Siemens PLM introduces stand-alone version of Synchronous Technology as 3D CAD editor

3DSync can edit models from several mainstream formats. The direct modeling CAD space is getting crowded.

Siemens PLM Software today announced 3DSync, a stand-alone editing tool for MCAD models. The new product uses the company’s Synchronous Technology to make it possible to perform direct editing on parametric models created by the leading 3D CAD product, without losing the design intent a parametric CAD modeler embeds into a model.

3DSync is a new direct modeling tool capable of editing parametric models without disrupting design intent. (Source: Siemens PLM Software)
3DSync is a new direct modeling tool capable of editing parametric models without disrupting design intent. (Source: Siemens PLM Software)

Coming to market at $1995—with a free trial period from now until May 15, 2013—Siemens says 3DSync will edit imported mechanical parts from a variety of sources. Siemens sees the product as being used in conjunction with existing 3D mechanical CAD products, for late-state edits or to repurpose existing models.

3DSync includes translators for several neutral file formats (ACIS, IGES, JT, Parasolid) and native formats including Autodesk Inventor, PTC Creo, SolidWorks, and Catia V4 and V5 as well as Siemens’ own NX and Solid Edge. The Catia compatibility requires purchase of an extra module.

Siemens says 3DSync can derive design intent from the model’s embedded parametric rules and then uses its Synchronous Technology to maintain those rules and relationships while also editing the geometry. The software also includes the ability to define equation-driven dimensions to automate design changes.

Other features include basic assembly management tools, features to clean up translation errors, and interference checking to validate imported assemblies.

Our take

For years direct editing and parametric editing in mechanical CAD existed in two separate universes; most engineers used one or the other to create products, but not both. But the combination of sophisticated translation support—available to license from divisions of Siemens, Dassault Systèmes, and others—and research on direct editing spurred by competition has led to a blurring of the former boundaries.

The market is now getting crowded. Last month we reported on Autodesk Fusion 360, which offers the same basic scenario as 3DSync, but is cloud-based. SpaceClaim Engineer, the product that reinvigorated the market a few years ago, is now also embedded in Geometric Spark, for turning 3D point clouds into solid models. 2012 is drawing to a close with more interesting product introductions than we have seen in a very long time.