • Geometrically Define your Sketches:  defining your sketches by using dimensions or by using valid constraints is very important.  If the sketches are black while in the part editor, then all is good.  If blue, then the it is still working on the solver (the dark side!).

Why are my Images Blurred or Distorted?

The Quick Answer

  • Download and install the most current video card drivers from the manufacturer's website.
  • Make sure that your video card supports OpenGL 1.5+.

Also

  • The anti-aliasing feature of the graphics driver of some graphics cards can cause blurring. You should switch the anti-aliasing capabilities off.
  • Make sure your system meets the MechDesigner Hardware and Software Requirements.
  • PC: Download the latest graphics driver for your graphics card. If that doesn't work, you might need to install a different, OpenGL-compliant graphics card.

To check whether anti-aliasing is causing the display issue:

  • Find the performance settings for your graphics card. (Check the documentation for your graphics card for information about where you can access these settings. Often, you find them by clicking the "Advanced" button on the "Settings" tab of the Display Properties dialog box.)
  • Set the anti-aliasing options to 'Off'.