ODA World Conference – Constraints

One of the enhancements of AutoCAD 2010 has been a 2D geometric and parametric constraint system. This implies that ODA members who develop AutoCAD clones (ITC Members, Bricsys, Graebert, etc.) would need to add a similar constraint system to their software as well.

Autodesk has licensed the 2D Dimensional Constraint Manager (DCM) from Siemens PLM for use in AutoCAD 2010. So it made perfect business sense for Siemens to sell to the other side as well. That’s why on Day 1 of the ODA World Conference, Siemens presented its 2D DCM to ODA members. Jim Thorpe from Siemens PLM Software gave a basic demo of 2D DCM and another demo showing how the system can automatically apply constraints to a “dumb” 2D drawing.

IMSI/Design has already licensed 2D DCM for use in their AutoCAD LT killer – DoubleCAD. In fact, in his presentation, Mauritz Botha from IMSI said, “Our AutoCAD constraint plug-in served as a fantastic prototype for what Autodesk implemented themselves in 2010“.

On Day 2 of the conference, ODA members got to see a presentation by a Russian company called LEDAS Ltd. LEDAS has developed a geometric solver quite similar to the Siemens 2D DCM solution. Dmitry Ushako, Director of Product Management of LEDAS Ltd. showed us a demo of a DRX module (basically a plug-in for a DWGdirect application) that implements their constraint system. “We have already done it”, exclaimed Dmitry. The only shipping DWGdirect application I know on the market today is Bricscad and Dmitry showed us his company’s technology working inside Bricscad as a plug-in. IntelliCAD 7, another DWGdirect application, is still in alpha and probably a long way from seeing the light of day. Dmitry mentioned that a Rhino plug-in was being developed as well.

Dmitry told the audience that LEDAS was ready to sell their DRX modules to end users of DWGdirect applications, but would prefer to license it to ODA members so that they could ship it along with their software. Whats more interesting is that LEDAS charges a flat annual fee and no per copy royalty. I am not sure what Siemens’ licensing options are.

It will be interesting to see if Siemens can play catch up. As far as ODA is concerned, CTO Neil Peterson commented, “We are working closely with partners like Siemens and LEDAS to help them integrate their technologies with our platform so that our members can choose the solution that suits them and their business model“.