CollabCAD is a 3D CAD/CAM Software system for collaborative design & development of Industrial Designs. It provides a total solution from product design, numerical control, visualization, simulation, analysis to content management, workflow and office automation. CollabCAD is an initiative of National Informatics Centre (NIC, Department of Information Technology), Bhabha Atomic Research Centre (BARC, Department of Atomic Energy) and Vikram Sarabhai Space Centre (Department of Space, VSSC).
Collaboration for Design:
Besides the conventional CAD/CAM features, CollabCAD also provides a collaborative framework for CAD/CAM professionals to work across a network and concurrently access the same design for viewing and modification. It also offers an interactive design environment through audio and video conferencing, for on-line communication between participating designers.
Collaboration during design/assembly facilitates rapid product visualization and drastically cuts down the time for requirement specification, modeling, review and analysis. In such collaborative endeavors involving expertise from many people, the deployment of CollabCAD can come very handy. This would greatly enhance the interactions and reduce the time frame for decisions. CollabCAD allows geographically dispersed users to share information and work together on complex cases using engineering drawings that are maintained on a central CollabCAD Server. These mechanical systems are having thousands of machined items and each item having hundreds of dimensions. The interfaces among each of them need to be precisely defined to ensure smooth functioning between them and the adjacent parts. The amount of data transfer and speed with which they have to be transferred is quite high. The low latency & high bandwidth of NKN would make the online interactions feasible among physically distributed users.
It is developed on the Linux platform and is available on Windows and Linux (Red Hat, Ubuntu, Mandriva and Mandrake). CollabCAD is developed using open source software tools such as Java/Java 3D, Open Cascade geometry kernel and supports open standards of data exchange such as XML, STEP, IGES, and VRML to ensure interoperability.
CollabCAD facilitates the conventional CAD/CAM capabilities like design, drafting, surface and solid modeling, feature based modeling, basic NC features, data exchange, scripting etc. Surface models can be reverse engineered from point cloud digitized data, obtained from raw/scanned data. CollabCAD also provides reflection line analysis for visual inspection using Zebra Stripes mapping. The Zebra stripes mapping is a surface evaluation method for checking surface continuity.
Constraint based parametric profile editing and assembly modeling is also available. The Assembly Design Module allows assembly and sub-assembly of components based on a robust 3D Constraint Solver. It provides a 3D Tolerance Analysis for Assembly and Manufacture Module in a bid to help the Manufacturing Industry improve the quality of its products and produce them with lower cost. The appropriate allocation of tolerances in an assembly may result in lower costs per assembly and a higher probability of good fit, reducing the number of rejects or the amount of rework. CollabCAD facilitates the user to create the Measured Points, Linear Tolerance Dimensions, Angular Tolerance Dimensions, Tolerance loops, performing the Tolerance Analysis on created loops, performing Tolerance Synthesis and viewing the results.
CollabCAD also offers other niche features like Bar Code to link the designs to non CAD utilities like MRP, Meshing, Creation and linking of databases etc. CollabCAD also provides database connectivity and a component library framework. It enables the user to create or use a Component library. CollabCAD has also been integrated with an Advanced multi-purpose CFD Software for Engineering Design and with a Casting Simulation Software. Basic NC operations like lathe roughing, lathe contouring, lathe center drilling, lathe thread cutting, point-to-point operations, surface milling, tools and animation. Integrating CAD with PLM, CollabCAD provides an interface to a content repository and incorporates security, locking and versioning of the engineering drawings and documents. It further provides an interface to a workflow system and enables the user to specify, execute, monitor and coordinate the organizations flow of work. CollabCAD also provides an interface to an open source enterprise automation software.
CollabCAD provides a Finite Element Analysis Module (currently only for linux based distributions). It provides pre and post processor for Meshing, Modifying and Analysing Geometrical Structures. The Finite Element Solver offers a full range of multiphysics analysis and the modelling methods go well beyond thermo-mechanical calculations, applicable for linear as well as non-linear structures. CollabCAD provides Blender (currently only for linux based distributions) which is an integrated suite of tools enabling the creation of a broad range of 3D content. It offers full functionality for modelling, rendering, animation, post-production, creation and playback of interactive 3D content with the singular benefits of cross-platform operability.