A Quick View of CadSoftTools’ ABViewer

Even though CadSoftTools calls its software ABViewer, the program is more than a file viewer. Now in its 10th release, ABViewer has a robust authoring environment (the Editor tab) with drawing tools to create detailed drawings from scratch. The crosshair mouse pointer, command line, polyline tools, layering system, and line and text property controls offer a setup that feels familiar to those accustomed to AutoCAD or AutoCAD LT.

In the viewing mode (the Viewer tab), the program supports neutral formats, including STL, IGES, DWG, DXF, and PDF. With detailed DWG files and neutral 3D files, the program’s performance is quite good. The structure window (positioned on the right corner of the viewport by default) gives you a way to turn off or on certain elements and view your assembly components in isolation or together. Measurement tools allow you to select a face and get information on the region, or take your own measure between points with a virtual ruler. Different viewing options let you view the 3D model in shaded mode, wireframe mode, with smooth shading, or with hidden lines. Continue reading

Streaming Apps and Virtual Machines from SIGGRAPH 2014

 

OTOY, the Los Angeles-based company with technologies to stream games and render graphics in the cloud, has just launched an application-streaming platform, dubbed X.IO.

The announcement came from the show floor of SIGGRAPH 2014 (Aug 10-14, Vancouver, Canada), the annual conference for graphics industry veterans and pioneers. OTOY describes X.IO as “a new application virtualization service that instantaneously ports Windows desktop applications to the cloud without needing to modify any code, enabling users to access them on any Internet-connected device, regardless of form factor or platform … [It] was built from the ground up to handle the demanding nature of graphics-intensive applications, including image editing, CAD, and 3D modelling and rendering applications …”

For CAD vendors with design programs originally written for Windows-based desktops, X.IO offers a shortcut to the cloud. In a demo video, OTOY promises the vendors’ software titles could become cloud-hosted streaming applications “with no drop in performance, no major redevelopment.” The platform gives users the option to integrate their existing cloud-hosted storage (such as Dropbox or Google Drive). Continue reading

Dassault Systemes Buys Into Mechatronics Simulation

If your end game is to provide tools that provide a soup-to-nuts virtual design experience, you’ve got to provide capabilities that allow for accurate and real-time simulation of an entire system, including electrical and mechanical controls.

That’s exactly what Dassault Systemes is bringing to the table with its latest acquisition of SIMPACK, based in Munich, Germany. SIMPACK, with 130 customers in the energy, automotive, and rail industries, including such marquee names as BMW, Jaguar Land Rover and Bombardier, has been a long-time partner of Dassault’s, which has similar arrangements with competing multi-body simulation offerings. Continue reading

Teradici and Dell Launch Software-Based Workstation Virtualization at SIGGRAPH 2014

Even if your Dell Precision workstation is physically miles away, you can reach for it and commandeer it remotely from the nearest windows tablet or PC. Today at SIGGRAPH (August 10-14, Vancouver), Teradici and Dell announced a partnership that would facilitate remote workstation usage.

Typically Teradici’s PC over IP (PCoIP) solutions require hardware — a remote card — that connects the host device and the client device. The approach lets you use a lightweight device (a Teradici client box or a lightweight tablet) to access and drive a more powerful machine hosted on a server or located offsite. The latest solution, however, is made possibly solely with software. You install the Teradici Workstation Access software on your Dell Precision workstation and the lightweight client device to connect the two. Continue reading

Consultant Proposes Social-Mobile-Cloud Report Card for Software

Randall Newton, long-time industry watcher to the design software business, singled out cloud, analytics, mobile, and social as the four technology pillars driving the next IT revolution. Accordingly, he came up with CAMScore, an assessment method his firm Consilia Vektor would use to rate software products based on those four categories. Analytics have been part of product data management (PDM) and product lifecycle management (PLM) software for quite some time, but the more recent explosion of data — the Big Data phenomenon — is stirring renewed interest in such tools. And the other three — social, mobile, and cloud — are characteristics spawned by emerging consumer trends that didn’t exist before. So how would Consilia Vektor reconcile the decade-old products from the design industry with CAMScore? Continue reading