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The D-Cubed components often complement each other in the same application. Descriptions of how one component can extend the functionality of another are given below.
The 2D DCM controls the shape of a profile through dimensions and constraints applied to the individual curves that are the basis of the bounded edges in the profile. For this reason, the 2D DCM is always the initial component to be integrated into a variational sketching/design environment. The 2D DCM can be used independently of the PGM.
However, the 2D DCM cannot, for example, ensure that a profile does not intersect with itself, or manage the geometry creation and deletion situations that arise in many design operations, such as offsetting. This is the role of the PGM, which adds such capabilities to a 2D DCM application. The PGM also enables an application to add constraints that apply to an entire profile, such as distance-from-profile, tangent-with-profile, profile length, profile area, etc.
An application can make use of either the 2D DCM or the 3D DCM alone, or both systems together, depending on its design requirements. The 2D DCM and 3D DCM have much in common, though the 2D DCM is not a sub-set of the 3D DCM.
The 2D DCM is optimised for 2D modelling requirements, where it is faster, more functional and more highly developed than the 3D DCM. The 3D DCM is used when there is a requirement for genuinely 3D variational solving, that is when the geometry, dimensions and constraints do not lie in a single common plane.
Any application that has integrated one of the DCM components will find it even easier to integrate the other component because of the similarities in the application interfaces, integration processes, technical terminology, functionality and solving behaviour.
The 2D DCM and 3D DCM provide the end-user with a unified suite of functionality that is optimised for their 2D and 3D requirements. Learning to use a 2D DCM-based application is directly relevant to learning to use a 3D DCM-based application, and vice versa.
The 3D DCM and CDM can be used together or independently.
The 3D DCM is often used to position the parts in an assembly and to maintain the positions of the parts as the assembly is updated. When the assembly forms a mechanism, the 3D DCM can also be used to simulate the kinematic (and inverse kinematic) motion of the parts in the mechanism.
The CDM can detect the collisions between the parts that are being positioned by the 3D DCM in an assembly or mechanism, preventing them from being positioned in physically impossible colliding configurations. The CDM can validate the operation of a mechanism, ensuring that the parts do not collide at any point throughout their range of motion.
The CDM can also ensure that parts being moved by the 3D DCM touch rather than interpenetrate. Having determined the touching configuration, 3D DCM coincidence (mating) or tangent constraints can be applied to keep the parts in their touching configuration.
The 3D DCM can be used independently of the AEM. Use of the AEM does require the 3D DCM.
The AEM builds upon the motion solving capabilities of the 3D DCM by taking into account the mass properties of the parts in the assembly/mechanism and the effects of a variety of engineering related forces and devices (such as gravity, springs, motors and ropes) on such parts. The AEM computes which parts are in contact, where these contacts occur and the relevant constraints that should be applied and removed correctly to simulate the motion of the parts that are in contact. The contact constraints themselves are solved by the 3D DCM under the direction of the AEM. In addition to the temporary contact constraints, the dimensions and constraints that define the mates and linkages that exist between the parts in the assembly/mechanism are also solved by the 3D DCM.
The CDM computes the collisions and clearances between any of the parts in a static assembly. It can also compute the change in the collision status, or the change in the clearances, as the assembly is updated or as the parts move. If parts collide, the CDM can compute a position where the parts are touching.
The AEM operates on parts that are moving relative to each other under the influence of the forces and devices supported by the AEM and the constraints supported by the 3D DCM. As parts come into contact, the AEM ensures that they will not interpenetrate. It will also compute the resulting motion as contacting parts push each other around. However, the AEM cannot determine which parts in an assembly are already colliding and it cannot compute the clearances between the parts in an assembly.
All of D-Cubed's components build a temporary, minimal representation of the host application's model in order to perform their computations efficiently and without directly manipulating the application's data structures. When a component is integrated into an application, it is necessary to implement the functions that are used to build this temporary model representation.
The HLM, CDM and AEM use identical model representations for their computations. This means that an integration of one component significantly reduces the time required to integrate either of the other components in the same application.
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