In this DesktopEngineering.com article, Kenneth Wong discusses how different CAD solution providers are addressing the increasing size and complexity of large assemblies:
A design engineer for Dallara Automobili, developed a social routine based on the length of time it took to load an assembly into his CAD program. He knew his file, the 2012 IndyCar assembly, would take considerable time to open. In fact, he had enough time to go to the office kitchen, make himself an espresso, and check in with his coworkers before the 3D model appeared on his monitor.
Dallara’s experience is not an isolated incident. It’s a common phenomenon among people who regularly interact with highly detailed digital assets…
The engineer at Dallara, whose employer uses PTC’s Pro/ENGINEER, must now find other ways to maintain his interoffice social life. With the latest visualization improvements in PTC’s Creo Parametric 2.0, his assembly files are loading much faster.
The credit, along with the blame for depriving the Dallara engineer of his routine, goes to John Buchowski, vice president of product management at PTC. He and his team were largely responsible for the display performance boost in the software.
“The 64-bit Windows OS helps tremendously,” says Buchowski. “Before, in 32-bit systems, you only have 2GB of addressable memory. It doesn’t take a very large assembly to hit that memory limit. After that, you’d have crashes because the application has run out of memory.”
One of the things PTC has done to improve assembly display, according to Buchowski, is to incorporate the lightweight 3D display technology from the company’s annotation and viewing applications (like Creo View) into the main CAD products.
“What we start to do is almost like the Google Maps approach,” he explains. “If you’re looking at your model at a distance, [the software] is not loading all the internal content. It just loads the graphics and the structure. Then, when you zoom into a portion of the model, it starts loading the geometry and feature histories of that portion.”