CAD Tech News (#45)

6 Jul, 2016 By: Cadalyst Staff

▶ Bentley Boosts ContextCapture Capabilities

Infrastructure solutions provider believes reality capture technology holds big promise for AEC projects.

By Cyrena Respini-Irwin

Last November, during its annual Year in Infrastructure Conference, Bentley Systems announced the general availability of ContextCapture, its software that creates 3D models from digital photographs. Now, less than a year after that launch, Bentley is updating ContextCapture, and confirming its commitment to integrating reality-capture technology into AEC workflows.

ContextCapture has its roots in technology from Acute3D, a software company Bentley acquired at the beginning of 2015. Several years prior to the acquisition, Acute3D developed Smart3DCapture, a "standalone software solution optimized for large-scale automatic 3D reconstruction from photographs."

According to David Huie, product marketing manager at Bentley Systems, ContextCapture has value for a broad swath of the AEC world, because everyone who needs to reconstruct real-world conditions — from surveying professionals to image acquisition companies to design firms — has something in common. "They all need a baseline of information about the real world in order to progress their work," he explained.

ContextCapture is a modern entry in a series of technologies used to address that common need. Three decades ago, professionals relied on total stations; then, fifteen years ago, the use of LIDAR and point clouds increased, Huie explained. "Photogrammetric reconstruction is another of these disruptive points," he continued. "Our belief is that with photogrammetric reconstruction, you make reality capture for everyone much more accessible, cost effective, and practical." Read more »

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Cyrena Respini-Irwin is Cadalyst's editor in chief.

▶ IMAGINiT Tricks Tutorial: Explore the Presentation File in Inventor 2017

See how to properly create an exploded view of an assembly that will include the animation of the parts and a camera simultaneously, and learn about the new IPN file features for 2017.

By Jason Swiercz

Autodesk has made some major updates to the Presentation file in Inventor 2017. In this tutorial, I will cover how to properly create an exploded view of an assembly for users who have never worked with a presentation file, while highlighting new features for 2017 for more experienced users. We will then explore how to create an animation from that exploded assembly.

Opening an IPN File

Let's start by taking a look at the layout of a presentation file. To open a presentation file, we must select the IPN option from the Create New File dialog box and click Create. I will be working with the standard IPN, but you will also have the option of a metric IPN file under metric templates if needed. Once open, users that have experience with IPN files will notice an immediate difference. Two new features that should stand out right away are the snapshot view along the left and the storyboard along the bottom of the screen.

New for 2017: The snapshot view will allow users to store component positions, visibility, opacity, and camera settings. Snapshots can either be linked or independent of the storyboard timeline.

New for 2017: The Storyboard panel lists all storyboards saved in the presentation file. Storyboards include animations of the model and camera, and can store settings for individual snapshot views or a sequence of snapshot views in editable form. The Storyboard can be undocked and moved anywhere there is screen real estate available or docked to another monitor. It can also be expanded and collapsed.

Creating an Exploded Scene

When the initial IPN file is open, there is only going to be one command that is active: Insert Model. Once Insert Model is active, we must select the assembly that we want to use in the IPN scene. When selecting the assembly, users will have the option to use a design view, positional representation, or level of detail if one has been set up and saved in the selected assembly. You will also have the option to make the selected view Associative to the presentation file, which would propagate the edits from the assembly to the presentations scene. Once the file is selected and inserted, the rest of the commands will become active. Read more »

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Jason Swiercz is a manufacturing application expert with IMAGINiT Technologies.


Creating a Cut–Fill Exhibit in Civil 3D
Curtis Smith, a civil engineering specialist, showcases a few very useful tools for working with AutoCAD Civil 3D surfaces. Watch the video »

Creating a Conceptual Mass in Revit
Pierre Derenoncourt walks viewers through a modeling example in the conceptual massing environment in Revit. Watch the video »

AutoCAD Fraction Facts
In AutoCAD, there is much more to stacked fractions than meets the eye. Watch this video tip from Cadalyst and Autodesk Technical Evangelist Lynn Allen to learn all the ins and outs of stacking fractions — you'll be an AutoCAD fraction expert before you know it! Watch the video »

About the Author: Cadalyst Staff

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