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04/01/06 11:06 AM
3D Visualization -- Could It Be Today's Betamax vs new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

3D Visualization -- Could It Be Today’s Betamax vs. VHS (X vs. Adobe)?

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Edited by ibsystems on 09/29/06 10:57 AM.

04/01/06 11:06 AM
Interesting new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Comparing 3d visualization and VHS x Betamax is interesting ( for those old enough ...), but there is big difference, 3d viewers are free software, you dont have to decide for a standard and then buy an expensive hardware piece. For the end consumer, the one that views the 3d stuff, it is much easier to change when something better shows up.

Norm Crawford
04/14/06 06:16 AM
Norm Crawford Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

Interesting thoughts with regard to the Beta vs VHS scenario. But, for many who are not familiar with 3D viewing of CAD models and assemblies, I think it will be good to include some basic, what I call, requirements to gain real value from 3D visualization. First of all, the viewer and cad system need to have related capabilities so that eliminating the 2D drawing process can be achieved for truly leaning out the part and assembly definition. Therefore, the most significant requirement is the ability to place 3D annotation on the model in the CAD system and then being able to view the information in the viewer. Second, most viewers do no measured true 3D data. Again, in order to lean out the part definition process, it is key to not have to include all dimensions for features that are already defined (redundancies) by virtue of the model. But for manufacturing purposes, the viewer measurement must me as accurate as measuring the CAD model within CAD. Again, there are not a lot of viewers with that capability. Then there is considering other downstream process. For example, tolerance analysis. Is the file format used in the viewer also useful in a 3D tolerance analysis application? And, when using such an application, is the interface essentially the same as the basic viewer? In other words, having common look and feel across the functional groups through out the product lifecycle. The bottom line is what "system" will really achieve a leaner product development cycle and really be able to help improve quality while reducing costs. It won't be a stand alone viewer anytime soon.

Steve G
07/12/06 11:20 AM
Re: 3D Visualization -- Could It Be Today’s Betama new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I have done a comparison between Acrobat 3D and Solidworks eDrawings. I must say I like eDrawings alot better. And I am a Pro/ENGINEER user. Much more simple than Acrobat 3D to figure out. All the controls are right there and straight forward in eDrawings. I have some users I work with I have asked to evaluate the files. One was another veteran CAD user and said he had some difficulties trying to do certain functions.

One example is you have to set up the explode view in Acrobat in a seperate module. Granted it comes with Acrobat 3D, but still much more difficult to create than in eDrawings. I never did figure out how to create one in the 30 trial period.

In eDrawings you have one button to create a cross-section and you can drag and drop the plane where ever you wanted. A little more involved in Acrobat.

As far as measuring goes, again, much easier in eDrawings. In Acrobat, you had to bring up this dialog box each time you wanted to add, delete or modify. eDrawings had the icon right there for you to use.

The best parts of eDrawings is you don't need to install ANYTHING for a non-eDrawings user to view a model and there is a free version. You can create an executable that includes its own viewer. If someone is worried about the file getting striped out of an email, just rename the file extension and have the person rename it back. With Acrobat, it had to be a certain version for an Adobe Reader user.

IMO, a better way to go is with eDrawings. Acrobat 3D: $995. eDrawings: $500 for the full vesion.

07/25/06 11:09 AM
Hovakhshatar new Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I think Mr Mclellan offers an interesting comparions here. There is one missing point though. The Adobe solution is compared simply to 3D viewers. If you look at the usage of PDF as means of communication, the Adobe solution is much broader than simply another 3D viewer. Here you have the ability to combine 3D object with other elements of a document for a much broader reach.
3D visualization has a great deal of value and is certainly a needed element in the design and manufacturing process today. However, viewers tend to be just what they say they are. A means of viewing CAD files without the original CAD application with some additional (and variable depending on the viewer) functionality that allows for degree of analysis.
Being able to combine 3D CAD objects with other elemnts of information and allow anyone with Adobe reader to use and interact with it puts 3D visualization on a completely new track for a very large audience.

07/26/06 05:12 PM
Its all about collaboration new [re: Hovakhshatar]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I think the big thing that 3D visualization is really all about is collaboration. Great that you can create and show models with eDrawings or Doument3D or in a PDF. But the real value is in the ability to collaborate by sending around an interactive 3D model, rather than a bunch of 2D screen shots, or still renderings, and having the ability for people to comment, annotate, review, etc. 3D visualization is really about effective communication. Now one way is to just send around the 3D model and then have everyone email notes back and forth. That is certainly better than sending around notes about 2D screen shots. But it is better is if you can particpate directly on the document. This is where Adobe got it right. The Adobe reader allows virtually everyone to participate in the design review process and it’s free and available on Win, Mac and Linux. So anyone can create 3D collaborative documents using the Acrobat 3D Toolkit, and then save them so any one can use the free Reader and comment/collaborate. (any one from your manufacturing partners to upper management who may or may not be clued in to engineering email discussions, but can view model annotations)

So whatever distribution format eventually becomes the defacto standard - it has to facilitate communication. And it should do it in a way that does not separate the 3D model from the communication, and that makes it possible for anyone at any level in a company, to be involved.

A total aside, but I've got to also say that to me the smartest thing Adobe did beside the collaboration part, is the Acrobat Capture software. This breaks out of the lock of proprietary file formats and always needing to have the latest importers/exporters.

Rasmus Jensen
07/29/06 12:57 AM
Re: Its all about collaboration new [re: Hadley]Report this article as Inappropriate to us !!!Login to Reply

I second those thoughts (Hadley) - 3D is exploding in accessibility and should be. While accuracy and "specialized data features" like tolerance and stuff is always a goal for the engineering reviewers, the broader usability of any 3D viewer format is much more important.

Two cooperating engineers might be annoyed that they cannot use all the CAD package features om viewer models - but if that problem arises then it should be solved in the CAD package, not through the viewer format. Engineers would have to adapt by exchanging complex data models seperately but on the other hand maybe another 5 groups of employees are simultaneously adapting to the whole concept of 3D reviews - so it's a fair trade-off in order to heighten comminication and overall product development, don't you think?

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