Communicating complexity

Tom Shelley reports on a tool for communicating complex CAD designs in a neutral format

Seemage is a French-developed, neutral file format, CAD collaboration tool that communicates 3D models, animations and other design issues.
The company claims that the software addresses much the same tasks as Adobe Acrobat 3D Version 8, but with a more functionality and higher computation speed.
It comes from Sophia Antipolis in the South of France, closely integrates with Catia V5, and its UK agency Xype, is a Tier 1 supplier of it and other services to Airbus Industrie.
Xype consultant Stuart Totterdell showed how it could be applied to various aircraft parts produced by different manufacturers – applying views, colour changes, transparencies, and adding mark-ups and labels, which he said, could be linked to PDM data.
He said it can also be linked back to the original source data.
“Updates can be undertaken automatically – typically at milestones in the design process,” said Totterdell.
On the other hand, security of the original data can be ensured by passwords, reducing the accuracy of the models, and by use of a rights manager.
Simplification and reduction of model size may be achieved by decimation - reducing the resolution of the geometry, and by occlusion, removing data associated with parts that cannot be seen.
Eureka saw it being used to communicate an animated model of a cylinder, an assembly process used to manufacture a very complex aerospace part, and for path planning – the process of inserting or removing parts for maintenance, assembly and disassembly. The difficulty level is adjustable. A 95% tolerance means that parts can be wiggled in and out with just a few mm to spare, whereas 85% implies a skilled fitter should be able to do it fairly quickly.
According to Totterdell, it interfaces to all the major CAD packages, plus Adobe Acrobat 3D and outputs SVG –Scalar Vector Graphic – files as default. It can also output CGM (Computer Graphics Metafiles) level 4 and Tech DG files. It can be saved and sent with a free player.
Its output can be embedded in PDF files, Power Points and other standard Microsoft applications

Engine of growth
ING Renault F1 says that using Seemage CAD visualisation and integration software as part of its larger product lifecycle management has helped it to realise its most competitive designs more quickly and accurately.
It is using the software to deliver 3D information to its engine developers – working on sophisticated V8 and V10 engines working in Catia V4 and V5 3D CAD – and the rest of the team who need access for design reviews and service procedures.
The company says it recognises that the 3D CAD model is the ideal source information, but points out that it must be available in formats and applications that non-designers can use. So following comparison of various solutions it chose Seemage.
“We were looking for a solution that could operate in a global environment, across all our teams,” said Jean-François Plusquellec, IS/IT team project manager at ING Renault F1. “The people who use Seemage do not have the same requirements as 3D CAD users. We selected Seemage because of its excellent end-user productivity, its graphic and 3D animation performance and its highly accurate results even when using large assemblies or large sets of equipment.”
ING Renault F1 is implementing Seemage in phases with the help of Xype. The first consists of combining validated 3D designs online with 2D plans and supplier documents. In this phase Seemage’s visualisation is being applied to associatively link all the information so that users always have the most accurate and up-to-date view of the project.
In the latter phases, Seemage will be the glue that permits new levels of interaction among engine designers and developers and manufacturing, for example, by allowing both to view and interact with engine parts in their assembly contexts.

Tom Shelley

This material is protected by MA Business copyright
See Terms and Conditions.
One-off usage is permitted but bulk copying is not.
For multiple copies contact the sales team.


Supporting Information
Do you have any comments about this article?

Your comments/feedback may be edited prior to publishing. Not all entries will be published.
Please view our Terms and Conditions before leaving a comment.

© MA Business Ltd (a Mark Allen Group Company) 2020