Versatile Seemage Technology Integrates With Solidworks

Seemage, Inc. ( announced that the 4.2.1 release of the Seemage system is now compatible with SolidWorks. Seemage’s technology produces rich deliverables directly from digital product definition data. Seemage offers an open, XML-based architecture that lowers the cost of implementation, permits immediate productivity on the desktop and integrates seamlessly with enterprise systems. Now, SolidWorks users are able to use Seemage to rapidly and accurately create product deliverables including animations, technical illustrations, service procedures and more. In addition, Seemage has been appointed a SolidWorks Solution Partner, enabling SolidWorks users to deploy Seemage as their content authoring solution for creating product deliverables.

For product designers, there is a never-ending requirement to prepare and continuously revise drawings, illustrations, and animations for departments including marketing, sales, service and support. Seemage makes it possible for non-engineering personnel to accurately and safely create the product deliverables they require directly from the 3D SolidWorks design data and to combine it with additional information like bill-of-materials information from enterprise manufacturing systems.

"Today, 3D CAD data is increasingly recognized as a valuable enterprise-wide asset which can be widely used beyond the engineering and design departments," said Rainer Gawlick, SolidWorks vice president of worldwide marketing. "Now that Seemage is integrated with SolidWorks, delivering digital product information across the business will revolutionize processes like service and assembly procedures, training, manufacturing planning, marketing and sales."

Achieving this enhanced level of CAD reuse in SolidWorks is easy with Seemage 4.2.1. Product designers can simply save a Seemage-formatted, XML-based file directly from within SolidWorks. All product structures - including parts and assemblies - are supported. In addition, any metadata created by the product designer, for example, part names, custom properties, color, etc., is managed by the Seemage integration. Seemage Sync can also be employed to automatically refresh downstream deliverables created from the Seemage files at any time, solving the problems and costs associated with late product design changes.

"We are very excited to be able to offer SolidWorks users the ability to take advantage of Seemage," said Bruno Delahaye, worldwide vice president of sales, Seemage, Inc. "Now the same level of success that our very large customers have enjoyed with Seemage is available to the thousands of SMB manufacturers around the world. This not only saves them time and money, it equips them to better compete in a very challenging marketplace."

SolidWorks integration is available now in Seemage 4.2.1. Seemage 4.2.1 is available in English, French and Japanese. SolidWorks users require a SolidWorks license to be able to save data into the Seemage format.

The Seemage 4.2.1 system consists of Seemage Viz, Seemage Mockup and Seemage Publisher for creating product content from 3D CAD models. Seemage Player is freely distributable and offers users many useful features in addition to viewing Seemage-authored content.

Seemage 4.2.1 also includes Seemage Secure3D for security, Seemage Rights Manager for access control, Seemage Importers for data import, Seemage Sync for data synchronization and Seemage Clash for interference checking.

Seemage integrates data from many different sources and systems. Supported 3D CAD systems include CATIA V4 and V5, Pro/ENGINEER, JT, STEP, IGES and others.

Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor

While many of you have probably adopted 3D MCAD tools, probably just about as many of you have dealt with trying to leverage these 3D assets for repurposing for downstream processes and deliverables, such as technical publications, sales/marketing collateral, and PowerPoint presentations. Enter Seemage . . .

This announcement by Seemage indicates that the technical visualization and publishing market continues to ebb and flow in seas that are not smooth or too crowded. Unlike some of the competitors in this space, Seemage is not a single tool, but rather a suite or system of different tools that perform different functions, but collaboration is the primary aim of the toolset. Seemage’s modularity is unique because this structure lets the functionality build as the comprehensive system of all of the its component parts are assembled and used together.

When all are used, the various Seemage products work together for high-performance viewing, mark-up, and then some. Because data can be loaded from a variety of sources (now including SolidWorks), it can be inspected, measured, sectioned, assembled, disassembled, and used as the basis for collaborative efforts. That’s a lot of functionality, but with a slightly different twist in the way the data is presented with a lot of the unnecessary detail stripped out.

Another slight twist is that files created in Seemage are stored in a proprietary XML-based .SMG file, although the XML part is pretty neutral. Ordinarily I’m not a big fan of proprietary formats, but these files are portable and can be used either standalone with the free Seemage Viewer, and can also be embedded into PowerPoint for presentations, PDFs, and other types of documents.
So now, let’s go up the chain and briefly take a look at what parts comprise the Seemage system.

Seemage Viz is the starting point for authoring that provides the capability for importing the CAD data. Beyond the basic data import tools, the additional Seemage Sync module provides a higher level of associativity with native CAD data, ensuring that the data is the most current and optimized with regard not only to geometry, but BOMs and other types manufacturing information, as well. The resulting information as an .SMG file also is secure, meaning that levels of access and associated actions can be assigned.

The next step up the chain is Seemage Mock-up that builds on basic collaboration functionality, but add-on tools customize it to approach a level fortrue digital mock-up processes, including using kinematics to create animations. Creating animations is actually quite easy with nice results.

At the top of the heap is Seemage Publisher that provides a comprehensive environment that can output raster graphics for repurposing already repurposed data. It’s not as confusing as it might sound. Suffice it to say that the data can be used for a myriad additional purposes.

Admittedly, the price goes up as modules are added, and there are certainly other visualization/publishing products out there to choose from, but the security, sychronization, and other key aspects are what sets the Seemage modular system apart. If your organization generates and uses data that could be applicable on the executive floor as well as the manufacturing floor, then Seemage might be worth a look.

The Week’s Top 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.

New Methodology to "Evolutionize" Circuit Board Manufacture and Assembly

Verdant Electronics announced that it has conceived and is developing an "evolutionary" new technology for both printed circuit boards (PCBs) and printed circuit board assemblies (PCBAs) that the company said promises to improve the way electronic products are made. The core idea is to build and interconnect electronic assemblies in reverse order from traditional methods. Rather than having components mounted on PCBs and soldered, fully tested and burned IC packages and components of all types are placed on a carrier, encapsulated and subsequently plated with circuits making direct connection to component terminations without solder. The reverse order interconnection process is significant and far-reaching in its implications. The new approach obviates the problems associated with lead-free solder while creating electronic products that use less energy in manufacture, use fewer materials in construction, will not employ any restricted materials, and will ultimately be smaller, lighter, less costly, and more reliable.

ANSYS Reports Record Quarter and Raises 2007 Outlook
ANSYS announced a new company record for second quarter non-GAAP operating results. Commenting on the second quarter performance, Jim Cashman, ANSYS President and CEO stated, "This quarter's results continue the momentum that we have seen building over the past several quarters and reflect the strength of our diversified global business. We have made encouraging progress during the recent quarter and first half of 2007 to capture the strength of combining the ANSYS and Fluent businesses into a broad portfolio of unprecedented engineering simulation solutions. Compared to a year ago, this quarter's non- GAAP revenues increased over 35% while non-GAAP diluted earnings per share increased 43%. We have also continued to focus on strengthening our margins and balance sheet. These efforts produced record cash flows from operations of $37 million for the second quarter and $59 million for the first six months of 2007. Based on our first half performance, we are increasing our 2007 full year guidance and believe we are poised to drive 2007 to be the most successful year in the company's 37 year history." In a related matter, in May, the company announced that its Board of Directors approved a 2-for-1 stock split of the company's common shares.

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