X-Rite and Dassault Systèmes Partner on Appearance Exchange Format

X-Rite Incorporated, a provider of color technology, and Pantone LLC, have partnered with Dassault Systèmes to support the Appearance Exchange Format (AxF™). Developed by X-Rite, AxF is a vendor-neutral format that enables the communication of all aspects of a physical material’s appearance in a single file to improve design and supply chain virtualization. AxF will be supported for digital measured material representations by Dassault Systèmes solutions, making it easier to share measured material information across teams to drive product innovation and improve customer experiences.

Dassault Systèmes’ 3DEXPERIENCE platform is a business experience platform that integrates the company’s 3D digital design, analysis, simulation and intelligence applications in a collaborative interactive environment to transform the way products are designed, produced and supported. The new partnership will provide Dassault Systèmes’ customers with a standard way to communicate color and appearance material. This helps improve collaboration, speed design creation and reduce production development costs and time to market, the company reports. 

AxF is the foundational component of the X-Rite Total Appearance Capture (TAC™) ecosystem, a solution that the company says brings a new level of accuracy and efficiency to the capture, communication and visualization of physical materials.

Traditionally, capture and rendering of complex materials such as special effects paints, meshes and synthetic fabrics have been a time-consuming manual and inaccurate process. The TAC ecosystem addresses this challenge with a new level of precision in material scanning coupled with an ability to share the resulting data, via AxF, across an expanding set of visualization and PLM tools. 

TAC Captures Physical Material Appearance for Photorealistic 3D images

The TAC ecosystem enables product designers, 3D artists, material specifiers and marketers to create digital materials representations that simulate physical appearance characteristics such as color, texture, gloss, refraction, transparency, special effects (sparkles) and reflection properties. This helps streamline the overall design and manufacturing process and deliver the most compelling, photorealistic 3D visuals possible.

The TAC ecosystem is comprised of the TAC7 scanner, PANTORA™ Material Hub desktop application, and Virtual Light Booth (VLB). Physical material samples are scanned using the TAC7 scanner, which captures appearance properties digitally to create AxF files that store appearance data. The files are stored, managed, viewed and edited in the PANTORA desktop application. 

The Virtual Light Booth is according to the company the industry's first immersive 3D visualization environment for evaluating material appearance. It allows users to accurately and efficiently visualize and compare 3D digital material renderings side by side with physical samples. This helps ensure consistency between digital prototypes and final physical products and empowers designers to make more informed material selection decisions reducing approval cycles and time to market. 

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