One thing is certain : if you work in design, modeling and simulation, then you need reliable hardware, knowledgeable solution integrators, and specialty solutions. CADplace brings you some of the interesting solutions on display at the 3DExperience Forum Europe's Agora Showcase.
CADplace selected a range of product catagories and vendors to interview. For workstations and graphics we spoke with Lenovo, AMD, and Dell. For vertical market solution integrators for CATIA and Enovia we interviewed Processia Solutions, Tata Technologies, Noomeo Solutions, and Geometric Global. In the area of specialty solutions, we dove into VR and visualization by talking with Haption and VR Logic.
Hardware – every Dassault customer needs reliable, productive hardware platform. But the needs of each customer can vary wildly. You see with the following 3 vendors that solutions cover the full range of needs.
Lenovo's Anne Verdeil provided a complete tour of the Lenovo booth and you'll find the dedicated article on CAD The ThinkStation line starts with the most powerful and expandable dual-processor ThinkStation, the D30 model. With a demand for compact models from customers, Lenovo developed the dual-processor C30 – the most compact dual-processor professional workstation on the market. For the mainstream professional, Lenovo offers the ThinkStation S30 – a powerful single-processor workstation. The desktop line is completed with two models of the E31 – a tower version and the recently released small form-factor model. Naturally, the mobile, but powerful ThinkPad W530 delivers desktop performance in a highly mobile 15.6 inch workstation notebook.
CADplace spent time with the AMD FirePro team to learn about the diverse professional graphics solutions available today. I am a fan of multiple displays systems because they deliver productivity gains for users regardless of their needs for high-end, mid-range or entry-level computing, and the AMD FirePro graphics solutions – be it desktop, mobile, or remote graphics – can drive up to six displays from a single graphics card. AMD was showing a 3-display desktop using a portrait-mode display configuration. Check out the video to imagine how this could boost your productivity. And the AMD FirePro team showed 2 other innovative solutions. One I like very much is the remote graphics server/workstation. This puts the workstation under lock and key in the server room while delivering full graphics and computing performance to a thin-client desktop. Best of both worlds? It could be. And finally, I had to smile when I saw the workstation graphics version of a tablet APU from AMD. The technology demonstration showed a Windows 8 tablet running professional 3D Open GL applications from Dassault.
The Dell Precision workstation team was also on-hand in Brussels and showing their Precision M6700 mobile workstation which CADplace has reviewed and recently filmed. Naturally the desktop line of workstations were on display. You'll find a full report on the technologies in these newly designed machines here on CADplace as well. The Dell team was very focused – not only to present their hardware, but to gain feedback from Dassault customers about their hardware and solution requirements.
As for solution providers, it is likely that every customer to roll out a company-wide installation of Catia or Enovia could save time and money with the expertise of an experienced system integrator. We spoke with several such as Processia Solutions, Tata Technologies, Geometric Global and Noomeo Solutions – each possessing unique qualities and expertise. For companies upgrading or migrating to the V6 3DExperience platform, one of these companies is likely to have the background your company needs to more effectively implement your V6 implementation.
The design market is enormous. The result of which is that there exists a need in the market for a wide range of specialized solutions. Three completely different areas are covered by Optis, VR Logic, and Haption.
Optis CEO, Jacques Delacour is a long-time friend of CADplace, and that is because I really appreciate that the Optis rendering solution has always been about light simulation and not just about creating nice-looking ray-traced images. Certainly their software can be used for your product catalogues or showroom kiosks, but the tremendous value of the Optis solution is to accurately simulate your product design based on the real materials and light environments – consider it CFD for lighting. With Optis, you have information that lets you make real design decisions on virtual prototypes. And recently, the light simulation experts have brought their technologies to a real-time rendering solution integrated into Dassault products.
VR Logic is a German specialist in VR products and was showcasing the Z-Space product. CADplace thinks of this product as a 3D stereographic tablet. Think Wacom Cintiq on 3D Stere-oids, if you will. It's an innovative product that we think will be a tremendous tool for 3D designers who have been missing a simple, manageable 3D stereographic working tool. It's so much easier to have a look at the product than to describe it with words, so have a look at the video.
Last and certainly not least, we spoke with Haption. CADplace first met the Haption CEO about 2 years ago. Haption are specialists in haptic devices – essentially robotic devices to provide realistic force-feedback for mechanical systems. These are certainly specialty solutions, and for those who require them, absolutely indispensable. These systems are used in aerospace, automotive, energy, and defense industries, but more and more in other manufacturing sectors where customers need to simulate and train on virtual systems before physical prototypes are available.
Yes, there were many, many more vendors in the Agora Showcase with a long list of additional solutions and expertise, however, CADplace hopes that this selection of vendors will provide a taste for the event and perhaps some references for you and solutions to your design requirements.