CCE Adds CAD Software Integrations to Its Real-time 3D Collaboration Software
Photo from unsplash
CAD interoperability specialist CCE has been busy making updates to its EnSuite-Cloud ReVue real-time collaboration product since it became available in April. This month the company announced major upgrades to the software, including integration with Autodesk Inventor and Solid Edge.
EnSuite-Cloud ReVue is what CCE calls a “secure peer-to-peer CAD collaboration solution” that works directly on a browser without the need for any software installation or CAD licenses.
EnSuite-Cloud ReVue was introduced just this year as a beta in January after CCE announced in November 2020 that “engineering collaboration was about to change forever” with EnSuite-Cloud ReVue on the company’s blog.
We talked to Vinay Wagle, VP of Sales and Marketing at CCE, who said that up until this year the company had provided a desktop version of the software and then during the pandemic saw how companies were collaborating on Zoom and Microsoft Teams virtual platforms and so it came up with a cloud version, which is based on a lot of the technology CCE built over 30 years.
“We got a lot of inquiries where people said they were collaborating with their suppliers and they wanted to be able to view CAD files and share the CAD data with their suppliers and they wanted a way to do that and our EnSuite desktop product didn’t do that. That’s how we came up with this new technology where you can actually bring up CAD data and you can work with it with your supply chain—or your partners or remote teams—with the same CAD information.”
Wagle, who is based in the Michigan area, headquarters of CCE, has been with the company since the beginning in 2000 and has been managing the sales ever since. Stick around until the end for some fun facts about Wagle (a super nice guy, by the way), who explained things straightforwardly, because, well, EnSuite-Cloud ReVue is pretty straightforward.
There’s a couple of options for Organizers, Presenters or Reviewers; it can be used for just sharing 3D data for viewing, or if you want to make changes, you can download ReVue LiveLink and work directly in various supported 3D CAD products and collaborate securely in real time.
The first option with EnSuite-Cloud ReVue is a stand-alone version that provides participants, such as design teams, clients and suppliers with a secure platform to conduct engineering design reviews by uploading 3D data from CAD systems, including CATIA V5, CATIA V6 (3DXML), SOLIDWORKS, NX, Creo, Autodesk Inventor, Solid Edge, JT, IFC and glTF and other formats.
The second option using Revue LiveLink enables Organizers or Presenters to make changes in real time directly from supported CAD systems, including Inventor, Solid Edge, SOLIDWORKS and SketchUp, in a live session with all participants. Presenters or Reviewers can download ReVue LiveLink for free; however, if you are an Organizer sharing the session from your CAD software, you must purchase an Organizer license.
Other Key points and capabilities highlighted by CCE:
- It’s ideal for people who currently use software like Zoom, Teams, WebEx or other screen-sharing apps for engineering collaboration, design reviews or 3D design sharing with their team or suppliers.
- CCE offers a free 15-day trial for people to evaluate the product.
- No software installation or browser extensions are required.
- It provides real-time collaboration using 3D multi-CAD data—no CAD licenses required—EnSuite-Cloud ReVue uses CCE’s proprietary CAD interoperability technology. Users don’t need a license of any of the CAD systems to view multi-CAD data. Note that you must have a CAD license of the CAD software for which you want to download a ReVue LiveLink integration using the EnSuite Organizer license.
- It’s secure—no storing of proprietary design data on any server and no data footprint left after collaboration.
- It provides an integrated conference call facility.
- There are well-defined roles and privileges (Organizer, Presenter and Reviewer) for participants to provide data protection.
See the image below for pricing and the various features for Organizers, Presenters and Reviewers.
Putting things into perspective, Wagle explained more about the roles and various licenses for the software.
An Organizer license, which is $550 per user annually, is required to set up a meeting in EnSuite. How it works is that an Organizer logs into EnSuite to set up a meeting and invite other participants. The other participants in the meeting can be either a Presenter, which requires a license that is $300 per user annually, or a Reviewer, which is a free license.
“The idea is that the Organizer opens a CAD file in the browser in EnSuite and everyone else who’s logged into that session can see the same file and the same data of the 3D models,” said Wagle.
“The beauty of this product is that if I’m the Organizer, you load a file as a Participant, or the Reviewer can actually have different views of the file—you can rotate the file, you can take sections of the file and you have your own independent control over the CAD model, where you can see the file independently.… And once you are done with the session, nothing is left. There is no footprint, so there is no intellectual property concern, because the file is never uploaded on any server.”
For those who want to use the software beyond reviewing a 3D model and want to edit the model in a collaborative session where the changes will update in real time, the ReVue LiveLink integration can be used, instead of using the browser stand-alone option, where users can start a session from inside a CAD system.
Wagle explained, “Let’s say you’re using SOLIDWORKS and you open up SOLIDWORKS and in SOLIDWORKS, you’ll have an option to start EnSuite. You select the option in EnSuite, you invite other people to participate in the same meeting, but now you drive your CAD file from SOLIDWORKS. And when you modify the file, those changes are reflected in real time for everyone.”
He further explained that in the browser option you’re just loading the file and everyone can see it. In the stand-alone browser option, you can view only the model.
In Revue LiveLink—hence the reference to live—you are actually modifying the file in the CAD system and everyone sees those modifications in real time in the conceptual design or engineering review stages.
Wagle had a few points on what makes EnSuite-Cloud ReVue unique compared to viewers and other platforms. Viewers, for example, are meant to be used by one person, while CCE’s focus for EnSuite is to enable multiple people to view or work with a file.
He said another key point is that CCE is an independent third-party company, so they support far more formats compared to CAD vendors.
And unlike other solutions, with EnSuite-Cloud ReVue, you don’t have to upload anything to a server, which makes the solution more secure.
Another plus compared to other up-and-coming collaboration platforms is that there is no high-tech technology required. For example, we talked about NVIDIA’s Omniverse Enterprise real-time collaboration platform. “Omniverse is really meant for large datasets and you need a very powerful platform to run it. You also need NVIDIA’s RTX technology to view the files,” noted Wagle.
“Ours is very simple. A small- to mid-size business may find our technology a lot easier to adopt compared to Omniverse, so that’s really the differentiation. And we are much more than a viewer, but we are not so heavy weight like Omniverse. We are sort of right in the middle, designed for small- to mid-size businesses who don’t have a lot of IT that need to collaborate with each other or their suppliers.”
As far as what else is in the works, be on the lookout for other integrations for ReVue LiveLink, including Creo, Revit and Rhino 3D coming soon.
And as promised, here are some fun facts about Wagle, who has a master’s in mechanical engineering and started his career at Chrysler in the 80s, worked in the automaker’s CAD department and developed CAD software for them. He left Chrysler to start a company called company Compunix in 1989 that focused on data transmission software. And in 2000, he merged his company with another company to create CAD-CAM-E (CCE).
In addition, Wagle’s favorite state happens to be New Mexico, where the author is from. “I love Albuquerque. Oh my god, I love the adobe-style houses that you have and you don’t have any grass in your front yards. With all the yard work we have to do, I wish I were there.”