Big Data

Canvas integrates 3D models to streamline documentation

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Canvas GFX has launched Canvas Envision, a new platform that enables easy integration of 3D models into documentation workflows. This promises to simplify the creation of bills of materials, technical documents, and manuals for physical products to ensure they keep pace with product design updates.

The company has long been a leader in graphics tools for technical documentation, but these tools have typically relied on screen grabs generated from engineering or product lifecycle management tools. This could cause a bottleneck, since domain experts were required to generate the appropriate view for collaboration.

“We expect the new platform to improve the adoption and use of 3D CAD model data across the organization,” Canvas CEO Patricia Hume told VentureBeat.

The new Canvas offering allows anyone within the organization to weave up-to-date models into documents that can change with product updates. In addition, users can explode, rotate, isolate, or ghost specific components in a larger diagram.

For example, a manual could highlight the screws a repair person needs to start with. End users can also interact with the 3D models in a document to get a better view or zero in on a component of interest.

“Any user can work directly with 3D CAD models without having to depend on someone who has access to CAD software to create and capture screenshots,” Hume said.

Such advances could spur growth in a CAD software market Grandview Research has forecast to grow at 6.4% CAGR through 2028, reaching an estimated value of $15.4 billion at that time.

Increasing CAD model adoption

The platform consists of two components. Envision Creator is a lightweight graphics application that allows users with no prior CAD training to import 3D models and work with vector graphics, photo-editing tools, and text layout. Envision Cloud lets anyone open and interact with these documents through a web browser, as well as collaborating with markup and commenting features.

The company is currently working with customers to define templates for everyday use cases. For example, one customer has been using the new tool to create patent submission documents. It also supports associative data, which means CAD models can be linked to PLM models and updated when the design changes.

Canvas plans to support all the leading PLM solutions and to announce the first integration later in Q3, according to Hume.

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