The DriveWorks 3D File document type references .drive3d files created using your 3D CAD application.
The document can be displayed in the 3D Preview control to allow a configurable 3D representation, optimized for internet browsers, on a user form.
A DriveWorks 3D Document can assemble models together to create Assemblies or layouts in 3D. Appearances, Textures, Scale and Lights can all be dynamically driven.
This can all be done without the need for SOLIDWORKS.
In DriveWorks Administrator open the Project and go to Stage4: Output Rules then Documents - Files
Click the Browse button at the end of the Master DriveWorks 3D File field and browse to the location of the .drive3d file that is to be added as a Document.
Click "Open" in the Open dialog.
Once the Document has been added the Document Properties window opens.
Once the Document has been added, Edit mode is automatically activated.
To re-edit a DriveWorks 3D Document:
The DriveWorks 3D Document editor will open.
The DriveWorks 3D Document Editor is split into several sections:
The Command Bar contains a number of features that are useful when using a DriveWorks 3D File Document.
Build will become available when you have a rule selected with the Document. It opens the Rules Builder to build a rule for that property.
Refresh will refresh the DriveWorks 3D File Document. It will obtain and update all of the data required to build the 3D Document. This is useful when updating 3D Document Source Files.
In a DriveWorks 3D Document it is possible to check multiple Nodes. The properties for each Node will appear separately and rules can be built. View As Combined, combines properties from multiple Nodes into one for each property name. This allows you to build one rule for multiple Nodes.
Expands the whole Feature Panel, including Assets folders.
Collapses the whole Feature Panel, including Assets folders.
Selects everything in the Feature Panel, including Assets folder features.
Deselects everything in the Feature Panel, including Assets folder features.
Imports a DriveWorks 3D File into the 3D Document. If no Node is selected it will import the Model onto the Root Node. Otherwise it will import the model onto the selected Node.
Takes the current DriveWorks 3D File Document and exports it as a standalone DriveWorks 3D File.
Performs a Zoom To Fit on the Model shown in the 3D View. Allows the whole model to be seen in the 3D View.
Preview Mode allows the 3D View to appear as it would in a Specification. This hides the default camera, if hidden, and enables Camera Entities if added to the 3D Document.
This allows the following options, for the resulting DriveWorks 3D Document, to be controlled.
This is the name of the new Document to be created.
To Build a File Name Rule
The rule for the File Name of the new Document is built by:
This is the location to store the new Document when it is created.
To Build a Path Rule
The rule for the path to store the new Document is built by:
Path Rule Examples
Will go back a level (..\) from the Project location and place the new Document in a folder named Documents.
If the Documents folder does not exist DriveWorks will create it when the Document is created
|"F:\DriveWorks\" & CustomerReturn & "\" & DWVariableOrderNumber & "\Documents"||Will create the Document on the network drive F:\DriveWorks. From this point the folder structure calculated by the input Customer, the variable OrderNumber and \Documents will be created.|
|"\\FileServer\DriveWorks\" & CustomerReturn & "\" & DWVariableOrderNumber & "\Documents"||Will create the Document on the UNC path \\FileServer\DriveWorks. From this point the folder structure calculated by the input Customer, the variable OrderNumber and \Documents will be created.|
When checked DriveWorks will create a .drive3D file.
The .drive3D file will only be created when the Specification Transitions to a State where the Release Documents task is used.
Collapse Drive3D file
Collapse Drive3D file is an option that can be enabled when creating a Drive3D file from a DriveWorks 3D Document.
The collapse option will collapse all of the Nodes in a 3D document to a single Node. It will also collapse all geometries to a single geometry that is used on that one Node. All Appearances will however be maintained.
The result is a collapsed Node structure to a single Node and a single Geometry.
This collapse functionality can result in larger files than non collapsed files. This is because all Geometry is being combined into one file. However, the reduced Node structure can result in smaller scene files and better performance, it all depends on Geometry size.
Whilst all Geometries are collapsed into one file, they are stored and treated as separate geometries inside the one Geometry. This can sometimes mean rendering performance doesn't improve. To improve rendering performance look at using the setting Collapse and group geometries by appearance.
Collapse and group geometries by appearance
Collapse and group geometries by appearance is an additional setting on the one above. Rather than keeping geometries separate in the one file, this option will group and merge geometries that use the same Appearance.
This means that if two or more Geometries use the same Appearance they will be merged into one geometry. The benefit of this can be seen when it comes to rendering the 3D file.
When a model is rendered by the graphics processor (GPU) it does so by making Draw Calls. A Draw Call is defined by a model and an Appearance. If you have 1 model with 1 Appearance the GPU will make 1 draw call. If you have a model that has 4 Appearances then 4 draw calls will be made on the GPU.
To improve rendering performance you need to keep the number of draw calls as low as possible. To do this you can use Collapse and group geometries by appearance.
DriveWorks will group Geometries with the same Appearance into 1 single Geometry. This means that all of these models will be rendered once, resulting in 1 Draw Call. Doing this dramatically decreases the number of draw calls and improves rendering performance. This is how you render large scenes like factories.
Like the previous setting, this can result in larger Drive3D file than the non collapsed files. All Appearances are maintained as they are with the previous setting. However, this can dramatically improve performance and improve implementations.
If you have replacement models that are not being driven or changed, then it is recommended that you collapse them to improve performance.
When this setting is enabled (by checking the box) the document will be hidden from the Documents list in the Specification Explorer.
When a drive3d file has been added it will be displayed in the 3D View.
This is how the file will be viewed when applied to the 3D Preview Box control.
The model view can be controlled with the mouse by:
|Without a .drive3D model applied||With a .drive3D model applied|
DriveWorks Tech Tips Portal
3D Preview - Dynamic
This Tech Tip demonstrates how to use a DriveWorks 3D Document with pre-created files.
3D Preview - Mixed Mode
This Tech Tip combines a number of different 3D Preview methods. It uses static files within 3D Documents along with Previewed Models generated from SOLIDWORKS.
Set up a 3D Preview control on your form, allowing you to display 3D Models on your form.