by Ralph Grabowski, presented by Vivekan Iyengar, vp of R&D at Spatial
Spatial is the exclusive provider of Dassault Systems technology, no surprise, given that the 25-year-old company is owned by Dassault. Currently, its V5 and V6 translators are built using Dassault technology, along with the CGM modeling kernel; other specialized components from Dassault include hidden line removal and the constraint solver, which Spatial makes available to 3D application developers. Their two primary products, however, are 3D InterOp for translation and 3D ACIS Modeler, a geometric kernel for solids and surfaces.
The 3D InterOp software natively translates CATIA V4-V6, SolidWorks, and ACIS (hey, Solidworks could license it so that it can finally read CATIA files), as well as IGES, STEP, Pro/E, Parasolid, and more. It fixes translation problems using healing. "Geometric quality is a never ending task," said Mr Iyengar.
For new functions in 3D InterOp, Spatial concentrates on data reuse. Developers who add 3D InterOp to their programs can limit how it works. It can read independently any and all of these sections of a CAD file:
- Read only the product structure (fastest)
- Optionally also read selective graphical data
- Optionally also read the exact geometry
- Optionally read metadata, such as colors or PMI (most detailed)
It works with imported models as if they had been created in the native software, as 3D Interop recognizes features, like fillets and holes.
New in 3D InterOp R25 are readers for JT (from Siemens PLM) and 2D/3D DXF/DWG (from Autodesk). Both read the product structure, graphical data, and exact geometry. After importing a model, 3D InterOp can...
- search for missing parts
- import components of an assembly in parallel
- extract views and captures (camera info) from imported files, such as those created by NX
- extract PMI data from the views/captures
- reuse Parasolid data
- import geometry using multi-threaded CPUs
- support semantic PMI and FTA [feature tolerancing & annotations] constructed geometry
R25 imports data about 2x faster than R24 (such as 7 seconds instead of 14 seconds), although the exact improvement depends on the format of the source file.
In summary, 3D InterOp captures all the design insight from the original model.
3D ACIS R25
3D Acis is deployed by 350 commercial applications and so used by two million designers. It handles defeaturing, advanced meshing, constraint management, and more.
New in R25 is feature matching (or face matching). This is useful for matching faces in the same process over and over, such as in link chains or crankshafts; it reduces the time needed to make designs with repetitive elements.
Also new is shadow projection, which is useful for CAM applications to calculate the direction of the cut. It's like shining a flashlight onto an object and seeing the shadow on the wall: the "shadow" determines the cut, such as from water cutters.
Also new or improved are sheet wrapping, more robust Booleans, improved wire projection, and improved entity-entity distance.