From what they showed me, it seems to me that LEDAS could well be creating a revolution in the CAD world. Not a Dassault V6 kind of revolution, but a smaller one that affects many more people. Here are two:
Assemblies for Rhino. Adding constraints to Rhino means creating history in Rhino; once you have history, you can extend Rhino to handle parts and assemblies. They demo'd creating a piston engine by constraining parts into an assembly in Rhino, and then applying motion to see the piston worked by the crankshaft.
Another demo showed a robot arm moving a part -- and then the part controlling the position of the arm. What they lack is collision detection, but that's being worked on. D-Cubed, look out!
(Russians tend to pronounce Rhino "reno", because their i sounds like a long e in Russian.)
Out-constraining AutoCAD. They showed me the the types constraints that AutoCAD 2010 is unable to perform, such as geometrically constraining an arc to a spline through tangency; they showed how Catia is able to do it (just to prove it is possible). They also showed me how AutoCAD does not fix the endpoints of one spline to the endpoints of two others.
LEDAS is writing the constraint system for the ODA, Bricscad, and others in two phases: (1) match the constraint system found in AutoCAD 2010; and then (2) outperform AutoCAD's feature-wise.
Here is the part that makes this stunning. Currently 85% of their work is consulting, and only 15% on developments, like for Rhino and ODA. It is the plan of owner David Levin to change the ratio to 50/50, meaning the 15% will more than triple in the coming years.
Think what this band of 10 PhDs, 10 Masters, and 10 Bachelors could accomplish then. Well, here's one: direct modeling and editing. They showed me the initial stages of their efforts to code an equivalent to Siemens' synchtech -- with the benefit that Siemens keeps their tech so secret that LEDAS cannot be accused of copying it!
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Finally, they demo'ed Driving Dimensions running on SketchUp in a Mac -- to emphasize the point that they also do Mac OS X development, and to counter my earlier statement that Russian CAD seems to ignore the Mac!
Later today I have another round of meetings at LEDAS (just a pleasant 15-minute walk through a pretty aspen forest from my hotel). This evening, I'm back in Moscow for a full day of sightseeing on Sunday.