We all know Cloud has descended upon us and will rule over most sectors. A Recent survey projected that manufacturing companies will be adopting cloud-based applications by 2017 dramatically. This is because the cloud has shown visible gains in IT cost, increasing the employee productivity and automation of information sharing resulting in better decision making and transparency. Consequently, it makes sense for global engineering companies to invest in cloud-based CAD/CAM/CAE apps, totally suitable for their business and market.
Let’s recap some key benefits of the Cloud-based CAD for enterprises.
- CAD based on a Cloud is not resident on local network servers but on a cloud and is therefore accessible on the internet by any approved CAD professional from anywhere. Thus it saves on travel or location costs for the enterprise.
- It offers reduced capital expenditure.
- Saving on cost of licensing of CAD individualized software
At ProtoTech, we have developed our expertise in designing, developing and implementing bespoke CAD/ CAE software solutions on the desktop, mobile and cloud for our global clients. Therefore based on our experience, we would like to list some of the toolkits for developing cloud-based engineering apps. These are presented below in no particular order.
HOOPS communicator by Tech Soft 3D: If the speed of work and extensive collaboration is your need then, HOOPS communicator is what you require. This is because HOOPS communicator allows developers to view and interact with more than 20 CAD and BIM formats within a browser, mobile apps or Acrobat Reader. That’s not all; it has high-level APIs which allow users to connect 3D data to business intelligence. You can customize UI and the total branding experience using this toolkit.
Kisters 3D View Station Web Viewer. If you are looking for high performance even from low-performance devices and narrow bandwidths then you should consider this toolkit. This web viewer is basically an HTML5 browser and online CAD viewer and a universal viewer. This is because you can access not only your 3D CAD data, 2D CAD drawings but non-CAD data anytime and anywhere. That’s not all, it works with any HTML5-capable desktop PC, notebook, tablet PC or smartphone running Windows, Linux, iOS, or Android without client installation – “zero installs, zero-admin”.
BIMsync. It is a cloud-based platform specifically designed for sharing construction information. It offers secure storage and distribution service for building information modeling. Therefore you can share, visualize and collaborate on BIM models, issues, drawing in any browser without special plugins or installations. Since it is cloud based, it allows access to models from anywhere anytime. As BIMsync is specifically designed for the construction industry, it offers revision control of all building models in a project with built-in 3D visualization in the cloud.
The Viewer (formerly known as View and Data API): Autodesk Viewer is a WebGL- based tool which allows you to display 2D and 3D design files from more than 50 file formats. It lets you view, mark up, print, and track changes to 2D and 3D files without the original design software. Since it uses the cloud platform, the user can upload the model in the Autodesk cloud storage and view it in a modern browser. It offers the significant advantage from business as well as development perspective as it does not limit itself to Autodesk products and you can load files from ProE, Catia, UG etc. Thus saves you license cost for data translation utility and takes away the overhead of implementing the data translation on the servers.
REDnet: REDnet is an ‘add-on module’ for REDsdk that empowers your cloud to process your graphics from any device or any place. REDsdk is a unified graphics C++ visualization toolkit which meets your visualization needs across devices and has all graphics features for real-time 2D, real-time 3D, and photorealistic rendering through a single integrated API. REDnet runs on Windows, Linux or Mac OS and its unique hybrid rendering technologies support both GPU and CPU to deliver the best visual experience from any server architecture.
These toolkits should make it handy and easy for you to develop your own cloud-based engineering app which is in synch with the needs of your organization. Today business and manufacturing processes are evolving to offer not only an enhanced experience to the customer but to streamline and automate systems for cost saving and higher efficiency across the enterprise. We hope developing your own cloud-based engineering app will propel you ahead in the race for excellence.
We would love to know your views on these engineering toolkits particularly if you have used them earlier. There could be many more such toolkits and would be interesting to know more about them. Do share your comments in the space below.