Sign in to follow this  

Preparing CAD data for real-time display

This topic is 3854 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Recommended Posts

Hi, my application uses mostly architectural CAD data for visualization. Manually preparing data for real-time display is very time-consuming but leads to good results. On the other side DCC experience is required - an artist has to do the job. If you are working with CAD data (e.g. in vissim) do you provide direct import facilities for "ordinary" users? Which formats do you support( anything apart from DWG/DWF,DXF)? Or do you rely on 3rd party tools and an artist to prepare the data? [Edited by - stephanh on May 24, 2007 1:38:09 AM]

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Most CAD packages do not have robust visualization support out of the box. I frequently do visualization projects and have found that the most effective workflow is to pick a common interchange format, export the CAD data to that format and then import, clean up and set up the materials and texturing in your favorite DCC application. From there you can export to runtime formats or render your stuff as appropriate.

Most DCC programs aren't that hard to use, and this kind of thing is among the basic operations that all such applications support.

My current project involves designing and analyzing data in Pro/Engineer and rendering some videos and pictures with Blender as well as running some simulations based on the engineering models in real-time, using my custom engine built for this purpose. For the interchange format, I use PTC Render format (*.slp) which is supported by the Pro/E CAD/CAE system and Blender, my DCC weapon of choice for this project. From Blender, you can easily export to common runtime mesh formats.

My engine has a defined internal model format so it is theoretically possible for the users to view their own models. However, I haven't published its documentation nor the converters so I don't strictly support this.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
niko,

that's pretty much what i do for my demo data. While it's true that DCC apps are not that hard to use, it's still no seamless data integration path for customers which dont have any IT-background at all.

So my question was more like, if it's possible to do a fully automated toolchain for CAD data import and if it's really worth trying to provide it for the customer.

For "traditional" visualization projects the customer doesnt have to handle the data-issues at all, it's done by the vissim company and - after all - it's mostly just one model that gets visualized.

For my application, the customer has to provide the data and 3rd parties will do the data integration. For larger projects these integrators could have DCC-background, but for smaller ones it would be desireable to simply get their CAD data in the system.

Thanks alot.

regards,
stephan

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
I see.

The problem lies in the fact that CAD formats are wide and varied, and usually not that well documented (unless you pay hefty licensing fees to the format owners). Further, CAD models aren't usually stored as triangle meshes internally, so more work is required than simply reading the files in your engine. Therefore, full automation of the process is very difficult.

In practice, this leaves three options: Find or create an exporter from the CAD application to your engine and teach the users to use it - or - assign a professional third party to do the conversion/integration - or - pay for the CAD format specification and develop a loader for it to your engine.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Thank you very much for your input, niko!

i think i found more or less a standard for architectural cad that is supported by all important vendors (namely nemetschek but also bentley and autodesk revit/arch. desktop).

Industry Foundation Classes (IFC/IFCxml) seems to be the collada of caad.

I thnnk that will be option no. 3 then. Instead of going single-vendor.




Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This topic is 3854 days old which is more than the 365 day threshold we allow for new replies. Please post a new topic.

If you intended to correct an error in the post then please contact us.

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now

Sign in to follow this