The benefits of working in a single design environment with foreign data containing full MBD information

When designing and manufacturing complex products that contain 100s or 1000s of components, there will inevitably be a large supply chain involved. However, when design data needs to be exchanged during the design process, different CAD software may be being used by the different suppliers, which can cause problems. CAD to CAD and CAD to Visualization translators are available, but what if the OEM uses CATIA and needs to also access supplied CAD data in the NX, CREO or JT formats directly from within their CATIA design environment without the use for external translation tools?

Our Multi-CAD solution allows designers and engineers to do just that. Based upon the Dassault Systemes XCAD infrastructure, it allows CATIA V5 and 3DEXPERIENCE users to incorporate parts and assemblies from the other CAD systems, such as NX and Creo, or visualization data in the JT format within the CATIA environment without having to use external translators.

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It does so by loading the files directly into CATIA and using the existing command of “Insert existing component”. Multi-CAD validates the integrity of the data as it comes into CATIA. The beauty of our Multi-CAD solution is the interlinking of the CATIA and foreign CAD data allowing the user to work with different sets of data within a single interactive operation.

Our Multi-CAD solutions also support the processing of Model Based Definition (MBD) information, which helps in streamlining product development into a paper free process by publishing an information rich 3D CAD model that fully defines a product.

By supporting MBD, Multi-CAD can also reduce the processing time of large CAD models as specific views can be filtered and processed at the point of output.

Using Multi-CAD offers a greater level of security and protection as the link to the source data is a direct link without the need to leave the application or use 3rd party external applications. This also removes any errors that can occur from potentially working with old, out of date data.

Theorem’s Multi-CAD application for CATIA is a low cost and efficient solution to the problems that can be encountered when different CAD systems collaborate on projects and ensures the integrity of the CAD data whilst allowing the seamless transfer of files between users.

For more information visit www.theorem.com

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Optimising Manufacturing Processes with Lightweight Data Formats

Being able to access and share 3D CAD data is an integral part of design and manufacturing processes.

When data needs to be shared between engineering and manufacturing departments within the same organisation, or with the supply chain translation between different CAD systems may be required.

However, translating large amounts of engineering data can cause problems as some data can be lost in translation or not replicated properly due to differences in CAD systems. Many who could benefit from interactively viewing and working with product design data do not currently receive it digitally because access can be difficult and expensive.

Another issue with sharing entire CAD models, especially with an external contact, is the vulnerability of Intellectual Property (IP).

The use of lightweight data formats is a way to optimise manufacturing processes in relation to sharing engineering CAD data. The formats were originally created to provide optimum graphics performance and that generally meant a lighter file size than that generated from a CAD system. This made these types of formats better suited for use over the internet- which these days is how the majority of data is shared. Organisations that can make the best use of lightweight data formats are those that need to share data with their extended enterprise which could include large manufacturing firms and their supply chains.

What makes these formats lightweight is that typically the format only includes the design data that is required, with content such as features, history and constraints being removed. This also protects the IP of the original designs. The formats are rich in 3D content, but don’t give any intelligence away and are able to support a rich enough data set so that suppliers have the information they need. These lightweight formats maintain the CAD file as the master version but provides a synchronised representation for users.

There are a number of lightweight data formats available on the market including Siemens’ JT, Dassault’s 3DXML, PTC’s Creo View and 3D PDF.

Using a lightweight data format allows an organisation to easily share their design geometry, both internally and externally, without giving up any of their IP or having to send large CAD files containing unnecessary and irrelevant data.

For more information visit www.theorem.com

STEP AP242 NX CADverter supporting PMI is released

We are pleased to announce the release of our newest STEP AP242 <> NX product with additional support for Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) for downstream processes.

The STEP AP242 <> NX CADverter is a new STEP product that supports releases of NX 8.5, 9.0 and 10 which is available as a bi-directional product. It can be used interactively from within the NX application or in a batch mode, using the new Theorem Unified Interface (UI) which comes as standard with the STEP AP242 <> NX CADverter.

The recently released UI, which supersedes Theorem’s CADviewer and UI products, has been specifically developed to optimise both data exchange and downstream processes using a single application that can be used to view, filter and translate CAD data. The new UI can also be configured to suit a number of use cases and individual user types.

Our CADverter product is a fully compliant STEP AP242 processor for NX. It enables the user to convert all forms of mechanical design geometry, as well as assembly and attribute information, from NX to STEP AP242 and from STEP AP242 files into NX. In addition it supports Configuration Management (CM) data, which defines and controls the configuration of a products definition.

Features of the STEP AP242 <> NX CADverter

  • Converts all types of geometry, wire frame, surfaces, trimmed surfaces (faces) and solid models.
  • Converts assembly structure between the systems.
  • Converts attribute data including colour and layer information. (Shape/Appearance extension)
  • Reads and writes STEP AP203/AP214/into AP242 files.
  • The conversion process can be run in Interactive or Batch mode.
  • Theorem Unified Interface enables the user to view the NX and STEP AP203/AP214/AP242 files before and after conversion.
  • Data can be filtered by layer and entity type.
  • Geometry can be filtered and selectively processed.
  • Support for Product Manufacturing Information (PMI)

 

Main Benefits

  • The Theorem Unified Interface enables you to verify your data visually, pre and post conversion, eliminating time converting unwanted data, or sending out incorrect data.
  • The CADviewer and filtering options allow you to selectively process the data, enabling you to optimise conversions and save time.
  • By converting all forms of geometry no data is lost, eliminating the time required to re-create missing data.
  • With support for PMI, the STEP AP242 files contains enough information to be used for further downstream manufacturing and engineering processes.

 

The STEP AP242 standard, ‘Managed model based 3D engineering’ has been created in conjunction with two other ISO standards – Aerospace’s AP203 ‘Configuration controlled 3D design’ and Automotive’s AP214 ‘Core data for automotive mechanical design processes’.

The STEP AP242 format can be used for a wide variety of purposes including Model Based Definition (MBD) processes, PDM integration, Long Term Data Archiving (LTDA), supply chain integration, engineering design data exchange and mechatronics. The STEP AP242 standard/format aims to introduce new ways of exchanging and archiving CAD data, and associate them with other STEP protocols and CAD related standards (e.g. ASME and ISO).

For more information visit www.theorem.com