Autodesk Labs is our home for new prototypes, experiments, applications, and technologies. Members of the Autodesk Labs team analyze and develop new and viable market driven business ideas. Sometimes our quest for technologies that are of interest to customers takes us out of our lab. It never hurts to get out every once in a while.
The Microsoft Windows Presentation Foundation (formerly code named "Avalon") provides the foundation for building applications and high fidelity experiences in Microsoft Windows Vista, blending together application UI, documents, and media content, while exploiting the full power of your computer. Leveraging the technology of the Windows Presentation Foundation (WPF), InterKnowlogy has built a 3D Collaborator for AutoCAD© Drawings. It allows you to annotate on the 2D or 3D surface of AutoCAD© Drawings that have been published as DWF. [Loyal Beyond the Paper readers knew it wouldn't take me long to work DWF into my new job. :-)] 3D Collaborator is another example of an independent use of the free Autodesk DWF Toolkit.
Autodesk Software Architect, Greg Remmert, notes that WPF (a.k.a Silverlight) is an important technology because it is already installed as part of Microsoft Windows Vista. You can see that the 3D Collaborator MSI download is only 8MB, and this includes the sample DWF files that have been hardwired into the application. For non-Microsoft Windows Vista users who wish to try 3D Collaborator, if you do not have it already, you will need to download and install the Microsoft .Net 3.0 runtime.
The .Net runtime is a 53MB download which lessens the effect of this exercise, but once you have this in place, think of how nice it would be to download small applications such as 3D Collaborator.
So take 3D Collaborator for a spin and tell me what you think. In this age of ever expanding bandwidth, does size matter? How is the speed? How would you like to see the metadata presented? You can email firstname.lastname@example.org with your thoughts or simply post a comment on the blog page. Your comments are welcome. They are what help keep us alive in the lab.