January 1992

First 3-D CAD on the horizon

by Dan Lavin

San Francisco: The void in NeXT computer-aided design (CAD) software is closer to being filled after Spatial Technologies announced a port of ACIS, its geometric modeler, to the NeXT platform. The company will show the software privately during NeXTWORLD Expo.

Availability of the ACIS engine is an important prerequisite for major CAD vendors to undertake development of their next-generation programs on the NeXT. "We've had several CAD developers eager to develop and have requested that the ACIS technology be made available," said Chris MacAskill, manager of developer relations at NeXT.

Leading CAD-software suppliers, like Autodesk, will be using ACIS technology in future products. The software is currently ported to the SPARC, Silicon Graphics, HP, IBM RS/6000, IBM PC, and VAX platforms.

The difference between ACIS and older computational engines is that it models the complete geometry of an object rather than just surface edges. ACIS supports interfaces with several leading rendering standards, including Pixar's RenderMan, which NeXT will include in NeXTstep 3.0. Spatial did not rule out a possible deal similar to RenderMan's.

"NeXT has made a 3-D renderer available to all of their users. The next step would be a 3-D modeler," said Gary Sze, OEM sales manager for ACIS.

Contact ACIS at 303/440-9763.

Created by Stone Design's Create(tm) at 2005-08-20 23:32:49 -0500