3D printers are primarily intended for rapid prototyping, bypassing the traditional workflow of sending a CAD model to a machinist and waiting for a product to materialize. Instead you get direct printing of a 3D part.
ReadWriteWeb has posted a listing of the top ten videos about 3D printing. These videos are from FormZ, ProtoPulsion, Z Corp, Print2 3D, and Thing Labs. There is also a clip of the Star Trek Replicator thrown in for fun. While there are certainly more 3D printers out there like the HP 3D Designjet, this set of videos gives a nice overview of the technology.
I’m also including an 11th video of the new ZBuilder Ultra, which uses a DLP projector to “project” UV light onto each layers of UV-light curable polymers. The result is a smooth-finished prototype part that can be used immediately and withstand high-end functional testing. Develop3D has a good overview article on the Zbuilder Ultra.
I’ve been an advocate of 3D PDF as a way to easily share CAD information between engineers, designers, manufacturers and marketers. The technology was incorporated into Acrobat 9 and has been supported by many CAD vendors. This makes 3D PDF a suitable view-only solution for review/markup or even a way to distribute the precise geometry with reasonable security. Hardware acceleration with pixel shader support for manipulating the 3D PDFs in real-time is supported via DirectX.
Tech Soft 3D announced it has signed an agreement with Adobe to take over development and support of Adobe’s 3D CAD translation suite and PDF publishing SDK. The 3D PDF technology allows OEM development teams to create applications that access data from over 25 popular 3D file formats, and publish rich 3D PDF files in the highly-compressed PRC format and U3D format.
Phoronix reviews the new ATI FirePro V4800 & ATI FirePro V7800 under Linux:
Cut to the chase quotes:
“The AMD FirePro V4800 was certainly competitive in our Linux tests and filled the void between the entry-level FirePro V3800 and the mid-range FirePro V5800. In many of the tests, the V4800 was closer to performing at the V5800 levels rather than the V3800. The FirePro V4800 has an MSRP of $189 USD compared to the V3800 at $109 or the V5800 at $469. The FirePro V4800 doesn’t even cost half of what the V5800 is selling for, but its performance is respectable in comparison and both graphics card offer 1GB of GDDR5 memory, one dual-link DVI connector, dual DisplayPort connections, and have about the same power consumption. The Redwood-based V4800 is an excellent performer and for only costing about $80 more than the V3800, it is an even better bargain.”
“The FirePro V7800 does not quite perform at the V8800 levels in the most demanding tests, but there is several hundred dollars that separate the two high-end products. The FirePro V7800 should be able to suit your needs if you have a decent amount of money to spend on a new workstation graphics card, but don’t need the quad monitor Eyefinity support of the V8800 or the absolute best performance available from the Evergreen-based graphics cards. ... The FirePro V8800 also boasts a Stereoscopic output where as the V7800 does not, but both support Framelock/Genlock as well as CrossFire.”
The following video shows the production workflow integration between Maya, MachStudio Pro and PhotoShop running on a single ATI FirePro V8800. The three 2560x1600 displays are all being driven by the single FirePro graphics card using ATI Eyefinity technology.
Do multiple monitors really matter for productivity? IDC did a quick study and wrote up a whitepaper on the experience of three different companies (Cosworth, Kirkham Motorsports, and Slappy Studios) that recently made the move to multiple monitors using ATI Eyefinity. All saw notable improvements in productivity and creativity from those employees who received a multi-display upgrade.
This one caught me off guard: The ATI FirePro RG220 combines AMD’s graphics performance and Teradici’s PC-over-IP (PCoIP) remoting protocol to provide customers with a simple and efficient solutionfor secure, high performance graphics over the web. In other words, it is a solution for graphical cloud computing - including support for DX11 & OpenGL 4.0.. Also of note: it offers direct support for multiple virtual machines with multiple FirePro RG220 cards from a single system (i.e. running VMware or Parallels workstation).
AMD announced the ATI Stream v2.1 SDK (AMD's OpenCL computing implementation to accelerate application performance using both the CPU and GPU resources in a systems).
New features include:
Support for OpenCL / OpenGL interoperability, to reduce the overhead of passing data for display purposes, enabling a richer and more responsive visual experience for the user.
Support for OpenCL images, providing developers with access to hardware-accelerated texture features on AMD GPUs.
OpenCL extension support for AMD media operations in OpenCL, giving developers a set of OpenCL kernel operations commonly used in multimedia applications.
Support for OpenCL byte addressable stores allowing more natural and efficient code for applications, such as image processing, that depend on the ability to update data at smaller than 32-bit granularities.
OpenCL extension support for device fission in OpenCL, enabling developers to sub-divide an OpenCL device and allowing multiple work kernels to be assigned to that device.
Integration of Stream KernelAnalyzer 1.5 installer, which helps developers to statically analyze OpenCL kernel performance on AMD graphics processors.
Support for next-generation ATI FirePro professional graphics card family, including the ATI FirePro V8800, and the latest ATI Radeon and ATI Mobility Radeon graphics cards from AMD (List of supported hardware).
“The V5800, coming in at $469, paints the Quadro FX 3800 in a pretty damning light. After all the NVIDA option will sell for about 1.8x the price (~$800) of the V5800 but more often than not is the slower card. The V3800 isn’t going to win any performance benchmarks but with the $109 price tag it is easily the lowest cost pro-level offering from either company with a modern feature set. “
“The feature set is something that AMD continues to dominate. With included goodies like three display support with Eyefinity technology, an OpenGL 4.0-ready driver and of course, DX11 support, the FirePro V8800, V5800 and V3800 are a noticeable generational leap ahead of the Quadro FX 4800/3800 for those developers that are living on the bleeding edge of technology. As we have seen in our Eyefinity testing for gaming, being able to run with a wide array of displays can drastically change how your view your work environment and increase your productivity. “
“The FirePro V5800 with the Maya test also performed remarkably. In fact, the V5800 did even better than the previous-generation FirePro V8700/V8750 graphics cards! The FirePro V8800 was about 8% faster than the FirePro V5800, but still the performance exhibited by the Juniper XT workstation card is rather impressive. While the FirePro V5800 and Radeon HD 5770 are based upon the same core, the performance of the workstation-oriented card was 3.13x that of the consumer equivalent with SPECViewPerf’s Maya view-set.”
“While the FirePro V3800 sells for just over $100 USD, it’s a much greater fit than even the ~$150 USD Radeon HD 5770 when it comes to workstation graphics with it usually running more than twice as fast. The FirePro V3800 is also an interesting solution with its minimal power requirements and low heat output.”
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