D-Cubed addresses the requirement for reliable, powerful and fast variational functionality through our Dimensional Constraint Manager components. We supply two distinct products, called the 2D DCM and 3D DCM. Each component addresses different, but complementary, functional requirements. An application can make use of either, or both, components, depending on its variational requirements.

The purpose of the DCM

Many software products utilise some form of geometric functionality, CAD systems being one good example. Geometric applications all have a fundamental requirement tomaximise the productivity of the end-user by enabling the efficient construction and modification of geometric models.

There are a range of techniques, often called variational or parametric design, that have been developed to assist with the production of geometric models. In brief, these techniques enable the end-user to specify and control their geometric models through the use of simple rules. Such rules frequently include dimensions and constraints.

Dimensions, such as distances, angles and radii, have an easily understood interpretation. The meaning of constraints is less obvious. In fact they are simply rules that restrict, i.e. constrain, the behaviour of the geometries in the model. Examples of constraints include parallelism, tangency and concentricity.

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In the figure below the 2D DCM is used to specify the relationships that control the relative positions of the geometries in this piping connector. For example, some lines have been constrained to be parallel or perpendicular to each other. Some arcs have been constrained to be tangent to lines, etc.. Dimensions have been used to specify the size of the model.

Two views of a piping connector, with different parameters

Starting with the initial design to the left, the end-user generates the model to the right by simply modifying a few dimensions values. The DCM re-calculates the locations of all the geometries affected by the new dimension values, ensuring that their final locations are consistent with the applied dimensions and constraints. The end-user does not have to re-position the geometries manually to create the new configuration.

Though the above model represents a mechanical part, the DCM supports the same efficient modifications in any other software product with geometric functionality, e.g. an architectural CAD system, or a drawing package.

The DCM is not a solid modeller, or any other kind of geometric modelling system. The geometric model is defined and stored in the application. The DCM is used to assist with the construction and modification of the application’s geometric models.

DCM strengths

There is a requirement for variational functionality across a wide range of geometric applications. However, the technical implementation of the underlying core variational solving technology is very challenging. By removing the risk and expense of developing this intrinsically complex software, the DCM enables our customers to concentrate on writing commercially valuable end-user functionality. The intuitive and productive applications written by our customers, based on the core strengths of the DCM variational technologies, are highly valued by end-users.

The DCM is the most powerful variational technology available, with unmatched ease of integration by application developers and unmatched ease of use by end-users. It provides lasting commercial advantage to our customers. Powerful evidence for these claims is given by the many major software development organisations who have licensed the DCM, including the majority of the leading mechanical CAD software vendors. Alternative, technically inferior, variational solutions provide little protection from the competitive pressures in this fast developing field.

DCM development began with the founding of D-Cubed in 1989 and we are now widely recognised as the leading vendor of variational component technologies. Our large and prestigious customer base enables D-Cubed to apply very substantial, highly focused, resources to the development and support of the core technologies behind the DCM. The stable and healthy revenue stream from our wide customer base will support the growth of our development commitments to the DCM long into the future.