August 28, 2020
With its new 3D portal, software developer Aucotec is standardizing the link between 2D and 3D engineering in mechanical and plant engineering. The interface also allows web-based, client-independent data exchange between all common 3D applications and Aucotec's cooperation platform Engineering Base (EB) at any time.
Whether in large halls or in the cabinet: the tangible, physical route of pipes, cable trays or individual wires must be exactly calculated and reliably documented for manufacturing. However, the associated connections can be found in EB's 2D design. To achieve continuous consistency, Aucotec has already implemented 3D connections for customers. There are two innovations that simplify the connection and speed up the exchange.
Fits Any 3D System
The first innovation is EB's own standardized link, which simplifies 3D integration. This new “gateway” to the 3D data allows the export of 2D information to the 3D system and the import of relevant 3D data to EB via a tailored XML file. It is flexibly adaptable and can thus work with all common tools. Different templates can be defined because each 3D system needs different information. The basic XML structure always remains the same.
The 3D side requires only one plug-in that can read XML. The neutral XML basis requires less installation effort, and the plug-in is easier to maintain than traditional interfaces. 2D and 3D only have to agree on the same XML structure for the reading and writing of information to work and be comprehensible to both disciplines.
Web Service Facilitates Independence
The second innovation is the web service for data exchange. Normally, an engineering system must be started to access its data. The 3D portal is one of the first microservices in EB, which means that it works in a client-independent manner via the web. The special 3D service is like an extra layer in EB's architecture via to obtain data at any time—with the appropriate rights. This is as much of interest for globally distributed disciplines as it is for internal networks. The 3D portal opens the door (gateway) to mutual “understanding” of the second and third engineering dimensions, and to greater flexibility and efficiency in plant design.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.