Re: Translation headaches

From: Craig Milligan (
Date: Wed May 06 1998 - 17:56:46 EEST

As an Actua 2100 concept modeler (3D Systems) and a "BIG" reseller for
AutoCAD and Mechanical Desktop (MDT), I'll give you my 2 cents worth.
For drawing the potential stl file, MDT 2.0 still has a long way to go.
You can do complex shapes using AutoCAD 3d surfaces, but you can't make
them "solids" so you can't export an stl file. Therefore you have to
draw "simple" parts. They produce a good model on our machine, not sure
on big SLA machines (might depend on machine type).

MDT has to get moving if they think they can get Pro/E business.
Autodesk just bought Genius CAD (German CAD company) so their whole CAD
line just got MORE complicated. Saw a demo for Solidworks, but didn't
see the guy "draw" a part or demo file conversions. AutoCAD or MDT is
limited on file conversions. Your MDT part MUST be exploded to become
"native" ACAD part to make an stl file, so don't save it after you
explode it. 3D surfaces CAN NOT export to stl format (NOT solids). You
can DXF them and "convert" them to stl using "external" program, but
some of the features "flew" off, when we made a DXF file in AutoCAD from
an AutoCAD dwg file. So, ACAD can't convert between their file formats
correctly sometimes.

Biggest, easiest, draw anything software package is Pro/E. I am a
Certified Engineering Provider for them, as well as a Certified AutoCAD
and Mechanical Desktop Provider. Pro has some limits on exporting to
alot of file types, probably on purpose, but their controll and creation
of STL files is pretty darn good.

Craig Milligan
Eng. Sales Support Manager

Nathaniel J. Leon wrote:
> I will be giving a presentation at AEC98 and MCad show in June this year. The
> title of the talk is "Dealing with Parts from Hell"
> I would like to get comments of the membership of the list server on the
> following questions:
> 1. What systems/packages provide the best most reliable data rapid prototyping?
> 2. What systems/packages provide the worst and least reliable data for rapid prototyping?
> 3. What is the biggest headache you have in receiving data for rapid prototyping?
> 4. What are some hints that you can give to users to help them ensure
> they provide you with data that you can use in your equipment with minimal
> rework or preprocessing.
> All who answered will be thanked unless they tell me otherwise. Additionally
> if you have pictures of challenges they have faced and solutions that the
> provider could have implemented will be given formal credit in the talk.
> Thanks in advance.
> Niel Leon - CDS,inc
> PS - I am a new member of this group only found it a couple of days ago. Hope
> to be an active participant.
> For more information about the rp-ml, see

For more information about the rp-ml, see

This archive was generated by hypermail 2.1.2 : Tue Jun 05 2001 - 22:45:32 EEST