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This page focuses on the Engineering aspects of the CIMLINC period.

CIMCAD3D was CIMLINC's first 3D CAD program.   It seamlessly provided wireframe, surfaces and solid modeling at a time when most systems forced you to move from one program to another.
The software had a completely programmable interface and API which allowed complete customization by the User as well as the easy development of new functionality by the End User.
CIMCAD3D had an innovative 2D -> 3D user interface that simplified 3D modeling.  It was the first CAD program to use Object Oriented approaches, requiring original computational algorithms.
CIMCAD3D allowed CIMLINC to win key accounts such as Boeing, and several automotive company vendors.

CIMLINC, 1985 - 88

Project Manager and co-Developer of CIMCAD3D

  Engineering related accomplishments:

bulletDeveloped key parts of the Product, using Object Oriented Methods throughout,
including for Computational Geometry.
bulletDeveloped key parts of the API - the UI was programmable using a scripting language
which called C level functions.
bulletDeveloped most 3D Wireframe geometry modules (line, arc, point, plane, etc.)
bulletDeveloped Working Plane metaphor and software.
bulletDeveloped the Snap-to-Object feature which allowed the user to work in either
a 2D projected mode similar to what they knew or full 3D mode
bulletPerformed Release Engineering functions - managing the code 'tree'
bulletReleased the product in both CIMLINC Unix and SUN Solaris Unix.

bulletThis was one of my most satisfying jobs, the team was clearly ahead of its time
and I learned so much from them.
bulletDr. Martin Newell (was VP of R & D,  now VP of Advanced Products at Adobe)
bulletDr. Dan Fitzpatrick (was Dir of R & D, now principal at Big Tree Software)
bulletEric Mueller (was Senior Developer, now Principal Engineer at MacroMedia)

Interface of CIMCAD3D.

This followed CIMCAD's UI metaphors which were ahead of its field by 4 years. In 1982, CIMLINC showed at Autofact Unix workstation implementing Windows, PopUps, Icons and Stroke recognition all networked via Ethernet. Some of that technology is still not available today in mainstream systems.

CIMCAD3D took the successful parts of CIMCAD and implemented them in 3D. I designed a Working Plane metaphor and developed the Snap-to-Object feature which allowed the user to work in either a 2D projected mode similar to what they knew or full 3D mode.

The User Interface also had sophisticated Selection capabilities which provided the User with graphical ways to handle the complex CAD drawings generated in Mechanical Design.


Data Sheet CIMCAD3D. Items taken from it:

bulletGraphical User Interface with Programmable Capabilities
bulletWorking Planes allowing easy 2D to 3D transition
bulletObject Oriented Database
bullet3D NURB Surfaces
bulletSOLID Models with Boolean Operations
bulletRunning on both SUN and CIMLINC workstations.

The software architecture that we used was ahead of the C++ Object Oriented constructs used today. Dr. Fitzpatrick implemented a way for us to define objects, classes and methods which allowed a new way of developing software. The User interface benefited since the User could perform any operation to any object without having to worry whether it was a line, arc, text, surface or solid. Underneath I had to develop new Geometric Computation Algorithms that could handle intersections between tow entities without know what they were.

Copyright, 2001 - Eduardo F. Llach
CIMCAD3D is a trademark/copyright of CIMLINC.

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This site was last updated 10/31/01