Increase the value from your enterprise visualization data – PVZ to FBX
My observations from industrial efforts in trying to reuse 3D product data outside the CAD environment
Our customers use PTC's lightweight PVZ format widely within their PLM environment to visualize 3D CAD data, but how can that data be reused outside the PTC software ecosystem in a widely accepted format like FBX?
It is often hard to find the needed 3D product data when or if it would be beneficial for organizations to use it in applications or workflows promoting learning, insight, sales and marketing. Utilizing 3D CAD as a visual aid in work instructions is beneficial and speeds up task comprehension. But getting your hands on the correct data requires access rights and the proper tools. It also requires an understanding of these tools to get the job done correctly. If the people who have access can find the correct data, bringing it into a supported format is cumbersome, time-consuming and error-prone.
In marketing, sales and training, suppliers are often engaged to produce visually appealing custom content and immersive digital experiences. Every so often, this custom content benefits from emerging technologies in the AR, VR, 3D space. And as many times as these types of engagements occur, the suppliers need to start from scratch. Each time, ask the content owner to manually search, identify, configure or create the specific assembly or variant, so there is a base for the supplier to start the work. Many times an agreement of price and expectations can not be agreed upon before this data is delivered. The worst outcome is that price and expectation does not meet, and the work to create and provide the 3D data is in vain.
Heavy manual breaches like the above have a negative impact and result in broken data traceability, i.e., breaking the digital thread. The subject matter experts waste valuable time, and sensitive IP is exposed. Finally, when the data arrives at its destination, it may already be, or quickly become, obsolete due to the high pace in development. Outdated data will often render out in a reinitiated process to identify, optimize and deliver a new dataset.
The communication around these activities is often not standardized, meaning error-prone. Error in communication and long shelf time may quickly result in the needed variant/configuration not being the correct one. The work starts over, delaying schedules and release dates – in short, negative for the business and the people involved.
Extending PTC's 3D product data landscape with Finity TransFBX
As PDSVISION's business focus lies heavily around PTC's product design and lifecycle management tools and solutions, we decided to take action. The result is PDSVISION Finity TransFBX which enables you to extract more value from your enterprise visualization data. PDSVISION Finity TransFBX provides high-performance conversion between PTC's lightweight PVZ formats and efficiently turns the 3D data into the widely accepted FBX format. 3D data optimization can be part of the process, removing sensitive IP allowing the viewable data to be "good enough for the purpose," leaving out unnecessary details when not needed.
The PVZ data can contain animation sequence information to describe procedures and give further insight than a static 3D-product representation. Subject matter experts create the sequences and are therefore very valuable in the reuse process. Educating any third party or visual artist to achieve the same is time-consuming and requires mutual understanding of the efforts and expected results. With PDSVISION Finity TransFBX this is unnecessary as the subject matter expertise follows along with the optimized data.
Automated content transformation (ACT)
PTC's PVZ enterprise visualization format is content-rich, compact and accurate. When under PLM control, PVZ data is also automatically published, access-controlled and configuration-managed. Configuring PDSVISION Finity TransFBX to run parallel with these "traditional" PLM processes makes the 3D content distribution to various sources for a broad set of use cases traceable, robust and automatic.
PDSVISION Finity TransFBX is developed with the respective APIs from PTC and Autodesk for robust operation, and it translates (from PTC's PVZ 3D lightweight format):
- Product structure and hierarchy (from PVS)
- Geometry (from OL)
- Product meta-data (from PVS)
- Texture mapped parts
- Sequences and animations (from PVI)
Though PVZ is targeted primarily at PTC products and processes, by implementing PDSVISION Finity TransFBX, the PVZ data that already exist can easily create value in other environments such as:
- Third-party rendering and visualization software like Unity, 3DS MAX, Maya, Blender, Unreal Engine
- Distribution to partners and suppliers in a traceable and secure manner, optimized for the purpose
With PDSVISION Finity TransFBX, control and optimize your PVZ data for 3D modeling, rendering (also real-time), simulation software for design visualization, games, and animation!