You know Lagoa as a browser-based interactive rendering software, but soon, you may have to recalibrate your understanding of the software. It’s about to become a CAD package.
At COFES 2014 (Scottsdale, Arizona), ChrisWilliams and Thiago Costa — Lagoa’s VP of sales and marketing and CEO/cofounder, respectively — offered clues about the company’s changing direction. The two previewed a CAD product in development.
Costa, originally from Brazil, is a post-production artist. He’s responsible for Lagoa Multiphysics, a particle effects generator developed on the Softimage ICE (Interactive Creative Environment) platform. (Softimage is now part of Autodesk.) Costa now looks beyond Lagoa’s current target market — visualization — to tackle conceptual design and assembly management. That means adding tools to create geometry, edit geometry, and build complex assemblies.
“To see the industry from a new perspective, we have to start from scratch,” said Costa at COFES during his demonstration. “Physics should be part of the design tool, not a special tool.”
Williams said, “We are bringing to CAD the ability to have physics-based design tools. For example, you’ll be able to understand how air flows through an assembly — not as an analysis tool but as a design tool. We will do this first for things like flow and clash detection.”
Like the current rendering product, the Lagoa CAD program is expected to work in the cloud — “feature-based modeling from a browser,” as Costa put it.
The software demonstrated offers drag and drop assemble functions, much simpler and more intuitive than the way current CAD products use mating conditions to do the same. Since cloud-hosted rendering is part of the product, you may also work in a fully ray-traced, interactive mode during geometry creation and editing. In the desktop environment, the intense computing toll exacted by interactive visuals on the CPUs is significant; therefore, most desktop CAD users activate it sparingly.
When it’s available, Lagoa’s new CAD product will be offered in three tiers: free, $50 per month per user, or $200 per month per user. The pricing is bound to stir debate, if not anxiety, among traditional CAD vendors offering their products at roughly $2,500 to $5,000, with annual maintenance fee.
Particle physics engine can be used to simulate the physical movements of clothing, water, fluid, powder, and similar phenomenons. Integrated physics in Lagoa is a departure from the current finite-element analysis or simulation tools embedded in CAD, which takes place separately from the CAD modeling activities. Lagoa’s approach could offer new opportunities to make mechanical simulation easier and less intimidating to designer engineers.
For Lagoa Multiphysics, watch the demo video below from Lagoa.