The grand purpose of CAD Exchanger is compatibility between CAD, CAM, CAE, PDM, and other steps of a product life cycle. In the mid-1980’s STEP format, also known as ISO 10303, was created with the same objective and became a common standard for CAD data exchange. Sure enough, STEP was one of the first formats supported by CAD Exchanger and the one with high priority for further improvements.
In 2016 STEP importer was boosted with parallel computations that dramatically reduced files processing time. Then, CAD Exchanger took consistent steps to provide full PMI support for this format in 2019–2020. The software finally enabled reading and writing of semantic PMI, graphical PMI, and PMI associations, as well as visualization of graphical PMI. And next up was STEP tessellated geometry support, recently introduced with AP 242.
Being the common tool of interoperability, STEP is frequently specified as a target format by CAD Exchanger customers. Below are several examples of projects during which the STEP conversion was added to the customers’ applications.
3DOptix: STEP to mesh
3DOptix, an optical design company, launched cloud-based software allowing users to create and simulate optical system designs. One of the key features of the tool was a possibility to upload customer’s optical parts and devices into the scene. That really meant converting traditional optomechanics formats (STEP, Parasolid, SOLIDWORKS) into mesh.
CAD Exchanger Cloud API proved to be a reliable tool for this purpose, providing consistent conversion and browser-compatibility.
Thanks to using CAD Exchanger Cloud API, we enabled our end-users to upload their own mechanical components into an optical simulation environment, supporting plenty of formats.
Gil Noy, CEO of 3DOptix
Cyclife Digital Solutions: STEP for nuclear intervention simulation
Cyclife Digital Solutions provides the nuclear facilities with a collaborative real-time 3D simulation software DEMplus® for nuclear. DEMplus® collates various factors to optimise construction, maintenance, and decommissioning of nuclear sites. To perform an insightful analysis it’s necessary to import all the equipment and infrastructure elements into the simulated environment.
CAD Exchanger allowed us to accelerate the release date of the new version of DEMplus®. The API was well documented and didn’t require any third-party deployment or licensing. We have reduced the deployment and maintenance time of our product.
Guillaume Chouvenc, R&D Engineer at Cyclife Digital Solutions
GCAS: STEP to X3D
GCAS Incorporated develops military and intelligence applications with focus on artificial intelligence, structural dynamics and acoustics, planning and scheduling, and probabilistic reasoning. One of dozens GCAS government contracts resulted in a simulation and modeling system CES (Corrosion Expert System), which identifies vehicle design issues leading to corrosion.
CES algorithm included several conversion steps for the original STEP models. CAD Exchanger enhanced the architecture with CAD Exchanger SDK and computational mesh generation add-on. This combination let automotive and truck designs be seamlessly converted to X3D, boosting CES performance and reducing its memory footprint.
GCAS chooses CAD Exchanger to streamline the importing of STEP geometry and creating the Computational Mesh.
Scott Woodson, ACES Developer at GCAS Incorporated
OMRON: STEP for virtual factory simulation
Industrial automation leader OMRON elaborated Sysmac Studio 3D to help customers to configure and emulate complex production environments. Simulation empowers all the stakeholders to identify design flaws without launching a real production site, which leads to money and time savings.
Aside from a vast 3D components library, the software enables users to upload their own robots, machinery and other 3D objects. Import was implemented through CAD Exchanger SDK and covered STEP and IGES file formats as the most frequently used by equipment manufacturers.
Thanks to CAD Exchanger SDK, we can focus on our know-how and don’t be concerned about format specificity. We know that adding every new format will take us just a few extra lines of code.
Pere Llibre Turbr, Software Group Lead at OMRON
RUHRSOURCE: STEP for 3D printing
CUR3D, the flagship product by RUHRSOURCE, was aimed to solve the most pervasive problem in the 3D printing industry — 3D models requiring hours of manual cleanup and optimization to be ready for 3D printing. CUR3D automatically processes 3D models within a couple of minutes, making them suitable for manufacturing.
Since the application is used by a wide range of customers, from automotive to AEC, RUHRSOURCE had a request for an SDK with a great choice of formats support. CAD Exchanger SDK enabled seamless processing of such CAD formats as STEP and IGES and increased CUR3D outreach to various industries.
We found CAD Exchanger easy to set up, and with just a few steps we were able to import a variety of new formats.
Christopher Maiwald, CTO at RUHRSOURCE
With CAD Exchanger SDK STEP component, developers can enable files import and export in their applications making the most of the format:
- Compliant mapping of assembly and part structure, topology, and geometry into CAD Exchanger entities after import;
- Flexible import and export parameters (e.g., preferred B-Rep shape representation type and PMI import in the former case, external references usage and the length unit for the latter);
- Support of both b-rep and polygonal representations;
- Compliance with AP 203, AP 214 and AP 242, including PMI and tessellated geometry;
- Support of colors, layers, meta-data, and user-defined properties;
- Support of external references with a possibility to write either every part or both assemblies and parts to their own STEP files, “master” file containing product structure or only its roots correspondingly;
- Support of delayed conversion ensuring responsive application and better UX even for large files;
- Support of validation properties to control the quality of a conversion;
Test the reading and writing capabilities of CAD Exchanger SDK on your STEP files during a free 30-day trial. Enable other file formats with just a couple of lines of code and contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org in case of any questions.