eDrawings Pro for iPad is here! ( #edrawingsforipad )

The Pro version of eDrawings on iPad, called eDrawings Pro for iPad,  is now available from the Apple App Store. This is a new app ($4.99 for 30 days or so, then $9.99 regular price) that goes beyond viewing SolidWorks documents. All of the same formats can be viewed (SolidWorks files, eDrawing formats and .DWG). Now, you have the ability to cut section views, measure, and read and write a variety of comments.  All images in this article are actual screen shots.

Overview

The official name of the new app is eDrawings Pro for iPad from SolidWorks. This new product release brings core eDrawings Professional functionality to the iPad.  In addition to viewing, you can now inexpensively markup native SolidWorks files on a mobile device.  Additionally, permissions (such as the ability to measure) that are saved into eDrawings files via SolidWorks are respected in this mobile version.

User Experience

Similar to eDrawings for iPad, when the app is started, you are presented with a menu of models and drawings. There is an area of sample models and an area for your files, called “User Files”.

The sample files provide good cases to try out new eDrawings Pro for iPad functionality. The User Files area lists any files which you have added to your iPad to view in eDrawings Pro.

When you open a supported 3D file, you can rotate, pan, zoom in and out, zoom fit, zoom home (last view when file that was saved). Same as eDrawings for iPad, this Pro release can Play a model by transitioning between different views of the model.

While eDrawings Pro for iPad remains in memory, leaving and returning to the app will maintain settings and view orientation of the file that was left open.  This can potentially save a fair amount of time.

There has also been several incremental improvements too, such as an improved docking panel to allow quicker access to drawing sheets, configurations (models and assemblies), and components (assemblies).

Measure

You can now measure models in eDrawings formats where permission has been allowed by the SolidWorks.  When entering the measure tool, you are presented with the Measure cursor.  Simply tap and drag the cursor over the geometry you wish to measure, then tap again to select the highlighted element.  Tap and drag again and select a second geometric element to measure the distances between two elements.  The results will be very familiar to users of both eDrawings and SolidWorks.

Similar to the desktop version of eDrawings, filters are provided to speed up the element selection process.

Section View

Section View tool allows you to peer into the model, with a number of options.  You have the ability to view a cutting plane in the Y-X, Y-Z, and the Z-X directions.  You can also flip the side of the cut.

Showing the cutting plane is optional, though keeping the plane visible allows you to adjust the cut location while the section view is shown.  Just tap on the plane and drag it (tip and trick alert!).

You can also show or hide the cut cap when you want to control the level of detail along the cutting plane.  Additionally, a section view can be viewed while working within other tools, such as Measure.

Comments

What would a Pro version of eDrawings be without the ability to create comments!   Supported comment types are Text (with no border, and Box , Cloud and Ellispe borders), Freehand shapes, Dimensions, Insert Photo, and Take Photo (with iPad camera).

Comments scenes are automatically saved and retreivable from the Markups tab of the docking panel.

Hide and Show

For assemblies, there are now tools to control display settings for individual components, including Show All and Isolate functions.

Bottomline

eDrawings Pro for iPad has enough of the core eDrawings Professional functions to immediately make this a useful tool to those of us that need to quickly communicate design intent, information about model interiors, redlines and other detailed information. It is still very inexpensive when compared to other applications that perform similar tasks on native SolidWorks and eDrawings files.

eDrawings Pro for iPad is available as of August 31, 2012 from the Apple App Store. Please find and install this app through App Store from your iPad device.

eDrawings for iPad from 3DS SolidWorks ( #edrawingsforipad )

The much anticipated initial release of eDrawings for iPad is now available from the Apple App Store.  This is an inexpensive app ($1.99) to view SolidWorks models (.sldprt), assemblies (.sldasm) and drawings (.slddrw) on the iPad.  Of course, eDrawing formats (.edrw, .eprt, .easm) and .DWG are also supported.  All images in this article are actual screen shots.

Overview

The official name of the new app is eDrawings for iPad from 3DS SolidWorks.  This initial release is a great app with a lot of potential.  For the first time, you can inexpensively open and view native SolidWorks files directly on a mobile device.

The app provides many of the familiar and fun functions from the eDrawings family.  It is useful to quickly and conveniently communicate 3D CAD files to locations and environments were PCs and printed drawings just aren’t practical.  It also provides an great method to view SolidWorks files for customers that do not use SolidWorks, from the shop floor to a corporation’s CEO.

User Experience

When the app is started, you are presented with a menu of models and drawings.  There is an area of sample models and an area for your files, called “User Files”.

The sample files provide good cases to try out eDrawings for iPad functionality.  The User Files area lists any files which you have added to the iPad to view in eDrawings.

When you open a supported 3D file, you can rotate, pan, zoom in and out, zoom fit, zoom home (last view when file that was saved).  Similar to other eDrawings applications, the eDrawings for iPad app can Play a model by transitioning between different views of the model.

Assemblies

For assemblies, you can highlight individual parts from the Components tree.

Configurations are also supported. Selecting a particular configuration from the Configuration tree will immediately display it within the graphics area.  It is very easy to switch between configurations.

Assembly explosions are viewable from the Explode Assembly button.  Individual configurations can also be separately exploded.

Highlighting parts from the Components tree is also available when viewing the assembly as an explosion.  This makes it very easy to identify parts in the graphics area when browsing through an assembly.

Just as with the desktop computer, larger files consume more device resources.  If you wish to view a large assembly, you may wish to close background processes if your iPad resources are stretched thin.

                                                            

Disclaimer – Though this article was not reviewed by SolidWorks, nor its parent company Dassault Systemes nor any other entity, the author of this article is an employee of Dassault Systemes and is internally familiar with eDrawings for iPad.  As such, this article should not be understood as being from an uninvolved and neutral third party.

Parts

Zooming methods are the same as assemblies, with zoom fit, zoom home, panning, etc.  Play is also available.  I don’t know what it is about Play; there is just some inexplicable joy that comes from watching a model transition between views.

Configurations are also supported for parts.  Switching between configurations is a breeze.

Same as other eDrawings releases, DimXpert dimensions are viewable in eDrawing part (.eprt) files.

Drawings

Zoom tools work a little different for drawing.  There is still pan, zoom in and out, zoom fit, and zoom home.  Logically, you won’t have the ability to rotate a drawing sheet into 3D space.

When viewing a drawing, Play works the same in eDrawings for iPad as it does in other versions of eDrawings.  Watching a drawing transition between drawing views is even more enjoyable than watching a model because the associated dimensions are displayed at each waypoint.

Drawing sheets are also supported.  Switching between drawing sheets may be done through the Sheets tree.

Usability and Performance

eDrawings for iPad is very intuitive for anyone familiar with multitouch screens.  One finger drag rotates the model.  Two fingers pan.  Pinching zooms.  I’ve used this app on both an iPad and iPad 3.  On either of these devices, manipulating the model orientation has great responsiveness that is as immediate as you may expect any iPad app to be.  For example, switching between configurations and sheets using the tree is very quick.

Loading a file into eDrawings for iPad is also a snap.  You can copy files to your iPad via your iTunes interface.  Even easier, just email the file to yourself or someone else who has this app installed.

When downloading the model file through your email interface, you are automatically presented with the option to open it in eDrawings.  If you accept, it is added to your User Files and opened.  Very convenient.

Bottomline

eDrawings for iPad has enough functions to immediately make this a useful tool.  It is very inexpensive when compared to similar applications that view native SolidWorks files on the iPad.  The app is very easy to use.  These points give this app a  great combination of qualities.

eDrawings for iPad is available as of May 1, 2012 from the Apple App Store.  Please find and install this app through App Store from your iPad device.  Search word: edrawings.  Or, follow this iTunes link.  There is a lively discussion on Twitter under hashtags #edrawingsforipad, #eDrawings, or just plain search for edrawings.  Also, if you wish, check out the SolidWorks.com introduction site

SolidWorks World 2012 comes to a smartphone near you

SolidWorks World 2012 has several high quality applications for various devices.  SolidWorks World 2012 is available for the iPhone and the iPad on the iTunes store, and for Android devices on the Android Market.  (At SolidWorks World 2011, the mobile application was only available for the iPhone.)  The 2012 version is loaded with practically all the information you’ll need to navigate the conference.

  • Full conference schedule
  • Log on to your SolidWorks World 2012 attendee account
  • All sessions, including descriptions, maps of how to get to the assigned room, link to speaker’s bio, and the ability to add the session to your agenda
  • All speakers and their bios
  • Floor maps for each level
  • Partner Pavilion directory, map, and other information
  • General conference information, such as overview, hours, food, and special event
  • Location of important points of interest
  • Info about Dassault Systemes, including information other mobile applications

Additionally, there are links to SolidWorks related accounts on Twitter (tweet updates on the #sww12 hashtag), Facebook (SolidWorks World page, [not the SWW12 page]), Flickr (SolidWorks photostream including SolidWorks World 2012 group with uploaded photos by SolidWorks and attendees) and Youtube (SolidWorks related videos).

As a bonus, there’s a feature to scan QR codes of badges from other attendees to start building your contact list.

New Product: 3DVIA Mobile HD

Dassault Systemes announced the release of 3DVIA Mobile HD, which they claim is “a first-of-its-kind interactive 3D model viewer for the iPad.”  Connectivity (cloud?) continues to be a theme from Dassault Systemes.  3DVIA Mobile HD gives users access to view and interact with thousands of 3D models which are hosted on the 3DVIA.com content warehouse.  Most 3D modelling software applications are able to connect to 3DVIA.com to share work on the iPad platform, including content in over 30 3D formats.

3DVIA Mobile HD 13DVIA Mobile HD 7

Also, Dassault Systemes claims that “3DVIA Mobile HD retains the speed, fluid movement and easy-to-navigate interface of the [original 3DVIA Mobile] iPhone app [while taking] advantage of the increased screen size and resolution of the iPad, making this a powerful 3D content demonstration tool.”

3DVIA Mobile HD will feature the following:

  • Interactive 3D viewer: pan, zoom and inspect models with intuitive iPad finger movements
  • Integrated 3DVIA 3D model search: search, download and view over 20,000 3D models published to 3DVIA.com
  • Compatible with popular 3D formats: .dae (COLLADA), .3ds, .obj, .iges, .step, .kmz, .3DXML and many more
  • Save and export 2D renders (images) to Facebook and e-mail
  • Private publishing on 3D models:  restrict access to sensitive product information by publishing to your private account
  • Interact with the 3DVIA.com community: comment on and rate 3D models from the iPad

3DVIA Modile HD for the iPad is available for the temporary price of $1.99 in the App Store; full price will be $4.99.

Connecting to other in 3DVIA Mobile HDSending model to Facebook from 3DVIA Mobile HD

As of right now, there is no word yet on if/when a similar application will be available for Android.  I would be excited about an Android offering since it wouldn’t be limited to just one device and Android is the best selling smartphone OS now.