SWW Day 2 – Avatar Director Cameron wows SWW

2 Feb 2010: James Cameron, Avatar director, was the guest speaker during the morning session. He held the audience captive with his descriptions of how he made the file and how his engineering team developed the necessary video camera and other computer technology required to turn his ideas into this fantastic movie. An amazing short video clip showed how his team managed to translate live actor movements and facial expressions onto the avatar cgi’s. What an impressive person!

During a follow-on press conference with him, he evidenced concern about the huge hardware manufacturer push for 3D, with little content available. Nothing like a market to drive demand, as w well know.

A visit to the exhibition hall led me to the booths of 3DSemantix, ElecWorks, and Zuken, the latter two because of my ongoing (and EE background) fascination with Mechatronics.

At 3DSemantix, this new, Montreal based company, has developed a technique for searching geometric databases to search for similar geometry – ideal for reuse of existing parts and saving the time to rebuild already existing parts. PartFinder, officially launched last month works, for now, only on parts. It develops a textual geometry coefficient for existing parts, and compares a part model to existing parts. Fully integrated with SolidWorks, the software costs $1500 per seat. This looks like a great solution to an always vexing problem.

PartFinder search results

The blue part is the base part for the search. The green parts show the potential matches. The closer to the base part, the better the match. http://www.3Dpartfinder.com

ElecWorks, software from Trace Software, based in Barcelona, Espana, uses electrical control system schematics and their associated data as input to SolidWorks. A shared data environment with the schematic software and ElecWorks allows building the 3D representation in SolidWorks, using the mechanical data associated with the electrical design. Wiring between connectors uses SolidWorks wiring capability. No simulation exists to connect the electrical and mechanical systems. E.g.-to activate switches based on mechanical position or use motors under control to drive mechanical objects. Cost $5.5K for the schematic side and $2K for ElecWorks for SolidWorks. http://www.trace-software.com

Zuken, with its E3Wirewoks uses a different approach to transfer the schematics and mechanical representation to SolidWorks. The schematics and a 3D representation are built within its stand-alone software. 3D data is transferred to SW to develop a mechanical model resulting in SW wiring, wiring harness and cut-lengths developed within SW. All data is associative. Cost: $5K to $10K  per seat. www.zuken.com

The night’s special event turned out to be not be so special after all for my taste – too dark, too noisy, too many food lines. Must have been due to a big budget cut.

For day 3, I am attending the morning preview of SW 2011, then off to the airport for my flight to Florida.


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