Manipulate 3D CAD Models with Envision

CAD Composer Tool

Canvas allows for both 2D and 3D CAD Models to interact in a single document.

Phil Landman
April 3, 2020

In a sentence, what does Canvas X3 CADComposer do?

Canvas X3 adds to the functionality of Canvas X the ability to import and manipulate 3D CAD Models to be used in illustrations for everything from technical documentation to marketing collateral.

Why is the product needed?

Most technical documentation requires images of models created in 3D CAD packages. In the past, in order to bring this into Canvas X or other illustration products, users would need to convert the 3D model data into 2D before using it in their documentation. Canvas X3 streamlines this process and allows for 3D CAD models to be imported directly into our illustration software.

Crucially, it gives users the ability to manipulate those models to create whatever views they need to display within their documentation. They can rotate the object, hide certain parts to show internal components, explode the model to show how parts interact, and so on. Until now that kind of sophisticated handling has had to be done in the 3D CAD package itself.

This creates significant efficiencies. It streamlines workflows by using a single product, which is less expensive than using multiple applications.

What is different about this product from other 3D illustration software?

Canvas X3 allows for both 2D and 3D CAD Models to interact in a single document. This drives continuous efficiency because it keeps everything in the same file for later editing. So it combines many of the capabilities of products like Solidworks Composer/Catia Composer/Kisters with powerful 2D editing tools.

Were there particular customers driving demand?

There were, but I can’t really share names at this stage! Canvas software is very well established with some of the biggest names in the Aerospace & Defense and manufacturing verticals and I can tell you that X3 was developed in response to requests coming from those sectors. As we took those requirements and began to look at them we found they were echoed by many of our other customers.

So Canvas X3 is for any company that creates technical documentation for machines, which would benefit from a single, more streamlined and cost-effective documentation workflow.  

Which features within the product are you most proud of?

I am very happy with the way that we have packaged a 3D CAD model into a Canvas object and incorporated it within a 2D document. Within the 2D document, this 3D Object still maintains 3D properties and allows users to annotate and interact with the object. The 3D object can also be fully edited as 3D at any time.

What led you to partner with Spatial to develop the product?

We looked at several 3D CAD libraries and settled on Spatial because of their huge presence in the CAD market. Since Spatial (owned by Dassault Systemes) makes Solidworks and Catia we were confident they would produce the highest quality import of CAD files for our customers.

About the author
Phil Landman
Chief Technology Officer

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