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28 Oct 2013

RGK Geometric Kernel – Now on a Mobile Platform

Lev Borodinov, Sergey Kozlov, Anatoly Kryzhanovsky

We have already reported about development of RGK Russian Geometric Kernel several times. RGK was designed as part of the “3D Kernel” project completed by a team of developers led by “STANKIN” Moscow State Technical University and commissioned by the Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Russian Federation. The developers continue improving their solution, making it even more efficient and competitive. Expanding a list of supported computational platforms is one of the primary areas for RGK development. It concerns both support of multithreaded calculations on multiprocessor systems and a possibility of working on mobile devices. These notes describe the results achieved in this area.

Certainly, at the present level of computer technology performance of mobile devices cannot yet compete with desktop computers when solving such complex calculation tasks as work with 3D geometry. It is an undisputable fact, however, that nowadays smart phones and tablet PCs are developing rapidly and only in five years they have worked their way up from “a little bit more than a phone with a notebook” to a fully-featured laptop computer. On-line markets of mobile platforms vendors have increasingly more engineering and mathematical applications. The modern trend is that mobile applications become more and more convenient and functional. Recently several tools have been designed for reviewing and editing drawings and 3D models.

The developers of 3D RGK kernel inherently employed the idea of supporting various computational platforms. It was already reported that the kernel and its test application work successfully on Windows (32- and 64-bit versions) as well as on various Linux modifications. RGK developers decided not to stop here and transfer the kernel to a mobile platform and show the results to a mainstream audience. To begin, they chose Android OS as the first mobile platform due to the simplicity of licensing development tools for this platform and the ease of publishing the results. Expanding the list of supported mobile platforms is a matter of time and practicability.

The results were achieved rather quickly. Initially a program for viewing models in data exchange files was developed. As already reported, the “native” format” for RGK is a cross-platform scalable format based on XML – RGK_XML. With the current browser developed for Android (the minimal supported version OS 4.0 provides a good coverage of modern mobile devices), users can open earlier created models downloading them from the file, browse them, turn a model in all directions, scale it, etc. The browser supports already customary control by one or two fingers to turn and scale a model.


The look of RGK Mobile with a downloaded model of a track link

Now the program can open and show models of separate bodies as well as assembly models. Complexity of a model is restricted by an operational memory of a mobile device. Testing showed that the application has an easy job dealing with rather complex models.

A free demonstrational mobile version of RGK Mobile is available to anyone. It can be downloaded in Google Play.. The installation includes both the browser and a small set of demonstration examples.

Model control in RGK Mobile is pretty simple

RGK Mobile is designed first of all to demonstrate capabilities of RGK kernel and platform coverage. In the future, the “mobile” area will be developed further and functionalities of this promising application will be expanded.
Sofia And Lego

Even the most demanding users already can evaluate the functionalities of RGK Mobile in its working environment: the process of comparing a digital model with a real fabricated physical sample.

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