Tech Soft 3D’s 2016 Offerings Open Collaboration/Manufacturing Opportunities

Two new offering from Tech Soft 3D highlight that the world of CAD is no longer siloed into software-based bunkers.

Oregon’s Tech Soft 3D has strengthened a number of its principal offerings, including HOOPS Publish, HOOPS Communicator, HOOPS Exchange and more in its 2016 release.

HOOPS Publish 2016

It goes without saying that 3D PDFs are quickly becoming a de facto standard for communicating manufacturing data. In fact, today’s 3D PDF users aren’t just treating these documents like pieces of paper, they’re beginning to understand them as product-specific applications that have numerous functions that aid in the construction of designs.

Eric Vinchon, product manager of HOOPS Publish, recently highlighted this point: “The manufacturing and construction industries increasingly need to share 3D data directly linked to other critical business data, both graphical and non-graphical, in a single, contextualized package.” Vinchon elaborated, “The enhancements made to HOOPS Publish 2016 will enable developers to create sophisticated 3D PDF files that function more like apps rather than just viewing 3D data.”

In the latest release of HOOPS Publish, users will have the ability to link product marketing information with geometric data, export view carousels and export precise B-rep measurements to their 3D PDF documents. Additionally, with the ability to export both bill of materials (BOM) and carousel views that can be attached to 3D model data in a 3D PDF, better communication between designers and manufacturers can be achieved.

Finally, HOOPS Publish is also being driven by a new user-focused product named Tetra4D Enrich. Through the use of Tetra4D Enrich, all users, regardless of their experience level, can create powerful 3D PDFs without having to know how to hardcode a view or link a BOM to geometry.

HOOPS Communicator 2016

In another effort to make CAD data exchange much easier, Tech Soft 3D has also upgraded its HOOPS Communicator technology. Essentially, HOOPS Communicator is a developer toolkit that gives engineers the tools to embed CAD models into browser-based applications.

In its latest release, HOOPS Communicator has been revamped to support even the largest and most complex models without having to sacrifice graphics quality.

Aside from its ability to deliver high-quality visuals, HOOPS Communicator has also been improved to allow for near-instantaneous streaming updates. That means that now, clients can interact with data sets of all sizes without the need to break the bank on server architecture. No matter how large a model, HOOPS Communicator can facilitate the type of evaluation that a team needs.

To make sure that hardware and software work in harmony, HOOPS Communicator now has two main methods for streaming data to a client. The first, named intelligent streaming, allows users to stream CAD data automatically to their browser without any interaction. The second streaming method lends users a bit more control on how data is streamed to their browser. With these “selective” streaming methods, users can choose what components or sub-assemblies they would like to isolate from a model and have only those components loaded into their browser. By using the selective streaming method, users have the opportunity to bring more focus to their work, and save load time, particularly if an assembly is rife with complex sub-assemblies.

HOOPS Exchange 2016

One of the cornerstones of Tech Soft 3D’s business has to be its HOOPS Exchange platform. HOOPS Exchange is one of the fasting working, most reliable data exchange tools for translating CAD data. In its latest release, the HOOPS Exchange team has worked closely with Siemens to build a more robust parasolid translation engine. To that end, HOOPS Exchange can now read parasolid geometry without having to modify any CAD data. Once the parasolid geometry has been digested, advanced healing functions can be applied to the data and valid 3D maps can be generated from the base model.

Beyond its improved parasolid performance, HOOPS Exchange’s engineers have also devoted themselves to developing more innovative file management tools. With this new management system, persistent IDs attached to a CAD model can be tracked through a workflow, ensuring that the unique features of a model can be followed as they make their way through the data exchange process.

Finally, HOOPS Exchange 2016 can also compute multiple sections across a CAD model, giving it the ability to create technical drawings.

Enhanced Cloud Support

In addition to the enhancements that Tech Soft 3D has added to its Communicator, Publish and Exchange software, the company has also improved its desktop and cloud infrastructure to make developing engineering applications much easier.

Under the guises of the HOOPS Cloud Platform and HOOPS Desktop Platform, Tech Soft 3D has designed a complete suite for 3D development tools for building applications that can run on all devices. Whether your need an app to be viewed in a browser, hosted on a server or accessed via smartphone or tablet, HOOPS Cloud and Desktop have the solution.

According to Tech Soft 3D CEO Ron Fritz, “Whether they are building applications for CMM, CAE or PLM systems, our customers have realized the benefits of using our integrated toolkit technologies through our HOOPS platforms.” Fritz continued, “Time is money. And a platform that is best in class can jumpstart their development projects . .  [Furthermore a platform that is] affordable translates to faster time to market and revenues.”

Today it appears as though the CAD market is consolidating a bit. While there may be the same number of players offering complete CAD solutions, market leaders have started to realize that unique file formats are a thing of the past. The problem is that getting the translation between software correct is nothing short of algorithmic magic. The fact that Tech Soft 3D is putting out software that can achieve that end is a testament to the quality of its in-house engineering.

Furthermore, Tech Soft 3D also seems to have an eye expertly scouting the future. There will likely come a day when data translation isn’t as critical as it is today. However, one of the biggest, most wide-open areas for growth in the CAD field has to be the space for highly specific application development.

For state of the art engineering firms working with the cutting edge technologies, exploring how sensors behave, or how materials will be affected by their environments along with other, far more unfathomable queries, is critical. What’s more critical, however, is having the tools build the apps that will fuel these queries. Given that Tech Soft 3D has squarely positioned itself in a space to deliver those tools (among several others), I’d say it has put itself in an excellent position to be a big player in the CAD landscape for years to come.