A Senior Design Project to Combine Computer Aided Design (CAD) and the MCNP code*

M. Furler; J. Leone; S. May; P. Caracappa; and X.G. Xu (Rensselaer Polytechnic Institut)

The MCNP code specifies virtual space using a series of logical operators that integrate simple shapes into complex geometries for radiation transport and dose calculation purposes. Manually defining these geometries in MCNP is a slow and intensive task requiring complex spatial relations skills. The debugging of these geometries is a frustrating experience even to experienced users, as the code has not kept up with the rest of commercially available software with respects to robustness and user-friendly capabilities that many people have come to expect out of modern software. Computer Aided Design (CAD) packages such as AutoCAD or SolidWorks, on the other hand, have superior 3D geometry definition and visualization tools. They create an environment which is easy to define and visualize complex geometries in a virtual space. Presently, most buildings and machines are drawn up in virtual space using a CAD program. The ability to combine a CAD geometry with a code like MCMP will be an important advance. As an undergraduate senior design project, we have developed a software approach which will convert geometry exhibited in the SolidWorks code program to solid modeling geometries compatible with MCNP. This paper discusses the design of the software and issues remain to be solved in the future. This paper demonstrates the approach by showing the automated conversion from the standard AP204 STEP files to geometries in the surface cards of MCNP5. The application of the CAD geometry from SolidWorks for virtual reality simulation to ALARA training is discussed. *Work partially supported by Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute and Electric Power Research Institute.

Return to Session list.