More on Interoperability

In today’s challenging economic climate, manufacturing firms are very focused upon finding and correcting inefficiencies.  One of the major concerns is the need for interoperability.  Multiple proprietary formats and applications in the CAD world alone, costs manufacturers billions every year. Concurrent engineering is one of the principle drivers for brining quality, new products to market swiftly.  But, concurrency can come with a high price tag, so often too many processes are serial, leading to revenue loses. While there is no overarching remedy, there are certainly a number of steps companies can take to reduce cost both internally and across their supply-chain.

Read on to learn how Adobe can help you NOW.

One of the most important challenges in bringing new products to market is sharing information in appropriate formats across the entire, extended enterprise.  When sharing data cross-functionally, outside of engineering, use of specialized CAD and visualization applications is often not efficient. Let’s discuss some remedies:

  • Move to PDF as the international ISO standard “container” to deliver 2D and 3D information
  • Convert almost any 2D or 3D format to PDF for collaboration
  • Use Acrobat Pro Extended to Export precise or tessellated geometry

 

ISO Standard Container

Adobe® PDF eliminates the need to support multiple visualization file formats; it can be used in strict accordance with industry standards, such as PDF/A (ISO 19005) for long-term retention and archiving, and PDF/E (ISO 24517) for the reliable exchange of engineering information (including support for embedded 3D). In addition, PDF supports Universal 3D (U3D), an open and extensible file format for sharing and viewing interactive 3D designs.

 

Convert Almost Any Format to PDF

When you select “Create PDF from File” you are greeted with a long list of supported files.  You can convert almost any major CAD format to PDF.

 

For a complete list of supported formats, click Acrobat 9 Pro Extended Supported 3D Formats .

 

PDF enables visualization, more secure collaboration, CAD data exchange, and data publishing across the entire product lifecycle. The ubiquitous PDF format directly supports 3D model-based definition, providing the flexibility to retain either precise 3D CAD geometry or a lightweight representation of 3D CAD designs. And unlike most other formats, PDF can also be used to combine 2D and 3D CAD data with other critical project content, such as interactive forms, bills of materials, and general office documents, into a single PDF file. Product Manufacturing Information such as Geometric Dimensioning and Tolerancing, text, and annotations can also be shared in PDF—all in a universal and highly compact file—which means manufacturers can rely on PDF to deliver any kind of information to the widest possible audience, both inside and outside the enterprise.

 

Use PDF files to share product data with anyone who uses free Adobe Reader® software. Users of Adobe Reader 9 can more securely view and interact with product data and documents, reducing the need for separate CAD applications or viewers. They can interact with designs in three dimensions: rotating, zooming, measuring, and cross-sectioning for greater understanding and streamlined productivity. Your team can also work collaboratively in Reader—marking up 3D designs, saving 3D views, and adding comments.

 

Export Geometry

Precise and tessellated geometry can be exported from PDF for additional interoperability.  For example, models can be exported for use in inspection of machining operations or as input to other CAD applications or STP for 3D digital printing.  The options are STEP, IGES, Parasolid, VRML and STP:

You also have lots of control over how results are produced.  See below:

 

As you can see, you can save solids to surface or solid models.  Faceted models can be saved to wireframe or faceted, and analytics can be saved to NURBs or analytics.  The bottom line is you can go from almost any format, to a wide variety of formats, with a great deal of control over what is shared. 

Check it out!