CAD viewers broaden their horizons

The line between CAD viewers and CAD collaboration, once thick, is thinning rapidly.

And, its thanks to their non-specific CAD loyalties that CAD-neutral viewers are particularly good at blurring the gap. Most ‘CAD-neutrals’ now offer some kind of collaborative tool for distributed design. EAI is one such company that has stepped over this line with the continual development of its VisView and Vis Mockup technologies.

VisMockUp 3.0, its latest visualisation product for collaborative engineering is a real-time, digital prototyping tool that enables users to detect and resolve design issues early in the development process.

Although VisMockUp operates in a single, visual environment, it is accessible from multiple CAD, PDM and ERP systems, making it an ideal collaborative tool for multiple users throughout the design process.

By combining advanced 2D and 3D visualisation with sophisticated analyses of large product assemblies, EAI claims it is possible with VisMockUp to eliminate retooling costs, reduce the need for physical prototypes, help develop higher-quality products and expedite time-to-market.

‘It is only a matter of time before physical prototyping is a thing of the past,’ says Chris Jones, UK General Manager of EAI. ‘VisMockUp allows for intervention and adjustment from all parties throughout the design process. Visualisations, available in a scale of 1:1, replace the need for numerous physical models which are costly and time-consuming.’

Siemens Automotive uses VisView and VisMockUp for corporate-wide digital mock-up and product development collaboration with OEMs and suppliers.

This has enabled real-time, interactive visualisation and analysis of electronic 2D and 3D customer data in a single, visual environment and has expanded access to product data to improve quality and time-to-market.

‘Tier-one suppliers like Siemens Automotive are seeking visualisation tools that enable faster, more efficient collaboration with major manufacturers,’ says Eric Wines, North American Product Design Development co-ordinator at Siemens Automotive. ‘EAI solutions enables us to access mission-critical product and process data and interact with OEM customers and suppliers in real-time, translating directly into quality improvements, cost reductions and improved product cycle times.’VisMockUp users can perform the same trials as with a physical prototype.

The software contains interference and dynamic cross-sectioning capabilities, which allow users to check entire assemblies for collisions between moving parts. It can also create and analyse visual instructions, performing accurate measurements, clearance and interference checks.

The software’s capabilities can be further enhanced with a series of add-ons, including the assembly and analysis package VisVSA, which simulates the production-build process, and VisJack, which creates digital humans for ergonomic studies.