The hottest real-time collaborative design platfor

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Real time collaborative design platform helps domestic CAD standardization and openness

collaborative design is the coordination and cooperation between different design departments, different professional directions or different design enterprises of the same project in an enterprise. In fact, it is computer supported cooperative work (CSCW) based on computer support. With the increasingly fierce market competition, this collaboration has formed a cross regional, cross regional and cross-border trend. With the development of enterprise informatization, cross professional and cross regional network-based collaborative design can greatly shorten the product design and development cycle, quickly develop products that adapt to market changes and needs, and improve the competitiveness of enterprises. The product development work of excellent enterprises at home and abroad has shifted from the product development mode of individualization and serial process to the concurrent product design of upstream and downstream collaboration. "Collaboration" has become one of the key directions of contemporary product research and development strategies

first, different levels of CAD collaborative design

for different types of enterprises, the degree and requirements of design collaboration are different. In the field of CAD design, it mainly includes the following levels:

(1) data sharing and collaboration: including file transmission, drawing file storage, network library, etc.

data can be shared from the initial establishment to the whole project cycle, and can be compatible with file formats of different companies (such as DWG format of AutoCAD). Each project designer can upload and download drawings freely Text and other resources, designers can refer to each other in order to maximize the return on data investment

comparatively speaking, collaborative design at this level is relatively elementary. The design data must be saved and reopened before updating. The lag of design change is inevitable. During this period, some changes in the design content cannot be shared in time, which will cause everyone to see not the only and accurate design drawings. For highly collaborative design, which also includes the deployment of control areas, shopping malls, production costs and many other elements, the result of this mistake is unimaginable

(2) information exchange and collaboration: including message sending, visualization, etc.

the communication between designers is all the time. The message sending at any time can carry out rapid communication and feedback. It can hold online video conferences in the Internet environment, review the design scheme, circulate, review and circle, so that everyone can express their views and opinions on the design. In short, the purpose is to provide information exchange, mutual assistance and other functions of engineering design members and object-oriented engineering design visualization under the premise of safety, expand personal static single machine design to project dynamic network design, reduce errors, enhance timeliness and improve design efficiency

collaboration at this level is the mainstream idea to solve the problem of collaborative design at present. However, it also has some defects, mainly in the separation of design platform and collaborative platform. In most cases, designers have to design products in the design environment, then communicate with collaborators in the collaborative environment, and then return to the design environment to modify the design, and so on. Although its collaborative efficiency has been greatly improved compared with the first level, it is still difficult to achieve real-time collaborative design

(3) collaboration of CAD platform: it is a basic collaborative design platform

collaborative design based on CAD platform is not a general collaborative design software, but a standard and open platform for other software developers to develop various application collaborative design software according to the needs of industry departments. The purpose of CAD basic collaborative design platform is to provide some underlying technical support and provide rich development interfaces for collaborative design. Secondary developers can use different programming languages to develop their own software application products according to users' needs. Through the CAD basic collaborative design platform, they can go deep into the drawing files, easily extract relevant information, and quickly and accurately query, retrieve, count, archive, etc., that is, they can be seamlessly connected to the CAD platform without switching between the system and the CAD platform

this collaborative design idea based on CAD platform is to integrate many basic elements of collaborative design into the CAD platform in the form of a tool library or component library, so as to provide platform support for secondary developers to realize personalized collaborative applications for different industries. It avoids the disadvantage of low reusability of developing different collaborative systems for different customer needs in the second level of collaboration, and also enables the CAD platform and collaborative platform to be integrated to realize real-time collaborative design

Second, the basic collaborative design CAD platform

at present, the mainstream CAD platforms at home and abroad do not have the function of collaborative design. Because "collaborative design" is a system engineering, in addition to separate design functions, there are corresponding management functions, which is basically impossible to achieve by a single software. Because the needs of various design units vary greatly, it is difficult to have a CAD product that can provide users with complete collaborative design services. Therefore, devoting to the research and development of CAD based collaborative design platform will change the two control modes d control conditioning mode 2 that domestic CAD manufacturers have been relying on imitating similar foreign products The mode of control and conditioning of Mohu (the first in the industry) is a breakthrough in this current situation

the purpose of CAD based collaborative design is not only to focus on the creation of data, but also to focus on the exchange and management of information, so as to transform information into knowledge and improve information management to knowledge management. We believe that in order to realize the collaborative design of design enterprises under the current situation, we should realize the following two functions:

(1) drawing design management

mainly includes:

formulating message and file transmission standards, and data transmission and interactive interface can cross platforms, cross systems, and even cross fields

drawings are real-time. Different designers can jointly or refer to the same drawing in real time to avoid problems caused by the lag of design changes. At the same time, real-time flow and review can be carried out between designers and reviewers

drawing authority management, to solve the security and confidentiality of drawings, as well as the different control permissions of drawings

the storage and management of drawings and files can realize the automation and intellectualization of drawing storage and version management, and the network library can realize efficient data sharing and reuse

(2) project process management

mainly consists of process collaboration and project management. People in different roles such as design, review and management use the relevant functions of the platform to achieve their own work

process, managers formulate design tasks, and designers complete routine design and verification work; Cooperate, be responsible for solving the problems of information exchange, sharing and cooperation in the design process, and coordinate and solve the contradictions and conflicts of interfaces between members

management, to help managers grasp the details of the design process in time and understand the progress report

the requirements of drawing design management are fast, convenient and safe. The functions are mainly realized by the CAD based collaborative design platform and provide interfaces. These functions are abstracted out of standards after a lot of user practice and opened in the form of API, which can achieve long-term trouble free operation; The project process management should be efficient, accurate and convenient. The functions are mainly developed and realized by the secondary developers based on the above API according to various requirements, and some basic functions can be realized by the CAD basic collaborative design platform. Only by realizing these two functions can we realize the real collaborative design

of course, special functions with practical applications can be further designed, such as realizing CAD network distribution calculation, which can be used to carry out a large number of optimization design calculations in the field of CAD design. Take the genetic algorithm (GA) of optimization calculation as an example. If a computer needs to start genetic optimization calculation, it will first construct several "Villages" and send these villages to other nodes in the network; The node that receives the calculation request immediately inherits the village, and returns several "most outstanding talents" evolved from the village to the calculation requester within a certain period of time. The calculation requester immediately "introduces" such talents to improve the gene of the local village. This can greatly accelerate the convergence speed of genetic algorithm

III. difficulties in platform design

at present, there are three mainstream technical ideas in realizing this CAD based collaborative design. One is to provide some underlying technical support on the CAD platform for secondary developers to develop various applications according to user needs. For example, AutoCAD provides XRef (external reference) on the platform to achieve visual collaboration. The platform provides rich development interfaces and can access graphic data with various programming languages. However, the platform does not specifically do too many functions in collaborative design

the other is to provide customizable collaborative design management software based on project management and document management. Cooperate with the single machine design software to achieve the purpose of collaborative design

we believe that the industry should strive to provide a basic platform for developing collaborative design software, which is standard, open and scalable. It can provide low-level function support for secondary developers to develop project management, document management, user management, drawing review, network library, negotiation and exchange tools and other collaborative design system functions

for example, according to the characteristics of CAD system, we define "real time cooperative aided design protocol" (RCAD protocol for short), which will be a completely real-time networked collaborative design scheme. The content includes data type and structure, data object model, event object model, network communication and information exchange, security and verification, etc. for example, the format of data transmission can adopt the form of international general DXF group code to enhance the openness of the protocol. All computers on the network that can access each other through tcp/ip protocol, when one party changes the data, it will convert the change into one or more cooperative instructions, identify the change of the data, and send the instruction to the cooperative other party. The party receiving the instruction will immediately update the local data according to the parameters attached to the instruction to achieve real-time synchronization of the data

however, there are still some difficulties in the process of realizing collaborative design. In addition to the technical difficulties, there are also some obstacles about standards. Many companies have also done a lot of work in solving these problems, but the effect is not obvious, and no company's plan is widely accepted. Originally, AutoCAD can have great advantages, its market share is very high, and DWG format has become a market standard, even an industry standard, but it does not have much investment in this area, nor does it have amazing measures. Most of the collaborative design of other companies are based on the direction of collaborative design management. Most importantly, they are almost independent of the CAD platform, and do not provide platform solutions, let alone open to other software manufacturers for subsequent development

we believe that the main difficulties are as follows:

(1) data interaction and sharing based on open technology standards. The difficulties lie in: compatibility or standardization of file formats, consideration of openness and security in data transmission, and real-time interaction of large projects and large amounts of data

(2) comprehensive, cross domain collaboration platform, difficult

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