DCM applications

Any geometry based application can benefit from using the DCM to enhance its functionality. Examples include:
  • Mechanical CAD/CAM
  • Mechanism simulation/animation
  • FEM (shape optimisation)
  • Knowledge Based Engineering
  • Architectural CAD
  • Computer graphics
  • Virtual reality
  • Drawing creation
The DCM components contribute the following functionality to the above applications:

Component

Functionality

2D DCM

Design, drafting, drawing and mechanism simulation in 2D

2D DCM

2D profile sketching in support of 3D parametric solid modelling

3D DCM

Part modelling, assembly modelling and mechanism simulation in 3D

Variational/parametric techniques have so far mainly been applied to the mechanical CAD field, where they have been well established since the mid-1980s. Variational modelling is now standard in most mechanical CAD applications, where such functionality is often based around the DCM. Many DCM applications are in the mechanical CAD and related fields. The DCM has been integrated into most of the mainstream CAD systems that are used by the major engineering design industries, e.g. automotive, aerospace and consumer products. More specialised DCM based applications include shipbuilding and textile pattern design. The DCM also enhances those CAM products with a design capability, including leading systems in the mold and sheet metal manufacturing industries. The DCM makes an extensive contribution to products in fields related to mechanical CAD, such as the assembly and simulation of mechanisms. It forms the basis for the variational functionality in Knowledge Based Engineering applications, and provides the variational shape modification functionality in the shape optimisation loop of Finite Element Modelling products. Variational/parametric techniques are now evolving outside the mechanical CAD field. However, their relative under-utilisation means that their significant design productivity benefits are not yet fully recognised. This provides many opportunities for a repetition of the successes seen in the mechanical CAD field by those software companies that make the earliest variational enhancements to their product lines. For example, in the architectural CAD field the DCM can be used for sketching floor plans, controlling the shape of libraries of objects, positioning objects, constructing rooms/buildings/roofs and designing roads. It can also be used for component positioning in HVAC and piping situations, and the assembly of steel framed structures. The DCM brings many benefits to the graphic design functionality in word processors, desktop publishing products and graphics-based flow-charting software. It also brings powerful capabilities to assembling scenes in computer graphics and virtual reality applications, and simulating the physical properties of the mechanisms that arise in such scenes. The above discussion illustrates how the DCM variational technology can be adopted in a wide variety of applications, from 2D sketching, through part modelling, to creating assemblies and simulating their motion. Each application uses the same simple dimension and constraint data structures which are managed by the appropriate DCM components. The DCM components share common mathematical principles and an identical integration architecture. This unified technology ensures that end-users have access to familiar, easy to use, variational functionality across a range of closely related modelling requirements.