The last 30 years has seen incredible advancements in the 3D capabilities that are available on a PC. Without them we would not have a thriving multi-billion-dollar gaming industry. Despite these advancements the engineering community has been at a relative stand-still from a visualization perspective. The renderings you see in SOLIDWORKS today are not too different from what from where it was nearly 30 years ago.
Integrating data types in modeling and preparing the model for 3D printing are strengths of separate systems.
Topics: Additive Manufacturing
A couple of weeks ago, we released HOOPS Communicator 2.10, which features some interesting new enhancements, most notably to the 3D player’s API. Back in HOOPS Communicator 2.0, we added the ability to connect external information to 3D data through a mapping table at conversion time. This API provided an ID for each and every part in an assembly, which initially developers used for simple things like highlighting, hiding and isolating parts.
Many of you may have read The Lean Start-up by Eric Reis, a book that has become almost a manifesto for many companies, particularly technology companies. Basically, the premise is that you start with an assumption or hypothesis. Next you think about how you can test that hypothesis, then determine what you need to build in order to learn whether you were right (also known as a Minimum Viable Product).
There’s a major shift in 3D as companies move to cloud and mobile solutions. And even though we live and breathe the complicated world of 3D, nobody has a crystal ball. Nevertheless, here are my thoughts about what I see happening with the different approaches and challenges to viewing 3D data on modern platforms.
There are a wide range of developers who license and use HOOPS Exchange. They develop everything from 3D printer solutions to FEA solvers that help optimize engine cylinder block design. Most of HOOPS Exchange’s file readers provide access to the exact mathematical definition of the model, known in the mechanical CAD world as the boundary representation, or b-rep for short. Some of our partners, like those in the view/markup space, simply need the b-rep to get access to the triangulated version of the model. However, the majority of our partners need to access the b-rep and map it to their geometry engines.
The beauty of 3D PDF is that while lightweight, portable and highly shareable, it’s also powerful enough to contain mind-blowing amounts of design data. With HOOPS Publish 6.1, we’re fully capitalizing on that fact by adding animation support. New APIs allow developers to easily define advanced animations within a 3D PDF.
I have to say that I continue to be amazed with the ability of our Lyon R&D team to deliver great releases. We’re not only keeping all of our CAD importers up-to-date with the latest versions, but we’ve also solved all manner of corner cases with certain models, expanded the list formats we support and moved the technology to new platforms. I’m confident that HOOPS Exchange‘s pace of progress is the best in the translation industry.