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.
From: email@example.com [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org]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:
email@example.com Thank you for your input.
For more information about the rp-ml, see http://ltk.hut.fi/rp-ml/
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