LEDAS Reproduces AutoCAD 2010 Parametric Drawing with ODA and Moves towards Variational Direct Modelling with Rhino

1. In June 2009, the Open Design Alliance (ODA) and LEDAS announced their cooperation to develop constraint support for the DWG 2010 format in DWGdirect™. In that announcement, ODA President, Arnold van der Weide, commented, “… We are excited to give our members the opportunity to integrate DWGdirect and LGS 2D (one of the LEDAS Geometric Solvers) together with minimal member development effort, and we are convinced that this work will benefit existing as well as potential ODA members.”

Now, in March 2010, ODA and LEDAS announced that the intended constraint support for the DWG 2010 has been implemented on the basis of the latest version 3.0 of the LEDAS LGS 2D. Dmitry Ushakov, Director of Product Management of LEDAS will present this result at the second ODA World Conference in Orlando (USA) , May 4-5. By this integration, ODA and LEDAS enable 2000+ companies (members of the Alliance) worldwide to implement parametric drawing functions in their DWG-compatible applications.

The ODA – LEDAS cooperation was initiated just after the first ODA World Conference in Leiden, Holland last year, where Dmitry Ushakov gave a talk entitled “Using LGS Geometric Solver to Create a DRX-module that Supports Geometric and Dimensional Constraints”, which caused significant interest of the conference attendees. This interest was heated by release of – just one month before the conference – AutoCAD 2010, a new generation of popular CAD software that finally supported parametric drawing functions (widely available before in almost all many MCAD software packages). LEDAS presented a module that implements similar functions on top of LGS 2D, a geometric constraint solver developed by LEDAS since 2004 and embedded in several industrial CAD packages. (See Dmitry’s detailed report on the first ODA World Conference).

At the second conference in Orlando Dmitry Ushakov will also present a free demo application that everyone can use to evaluate these parametric design tools. The application allows users to open and visualize parametric drawing files created in AutoCAD 2010, to edit their dimensional and geometric constraints (they are solved immediately after editing), and to save the files in DWG 2010 format enabling further editing these files in AutoCAD 2010. The attendees of the dedicated ODA Technology Exchange workshop will learn how they can embed the parametric drawing technology into their applications for different platforms.

2. In Orlando, Dmitry Ushakov will additionally present the current state of the LEDAS project related to variational direct modeling technology (VDM), which allows CAD users to edit solid models parametrically in history-free environment where design intent is expressed by explicit and implicit geometric constraints and driving dimensions.

VDM goes far beyond traditional direct modeling approach: this technology allows parametric modification of 3D geometric shapes in history-free environment that preserves design intent expressed with explicit and implicit geometric constraints. LEDAS considers VDM as a technology ideologically similar (but different from a technical point of view) to what is being implemented in Siemens PLM Software as synchronous technology. In contrast to synchronous technology (and similar things from other Big Vendors like Autodesk Inventor Fusion and PTC CoCreate), VDM is proposed for licensing to CAD developers. Based on company's resources and objectives, LEDAS is implementing its project in stages, each of which results in releasing an application – a plug-in for a popular market product. Every subsequent plug-in (or its version) accumulates a new portion of the technology, improves (CAD-independent) architecture, attracts potential customers of the LEDAS direct modeling, implements a market-demanded parametrization for the systems that lack this functionality, and of course brings LEDAS an increasing income.

The first plug-in (made for Google SketchUp which enabled LEDAS to implement and debug an initial architecture and a comparatively simple functionality) has been by today downloaded about 20 000 times.

A more serious system was in 2009 implemented for Rhinoceros, see LEDAS Adds Assemblies and Kinematics to Rhino (LEDAS moves McNeel & Associates’ Rhinoceros NURBS modeler closer to the mainstream MCAD with $395 Rhino Assembly 1.0 plug-in for assembling complex mechanisms and simulating kinematics).

http://www.drivingdimensions.com/ is a special LEDAS website devoted to present a series of the above mentioned plug-ins.

A couple of days ago, LEDAS released a new beta version of its RhinoDirect plug-in . Here is a video which demonstrates a full cycle of parametric hammer modeling in Rhinoceros – combining Rhino history with constraints.

3.The two projects mentioned above in this article are fundamentally based on the LEDAS Geometric Solvers, LGS 2D and LGS 3D , -- the market products that quite successfully compete (as you can see from CD-adapco licenses LEDAS variational geometric solver LGS 2D or Joe Gibbs Racing to Use LEDAS LGS 3D Geometric Solver) with D-Cubed componentsfrom Siemens PLM SOftware.

Some (or many) people might be surprised by such ambitious projects and plans of LEDAS, a company with 30 employees. This feeling may vary in the range from admiration to mistrust – especially if one could get information about some big outsourcing LEDAS projects that are naturally closed by strict NDAs. Well, in the Web one can even find some publications related to CAD technologies that compare LEDAS with SiemensJ.

No, LEDAS can in no means be compared with Siemens. But LEDAS can reasonably be compared with D-Cubed. D-Cubed is a remarkable UK company (founded in 1989 by an outstanding expert John Owen), which was first to release industrial geometric solvers and for a long time had the market monopoly. In 2004 D-Cubed was acquired by UGS, and in 2007 became wrapped even deeper when Siemens acquired UGS and transformed it into Siemens LM Software.

LEDAS and D-Cubed seem to have comparable academic history and background. See some information about LEDAS competence and history. LEDAS is operating in a world-famous research and university center, thus having inexhaustible opportunities to spoon out very high quality human resources in math and software development. Since the company foundation, these potential is effectively being implemented: today about a half of the LEDAS R&D staff are PhDs with average age around 28.

Of course LEDAS has no budget-like financing (as it happens inside of Very Big Vendors) but on 1st of April, the company is going to celebrate its 11th anniversary independent, flexible, implementing a number of high-competence-required internal and external projects, opened to multiple business contacts, and full of ideas.

No comments:

Post a Comment