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Mechanical computer-aided design (MCAD) applications traditionally focus on the design and analysis phases of the production process. However, these applications typically require powerful workstations with large storage systems and high-performance 3D graphics adapters, which can be expensive. One approach is to use server-side rendering and transmission of video streams to the PDA via a wireless connection. This requires continuous connectivity to a server and may not provide adequate interactivity due to bandwidth and latency issues. Our goal was to provide a stand-alone solution that could achieve interactive frame rates for users who require access to MCAD 3D models during stages of the manufacturing process where using design workstations is impractical or limited. In this scenario, a user at a remote manufacturing location requires access to an MCAD drawing of a specific part. The user can reference this part with our PDA 3D viewer (called the IBM Mobile 3D Viewer) and annotate it with customer feedback or speculative design changes.
Date of Publication: Mar/Apr 2003