The latest version of Prelude DESIGN offers an integrated suite of data-exchange utilities, solid modeling, drafting, and rendering tools.
Modules. Prelude/SOLIDS now has a tool that allows users to quickly sketch 2-D profiles. The sketcher has the intelligence for alignments and snap locations built right into the cursor. For example, as the cursor is moved in the screen, it automatically displays snap location and various geometric alignments.
Prelude/INTERFACES supports bi-directional translation of IGES, DXF, and CADL files. It also has the ability to read AutoCAD Release 12 AME solid files. When I translated several complex solids from AutoCAD, all data was kept intact and fully useable in Prelude/SOLIDS. All color and solid definitions were also intact. 2-D and 3-D CADL files from CADKEY that appear as wireframes in CADKEY also came through intact. Prelude/Interface is also used to output to steriolithography systems via standard SLA file format.
Prelude DESIGN v2.2
Windows NT 3.5 on Intel 486 DX266, Pentium, and Digital ALPHA PC platforms. UNIX workstations by HP, SGI, SUN, DEC ALPHA under OSF/1. All systems require 32M bytes RAM minimum (Intel only needs 16M bytes) and 400-500M bytes hard disk space. For software and virtual swap space: the UNIX systems need 200M bytes, Windows NT needs 300M bytes.
List Price: All four modules: $7,000. Each is also available separately.
Matra Datavision Inc., One Andover Tech Center, Andover, MA 01810; ph: (800) 854-5429; fax: (508) 685-7100.
Prelude/DRAFTING offers dimensioning and annotation, and provides associativity with the Prelude solid model. ANSI, DIN, and ISO industry-dimensioning standards are supported, along with full geometric tolerance symbol creation tools.
Prelude/PHOTO enables high-quality photorealistic images to be generated from solid models, and it supports standard color output devices. Each rendered-image level (Test, Quick, Phong, and Photorealistic) produces static rendered images of the model.
Solid modeling tools. In addition to the typical solid geometric construction shapes, Prelude offers several new tools. Prism extrudes a base outline along a described vector; while Path + Profile takes that base and extrudes it along a profile that has an irregular shape. A Sweep shape is used to create such items as a hollow radiator type hose with all its bends. Thru-Sections allows for shapes to be generated through specific cross-sections, as in a airplane wing design. Pocket creates a milled radius and draft-angle-type part to be created from an existing closed contour.
The Build menu allows for Boolean operations of Add, Common, Solid Chamfer, Solid Fillet, and Subtract. These operations may be performed on any existing shape or shapes. Prelude also offers user-selectable blanking of geometry from the screen.
Performance. Adaptive Modeling is Prelude's answer to parametric and/or constraints-driven solid modeling. All geometry is created and exists with known values and adaptive modeling makes these values available for editing. So, rather than create or define constraints or parametric layouts, the operator simply creates a part. The design may appear in true scale or as rough shapes for later redefining.
Values and all geometry can be altered or completely changed as needed. An example would be a revolved shape. The generator outline is displayed, may be edited, and the part 'Rebuilt'. Rebuild re-runs the revolved shape with the new outline, making a new part from the original. Prelude also allows you to completely replace shapes with other shapes.
Prelude DESIGN's greatest enhancements are the addition of its sketcher and the Photo module. Its ability to use AutoCAD AME files gives it great appeal. Also, being able to utilize IGES files and output to SLA makes it appealing to all markets interested in high-powered solid modeling without the typical high price tag.
A similar product:
AutoCAD Designer - Autodesk Inc., 111 McInnis Pkwy., San Rafael, CA 94903; ph. (415) 507-5000; fax: (415) 507-5100.