Lattice Technology Blog

Concurrent Downstream Documentation — For the Engineering & Manufacturing Company

Posted by Bill Barnes on Tue, 03 Mar, 2015 @ 07:55 PM

This blog post is about considerations for how to speed the completion of the “complete product” by enabling concurrent processes downstream from engineering—namely documentation. A previous blog post regarding how Honda uses Lattice Technology solutions is referenced.

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Tags: 3D Visualization & Sharing, Quality, Concurrent Engineering

Electrical Routing & Wire Harness Creation with MCAD for Downstream Documentation

Posted by Bill Barnes on Mon, 09 Feb, 2015 @ 09:57 AM

One of the favorite parts of my job is visiting our customers and finding out how we have helped them, or better still, finding out what we can do to help them even more.

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Tags: 3D Visualization & Sharing

New Version of Advanced Technical Communication Authoring Tool Announced

Posted by Bill Barnes on Fri, 23 Jan, 2015 @ 10:30 AM

Announces Lattice3D Studio Version 13.1.

This latest release of the company’s authoring tool contains features that speed time to market and decrease development costs for companies that develop and manufacture complex products.

“The new features in this release continue our effort to enable the enterprise to leverage 3D engineering data to downstream processes and compact product release cycles,” explained Bill Barnes, General Manager, Lattice Technology, Inc.  “For instance, using Lattice3D Studio version 13.1, companies can now create electrical routing for complete product representation. This allows both electrical and mechanical data to be used in interactive work instructions, technical illustrations and any other technical documentation.  Additional features better enable different team members to work concurrently.”

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Tags: 3D Visualization & Sharing

New release of XVL Player for Consuming Any 3D CAD Model

Posted by Mark Guthrie on Mon, 18 Nov, 2013 @ 06:15 PM

XVL Player – One of the family of FREE products for consuming 3D XVL data models

XVL Player enables users to easily visualize and interrogate 3D CAD models. Using XVL Player, anyone can view (including animations), rotate, measure, and cross-section 3D models. Product and Manufacturing Information (PMI) can be viewed (including GD&T) along with the complete assembly tree.  

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Tags: 3D Visualization & Sharing, Sharing 3D CAD

How to create work instructions your people will actually use.

Posted by Mark Guthrie on Sat, 21 Sep, 2013 @ 01:21 AM

We all know that creating work instructions is tedious, and to make matters worse, often people don't even use them.

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Tags: 3D Visualization & Sharing

Leverage CAD: 3-Step Solution: Geometry to Entire Product Lifecycle

Posted by Mark Guthrie on Thu, 18 Jul, 2013 @ 04:50 PM

Today we announced upgrades to our 3-Step Solution Set (AUTHOR, PUBLISH, CONSUME) for moving geometry from any CAD system into XVL -- where it can be leveraged across the extended enterprise.

Our tools do not require CAD expertise to use. A person with basic technical skills can AUTHOR new information into the model, such as work instructions, animations, PMI and much more.

Complex operations can also be done, such as importing tooling and fixture geometry in order to model manufacturing or service processes.

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Tags: 3D Visualization & Sharing, Digital Manufacturing, Work Instructions, Assembly Process Planning

The Future of Technical Documentation in a 3D World

Posted by Mark Guthrie on Fri, 01 Mar, 2013 @ 04:15 PM

This is a very thought provoking article about the future of technical documentation--not only using 3D but using Augmented Reality.  It was written in the context of maintenance, but it could be for any stage of the product development lifecycle.  

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Tags: engineering processes, 3D Visualization & Sharing, 3D Assembly Validation & Simulation, Interactive Assembly Instructions

A Little Bit of History About 3D Visualization

Posted by Marcia Volpe on Fri, 30 Mar, 2012 @ 04:24 PM

We saw this article and think it is a good historical accounting of how 3D visualization has matured:

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Tags: 3D Visualization & Sharing, Spare Parts & Service, XVL, Design Review, Digital Manufacturing, Lightweight & Accurate 3D Format, Lattice News

Lightweight 3D

Posted by Marcia Volpe on Fri, 13 May, 2011 @ 08:08 PM

Continuing our discussion about the history of the XVL lightweight format, I would like to complement the previous entry with the white paper “XVL: A Compact and Qualified 3D Representation with Lattice Mesh and Surface for the Internet”. This report outlines XVL features that allow it to be used for 3D applications. This paper refers to an early version of XVL – we are now on version 10!

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Tags: 3D Visualization & Sharing, VRML, Lightweight & Accurate 3D Format

The Need for Lightweight Data

Posted by Marcia Volpe on Fri, 01 Apr, 2011 @ 07:25 PM

The Need for Lightweight Data

The evolution of 3D design has brought the opportunity to expand its application to downstream processes. The 3D ge­ometry along with other data including configuration, colors, annotations, dimensions, and anima­tions can support production processes at the manufacturing floor.

Developed for the manufacturing industry, CAD software packages are able to render the 3D geometry of parts by using precise free-form surface representations. Industries such as aerospace and automotive demand the management of large varieties of parts - ranging from tens of thousands to several million, which are ordinarily used for designing and manufacturing. In response to this demand CAD manufactures complemented their software with product databases (PDM - Product Data Management), which is progressively turning into conventional business for many of them.

Once the products are being designed with CAD and data is being managed by PDM, a system to hold everything together, the whole product life-cycle, is fundamental. The PLM - Product Lifecycle Management system, developed by CAD vendors is an infrastructure tool for manufacturing.

Since it is essentially a design tool, 3D CAD cannot be quickly and easily handled. The 3D data needs to be manipulated on the shop floor, in order to be useful. The use of the 3D CAD in design has been an increasing trend for problems in the downstream processes.  

The progress of digital data allowed 3D design to become more complex and, thus, the amount of required data has itself become massive. Entire assemblies have become huge files that require time and distinctive hardware to be manipulated.

Continuously improving 3D CAD is always catching up with the newest hardware technology, which doesn't necessarily happen to the low end computers that are used in downstream processes, thus resulting in files incompatibility.

Global manufacturing integration compromises the globalization of products. Today, after having been developed in one place, the products are manufactured around the world. These new circumstances require fast and precise information sharing and data transferring. Keeping in mind broadband is not a reality the world over, the transfer can take several hours; hence the file size is a major concern.

With the available variety of 3D CAD environments, all parts of the same product are not necessarily designed using the same application. Additionally, different plants might have different versions that could also not match with the ones used by third parties. When the data needs to be consolidated at the manufacturing stage, it is necessary a data management system in a single format.  

As was mentioned at the beginning, the evolution of 3D design has brought new opportunities to the manufacturing floor. If the production staff can complement the 3D design data with the additional information necessary for manufacturing, it could increase quality and decrease time - higher profit.

The solution for all the above is a lightweight 3D data that accurately describes CAD, with capability to easily disclose production and manufacturing data.

In order to learn more about the evolution of manufacturing using 3D, please download the chapter "The Evolution of Manufacturing Using Digital Information Technology", an excerpt from the book "Improving Lean Manufacturing Through 3D Data" by Dr Hiroshi Toriya -- Lattice Technology, Inc. CEO.

That is all for now folks!

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Tags: 3D Visualization & Sharing, Lightweight & Accurate 3D Format, Interactive Assembly Instructions, Technical Illustrations, Lattice News