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Jeff Rowe
Jeff Rowe
Jeffrey Rowe has almost 40 years of experience in all aspects of industrial design, mechanical engineering, and manufacturing. On the publishing side, he has written well over 1,000 articles for CAD, CAM, CAE, and other technical publications, as well as consulting in many capacities in the design … More »

MCADCafe e-Magazine: ASCON Releases Geometric Kernel As CAD Component

 
May 21st, 2012 by Jeff Rowe

ASCON Group, developer and integrator of professional MCAD and PLM solutions, announced that it is making public its proprietary geometry kernel C3D as the foundation for creating computer-aided design systems and applications. The kernel is also well suited for designing computer-aided engineering (CAE) software, computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) programs for CNC machines, and modeling of engineering processes for product lifecycle management (PLM).

Development of the geometric kernel began in 1995, and then in 2000 ASCON released KOMPAS-3D v5.9, the first computer-aided design software system based on its C3D. Since then, the company has updated the kernel, and is now launching it as a separate product for the CAD component market. It handles all aspects of a CAD system: 2D drawing and sketching, 3D hybrid and solid modeling, parametric constraints, and translation.

“The decision to open access to our technology was the next logical step in our on-going development of the geometric kernel,” said Maxim Bogdanov, CEO of ASCON. “We are confident in the quality of C3D. For more than a decade, it has been the basis of our own line of successful CAD/CAM software.

“We see great prospects for its use, as new players appear on the market needing components for their CAD systems,” he added. “Standard 2D systems will inevitably switch to 3D, and consequently require a fundamental change to the core of the systems — or else find a replacement. The CAD component market is changing, and so there is a place for a Russian company with 17 years experience in geometric kernel development, and whose mathematical quality is recognized throughout the world.”

The main feature of ASCON kernel is that it is complete. The core of C3D combines everything necessary for the development of application solutions, as follows:

C3D Modeler is the geometric modeler with functions for 3D solid and hybrid modeling, sketching, and 2D drawing

C3D Solver is the parametric constraints solver with functions for creating and solving parametric constraints on 2D and 3D geometry

C3D Converter is the translator module that reads and writes geometric models in all primary exchange formats

Potential users for the C3D kernel are developers of CAD, CAM, and CAE systems and related applications requiring the processing of 3D models and 2D graphics. Among them are large industrial companies who often create software for internal use. Third-party developers can use the ASCON kernel to extend functions and abilities, increase performance and reliability, quickly create 3D modelers based on existing 2D systems, and reduce cost of development of their products.

Even before C3D was released officially, an early tester was already putting it to real-world use. “We were among the first to work with ASCON’s geometric modeling kernel,” explained Andrew Lovygin, CEO of LO CNITI and the official distributor of Esprit CAM in Russia. “In just four months, we embedded a full 3D solid modeler in our CAM system. Our choice of C3D was driven by ASCON’s flexible pricing policy and quality technical support. I am confident that ASCON will achieve excellent results with its kernel on the international market.”

C3D was first announced in April at the Congress On the Future of Engineering Software (COFES). C3D kernel is available now for limited licensing based on individual requests. Full access will be opened in January, 2013.

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

When you think of geometric modeling kernels, does anything immediately come to mind? For most of us who have been long enough, the ones probably at the forefront are ACIS and CGM (owned by Spatial Corp., a part of Dassault Systemes) and Parasolid (owned by Siemens PLM Software). Now, though, ASCON has entered the arena.

There was a time when geometric modeling kernels were the keystones of the MCAD industry. Most CAD vendors then relied, at least to some degree, and licensed them as engines for making their software applications go. While newly developed and released kernels were a good thing, some CAD developers felt that they were held hostage by the release cycles of their geometric kernel developers.

Times have changed, though. Today, an increasing number of vendors have undertaken the enormous task of developing, maintaining, and supporting their own geometric kernels. However, not all CAD vendors have gone the independent route, because it is such a huge and costly undertaking. However, I’ve also been impressed with how loyal many kernel customers have been over the long haul. Admittedly, though, changing kernels mid-stream is not an easy thing to do.

Today, as has been the case for quite some time, two of the major major players in the geometric kernel market are ACIS (owned by Dassault) and Parasolid (owned by Siemens PLM Software), but, of course , there are others, such as ASCON’s C3D. I’ve thought it ironic that SolidWorks (also a Dassault company) uses Parasolid from a Dassault competitor as its underlying geometric engine, and not ACIS (although it will eventually use Spatial’s CGM somewhere down the road), but that’s another story.

Simply put, geometric modeling kernels are the software components that make 3D solid modeling possible. Geometric modeling is one of the three legs of the triad that makes CAD possible – the other two being design and computer graphics. Geometric models are what make CAD really useful beyond basic drafting purposes and for engineering applications, as well. For them to be truly useful, geometric models must be unambiguous representations of objects. This demands that the 3D model satisfy comprehensive engineering functions from documentation (drawings) to simulation/analysis to manufacturing. That’s a pretty tall order, but is absolutely essential for the utility of CAD data that can be repurposed.

So, how significant or insignificant are software components, including geometric modeling kernels today? While it’s true that few users really care about the origin of the modeling kernel in their CAD tool, software component kernels are still relevant and significant for the following reasons:

  • They are developed, supported, and maintained by an expert source that focuses on improving specific aspects of the software component(s).
  • They allow relatively small organizations to develop applications relatively economically and let them focus on what they do best in their technology/market niche.
  • They are updated and released on a regular schedule so customers can time their application releases accordingly.

Maybe geometric kernels don’t get quite the attention that they used to, but they remain an essential component (literally) for moving the MCAD industry forward. They have been and will remain a vital part of the MCAD industry for a long time to come.

3D software components and the vendors that supply them will continue to be in business for a long time to come. As they were in the past, software components will remain significant and relevant into the future for the MCAD industry. At some time in the near future, I’ll compare the specs and capabilities of ASCON’s C3D, Spatial’s ACIS and CGM, and Siemens’ Parasolid, just to see how they stack up feature-for-feature side-by-side. I’ll tell you what I find out.

                                                      

The Week’s Top MCAD Stories

At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the news items that were the most viewed during last week.
 Anark & Geometric Announce Anark Core MBEWeb

Anark Corp. and Geometric Ltd announced their new 3D Model Based Enterprise (MBE) authoring and viewing capability that integrates into existing PLM enterprise infrastructure. Anark Core MBEWeb is a HTML publishing capability for Anark Core software, allowing users to transform native 3D CAD parts and assemblies, together with their attributes, dimensions and tolerances, product views, and other model based definition (MBD) information, into high-resolution and high-quality 3D HTML MBE documents with support for interactive ASME Y14.41 visual response. These documents are free to view within standard HTML web browsers, and can support a number of downstream manufacturing use cases. MBEWeb can also transform native JT parts and assemblies with MBD (popular in the automotive industry) into high quality and interactive 3D HTML MBE documents. 3D Model Based Enterprise is a term coined by the U.S. Department of Defense and adopted by many commercial manufacturing companies to define:

  • The reuse of 3D Model Based Definition data (e.g. 3D Dimensions and Tolerances and other Product Manufacturing Information),
  • The elimination of costly and redundant 2D Drawings and 2D Technical Data Packages
  • An affordable 3D MBE deployment method based on open and readily available standards.

On-Line Viewer allows you to view any 3D CAD data without installing any software

CAPVIDIA announced a new service On-Line Viewer that lets users view any 3D CAD data, without installing any software. The service is accessible through CAPVIDIA’s website and is free of charge. With On-Line Viewer you can access any 3D model with associated metadata PMI, GD&T and more, from both native and neutral CAD data formats, such as CATIA V5, SIEMENS NX, UGS and Pro/Engineer including Creo 1.0. The On-Line Viewer has the same functions as ViewVidia visualization and collaboration. It gives you the ability to rotate, zoom, pan, change rendering mode, add annotation, dimensions, construct dynamic cross-sections to your 3D models. This new service means that your model data structure is accessible through the project tree, giving direct access to each entity. You can open either single parts or complex assemblies. The entities in the project tree are automatically linked with the 3D entities in the graphical window for identification and searching.

Siemens PLM Software releases version 45.0 of the 3D D-Cubed software components

Siemens PLM Software announced Version 45.0 of the 3D D-Cubed software components. Highlights of this release include extended support for the recently introduced spin surface geometry type and improved over-defined model diagnostics for the 3D DCM. Further algorithms have been multi-threaded in the CDM and HLM, improving performance when computing clearance (also known as closest approach) in the CDM, and when working with large tolerant models in the HLM.

Aras Announces Availability of Enterprise PLM Platform on SQL Server 2012

Aras announced the Aras Innovator platform and solution suite on Microsoft’s SQL Server 2012. Aras enabled on SQL Server 2012 offers a new level of scalability with high availability, including on-demand scaling, next-generation performance capabilities and the ability to extend data from on-premise implementations to cloud deployments. SQL Server 2012 enhancements include:

• On-Demand Scaling – Scale beyond the constraints of any one deployment environment by taking advantage hybrid IT opportunities with a common architecture that spans traditional servers, appliances and the cloud.

• Open Portability – Gain operational flexibility with proven Microsoft cloud offerings, private or public, which deliver interoperable deployment options with open portability for the ability to freely move PLM applications and data quickly and easily from instances on-premise to private and public cloud environments.

• Accelerated Performance – Next-generation performance with SQL Server 2012’s xVelocity in-memory technologies and data compression capabilities that reduce growing volumes of data by 50-60%.

• Powerful Business Intelligence – High performance BI with reporting cubes that can scale to 10’s of Terabytes, expanded support for up to 640 logical processors, and massively parallel processing that scales to 600+ TB.

• Security and Compliance – Built-in encryption capabilities help protect confidential information without changes to the application.

Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at jeff@ibsystems.com or 719.221.1867.

This Week

Lead Story

ASCON Releases C3D Kernel for the CAD Component Market

Product and Company News

Dassault Systèmes Announces SolidWorks Education Edition 2012-2013

Delcam customer wins Meilleur Ouvrier de France

Dassault Systèmes Supports Industry Commitment to Codex of PLM Openness “Critical to Collaboration and Innovation”

BOXX Workstations Featuring NVIDIA Maximus Demo at GPU Technology Conference

Luxion Releases Free KeyShot Plugin for Autodesk 3ds Max

MIP and Quantorform sign a strategic alliance to offer a complete CAD/CAM/FEA solution for Aluminium Extrusion Die Industry

Roulunds Braking Accelerates Growth With Autodesk PLM 360

Research and Markets: Global 3D CAD Market 2011-2015

Global CFD Market 2011-2015 – Ansys, CD-adapco, and Mentor Graphics Dominate the Market

The PLM Insider: Effective Product Returns using PLM

Vero Software CAD, Nesting and Remnants

SURFCAM 6 Beta Released

Notre Dame Preparatory School Adopts Dassault Systèmes 3D Experience Platform

CADseek/Windchill Integration Now Available from iSEEK Corporation

GstarCAD2012 Improves Raster Image Functionality to Bring Work Convenience

Creaform Introduces New C-Link for Faster and Easier Inspection of Complex Parts

Radan’s Remnants and Part Picking, Vital Aspects of CIM

ANSYS Delivers Record Revenue and Earnings for the First Quarter 2012

Breaktrhough Innovation for 3D CAD Workflows (AMD + CREO)

SCHOTT SYSTEME Streamlines EDM Wire Cutting

Stratasys Reports Record Q1 Financial Results

Kineo CAM delivers its software technology for Teachingless robotic systems

Cimatron’s Q1 2012 Results Release Scheduled

New VizUp SDK to Make Polygon Reduction Technology Embeddable for Third-Party 3D Graphics Applications

LISP Application Runs 8X Faster on ZWCAD+

Open-Top Sports Car For Mike In Retirement (Radan – EdgeCAM)

ThyssenKrupp Elevator Americas Partners with aPriori, Inc.

Research and Markets: Digital Manufacturing Software Market in the EMEA region 2011-2015

CAD Schroer supports universities with free 3D plant design software

OPEN MIND offers CAM solutions for medical engineering

Immersion Corporation Reports Q1 2012 Results

ESSS Introduces VCollab CAE Collaboration Solutions to South America

CIMdata Publishes “Application Migration & Application Integration”

GibbsCAM Lets You Do More With Mazak

New Version of Excel Stock Cut Optimizer 1DCutX Got Minimization of Cutting Layouts and VBA Automation

Nikon Metrology Announces New Metrology CT System

Objet Establishes Presence in Japan

PTC Named ‘Leader’ in IDC MarketScape on Worldwide Warranty Analytics

A strategic union between the software developers Alma and Missler Software

ZWCAD+: A New Name for the Next ZWCAD

Hexagon Metrology Reports High Demand for New Line of Brown & Sharpe CMMs

A new distributor for WorkNC automatic CADCAM in Hungary (SESCOI)

Related MCAD News

MicroStation and AutoCAD Users Can Find Details, Cells, Blocks and More Across Multiple Files

ANSYS CFD technology and simulation expertise provided valuable insight to wastewater treatment facility

Dassault Systèmes Recreates Giza Necropolis With its 3DExperience Platform

HP Launches Imaging and Printing Offerings to Enhance Efficiency for Businesses of All Sizes

Océ Outlines the Four Main Considerations When Selecting a Large Format Printer (Part 1)

Dassault Systèmes and Harvard University Collaborate to Bring Immersive Virtual Reality to Education and Research

HP Launches Consumer Notebook PCs Reflecting New Design Philosophy

TeamPlatform Adds Meta-Data Support to Online Collaboration Software

Dassault Systèmes Fashion Lab Ambassador Stylist Jonathan Riss Honored as Apparel Magazine Top Innovator

Limitless Computing and ArtVPS Introduce Google SketchUp Rendering to the Cloud

HP Expands Thin and Light Collection With New Ultrabook Systems and Sleekbooks

Intergraph Releases CADWorx Plant Professional 2013

Notre Dame Preparatory School Adopts Dassault Systèmes 3D Experience Platform

HP Unveils Powerful and Stylish Technology for Consumers and Businesses

SEH Engineer Discusses Cured-In-Place Pipe Lining on Discovery Channel

Delcam upgrades dental design software

Corporate Moves

Ball Aerospace Names Jeff Osterkamp Vice President for Engineering

SGI Announces New CFO Robert J. Nikl

Consulting-Specifying Engineer Announces 2012 40 Under 40 Award Winners

Industry Events

PTC Congratulates its Sponsored FIRST Robotics Teams at International FIRST Championship

PLMIG announces PLM Governance Benchmark schedule

Delcam’s aerospace software and services on show at Farnborough

Altair Kicks Off Global HyperWorks Technology Series With Americas Conference in Detroit

Webinar Wednesday: eDemo – SolidWorks 3D Parametric CAD Design (5/16/2012)

CIMdata Announces that Dimitri N. Mavris, Boeing Professor of Advanced Aerospace Systems Analysis at Georgia Tech, will Keynote at PLM Road Map 2012

Robots to Invade Indianapolis This Weekend: 22 Teams Vie for 2012 National Robotics League Championship Title

ANSYS CEO to Present at the J.P. Morgan Technology, Media and Telecom Conference

Coordinate Metrology Systems Conference (CMSC) 2012 Showcases 27 Technical Presentations

Delcam’s Vortex high-speed roughing headed for IMTS

ETRAGE LLC AND TWeatherford, Inc. (TWI) to Present “Tools to Enhance and Expand Your Windchill Experience” at PlanetPTC Live 2012, Orlando

Webinar: Preparing Geometries for Structural Simulation using SpaceClaim (5/16/12)

Delcam to show easier inspection software at CMSC

Webinar: Reduce Mold Design Lead Time Through Mold Wizard Automation (Saratech – 5/17/12)

Delcam to host free seminar on machining with robots

Webinar Wednesday 5/9/12: eDemo – SolidWorks Simulation – Composite Material Analysis

CCE to showcase EnSuite at Siemens PLM Connection

Fabricators Converge for Two Days of Education and Training (SigmaTEK Systems)

DMC2012 Set to Drive Transformation of Die and Mold Sector

PTC to Speak at 3 Upcoming Investor Conferences

Speakers Announced for the 12th FLOW-3D European Users Conference

<Technip and 3M at Dassault Systèmes’ SIMULIA Community Conference

CCE to showcase EnSuite at the Atlantic Design & Manufacturing Show

Delcam PartMaker webinar on manufacture of telecommunications connectors (5/25/212)

Canadian Teams earn top honours in front of 30,000 people at the FIRST Robotics International Championship

With business up by 30% in 2011, Die and Mould India proves to be another good show for Sescoi

Delcam announces speakers for Orthotics Technology Forum 2012

Free Onlilne Demo 5/4/12 – ArtCAM Express – Sign Design and Manufacture Made Easy! (Delcam)

Manufacturing Executive Announces Top Honorees of the 2012 Manufacturing Leadership Awards

CimatronE on Display on the North American East Coast

Users Learn Competitive Advntage at Czech Republic Edgecam Seminar

OPEN MIND at METALLOOBRABOTKA in Moscow – Efficient metalworking with hyperMILL

ANSYS CEO to Present at R. W. Baird 2012 Growth Stock Conference

GstarCAD Marketing Symposium 2012 Successfully Held in Suzhou

Corporate Newsletters

SURFCAM News – April 2012

TopSolid Newsletter #67 – May 2012

News.Delcam – Issue 52a – May 2012

Hawk Ridge Systems News for SolidWorks

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