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Re: Friendly-data CAD tools?

From: Dan Brickley <danbri@danbri.org>
Date: Mon, 20 Nov 2006 20:23:06 -0300
Message-ID: <456238DA.6020502@danbri.org>
To: Danny Ayers <danny.ayers@gmail.com>
Cc: Semantic web list <semantic-web@w3.org>

Hi Danny,

Danny Ayers wrote:
> I've got a couple of projects literally on the doorstep, both
> involving real-world objects, both of which the computer should be
> able to help with. One is fixing up a house interior (walls & roof ok,
> the rest isn't far from scratch), the other an electric guitar. I
> think it's a fair assumption that a CAD tool will be useful in both
> cases for the diagrams. But there's a lot of other significant data
> associated with each, e.g. wood inventory for the stairs, payment
> schedules for anyone we have to employ, the cost of the pickups I
> declare to my wife.
> Does anyone happen to know of any software that could do the CAD part,
> and allow the rest?

I'm not a CAD person, ... and this may be off-target for your needs, 
...but Google acquired the Sketchup tool to work alongside Google Earth, 
and it might be a good fit. At least for the interiors problem.


Free version: http://sketchup.google.com/product_suf.html
Costs $$$ version: http://sketchup.google.com/product_sup.html
You need SketchUp Pro if you want to:

		Use your models in CAD programs.
-Use your models in rendering programs.
-Use your models in image editors.
-Make movies from your models.
-Print attractive drawings at scale.
-Use Pro Extensions (like the Sandbox).
-Email professional technical support.

The free version exports to KML, which is Google's more proprietary, 
UI-oriented cousin to the richer, geo-oriented GML work from OGC (or at 
least, that is my reading of the landscape).

There is a geo-tagged database of 3d models, 
http://sketchup.google.com/product_3dwh.html -> 
eg. here is a (bad) one that I made:

Presumably there is a KML link somewhere, but it isn't easy to find. 
Perhaps only available via using the 'network link' Web service. You can 
at least run Google Earth and save the KML thatway, or I guess get at it 
direct from Sketchup desktop app.

There are also a few hacks around for getting Sketchup or KML data into 
Secondlife, if that's of any interest...
In fact you could probably do some basic modelling just within 
SecondLife itself, tho I'm not sure what the prospects are for saving 
the data out to other formats.

Also Blender, http://www.blender.org/cms/Home.2.0.html seems to be 
interesting, but I've never tried it. There's apparently some toolchain 
that gets you from Blender into CAD and KML apps too, though the links 
weren't working just now.

Oh, http://sketchup.google.com/download.html is just winxp and macosx, 
so no fun for Linux folk.

That was rambling wasn't it :) Let us know what you find...



> Ideal features:
> * compatibility with industry standard tools (I'm guessing that means
> AutoCAD's format)
> * support for XML diagram format(s) - SVG etc.
> * annotatibility (the cellar walls really must have URIs)
> * open source (so I can compensate for woodworm)
> I haven't properly started looking for appropriate vocabularies, I'm
> rather hoping perhaps Cyc might help there, I really don't want to
> drop into any specialist building and/or guitar industry xsd
> (really!). Quite happy to make up local terms where necessary. I did
> find a page for PartWhole [1] on the ESW Wiki which includes a link to
> cyc:part, but alas the link 404s. Pointers to potentially useful
> vocabs appreciated.
> I don't really expect anything from the RDF beyond structured
> note-taking, but do hope to get some clue from this about how to
> rescue the project vocabulary [2] I left in limbo.
> Cheers,
> Danny.
> [1] http://esw.w3.org/topic/PartWhole
> [2] http://purl.org/stuff/project/
Received on Monday, 20 November 2006 23:23:27 UTC

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