June 20, 2005
3D XML Specifications And Player Available From Dassault Systemes
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Dassault Systemes announced the availability at http://www.3ds.com/3dxml of the 3D XML (Extensible Markup Language) Specifications and Player, which will enable users to view and manipulate rich 3D data in a variety of industrial, consumer, and commercial environments.
format in its entire line of products: CATIA, DELMIA, ENOVIA, SMARTEAM, and SolidWorks. Moreover, all members of the CAA V5 and SolidWorks developer communities will de-facto endorse the 3D XML format and will deploy it on a wide scale to their end-users.
The 3D XML Player, also available at http://www.3ds.com/3dxml leverages the 3D XML Specifications and extends the use of 3D beyond traditional PLM applications. 3D content can now easily be incorporated into a variety of media, including but not limited to technical documentation, maintenance manuals, marketing brochures, websites, email communications, and many other everyday uses. With 3D XML, 3D becomes a true communication medium allowing users to "see what you mean."
The 3D XML Player is designed to work with a wide range of application suites, including Microsoft Office applications, on the web with the Internet Explorer browser or as a standalone application. It delivers Internet Explorer and Microsoft Office plug-ins, with 3D XML drag-and-drop capabilities.
"The 3D XML format is a cornerstone of Dassault Systemes' ambition to democratize 3D and demonstrates our commitment to openness," said Dominique Florack, executive vice president of Strategy, Research and Development at Dassault Systemes. "As 3D content is a core asset within the digital enterprise, it increasingly becomes critical for communication & collaboration. With the public release of the 3D XML Specifications, we are encouraging its wide adoption throughout all industries."
It didn't take long for Dassault to respond to an announcement that competitor UGS made a couple of weeks ago regarding its lightweight data format, JT.
information to a broad range of users. The re-use of 3D information is what broadens the base of potential 3D users.
With a couple exceptions. unlike most formats, 3D XML is fully based on standard XML. Therefore, (theoretically) any software program will be able to read, write, and enrich 3D XML content using standard tools. This capability could facilitate broad adoption by other software developers (see immediately below) and lower the cost of converting files from existing 3D formats.
A couple of months ago Dassault aligned itself with Microsoft when it announced it would collaborate to support Microsoft's Extensible Application Markup Language (XAML) format in its 3D XML format. XAML is the format for "Avalon," the code name of the next presentation subsystem for the Microsoft Windows operating system. Compatibility between 3D XML and XAML is intended to enable users of various 3D applications to view, modify, and customize 3D objects in an open environment and take advantage of 3D in any XAML-based application.
It seems kind of ironic that instead of consolidating, engineering and technical data file formats continue to proliferate with no end in sight. Beyond Dassault's 3D XML and UGS. JT, there are also Tech Soft America's HSF, Autodesk's DWF, and another emerging format put forth by UGS called PLM XML. As you can see, there is certainly no dearth of file formats above and beyond the myriad native file formats emanating from MCAD systems.
All of these file formats are all well and good in their own little universes, but they really complicate things very quickly when you move beyond that universe with regard to interoperability. Ultimately, we'll be able to enjoy direct CAD translation to and from native CAD file formats, but this is still a distant dream that will be realized somewhere down the road, although when is anybody's guess.
The Week's Top 5
At MCADCafé we track many things, including the stories that have attracted the most interest from our subscribers. Below are the five news items that were the most viewed during last week.
16.1 files, and a new InterOp Connect programming interface with flexible data translation.
More than 100,000 AutoCAD software users have downloaded a free software component from SolidWorks Corp., enabling them to work with any DWG file, regardless of the AutoCAD version that produced it. The DWGgateway data translation tool enables any AutoCAD software user to open and edit any DWG file.
parts; design of piping and electrical systems; drawing documentation; 3D digital mockup for spatial integration and collaborative design reviews, and preparation of programs for numerically controlled manufacturing machines
Autodesk introduced Autodesk RealDWG 2006 technology for application development. Autodesk RealDWG 2006 (formerly ObjectDBX) enables third-party application providers to develop and market products that read and write AutoCAD DWG and DXF design data formats. Autodesk RealDWG 2006 is fully compatible with Autodesk's products, including AutoCAD, Autodesk Inventor Series, and AutoCAD LT.
Delcam has set the target of selling more CAM software and services than PTC in 2006. The company believes that this ambitious objective is achievable based on the results of the latest survey of the industry by consulting and market research firm, CIMdata. Each year, CIMdata publishes its NC Software and Related Services Market Assessment and has recently issued its 2005 report. This shows that, in 2004, Delcam maintained its sales of $79.7 million, while PTC's sales stayed at $91.8 million. For 2005, CIMdata is predicting that Delcam will close the gap significantly on PTC. Although PTC is predicted to achieve sales of $97.8 million, Delcam is expected to achieve sales of $93.9 million.
Jeffrey Rowe is the editor and publisher of MCADCafé and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached here or 408.850.9230.
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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.
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