CAD Exchanger 3.5.1 for those working with large CAD files

27 September, 2018

Big update of CAD Exchanger Cloud and optimizations for processing of heavy-weight CAD data

We roll out our autumn release, but this time we announce new versions of not just one, but two products! In addition to regular CAD Exchanger GUI update we are thrilled to introduce to you first production version of CAD Exchanger Cloud.

CAD Exchanger Cloud

Last few months we’ve been working heads down on our online product and was excited to see how our audience grew. Almost 2000 engineers participated in beta and helped us to shape the roadmap of our product. Here’s a brief video on what we’ve made so far and let’s describe on the most noticeable features.

Security

We stand guard over the security of your data. Every time you upload 3D file to the CAD Exchanger Cloud they are transferred via SSL secured protocol and encrypted on the server side. Moreover, once the data is uploaded to the server it is being automatically converted to the proprietary file format, which will be used to visualize 3D in the browser. In the other words, if you decide to provide access to the certain file the recipients will see representation of the design, not the original file itself (this adds extra layer of security).

Collaboration

We built CAD Exchanger Cloud to simplify design workflow, not ‘revolutionize’ it. Design in your familiar environment like SolidWorks, CATIA, Inventor, you-name-it and share via CAD Exchanger Cloud. Why would you use CAD Exchanger Cloud instead of just sharing the file via email? How often do you know what CAD system/viewer is used by the recipient? Even if you decide to use intermediary file format, like STEP, are you sure that STEP file written by SolidWorks will be read correctly by CATIA and vise versa? You don’t want to count on case, you want to ensure that your colleague or customer will see the exact same picture as you do. Without ‘common ground’ it’s impossible to review the design and provide feedback for further editions.

To avoid endless email correspondence and discussions about which file format or CAD software (or version of the software) to use, just upload the design to the Cloud and provide an access to it. You can easily grant guests with the right to comment in the 3D view, re-share the design, or download it to make offline editions.

Notes

To streamline communication on designs we added the possibility to attach comments to elements of 3D model. It is straightforward mechanism to provide feedback on the resulting design or to add TODOs. This approach helps to minimize risk of misunderstanding between the project participants and allows to clearly communicate your idea. Create a couple of comments and try to navigate between them. Thanks to smooth transitions, the model turns into mini-presentation, allowing to show design to the customer in the most appealing manner.

Notes attached to the 3D models can be quickly navigated through using the side panel (see screenshot below). Switching between the notes positions the model into the state it was in when the note was taken. This allows to accumulate a set of model views and quickly exchange the ideas between the participants.

Engineering tools

Of course, as in any other CAD tool, there are features that people expect to see. In CAD Exchanger Cloud we enabled access to properties, ability to measure objects, build sectioning views and switching between several mesh representations (LoDs).

What’s the best about it?

There is a free plan of CAD Exchanger Cloud, so you are welcome to give it a try, just click on the button below. By the way, there is a separate blog post dedicated to CAD Exchanger Cloud release. Please find it here.

Re-imagined product structure in CAD Exchanger GUI

Let’s get back to our flagship product CAD Exchanger GUI.

I bet you have faced the situation when that enormous 3D file was being imported for 15-20 minutes. Every time I see the loading bar for more than a minute my immediate thought is: “It will take an eternity to rotate this monster once it’s loaded”. We like everyone else understand that clumsy software is annoying and for business it ends up in thousands of dollars (if not millions) of costs, because, well, time is money.

In this development cycle we started several performance related projects that would complement each other to increase speed of import and display of large 3D files.

Optimization of product structure

To begin with, we implemented preliminary step and optimized product structure. It’s more common to estimate complexity of CAD models by number of elements in product structure rather than kilobytes of the occupied storage space. The more elements are there in product structure, the more time it would take to be imported and displayed. By improving the CAD Exchanger engine working underneath and its connections with the graphical interface we managed to achieve rapid switching on/off of the elements. This improvement will be invisible for those, working with the smaller files, but the more complex the model, the more noticeable will be the difference.

Filters in product structure

It’s logical. There are tons of elements in product structure of large CAD files. With great number of elements comes the desire to hide the unnecessary and leave what matters the most at that moment of time. For that we added the filter button to the product structure panel. By optimizations made during preliminary step we ensured quick hiding and displaying of multiple element of product structure.

Thus, we approached a conceptually new organization of the product structure to support further performance improvements.

Thanks for being with us and see you next time!