3D CAD conversion from old formats to newer/other 3D CAD design software is a need many designers and engineers are facing frequently. This is a type of need which cannot be wished away by engineering companies and manufacturers. As a matter of fact, it has turned out to be a big challenge. This is due to the fact that different companies have invested in different 3D CAD software in form of purchase and training of their technical experts. On the other hand, different CAD software has different capabilities. For instance, a designer at Boeing could have designed an aerodynamic wing using Solidworks. If such a part was to be manufactured by a sub-contractor who uses CATIA, then the need for 3D CAD conversion is inevitable. Another issue may arise where the designer of the wing used 2017 version Solidworks while the company has changed to 2018 version and thus all previous files haveto be converted to the newer version for the purposes of editing, viewing, etc.
A large number of modern 3D CAD design software have come up with a solution to this problem in the form of inbuilt plug-ins that have 3D CAD conversion capabilities. Such plug-ins enable designers and engineers to save any 3D CAD or 2D CAD design drawings in any format as required by the user(s). However, there could a limit to how many other formats are available for any given 3D software.
How can this gap of conversion be bridged?
- Use of “Save as” command
Click “File” > click “Save As” which opens a drop-down box. In the drop-down box, click “Save As Type” just below the “filename” box. Then, select the non-native format that is being required by the other user.
Figure 1: 3D CAD conversion in CATIA through save as command
- Use of “Export and Import” commands
Alternatively, in some software, there is a command for export and/or import from one software to another.
Figure 3: 3D CAD conversion through import
- Us of Third part 3D CAD converters
In some instances, native 3D CAD software may not support the non-native CAD software in which design drawings need to be translated to which poses another challenge. In this case, third party or proprietary software/application need to be downloaded and used for translation. Such third-party applications can be sourced from any of the vendors of the two CAD software in question. Some of third-party CAD translation software include:
- The PolyTrans (https://www.okino.com/conv/conv.htm)
- SAP (https://www.solidworks.com/partner-product/itype-cad-converter-sap-plm)
- Transmagic (https://transmagic.com/)
- MeshLab (http://www.meshlab.net/)
- CATIA translator (http://www.cadcam-e.com/solutions.aspx)
- Using common formats as an intermediary of the conversion process
In the case where the two options do not work, the last option is to save the design drawing into common formats such as STEP or IGES and then try to open such from the non-native software. It should be noted that there can be incompatibility issues and that some data may be lost in the process.
Why risk losing data when CAD / CAM Services exists?
3D CAD conversion from one format to another is a very complex and sometimes time-consuming activity. Many companies have lost data while trying to convert 3D CAD design drawings for the purposes of communication between team members. At this point of time and complexity, CAD / CAM Services is a leading solution provider for all your CAD services including conversion of 3D CAD design drawings from one format to another while safeguarding the data.
CAD / CAM Services has invested in a large amount of software to meet the demand of each and every CAD design client. As a matter of fact, we come in at the early stages of designing for you and later share the design drawings in the format required. We have a rich expertise as manifested in our experienced designers who are accessioned to pay attention to detail. Our experience spans a number of years with players such as in the aerospace industry, pressure vessels such as tanks, etc. Some of the companies we have worked for include Coca-Cola, Boeing, Ingalls Shipbuilding, and HKS, among others. You may visit our page for more information and contact details.
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