Alignex Blog

How to Fix Your CAD Collaboration Process with Virtual Reality

EXXAR on July 2, 2020 at 11:30 AM


Current CAD Collaboration Tools

For manufacturers, new product development and execution of existing projects requires various stakeholders to collaborate on the 3D CAD model from an early design stage and beyond. The most popular ways organizations collaborate around 3D CAD data today are:

  • Email for sending CAD files or screenshots of model states
  • FTP site or storage service like Dropbox or Google Drive to upload and share either the native CAD file or exported file formats
  • Screen sharing session with various stakeholders, while a single operator, the CAD designer shows around the model
  • Product Data Management (PDM) systems that require collaborators to check out files from the vault using logins

These collaboration tools are used for both internal and external collaboration, the first one between fellow CAD designers and engineers and the other primarily with non-CAD users.

How to Fix Your CAD Collaboration Process with Virtual Reality

Internal CAD Collaboration between designers and External CAD Collaboration between designers and non-CAD users

CAD Collaboration Challenges

A Cadalyst survey of design organizations reveals that to this day, email is the most common form of CAD collaboration – despite being an ‘official backdoor’ that jeopardizes IT security and IP. Unfortunately, the current workflows for CAD and design collaboration don’t help in effective communication of design intent and face the following challenges.

Real-time CAD Collaboration with Virtual Reality

A survey of CAD users suggests that one of the main reasons email and screen sharing tools are widely used for CAD design collaboration is its simplicity, despite other shortcomings.

A better option is the EXXAR Huddle platform offers a cloud-based meeting solution for CAD Collaboration for manufacturers who are globally distributed and working remotely. EXXAR Huddle allows users to instantly collaborate with customers over a secure cloud meeting, allowing them to review and markup the CAD model. Think of it as "Zoom for 3D CAD and design data." EXXAR addresses the key CAD Collaboration challenges faced by the industry:

  • Cloud based meeting solution meant for 3D models with both concurrent visual and audio communication.
  • Fully authenticated secure access ensures no IT security challenges and enables collaboration without ever actually sharing CAD files
  • Multi-user, concurrent collaboration, with each user represented by a personal avatar in an immersive environment
  • Independent viewpoints and interaction with the model that allows multiple users to collaborate in real-time.
  • Easy to use for both CAD and non-CAD users with 1-click access to host a collaborative meeting

How to Fix Your CAD Collaboration Process with Virtual Reality

Available only in certain PDM variants with supporting web interfaces like SOLIDWORKS PDM Web2

Mobile data view is a shared screen share view not an independent view


Benefits of CAD Collaboration with EXXAR

With the adoption of virtual reality into the CAD collaboration process, manufacturing companies get better communication of design intent between various internal and external stakeholders including the design team, project managers and customers, with avatars and audio communication, giving the same presence as collaborating in a physical face-to-face meeting. Think of it as mimicking a physical meeting with a physical prototype. EXXAR Huddle is an easy installation and can be deployed in under 10 minutes. 

Need to learn more? Request a demo.


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