Leave it to the little guy to push the technology envelope. As larger players like Autodesk test the waters with cloud-based, 3-D collaboration services, little-known startup CadFaster Inc. is jumping into the mix in a big way. The company, which announced its CadFaster/Collaborate online software tool for annotating and co-viewing 3-D CAD models in real time in November, is now following up with a preview of the technology on mobile platforms like the Apple iPad and iPhone.
Demonstrating the technology at next week’s SolidWorks World 2011, this upcoming version of CadFaster/Collaborate will be able to render large 3-D models on a mobile operating system with full details and components in real time. As tablets and smartphones become a true alternative to PCs, providing cloud computing tools like CadFaster/Collaborate on these platforms can be a real boon to engineering organizations as a way to increase collaboration between design and manufacturing in addition to facilitating communication with customers and third-party partners, notes Raimo Kuismin, CadFaster chairman, in referencing the new release. Up to 10 people can join co-viewing sessions, in which each individual can contribute and present feedback to one another. In addition, annotations can be quickly reviewed during each of these co-viewing sessions.
CadFaster|Collaborate, which is available now for SolidWorks and Autodesk, employs CadFaster’s 3-D engine to create portable executable files that enable distribution, annotation and real-time co-viewing of 3-D designs. The software will be released for all major CAD platforms over the next year, company officials say.