thinkdesign 4.0 Bridges 2-D, 3-D Worlds
A new software application from Think3 (Santa Clara, CA) is designed to help designers bridge the gap between 2-D and 3-D CAD computing. The application provides integration of 2-D design methodology into 3-D, allowing all 2-D legacy data to be carried into the 3-D design process. Conversely, thinkdesign 4.0 makes it "easier than ever to design a sophisticated 3-D model, and to ... document it in industry-standard 2-D format for manufacturing," according to Thomas Jensen, vice president of engineering at the company. This is achieved through its set of 2-D drafting and layout tools that give 3-D users the ability to go back and forth between departments that are still using 2-D designs.
The program offers several features that are designed to facilitate the transition from 2-D to 3-D. A capture and playback feature gives users the ability to record, review, and communicate specific design sessions. This feature is useful for training and internal design team reviews, as well as for reporting technical problems and bugs to thinkcare, Think3's on-line customer service and support center. The part-library management system, thinkparts, allows design teams to create, share, manage, and reuse more than 1000 standard and proprietary components from a central catalog. Existing files and systems can be used, including AutoCad 2-D parts and Catia files. A compatibility mode allows users to call upon a command line interface that elicits an overlay of drawing and editing commands.
Thinkdesign 4.0 also contains traditional design tools, including drafting, conceptual design, wireframe, free-form surfacing, advanced kernel technology, flexible parametrics, feature-based solid modeling, interoperable solids and surfaces, basic surface creation and modification, in-place assembly design, production drafting and detailing, design and document management, and sheet metal features.