Businesses that work with multiple computer-aided design systems need to move models seamlessly between CAD platforms. And Millbrook Precision Engineering Ltd., a vehicle test, validation, and engineering services company in England, is no different.
The company works with customers in the automotive, transport, tire, petrochemical, defense, and security industries.
Millbrook engineers work with large CAD vehicle models provided by customers that provide their three-dimensional data on various CAD systems. Those files, also, are not always optimized for use or in a format that Millbrook can quickly import and work with in the company’s own native CAD format, said Ryan Holden, the engineering company’s design office supervisor.
Traditionally, Millbrook engineers have spent days converting and repairing 3-D models before they could even begin specialized testing and validation work, he said.
Recently, however, the engineering services company implemented CADfix to quickly translate and repair CAD models. The solution, from International TechneGroup (ITI) of Milford, Ohio, allowed engineers to repair in minutes 3D models that had previously taken them days to fix, Holden added.
“Now we can focus on betting serving our customer needs and our project deliverables,” he said. CADfix also gives Millbrook engineers the confidence that the models were accurately converted to the company’s format and properly repaired before being worked with.
The solution works with multiple geometry formats. It removes the features from and simplifies the kind of complex models Millbrook works with, so poor-quality geometry can be quickly repaired no matter the original CAD format. CADfix also gives Millbrook engineers confidence that model geometry is accurate, Holden added.
The software is packaged as a desktop or server solution, with extensible modular functionality that depends on the end user’s source and target systems, according to ITI. It can be integrated within a company’s product lifecycle management solution or within workflow automation tools.
It also servers as a geometry pre-processor. It can streamline the JT automotive collaboration process.
Another product from ITI, CADIQ, recently upgraded to version 9.1, identifies model-based design issues that also adversely impact downstream processes, such as tooling, simulation, manufacturing, and model re-use in the supply chain.
That product analyzes the geometry and product manufacturing information in CAD models to find both intentional and unintentional changes. Once changes are identified, the tool creates easily sharable 3D PDF documentation detailing the results.
This ability to quickly and easily identify and document quality issues, unexpected translation issues, and engineering-change-order modifications is needed at engineering companies that, like Millbrook, deal with many CAD models.
An essential part of any collaborative design and manufacturing process is the validation of translated files to ensure that no unexpected deviations have been introduced and that the model is 100 percent accurate.
“By natively comparing geometry, said Don Hemmelgam, ITI’s senior executive vice president of CAD/CAM/CAE interoperability.
CADIQ is packaged for use in desktop or server environments and can be integrated into design release and check-in and checkout processes of PLM workflows. It can be embedded in interoperability automations solutions, Hemmelgam added.
The update enhancements its supported CAD interfaces including: CATIA V4 and V5, NX, Creo, Inventor, Solid Edge, SOLIDWORKS, Parasolid, ACIS, IGES, STEP,JT, and 3D PDF.