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.
DriveWorks 3D technology utilizes two methods of render batching to deliver optimal performance when loading 3D in a browser or client modules of DriveWorks.
Automatically bakes all geometry that does not move, change appearance, or suppress states, into one single combined geometry.
This allows the render of potentially huge static portions of scenes in one single draw call.
This groups high-poly geometries and geometries using high resolution textures.
This allows the geometry to be sent to the GPU once, where all instances of that geometry are rendered without re-uploading for each instance.
These two render batching methods combined allow the batching of almost all geometry in scenes, including dynamic geometry.
This has resulted in major performance gains in the most intensive of scenes, and has significantly improved VR scenes and FPS (frames per second).
In DriveWorks Administrator open the project and go to Stage4: Output Rules then Documents - 3D
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 will open
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:
When creating multiple Drive3D files from a single SOLIDWORKS part with more than one configuration, it is important to ensure that the "Include configuration names in 3D exports" option is selected.
This can be found in the Settings menu, in the "SOLIDWORKS Settings" tab. Under Model Generation Options.
The Command Bar contains a number of features that are useful when using a DriveWorks 3D File Document.
This will apply any modifications made since opening a 3D Document in Preview Mode (does not save changes). Closing and reopening the project will revert the 3D Document back to its last save point.
Play Mode allows the 3D Document to be viewed and tested as it would appear in a Specification.
Animation entities (not assigned to a macro) will run as required.
The 3D View border is highlighted to indicate Play Mode is active.
The snapshot can be modified to allow experimentation of new features.
Any changes cannot be saved to the original Document.
Play Mode must be exited, by clicking the Play Mode button, to discard the snapshot and continue modifying the original 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.
The following options are available before exporting the 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.
Selecting a Node from the Feature Panel, and clicking Zoom To Fit will display the whole of the selected node.
Show Camera Effects allows the 3D View to appear as it would in a Specification. This shows the default camera, if hidden, and enables Camera Entities if added to the 3D Document.
Click to hide sprites, used for entities in the editor view (cameras, lights, etc.).
Click to display the Performance Window in the 3D View.
This gives key performance information about the 3D model being displayed.
See Display Performance Window for more information.
Selecting a Node, or group of Nodes, from the Feature Panel or 3D View will display the Transform Tool Mode to be selected.
This places a triad on the model which allows various transforms to be tested, in world space, by clicking and dragging the required triad.
Holding control will enable snapping while dragging. This is in increments of 100mm, 15 degrees and 0.1 scale.
The transforms available are:
This mode disables any other transform selected.
The triad is displayed with arrows, which can be dragged to move nodes around.
This displays an interlocking circle triad, which can be dragged to rotate. All selected items rotate around the averaged triad.
Similar to translate triad but with squares on the end of the arrows.
Dragging will scale the selected nodes.
This only scales in XYZ, so rotated models will weight scaling based on rotation to get the closest.
For example; a model rotated 45 degrees in Y and scaled in X will scale 50% in X and 50% in Z.
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
If no file path is specified the Document will be located at the location specified by the settings Default Specification Folder and Specification Path to form the location:
Default Specification Folder \ Specification Path
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 Drive3D Export Options is selected from the options panel a new menu will launch displaying a list of General options:
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 is an option that can be enabled when creating a Drive3D file from a DriveWorks 3D Document.
This option will collapse all the Nodes in a 3D document down into a single Node. It will also collapse all geometries to a single geometry that is used on that single 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 files that are larger 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 is an additional setting to Collapse Drive3D file . Rather than keeping geometries separate in 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 a single geometry. The benefit of doing this can be seen when the 3D file is rendering.
When a model is rendered by a graphics processor (GPU) it makes draw calls. A Draw Call is defined by a model and an Appearance. If you have one model with one Appearance the GPU will make one Draw Call. If you have a model that has four Appearances then four draw calls will be made on the GPU.
Collapse and group geometries by Appearance to improve rendering performance and keep the number of draw calls to a minimum.
This is how you would render large scenes like factories or warehouses.
Like the previous setting, this can result in a Drive3D file being larger than the non-collapsed files.
Despite the file being potentially larger, it can still significantly improve performance and implementations. All Appearances will be maintained as they are with the previous setting.
Also, if you have replacement models that are not being driven or changed, then we recommend collapsing these as well 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:
Multi-select nodes from the 3D View by holding the CTRL key while selecting each node.
|Without a .drive3D model applied||With a .drive3D model applied|
DriveWorks Tech Tips Portal
This Tech Tip demonstrates the different ways a 3D Preview can be implemented
DriveWorks Tech Tips Portal is available to DriveWorks Pro customers with an active subscription and support contract.
Tech Tips provide simplified projects that highlight specific functionality for faster and more effective learning.
To access the portal:
The portal provides a search facility, start typing the name of the Tech Tip (as indicated above) to display the Tip you require.