May 24, 2010
Spatial Releases ACIS and 3D InterOp R21
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Spatial Corp., a leading provider of 3D development components for design, manufacturing and engineering applications, announced 3D ACIS Modeler and 3D InterOp Suite Release 21 (R21). The latest release delivers powerful new capabilities for engineering and manufacturing applications, improves application developer productivity with a streamlined interface, and adds support for large scale Point Clouds, enabling metrology and reverse engineering applications to efficiently store and perform operations on vast amounts of point data. R21 significantly improves the performance of 3D InterOp, the market leader in translation components for high-quality, precise geometry in data reuse
| by Jeff Rowe - Contributing Editor
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In ACIS R21, the new faceter interface for generating a surface mesh includes pre-defined settings for 3D visualization or analysis plus an expert mode resulting in faster implementation time. Mesh generation performance has been improved with a new quad tree gridding algorithm which reduces the memory footprint and required number of facets to accurately tessellate a model. And for the metrology industry, R21 ensures completion of inspection and measurement paths by providing fail safe slicing of an ACIS model. The release also includes performance enhancing options for calculating the distance between an entity and a point when assessing the dimensional accuracy of manufactured
“Spatial continues to deliver the innovation Carl Zeiss requires to stay ahead of our competition. Many of the R21 capabilities are a direct result of working closely with their development team to discuss the evolving needs of the metrology industry such as increasing performance requirements as data levels increase,” commented Dr. Kai-Udo Modrich, Carl Zeiss Director Software Development. “It is clear that Spatial understands the needs of machine manufacturers with specialized applications, in addition to their more traditional markets.”
ACIS R21 New Functionality and Enhancements
Since the previously released version, ACIS R21 includes the following new capabilities:
The ACIS Faceter, used for visualizing 3D models or analysis applications generating a surface mesh to seed volumetric meshing, utilizes an all-new quad tree gridding algorithm for improved memory usage and performance. ACIS R21 also introduces an easy-to-use Faceter interface thereby reducing the implementation effort and time.
R21 supports efficient handling of large amounts of point data. Point Cloud operations include property queuing; Boolean operations such as unite, subtract and intersect; copying and subsetting; undo-redo; and adding and removing points. The interface is user extensible for applications to add custom data to the Point Cloud.
For manufacturing applications, R21 handles more complex geometrical conditions when thickening surfaces, ensuring accurate, precise and fully-bounded solids.
Metrology applications benefit from fail safe slice operations offered in R21. Fail safe slicing enables partial results when slicing an ACIS model imported from low-quality data. The result is complete inspection / measurement paths regardless of geometrical complexity or noise.
The Entity-Point-Distance function, which metrology applications use to measure the distance between design models and manufactured parts, has a new option to detect internal, boundary and external points. This significantly improves calculation times when comparing large amounts of data.
3D InterOp R21 Enhancements
The 3D InterOp Suite has improved performance, increased translation capabilities, and added support for the latest CAD versions.
New CATIA V5 Translation Capabilities
Reports missing components in XML EBOM product structure for assemblies
Supports Capture Sets
Supports Hidden PMI in parts
Translation Performance Improvements
String processing for IGES, STEP and VDA reader / writers
Attribute processing for CATIA V5 reader
Model generation for all readers with ACIS writer
New CAD Version Support
CATIA V5 R20 read and write
SolidWorks 2010 read
ProE Wildfire 5, Siemens NX7, Inventor 2010 read
Parasolid v22 read and write
“Spatial's customers develop a diverse set of engineering and manufacturing applications. R21 builds on the robustness and versatility of ACIS and InterOp with added capabilities and performance improvements to address specialized application needs,” stated Ray Bagley, Spatial Director of Product Planning and Management. “Spatial works closely with our customers to identify new technology that supports their goals of being leaders in their respective industries and to reduce implementation times so that they can shorten their time-to-market with new applications.”
For more information:
Commentary By Jeffrey Rowe, Editor
There was a time, and not so long ago, when geometric modeling kernels were kings of the MCAD industry. Most CAD vendors back then relied, at least to some degree, and licensed them as engines for making their software applications go. While the newly iterated 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. 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 undertaking.
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. I've thought it ironic that SolidWorks (a Dassault company) uses Parasolid from a Dassault competitor as its underlying geometric engine, and not ACIS, but that's another story for another time.
Over the years I've gotten to know several people at Spatial (largely because they are in my own backyard in Colorado), and have always been impressed with what they have been able to accomplish with a relatively small, tight knit development group. I've also been impressed with how loyal many of their customers have been over the long haul.
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.
The 3D ACIS Modeler (ACIS) is Spatial's 3D modeling engine used in over 350 customer applications with more than 1.5 million seats worldwide (according to Spatial). ACIS is built on an open, object-oriented C++ architecture for 3D modeling. It is particularly well suited for developing applications with hybrid modeling features, since it integrates wireframe, surface, and solid modeling functionality with both manifold and non-manifold topology, and geometric operations. ACIS provides a sound base of 3D modeling functionality, plus the flexibility to meet specific application requirements. The 3D Modeler also includes ACIS extensions for specific application needs, such as
hidden line removal, deformable modeling, advanced covering, and defeaturing.
The latest ACIS release has new capabilities for CAD and CAM applications, has a more streamlined interface, and adds support for large scale point clouds, that let metrology and reverse engineering applications store and perform operations on huge amounts of point data. According to the company, R21 improves the performance of 3D InterOp, the company's translation components. In ACIS R21, the new faceter interface for generating a surface mesh includes pre-defined settings for 3D visualization or analysis, plus an expert mode for faster implementation.
The 3D InterOp Suite looks like it has improved performance, increased translation capabilities, and added support for the latest CAD versions, especially CATIA. The CATIA part isn't too surprising, though, because CATIA shares the same parent, Dassault, with the 3D InterOp Suite.
Maybe geometric kernels don't get quite the notoriety and press that they used to, but they remain an essential component 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. On the other hand, interoperability remains at the forefront of issues facing the CAD industry. Spatial continues to have a good handle and future development direction on both fronts with its 3D geometric modeling kernel and interoperability technologies.
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.
The SME Education Foundation and Siemens PLM Software offer SME Education Foundation sponsored schools the opportunity to use the latest PLM tools in their curriculum. Siemens PLM Software and the SME Education Foundation will provide a total solution package to the academic institution including unlimited seats of any Siemens PLM Software technology; free center-based training and free upgrades and tech support. The range of software includes Teamcenter, Tecnomatix, NX, and Solid Edge software. Siemens PLM Software Grant applications will be evaluated based on school size, academic program content, program exposure, community impact and financial need. A typical grant involves
in-kind contributions of the PLM software for a set period of time along with support and upgrades covered by the grant. Extensive training materials are also available. For more information and access to the online grant application:
INUS Technology announced that the next major release of its flagship reverse engineering software, Rapidform XOR, has begun. Rapidform XOR combines 3D scan data processing and parametric solid modeling to give users the ability to create CAD models from point clouds and polygon meshes. It also creates native CAD models from scan data for SolidWorks, Pro/ENGINEER, Siemens NX, CATIA V4/V5 and AutoCAD. New features in Rapidform XOR3 include:
Modeling Wizards that automate the process of creating various features, including extrusions, revolutions, sweeps and pipes.
Streamlined liveTransfer, XOR's CAD interoperability technology. XOR3 communicates faster and transfers more than 20 unique feature types into SolidWorks, Pro/E, Siemens NX and AutoCAD.
A new automatic surfacing algorithm that generates CAD-ready NURBS surfaces from polygon meshes in one click.
A new massive point cloud processing engine.
Autodesk unveiled eight industry-oriented software suites to help students learn core design and engineering skills. The suites contain the full range of Autodesk 2D and 3D design software tools used by professionals worldwide. The bundled packages encourage a multidisciplinary educational approach, helping faculty teach key concepts that help prepare students for rewarding careers in architecture, engineering and the digital arts. These suites, offered globally, are available in English and more than 10 other languages. Solutions for postsecondary academic institutions include:
The suites consist of the 2011 versions of 21 Autodesk products, including AutoCAD; AutoCAD Civil 3D; Autodesk 3ds Max Design; Autodesk Alias Design; Autodesk Inventor; Autodesk Maya; and Autodesk Revit Architecture. The suites are supported by curricula that include professionally developed lecture notes, student workbooks, projects and other valuable tools to help instructors teach crucial skills. All curricula are available at the
Autodesk Education Community
, an online resource for students and educators. In addition to the new suites, licenses of many 2011 products are available individually for classroom use to give faculty greater purchasing flexibility. For those students who choose to benefit from product ownership, licenses of select individual products are available for purchase.
Fire Systems Co. Ltd., introduced a new fire-fighter truck, designed with KOMPAS-3D from ASCON. In March 2010, Fire systems Co. Ltd. brought a new product to the market - a fire and rescue engine. A special feature of the truck is a new extension ladder with cradle and crane capacity of three tons designed with KOMPAS-3D. The crane arm can disassemble debris, and remove obstacles to get to emergency incidents and pull vehicles with its integrated winch. After evaluating several CAD software solutions, Fire Systems chose ASCON company as a partner. The implementation of KOMPAS-3D professional solutions from ASCON began in 2005. Currently the center uses the latest version of the
solution - KOMPAS-3D V11. The extension ladder contains 8,820 parts. The entire project was completed by a team of seven people.
CIMdata has released a new report entitled, “Dassault Systèmes V6 IP Lifecycle Management.” This review presents CIMdata's perspectives on the V6 platform's solutions that support the management of intellectual property (IP) throughout the product lifecycle. The report presents both background information on IP management and lays out a business case for IP management in manufacturing enterprises. It presents the essential features and capabilities of Dassault Systèmes' V6 IP Lifecycle Management solution in the context of its integration into a broad PLM solution for large- to medium-sized businesses. Dassault Systèmes' IP Lifecycle Management solution set is available and
contains capabilities for capturing, organizing, storing, maintaining, and providing access to the IP that is created in the course of product development activities. To read more about this resource, download and read the complete “Dassault Systèmes V6 IP Lifecycle Management” report, available
Jeffrey Rowe is the editor of
and MCAD Weekly Review. He can be reached at
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-- Jeff Rowe, MCADCafe.com Contributing Editor.