Keeping up with the needs of SolidWorks and Catia users, as well as the US DOD.
Anark has been building documentation tools for design for some time now—we date the introduction of their Anark Core product back to 2007. At SolidWorks World we got a chance to visit again, this time with Chris Garcia, Anark’s EVP of Global Commercial Operations and Business Development. Garcia had also been at SolidWorks as a VP in R&D.
Anark was formerly in the game development business. They then went into building tools for game development. In fact, as it turns out, they have a darned fine game engine. Then, somewhere along the line, everything changed when they got involved with the US government. Anark was also building tools for training and documentation using animations and they had been doing work for the Department of Defense. The DoD has developed specs that require 3D PDF as a common format for documentation, collaboration, and exchange. The DoD is determined to move their contractors off 2D drawings, which they have decreed leads to misunderstandings and lost productivity.
Anark has built its applications on the 3D PDF tools offered by TechSoft and used their own tools to create templates, format translators, and routines to automate the process of creating Model Based Enterprise applications and 3D CAD visualizations. Anark’s Garcia says that 2013 was a watershed year. It is a milestone target for the DoD, and he says, “We’ve crossed the chasm.” They collaborated with Geometrics to bring HTML5 support to its tools. Anark says their new tools “integrate gently” into existing PLM systems, which we think is a very nice way of putting it.
Anark’s translators enable native Catia V5 and V6 data in 3D PDF and 3D HTML MBE documents. According to Anark president and CEO Stephan Collins, “These new breakthrough MBD capabilities enable Anark’s SolidWorks and Catia customers to quickly move away from old-school 2D paper drawings (which add up to 30% to the cost of an engineering organization) into a drawingless and paperless 3D model-based enterprise environment.” The DoD has performed studies indicating that the disconnect between 2D drawings and 3D models is responsible for as much as a 20% loss as drawings are misinterpreted, causing work to be scrapped and redone. In addition, says Anark, the use of 3D models to communicate and collaborate can result in up to a 50% improvement in manufacturing and supplier response.
Obviously, 3D PDF documents are free to deploy and free to view since they’re readable by the ubiquitous Adobe Reader. Likewise, Web-based documents that support HTML5 are just as accessible by all modern Web browsers.
With this latest release of Anark Core and Anark Core MBEWorks for SolidWorks 2014 is the latest release of the Anark Core SDK, and will allow SolidWorks and Catia customers to integrate Anark Core Server into the EPDM and PLM environments.
Anark has also improved the performance of its tools and says translating large SolidWorks assemblies into lightweight 3D PDF and 3D HTML EBOM, and MBOM documents is up to five times faster.
Unlike a 2D drawing, Anark’s digital documents are “alive,” and drawings can be marked up, documented, animated, etc. Anark has worked directly with SolidWorks to improve the interoperability between SolidWorks and Anark Core. In addition, it has added hardware acceleration to improve performance during the translation phase.