Glovius: A Modern CAD Viewer (CIMdata Commentary)
- A successful CAD collaboration visualization solution must be cost effective, easy to use, and platform independent.
- HCL’s Glovius solution meets all three business challenges and delivers important capabilities into the hands of downstream users of design data within the organization and the supply chain.
- Glovius directly imports CAD and standard CAD formats without needing a license to any CAD solution.
Collaborative visualization holds the promise of transforming product development—reducing time to market, improving product quality, and enhancing product capabilities to best satisfy customer and market needs. Initial entry into collaborative visualization begins with the ability to leverage design engineering’s virtual CAD models and share them with downstream technical and business organizations, the supply chain, and customers. An effective collaboration visualization solution, however, requires extensive capabilities beyond just viewing.
The business environment for new product development faces three major challenges that must be overcome to provide a successful collaborative visualization solution. The first is it must be cost effective. No company, especially small- to medium-sized businesses, can afford to purchase CAD licenses for all the potential downstream users who need to view and work with the CAD model and drawing data. Nor can they ask their suppliers and customers to purchase CAD licenses. The second challenge is closely related to the first. The collaborative visualization solution must be intuitive and easy to use. Requiring the use of a full CAD license to view product models fails because of the sophisticated nature of CAD applications’ interfaces—they are too difficult to learn to use and require substantial training. The third challenge for an effective collaboration visualization solution is it must be platform independent and available not only on desktop and laptop computers but also run in the cloud for use on a wide range of mobile devices including work tablets and smart phones.
The collaborative visualization solution, Glovius from HCL Technologies, offers CAD independent viewing and data access. Aptly called a “Modern CAD Viewer” because of its ability to run on an extensive range of platforms including tablets and smart phones, Glovius offers capabilities such as dimensioning, sectioning, markup, 3D compare, and analysis tools to all levels of users. CIMdata recognizes Glovius as a major player in the collaborative visualization market.
Glovius, originally a product of Geometric Limited known for their eDrawings Publishers and CAMWorks solutions, became an asset of HCL Technologies by way of business transfer in 2017. HCL Technologies Limited delivers technology solutions built around digital applications, IoT, cloud, automation, and engineering services for a wide range of industries including aerospace, automotive, industrial manufacturing, healthcare, and energy.
One of the more important strengths of Glovius is its ability to import native CAD files from a popular range of CAD systems without the need of a CAD license. Among the many formats it can import are:
- Dassault Systèmes’ CATIA V4/V5/V6 and SOLIDWORKS
- Siemens PLM Software’s NX and Solid Edge
- PTC’s CREO and Pro/ENGINEER
- Autodesk’s Inventor
In addition, standard formats STEP (including AP 242), IGES, JT, and STL can be imported. Using the Glovius 2D Viewer, users can view CATDrawings (CATIA 2D drawings), DXF, and DWG files. CIMdata recognizes that with the support of these popular CAD and standard formats, Glovius is positioned well within the design engineering market. Note that once captured by Glovius, CAD data can be exported in 3DPDF, HTML, STL, or Microsoft PowerPoint formats.
Data Accessibility and Interaction
Within Glovius, extensive capabilities are made available to the user. In addition to viewing the 3D product data model using zoom, pan, and rotate, the user can view and search product structures, attributes, and PMI (Part Manufacturing Information) such as GD&T. All the standard 3D view orientations are available as well as perspective. The user can control graphics rendered modes of wireframe, shaded, color, and transparency to better investigate the model.
Especially important for downstream users in the supply chain and manufacturing is the ability to accurately measure the model. The user can generate linear, angular, and radial measurements (Figure 1). A tape measure option is useful in computing the length of a sequence of curves and edges. Surface area of faces can also be calculated.