C3D Toolkit

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C3D Toolkit
Original author(s)ASCON
Developer(s)C3D Labs
Initial release1996; 27 years ago (1996)
Stable release
V2020 / July 16, 2020; 2 years ago (2020-07-16)
Preview release
110625 / July 22, 2020; 2 years ago (2020-07-22)
Written inC++, C Sharp, JavaScript
Operating systemWindows, Mac X,
Linux, FreeBSD, Android, iOS
32- and 64-bit
Available in2 languages:
Type3D Software,
3D Modeler,
3D Solver,
3D Vision,
3D Converter,
Computer-Aided Software Engineering Tools
LicenseProprietary software

C3D Toolkit is a geometric modeling kit originally developed by ASCON Group, now by C3D Labs, using C++ and written in Visual Studio.[1] It can be licensed by other companies for use in their 3D computer graphics software products. The most widely known software in which C3D Toolkit is typically used are computer aided design (CAD), computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), and computer-aided engineering (CAE) systems.[2]

As the software development tool, C3D Toolkit performs 3D modeling, 3D constraint solving, polygonal mesh-to-B-rep conversion, 3D visualization, and 3D file conversions. It incorporates five modules:

  • C3D Modeler constructs geometric models, generates flat projections of models, performs triangulations, calculates the inertial characteristics of models, and determines whether collisions occur between the elements of models;
    • C3D Modeler for ODA enables advanced 3D modeling operations through the ODA's standard "OdDb3DSolid" API from the Open Design Alliance;[3]
  • C3D Solver makes connections between the elements of geometric models, and considers the geometric constraints of models being edited;
  • C3D B-Shaper converts polygonal models to boundary representation (B-rep) bodies;[4]
  • C3D Vision controls the quality of rendering for 3D models using mathematical apparatus and software, and the workstation hardware;
  • C3D Converter reads and writes geometric models in a variety of standard exchange formats.[5]


Nikolai Golovanov is a graduate of the Mechanical Engineering department of Bauman Moscow State Technical University as a designer of space launch vehicles. Upon his graduation, he began with the Kolomna Engineering Design bureau, which at the time employed the future founders of ASCON, Alexander Golikov and Tatiana Yankina. While at the bureau, Dr Golovanov developed software for analyzing the strength and stability of shell structures.

In 1989, Alexander Golikov and Tatiana Yankina left Kolomna to start up ASCON as a private company. Although they began with just an electronic drawing board, even then they were already conceiving the idea of three-dimensional parametric modeling. This radical concept eventually changed flat drawings into three-dimensional models. The ASCON founders shared their ideas with Nikolai Golovanov, and in 1996 he moved to take up his current position with ASCON. Today, he continues to develop algorithms in C3D Toolkit.[6]


C3D Modeler[edit]

  • Modeling 3D solids
  • Performing Boolean operations
  • Creating thin-walled solids
  • Filleting and chamfering parts
  • Modeling sheetmetal parts
  • Designing with direct modeling
  • Modeling 3D surfaces
  • Modeling 3D wireframe objects
  • Surface triangulation
  • Performing geometric calculations
  • Casting planar projections
  • Creating section views
  • Calculating mass inertia properties
  • Collision detection

C3D Converter[edit]

Boundary representation (B-Rep):

Polygonal representation:

  • STL (read and write)
  • VRML (read v.2.0/write v.2.0)

Both representations:

The C3D file format is also used as CAD exchange format,[9] and it is gaining popularity in the global area.

C3D Vision[edit]

C3D Solver[edit]

  • 2D constraint solver for 2D drawings and 3D sketches
  • 3D constraint solver for assemblies and kinematic analyses

The C3D Solver supports the following constraint types:[11]

  • Coincidence (available in 2D and 3D)
  • Align points (2D)
  • Angle (2D and 3D)
  • Coaxiality (3D)
  • Distance (2D and 3D)
  • Equal lengths (2D)
  • Equal radii (2D)
  • Fix geometry (2D and 3D)
  • Fix length and direction (2D)
  • Incidence (2D)
  • Parallelism (2D and 3D)
  • Perpendicularity (2D and 3D)
  • Radius (2D)
  • Tangency (2D and 3D)

C3D B-Shaper[edit]

  • Controls surface recognition accuracy
  • Segments polygonal meshes
  • Edit segments
  • Reconstructs segments in certain types of surfaces
  • Generates B-rep models



Since 2013 - the date the company started issuing a license for the toolkit -, several companies have adopted C3D software components for their products, users include:

  • Open BIM Systems from CYPE Software[24]
  • VR Concept Virtual reality application uses C3D Converter for reading imported CAD data, and C3D Modeler for constructing and editing 3D models[25]

Recently, C3D Modeler has been adapted to ODA Platform.[26][21][27]

In April 2017, C3D Viewer was launched for end users.[7] The application allows to read 3D models in common formats and write it to the C3D file format. Free version is available.[28][29]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Maher, Kathleen (June 6, 2013). "Does the CAD World Need Another Geometry Kernel?". Graphically Speaking. GraphicSpeak.
  2. ^ Wong, Kenneth (May 14, 2014). "A New Geometric Kernel from Russia". Desktop Engineering. Peerless Media, LLC. Archived from the original on April 13, 2016. Retrieved February 4, 2015.
  3. ^ "Open Design Alliance and C3D Labs announce C3D Modeler for Teigha". Automation.com. December 8, 2016.
  4. ^ Frausto-Robledo, Anthony (July 18, 2019). "C3d Labs Unveils B-Shaper for AEC and BIM Developers". Architosh. FRAUSTO LLC.
  5. ^ Jeff, Rowe (April 3, 2014). "LEDAS Geometry Comparison Technology Embeds ASCON C3D Kernel". MCADCafe. Internet Business Systems, Inc.
  6. ^ Grabowski, Ralph (December 4, 2012). "ASCON interviews Nikolai Golovanov, head of C3D kernel development". WorldCAD Access. upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.
  7. ^ a b Grabowski, Ralph (April 11, 2017). "C3D Labs at COFES". UpFront.eZine. upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.
  8. ^ Alba, Michael (July 3, 2018). "What's New in C3D's Geometric and Parametric Kernels". engineering.com. engineering.com, Inc.
  9. ^ "Renga Architecture's Colorful New Release". Renga Software. April 4, 2016.
  10. ^ Shura, Collinson (September 1, 2016). "C3D Labs Launches New Visualizer For Engineering Software Developers". Skolkovo Foundation.
  11. ^ Nikolay Golovanov (2014). Geometric Modeling: The mathematics of shapes. CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform. ISBN 978-1497473195.
  12. ^ "Geometric Kernel for 2D and 3D Software Developers" (PDF). C3D Labs, LLC. 2015.
  13. ^ "nanoCAD Plus Enhanced With C3D Modeler, Solver, Converter". Isicad. LEDAS Ltd. August 5, 2016.
  14. ^ "NIP-Informatica Licenses Geometric Kernel from C3D Labs". CIMdata. 2014. Archived from the original on 2017-04-11. Retrieved 2017-04-11.
  15. ^ a b c d e f Ralph, Grabowski (2014). "About Version 15 of the C3D Kernel". upFront.eZine.
  16. ^ a b Nalawade, Sachin (August 1, 2017). "LEDAS Contributes to Renga Software". DailyCADCAM.
  17. ^ "New investment in system development". Elecosoft. 2016.
  18. ^ "Russia's Leader in Nuclear Power Licenses C3D Kernel". ASCON. 2015.
  19. ^ Kandiev, Y. Z.; Kashaeva, E. A.; Khatuntsev, K. E.; Kuropatenko, E. S.; Lobanova, L. V.; Lukin, G. N.; Malakhov, A. A.; Malyshkin, G. N.; Modestov, D. G.; Mukhamadiev, R. F.; Orlov, V. G.; Samarin, S. I.; Serova, E. V.; Spirina, S. G.; Vakhonina, T. V.; Voronina, N. A.; Zatsepin, O. V. (June 2014). Caruge, D; Calvin, C; Diop, C.M; Malvagi, F; Trama, J.-C (eds.). "PRIZMA Status". Joint International Conference on Supercomputing in Nuclear Applications + Monte Carlo. EDP Sciences: 06019. Bibcode:2014snam.conf06019K. doi:10.1051/snamc/201406019. ISBN 978-2-7598-1269-1.
  20. ^ a b "EE Boost Chooses C3D's Toolkit for Simulation Software". ASCON. 2017.
  21. ^ a b Grabowski, Ralph (September 12, 2017). "ODA Teigha Conference, Day 2". WorldCAD Access. upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.
  22. ^ Nalawade, Sachin (June 21, 2018). "Tera Analysis Implements C3D Toolkit for FEA Simulation Software". DailyCADCAM.
  23. ^ "Mubitek Selects C3D Toolkit for ÇİZEN". engineering.com, Inc. 2019.
  24. ^ "CYPE incorpora la tecnología de modelado geométrico de C3D Labs para agilizar la integración de productos de fabricantes en Open BIM Systems". CYPE. 2019.
  25. ^ "VR Concept Selects С3D Toolkit for 3D Virtual Prototyping Tools". engineering.com, Inc. 2019.
  26. ^ Grabowski, Ralph (September 7, 2015). "C3D kernel for Teigha". WorldCAD Access. upFront.eZine Publishing, Ltd.
  27. ^ "The Present and Future of DWG". ENGINEERING. 2015.
  28. ^ "Welcome to the New C3D Toolkit 2017 from C3D Labs". C3D Labs, LLC. 2017-06-06.
  29. ^ "C3D Viewer". C3D Labs, LLC.

External links[edit]