RE: CAD File Translation Problems

From: Paul Finelt - Optimum Online (
Date: Thu Mar 15 2001 - 14:17:51 EET

This is a complex problem that developed from a lack of clarity and
understanding of the underlying math in both the user and vendor camps in
the earliest years of the industry.

The holy grail of a universal CAD database format was abandoned years ago.
IGES - STEP has continued to carry the cause of interoperability between

Keep in mind that vendors have not always felt it was in their best interest
to provide "perfect" translation. They outsourced the IGES translator
segments of their code and really didn't QC the software.

Vendors are in far better shape today than ever before in the quality of
this end of their software. Most problems I see today originate in a poor
implementation of the pre-processor interface. Vendors leave out or fail to
fully explain the effects of many parameters they have placed at the users

User's do not understand the fire they are playing with. If you aren't math
oriented or trained, reading the IGES spec for spline data and solids is
difficult at best. They learn by playing around with the parameters and
never "converge on a solution".

When users begin to understand what's going on at the pre-processor and
post-processor ends, the user community will be able to make better
decisions and use of the tools vendors have been able to provide. In most
cases, this is not a task they can afford or are inclined to accept as a

In the end, there is quality software available that clean up IGES data. The
STEP effort is led by some really good people. The users need to understand
that this data translation thing is something else they must learn and
understand so they can do their jobs... better.


 -----Original Message-----
From: []On Behalf Of
Sent: Wednesday, March 14, 2001 11:57 AM
Subject: CAD File Translation Problems

  Time-Compression Technologies magazine features a "Question of the Month,"
  which our readers pose to our editors. Our May question is, "How can you
  overcome the problem of CAD file translation, which is currently
  rapid product development?" If you have a response to this question and
  interested in having it published in the magazine, please respond to: Thank you for your input.

For more information about the rp-ml, see

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