Issue: Volume: 24 Issue: 3 (March 2001)

Products - 3/01




Design Engineering

Color for cad
Win ColorFast allows coloring of CAD drawings, letting users apply multiple color, border, shading, and display order options to their designs and then render them. The view can be quickly modified and rendered again for other display options. The software allows the user to order visibility by layer, color fill entities by layer, adjust border width and color by layer, apply gradient shading, save configured templates, export images to popular graphic formats, and export to a plotter or printer. The price is $495. (Eagle Point Software; www.landcadd.com)




Optical design
Win TracePro RC and Version 2.3 are updates of software for illumination and opto-mechanical analysis. The RC version is designed as a CAD tool for reflector design, and allows lighting engineers to create almost any reflector geometry. Mouse-driven screens add properties that reflect, absorb, and scatter light from built-in catalogs or customizable surface properties. Version 2.3 has new volume flux maps, user-defined volume scattering phase functions, linear diffraction gratings, and output symmetry conditions. The price is unavailable. (Lambda Research Corp.; www.lambdares.com)

Milling system
Win ProMill software is a milling program designed to run in the shop and work in conjunction with CAD and the company's milling equipment. It allows designers to rough, pre-finish, finish, and re-machine molds, prototype parts, and others. A built-in material simulation and animation tool allows users to prove out the generated tool paths before running them on the machine. A GUI lets users select tool path parameters, geometry elements, and measurement values. The software includes a 3D modeler for surfaces, solids, and free-form curves. The price is $1499. (Roland DGA Corp., www.rolanddga.com)

Desktop CAD
Win TurboCAD Version 7, Imsi's integrated 2D and 3D desktop CAD package, is completely customizable and compatible with Microsoft Office. It includes 3D modeling that allows the creation of shells to the inside or outside of ACIS based 3D models, and a lofting tool allowing multiple profiles to create complex 3D objects using NURBS. It also includes AutoCAD 2000i file sharing and can link users to dynamic content via the Internet.The price is unavailable. (International Microcomputer Software; www.imsisoft.com)

Geometric kernel
Win 3D Kernel, the core of the company's 3D Shop products, is for geometric applications developers who want a specific GUI or want to make an addition to an existing application. It can be used for scientific calculating and industrial CAD/CAM applications in designing machined parts. The program has a B-rep geometric modeler for solids, surfaces, and wireframe in 2D and 3D, and interfaces with standard CAD files, and can be used with common languages including C++, Visual Basic, VBA, Java, and JavaScript. The price is unavailable. (C4W; www.c4w.com)

Data viewer
Win/Unix CADviewer allows users to view original design definitions and interrogate them at a detailed level. It provides complete data verification of selected CAD geometry with detailed reports of entity type and related data, as well as direct measurements taken from underlying geometry. CADviewer supports ACIS, CADDS, Catia, STEP ISO.10303 AP203 and AP214, Parasolid, and Unigraphics files. Both orthographic and perspective viewing are supported, including integrated Z-clipping of a view. The price is $495. (Theorem Inc.; www.theorem-usa.com)

Simulation tool
Win The Ansys 5.7 computer-aided engineering program provides high frequency simulation for RF and wireless communications, a thermal solver for nonlinear transient simulation, and fluid-structure simulation. It also allows the user to apply sophisticated boundary conditions in heat transfer. An HTML-based report generator allows reporting of engineering simulation data, and a graphical post-processing tool enables visualization of very large 3D models using a shared memory server. The price is unavailable. (Ansys; www.ansys.com)

3D form synthesizer
Win/Mac With formZ Version 3.8, users can make many types of objects available as smoothly parametric objects, including primitives, resolved objects, helixes, and sweeps, all of which can be parametrically exported for prototyping and manufacturing. Boolean and trim/split operations and advanced rounding and blending can be applied to the objects. Files can be transferred between the program and LightWave. The price is unavailable. (autodessys; www.formz.com)

Hybrid modeling
Win CADKey 19 allows hybrid modeling and blending, 2D drawing and detailing, data translation, display, and graphics. The new version includes six new dynamic extension utilities with tools to enhance 2D layout, dimensioning, plotting, and file management. The data translation lineup includes support of ACIS-SAT 6.2 import and export of solid models. A twist body function allows solids, surfaces, and wireframes to be twisted around an axis for any given angle. A stretch body function allows a specified region to be extended in either direction along a given axis. The price is $1995. (CADKey Corp.; www.cadkey.com)




Shop-floor inspection
Win Geomagic Qualify allows inspectors, technicians, and design engineers to compare a CAD master model and the built part on the shop floor. The software aligns scan data and CAD models automatically for precise comparison. It is integrated with the company's Studio software, allowing point data to be compared with IGES and STEP files. Users can specify the level of tolerance for comparisons. Deviations are displayed graphically with customized colors, and HTML reports can be generated automatically. The price is unavailable. (Raindrop Geomagic; www.geomagic.com)

Miscellaneous

Metadata reading
Win/Mac Cumulus 5.0.9 can read the EXIF metadata standard used by digital camera vendors. The standard allows the software to read information such as copyright notice, title, album, year, comment, genre, MPEG version, layer version, CRC protected, bit rate, and sampling rate. A PDF filter reads job ticket information and prompts Acrobat Reader. An Illustrator filter offers preview with gradient colors considered. The software can be used for managing workflow or archiving multimedia data. The price is unavailable. (Canto; www.canto.com)

Modeling and animation

Animation system
Win/Mac/Unix The Universe 3D animation system includes Universe Modeler, Universe Animator, and the Universe Camera 3D rendering system. The system includes new modeling, animation, and rendering tools, and has cross-platform support for various operating systems. The price is $1995. (Electric Image; www.electric image.com)

Special effects
Win Living Model plug-ins for 3DlinX version 1.5 provide special effects, including smoke, trails, fire, explosions, lens flares, alpha-numeric LED, HUD, fixed wing 6DOF, and Keyframe Navigator. Object-oriented coding allows a 3D model to be assigned characteristics and behaviors needed to produce realistic actions and natural interactions within an environment. The models can be run on Web sites, allowing 3D applications and 3D e-commerce. The price is not available. (Global Majic Software; www.global majic.com)

Animation tools
Win/Mac Poser Pro Pack is a collection of advanced features, functional enhancements, and third-party application integration plug-ins for the company's Poser 4 3D character animation and figure design tool. It includes plug-ins for LightWave and 3D Studio Max. Users can export to Viewpoint Media Player and Macromedia Flash. Also included are 2D motion blur, multiple camera view panes, animated material parameters, compressed content and library files, and Python scripting support.The price is $149. (Curious Labs; www.curiouslabs.com)

Animation tools
Mac PowerParticles Pro for use with Electric Image animation system version 2.9 and higher enables control over the behavior of emitted objects. It includes an OpenGL preview within the plug-in so parameter changes can be viewed as they are made. It also has virtual slider technology to change parameters by moving the mouse. Points, spheres, cubes, and flat planes can be emitted without a child object. The price is $299. (TripleDTools; tripledtools.com)

Multimedia/Video

Camera tracking
Win/Unix MatchMover 2.0 camera tracking software allows computer-generated 3D objects to be inserted into live-action footage with the proper scale, position, and orientation. The software computes the 3D camera path and all camera parameters from live-action footage, which can then be exported to an animation application. A graph editor allows the user to edit parameters. A status tracking feature allows analysis of progress and results. Lens distortion can be added or removed, and helper 3D primitives allow the user to position and visualize the scale of a new element. Formats including Cineon and 16 bit are supported. The price is $5000. (RealViz; www.realviz.com)

Visualization/Simulation

Data visualization
Win/Linux/Unix The AVS/Express 5.1 data visualization platform is designed for scientific, engineering, and business data. The software has support for wand and interactive and tracking devices, memory management, Vector Postscript output, and full 64-bit addressing for large datasets. Included are new tools for rendering, configuring, color map editing, and additional demonstrations. The price is unavailable. (Advanced Visual Systems; www.avs.com)



Boards

Graphics accelerator
Win/Linux The Gloria III professional graphics accelerator is optimized for mechanical computer-aided design, professional game development, and film animation and effects. It is based on Nvidia's Quadro2 Pro and provides 6.4GB/s bandwidth, allowing work in fully textured mode with real-time frame rates. It has 64MB of DDR frame buffer memory and a 350MHz RAMDAC, and can support resolutions up to 2048 by 1536 at 85Hz in TrueColor. The price is $1199. (ELSA; www.elsa.com)

Displays

Web-enhanced monitor
Win/Mac The AI3.6HD is a 36-inch viewable 4:3 direct-view CRT with integrated Internet services that can be used as an NTSC TV or computer monitor. TIt has a video bandwidth of 40MHz and dual auto-detect Y, Pb, Pr to RGB transcoder matrices for 480p and HDTV. The price is $3499. (Princeton Graphic Systems; www.prince tongraphics.com)

Head gear
Linux The CyclopX 3D Navigator computer peripheral provides a 3D interface for computer applications, using an optical system to control movement. It allows 10 software commands to be sent using head movement with six degrees of freedom and connects to the USB port. It works with all mouse- or joystick-compatible games, and a DirectX device drive is included. The product has been released for beta testing. The price will be $179. (Maui Innovative Peripherals; www.maui-innovative.com)

3D display
Win The Model 2015XLS 3D display has a 15-in. TFT LCD screen. It has four user-selectable stereo formats, 1024 by 768 resolution, 16.7 million display colors, analog RGB input, and the ability to switch to conventional 2D display. Possible applications include 3D-compatible computer games. The price is $1699. (Dimension Technologies; www.dti3d.com)




Digital imaging system
Win The Venus 3D imaging system uses two imaging modules in a portable, compact enclosure, which record Z-axis information for a dense 3D image. It can photograph subject sizes from 3 by 3 by 1 inches to 3 by 6 by 3 feet. It offers resolution up to 1200 by 1792 pixels and a depth resolution to 0.2 mm.The price is unavailable. (3Dmetrics; www.3dmetrics.com)

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