CAD translator doesn't forget features, parametrics
A ship-engine builder used Collaboration Gateway from Proficiency, Marlborough, Mass., (proficiency.com) to move feature-based models from a Japanese supplier into another model format. Engine-builder Wartsila Corp., Helsinki, Finland, says the automation let it eliminate more than 20,000 hr of manual labor by not having to recreate Pro/E models into versions for its I-deas modeler. Doing so also reduced the risk of project delay. Project goals included producing accurate 3D feature-based models and delivering 2D drawings to other Wartsila suppliers as quickly as possible.
The engine builder evaluated several standard approaches for moving 3D data between systems, but none were satisfactory. STEP, an independent file format intended for translating solid models, delivered only "dumb" solids that can not be parametrically modified. Manually recreating feature data is costly and time intensive, and threatened to delay parts from a few suppliers that need over a year of lead time.
Collaboration Gateway helps the process by converting between several CAD programs while maintaining the design intelligence of the original model. It takes far less time to create a 3D model this way than if created from 'dumb geometry' that lacks parameters. Wartsila can now deliver 3D models to its shipbuilding licensees for their use.