Global collaboration depends on communication, and since there is no universal written or spoken language, the communication part of collaboration is still a challenge for many companies. Fortunately, the use of 3D tools and remote meetings are addressing this challenge in the design process, but there are still downstream communication challenges with internal customers like manufacturing and field service. From assembly instructions to routine maintenance documents, the desire to create documentation without having to go through language translation is growing. 3DVIA Composer gives companies the ability to communicate with downstream users through animations and detailed images instead of relying on the written word.
If a picture is worth one thousand words, an animation can go without out saying anything. 3DVIA Composer allows for the creation of documentation containing images and animations of your product data. Taking a step further, 3DVIA Composer provides users the ability to interact with those animations – they can replay an existing step, go back to a previous step, or skip to a specific step in any process. After an animation step has been viewed the user can pan, zoom and rotate the model to get a better view of the result. This capability in 3DVIA Composer adds another level of communication to standard animations, which can only be viewed over and over without getting a closer look at the details. Once the user is satisfied with the result, they can move on to the next step with the confidence that they have truly understood the meaning of what they have seen.
Another tool in the 3DVIA toolset is 3DVIA Composer Path Planning, which allows for users to view exactly how a part or subassembly needs to be added or removed in the context of the overall product. This advanced feature looks for clearance locations and adjusts the component to ensure its movement and positioning is precise and without collisions. This type of action is difficult to communicate with static images but simple to convey with an interactive animation.
Another way 3DVIA Composer can improve communication is by using predefined views to accompany an animation. If there is an area of focus, or a detail, that needs to have special attention, 3DVIA Composer can include section views and detail views within an animation. The 3DVIA Composer Digger Tool takes a detail view to another level by bringing the detail view to life. Instead of the detail view becoming just a larger scale view of the model, the Digger Tool allows the detail view to be animated.
This interactive content can also be taken to another level by using the 3DVIA Composer API. Developing solutions with the API is a good way to enforce business rules or behaviors that are appropriate to the content being generated. For example, when assembling a product, a technician can be forced to “sign in” before being able to proceed with viewing the process. Once viewing the assembly animation, the technician can be required to enter notes and select a “completed” check box, before moving on to the next step. The use of the 3DVIA Composer API can then record who did what, and when they did it for traceability and proof of process compliance.
3DVIA Composer gives users the power to include this interactive content in many different formats depending on the end user’s needs (PDF, HTML, Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, etc.). Of course, users can also work with the standard 3DVIA Composer format directly using the free 3DVIA Composer Player.
3DVIA Composer’s capabilities and unique value (as a communication tool) mean important things to the cost of operating and collaborating globally. If a business can avoid creating localized (translated) versions of assembly, maintenance, and other instructions, it can recognize both a cost savings and a time savings. The cost savings comes from not having to pay people to write the translated versions. The time savings comes from not having to follow a very serial process: completing the design, writing text in the native language to explain the design, and finally creating localized versions based on the native language text. 3DVIA Composer allows animations and other visual documentation to be started concurrent with the design process. This wouldn’t ordinarily be feasible (because the product is changing rapidly during the design phase), but 3DVIA Composer’s unique capabilities for updating content from changed design data makes it reasonable to create documentation in parallel. For more information on 3DVIA Composer, please contact us – we’d love to help.