CAD Tech News (#137)

5 Nov, 2020 By: Cadalyst Staff

HP Couples Its ZCentral with NVIDIA Omniverse for Remote 3D Content Collaboration

The combination — intended to help teams scattered by the pandemic work on group projects more efficiently — was announced along with new monitor offerings.

By Cadalyst Staff

HP has announced new additions to the "HP Create Ecosystem," its lineup of hardware and software solutions for digital content creators — a group that encompasses engineers, designers, and artists.

Unsurprisingly, given the number of professionals forced into working from home during the pandemic, the updates emphasize helping geographically separated workers to connect with each other and collaborate effectively. According to HP's own research, 80% of companies "are doing what they can to keep up with today's new normal by accelerating the adoption of collaboration applications for workers." In addition, HP expects large numbers of creators will work remotely in the future, "with 80% of creators reporting a desire to continue to work from home post-pandemic."

Anu Herranen, director of new product introduction for Z by HP, explained during a press briefing that "transformation in creative workflows has never been greater than now ... we now have to have the ability to work from anywhere." She also observed that "IT is not ready to support all this remote work" — meaning that new solutions are needed for companies to thrive in the era of working from home. "Each of us is navigating work and life in new ways. As the world changes and creators evolve, the way we work and create has forever changed," Herranen continued.

Co-creation with Scattered Team Members

HP announced that it has partnered with NVIDIA to connect HP's ZCentral Remote Boost software with NVIDIA Omniverse, a virtual collaboration and real-time photorealistic simulation platform for real-time 3D content production. "Artists can work within their preferred 3D creation program like Substance by Adobe and contribute to a shared 3D scene at the same time within the Omniverse platform," HP stated. (Remote Boost enables creators to access workstation computing power remotely, and helps them collaborate with dispersed team members.)

"With ZCentral, creative teams can connect to compute resources that have preconfigured applications, and they can collaborate within the same application," Joshua St. John, head of creators, Z by HP, explained during the briefing. "And we're partnering with NVIDIA as they've unveiled their new real-time, photorealistic simulation, visualization, and collaboration platform, Omniverse, that allows these same 3D teams to collaborate from different applications to the same centralized complex 3D project. This combination dramatically accelerates remote teams' creative workflows."

The ZCentral–Omniverse combination supports multiple endpoint devices and operating systems, including macOS, Windows, and Linux. It also provides seamless support for multi-display setups, 4K, and 60 FPS, HP reports.

Keeping an Eye on Monitors from a Distance

On the hardware side, a new generation of Z by HP and DreamColor displays made their debut. The new HP Z25xs G3 and Z27xs G3 DreamColor displays are compatible with all devices and platforms, and connect to a Mac or PC with single USB-C cable.

HP Couples Its ZCentral with NVIDIA Omniverse for Remote 3D Content Collaboration

These models provide more than a billion on-screen colors, and feature a PANTONE Validated color gamut. PANTONE Validated means that "the Pantone chip, the display, and the notebook all look the same, across all three of the solutions," explained Aaron Slessinger, HP's director of product planning for commercial displays. And because they're color-calibrated before leaving the factory, color is consistent between units. "My display looks the same as my counterpart, so we know that we're seeing the very same color-accurate display," Slessinger continued. Read more »

Sponsored: Improve Your CAD Standards Management for Civil Engineering and Surveying

Optimizing civil standards may not be a simple process, but as these examples show, addressing some key features can have a big payoff in terms of time — and money — saved.

By James Coppinger

In the civil engineering industry, setting up standards, defaults, and templates — and getting them all to work the way you want, with the output you need — is no small challenge. Software solutions such as AutoCAD Civil 3D are very powerful and provide civil and survey designers with vital tools to handle 3D modeling and design of site-specific items, but controlling the way those display, interact, and print is a challenge like no other.

Whether you're using Autodesk's solution or one from Bentley Systems, Carlson, or Civil Survey Solutions, these civil design systems all have one thing in common: They require specialized knowledge to effectively set up any type of practical standards for drafting and design. The key difference is that these systems don't just work with lines, shapes, and layers like a traditional 2D CAD system does. They work with 3D objects that are complex design items with multiple sub-items that need to be controlled and standardized as well. In other words, they have display and label styles that don't exist in other software. Not only that, but your standards need to work with design criteria for items such as pipes and corridors and address all the possible display views: plan, model, profile, and section for every single type of item possible. (That's a lot of items!)

In this article, I'll provide a few tips on the key components and features of setting up your CAD standards in a civil or survey environment. I'll be using AutoCAD Civil 3D as an example system, but the principles apply to whatever software you're using. I do a lot of consulting work in my day job at ZenTek Consultants, helping companies set up, refine, and optimize their civil standards, and while it's not a simple process, it's not outside the scope of any skilled CAD Manager. You just need a bit of guidance on the key features you need to address, so let's get to it!


Working with templates is vital to professionals working in the civil engineering industry. It's necessary to set up DWT files with your firm's standards for various types of work, sheet sizes, locations, or drawing scales so your end users can simply choose the correct template to begin their project. The key point here is geo-referencing. Do you want to set up templates where you already have categories, map zones, and scales set, as in the example below, or do you want to have your users choose these on each project? If you do work across multiple states/countries/regions, then you're probably going to want to let users select these. That way you can keep a small selection of templates, possibly based on border size and scale, that will apply to any work location. If your firm does the bulk of its work in one or two states, for example, then building a template for each of those areas lets you be sure the geolocations for all your items will be correctly set as a default and not depend on user input. Read more »

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James Coppinger is an owner of ZenTek Consultants.


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A design engineer and CAD manager shares his company's experience with switching from AutoCAD to DraftSight. Read more »

CAD Manager Column: Soft Skills for CAD Managers: Speaking and Presenting
Like it or not, all CAD managers are communicators — and improving your presentation skills is definitely worth the work. Read more »

Sponsored: Network Rail Overcomes COVID-19 Obstacles with Digital Twins or Railway Stations
Digital twins and new workflows are helping Network Rail Wales and Western Region (NR WWR) provide services under lockdown and deliver high-quality results ahead of schedule. Read more »

Herrera on Hardware: NVIDIA Unveils Ampere-Generation RTX A6000 and A40, Affirming Evolving — and Aggressive — Path for its GPUs
The retirement of NVIDIA's Quadro brand is further evidence of the GPU's changing role and shape. Read more »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

Cadalyst Staff

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