July 27, 2020
C3D Labs has released C3D Toolkit 2020, a major update to its software development kit (SDK) used by developers of engineering software. The emphasis in this release is on advanced surface modeling, along with enhancements to all five modules in the toolkit:
- Geometry kernel—C3D Modeler
- Constraint manager—C3D Solver
- Polygonal mesh to B-rep converter—C3D B-Shaper
- Visualization engine—C3D Vision
- Data exchange—C3D Converter
The five modules are closely integrated with one other, and so together represent a complete, all-in-one solution in building desktop, mobile and cloud-based applications for 3D modeling.
C3D Labs enhanced C3D Toolkit 2020 with capabilities for developing innovative software products in the fields of building information modeling (BIM), virtual reality (VR), 3D scanning and digital manufacturing—as well as for classic CAD, CAM and CAE systems.
The 2020 release features new and improved tools for 3D surface and solid modeling, 3D sheet metal design, direct 2D editing, 3D visualization and interoperability.
Functions in Surface Modeling
When preparing the 2020 release of C3D Modeler geometric kernel, C3D Labs focused on complex surface modeling. This is considered the high-end of CAD functionality and paves the way for solving design tasks in the aerospace and shipbuilding industries. The company added to the new version the following functions important in surface modeling:
- New: Smooth Curve Construction. Smooth curves can be built either on vertices or on tangents of reference polylines. Smooth curves are edited with a geometric determinant, which contains information about derivatives at individual points on the curve.
- New: Conic Section Surface Construction. Conic section surfaces are obtained by moving a flat generatrix along a spine curve. As it moves, the generatrix changes its shape according to control functions. A conic section surface can be made to join two specified surfaces smoothly. The function allows you to build surfaces with five types of sections: conic section curves, sections in the form of NURBS, sections in the form of arbitrary splines, circular sections and ruled sections.
- New: Managing Offset Curve and Surface Distances. The distance of offset curves can now differ at either ends of the curves, and can change based on linear or cubic functions of the curves’ parameters, or remain constant (as in previous releases).
- Improved: Simultaneous Extension of Multiple Boundary Faces. The boundary face extension function is improved to process multiple faces simultaneously.
- New: Merge Multiple Faces. You can now replace two smoothly joining faces of a body with a single face.
- Improved: Construction of Surfaces from Curve Meshes. When constructing a surface from curve mesh, multi-segment contours are available to define a network of curves. This extends the ability of building on this surface.
- Improved: Swept Shell Operations. The new release adds the ability to explicitly control the movement of generation elements according to the normal of the surface on which the guide curve lie, if it is determined that such a surface can be used as a guide curve. This option generates different shapes of the sweep body.
- Improved: Lofted Surface Domes. Sectional (or lofted) surfaces gain a feature for controlling the shape of surfaces when end sections are set as points. We called this option “the dome.” By setting the vector and coefficient, you can control the shape of the surface when approaching the point section.
Improved Functions in Solid Modeling
Expandable Surface Shell Cutting has been improved. When cutting solids with a surface, you can now control the extensions of the following surface groups: flat surfaces, rotation surfaces and extrusion surfaces.
Regarding other improvements, for one, the median shell function has been improved to allow you to set a range of thicknesses, instead of working with a single value. Disconnected faces now extend toward one another until they intersect. Fillet processing is improved.
New Functions in Sheet Metal
C3D Modeler brings sheet metal modeling functions unique for geometric kernels.
New to this release is Arbitrary Body Stamping. A new method in stamping sheet metal is to use arbitrary bodies, just like performing it physically with dies and punches. The thickness of the stamped section can be different from that of the sheet.
Coming soon will be flanges along curved edges. Flanges can be added to single curved edge or even to a chain of several tangent edges. Curved edges flange can, of course, be flattened and bent again with the unfold and fold tools.
Improved Functions in Mesh to B-rep Conversion
C3D B-Shaper module transforms heavy polygonal meshes into optimal B-rep solids for editing and visualization in 3D software. The B-Shaper is useful in the areas of reverse engineering, BIM, VR, and topology optimization.
In B-Shaper 2020, C3D Labs simplified the mode of B-rep construction. If surface-surface intersections fail, then boundary edges are constructed, which is acceptable for visualizations.
New Function in Direct 2D Editing
Dynamic Transformations are new in this release. In previous releases, C3D Solver’s cursor dragging allowed you to move geometric objects. In C3D Solver 2020, we extended dragging to transformations, such as translation (moving), rotation, and scaling, and implemented dragging best practices. For instance, before a transformation is attempted, Solver finds and fixes the largest number of geometric objects possible. It works for a single transformation and for serial transformations (animation mode) in the same way and with the same efficiency.
Improved Functions in Interoperability
C3D Converter 2020 now reads the attributes of parts from JT by accessing the metadata of the file, and then transferring the model’s integral properties (volume, surface area, density, mass) to STEP and JT formats.
After a deep rewrite of the mesh transformation algorithm, the 2020 release quickly exports meshes with topology to JT.
C3D Converter 2020 now reads embedded fonts in JT to correctly display full PMI (product manufacturing information). As the C3D format itself does not support fonts, transferring PMI data through the C3D format is performed by marking PMI geometric objects with special attributes and then providing the ability to substitute fonts for the STEP format. This capability will be enhanced in future releases.
New and Improved Functions in 3D Visualization
C3D Vision is aimed at the precise visualization of geometric construction and high performance when working with big models.
The 2020 release introduces a new group of interactive tools called “manipulators.” The basic manipulator is the SceneWidget, which is used as part of the object editing processes.
Other manipulators that were developed include a hot-point widget with specific representations and behaviors; move manipulators that move along a specified axis and rotation manipulators that rotate about axes.
The tool for selecting geometric objects with a frame (window) is improved by letting users select either unifying or cutting frames, and their combinations—set by specifying the frame from left to right or from right to left.
A new zooming feature available in C3D Vision is zooming by a frame.
Availability and Pricing
The 2020 edition of C3D Toolkit is available now.
Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.