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Creating a Simulator with CAD Models

Discussion in 'Software Development' started by junfan, Jun 19, 2015.

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  1. junfan

    junfan Thread Starter

    Jun 19, 2015
    Hello, I work for an engineering company and I was wondering if anybody has any experience with NX. I saw a guy post something about catia so I assume somebody might be familiar with it. It is popular CAD software used by major engineering companies. Anyway, I am looking to design a customized feature for the program. However I am not quite sure how to approach it.

    CAD models usually contain information or can be analyzed to produce information that can be used to make informed decisions by engineers. Information such as volume, surface area, weight, length, height etc. I am looking to design a simulator that can take CAD models and produce results and information based on the simulation.

    I will give you an example; lets say I have a CAD model of Boeing 747, and I want to know how exactly how much speed it takes to create enough lift to get the plane off the run way in it's current condition. Now the models contain all the properties needed for the simulator to know how heavy that plane is, and how the weight is displaced among the structure (centers of gravity).

    Now that was just an example, I am not running a simulator on a plane.
    However my first thought is this:

    CAD models (particularly in NX) are resource intensive, and unlike the render engine in your favorite game engine where occlusion culling takes place, in NX and CAD software in general the way it renders geometry isn't meant to save on your PC's resources. Even on a high end rig with the most up to date hardware, when you are loading a larger amount of models on the screen at once, it will slow down to a crawl.

    So my thought was to design something that utilized CAD models (.prt) from NX by launching them in a stand alone viewer that could utilize NX's ability to analyze the model data. NX does not provide the ability to run simulations, that is something I will do. By launching the models in a stand alone graphics viewer where only graphics rendering and some background calculations are taking place is happening, I can avoid launching the entire NX application which could help to save PC resources.

    Even after doing that, they may be a need to change the way the models are rendered, so the simulator can load and transform hundreds of models at once. I might have to develop some sort of algorithm to render only what the camera can see, or maybe render only certain parts at a time. Honestly I am not sure what the best way is to approach this.

    I have contacted NX as well to discuss how to approach this, but I thought I'd ask some of you guys as well.

    Does anybody have any ideas on how to approach this?
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