From SOLIDWORKS is there a best or preferred file format for importing cad files into

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  • From SOLIDWORKS is there a best or preferred file format for importing cad files into

    I am using PC-DMIS CAD Version 2011 MR1. The models are made with SOLIDWORKS.
    Is one file format better than another to import?

    I'm able to Import

    CAD
    CAD By Reference
    DES
    DXF
    IGES
    STEP
    STL
    VDAFS
    XML
    XYZ

    I could have the engineers save the SOLIDWORKS model in any format that I can import I guess.

    I don't have Direct CAD Interface. Do I need Direct CAD Interface?

    Thanks in Advance.

  • #2
    you don't need direct cad interface, that would be for importing file formats that solidworks uses (or catV or proE or ideas or whatever). Import what is useful to you, or what has the smallest file size or just whatever you prefer. I like to use iges even though it's a little obsolete because it brings in the colors in the model, which are useful for what I do. try a few different ones and just use the one you like best. I may be mistaken, but I believe the current industry standard for transfer of cad data is STEP.

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    • #3
      IGES works best for me coming out of NX, which is also Parasolid based like Solidworks. I have had trouble with some surfaces flipping inside out with STEP. This seems to happen frequently with spherical surfaces. It could be something in the NX STEP translator that is causing the problem so your mileage may vary.
      2013MR1 SP6
      Global Frames, Tesastar-M Heads, LSP-X1M/H Probes

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      • #4
        To add to this: We don't have direct CAD translation but I have had a few models where it would have been necessary had I not created all of the inspection points in the CAD system before hand. If your models are well made and have nice, clean surface geometry you should have no trouble with IGES (or, possibly, STEP). If you are working with customer supplied geometry of questionable quality, as we are on occasion, you could see some issues in translation. Surfaces that have bunched, twisted, or kinked U/V parameters might not translate perfectly due to the complexity of the math to fully recreate that geometry. We have some geometry that was modeled in one system, analyzed and modified for structure and fluid dynamics in another system, reimported into original system, messed with some more, and then sent to us. The surfaces all have microscopic wrinkles and kinks in them due to all of this. This geometry holds together in the original CAD system but on translation to either IGES or STEP it rips apart at the joints between some surfaces. I rely on points and vectors generated in the original system for defining nominals on these parts and the CAD surfaces just provide a visual reference in PC-DMIS.
        2013MR1 SP6
        Global Frames, Tesastar-M Heads, LSP-X1M/H Probes

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        • #5
          Foe me coming from Inventor,the IGES format works best.I am using 2011 MR1

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          • #6
            Originally posted by SYBURR View Post
            I am using PC-DMIS CAD Version 2011 MR1. The models are made with SOLIDWORKS.
            Is one file format better than another to import?

            I'm able to Import

            CAD
            CAD By Reference
            DES
            DXF
            IGES
            STEP
            STL
            VDAFS
            XML
            XYZ

            I could have the engineers save the SOLIDWORKS model in any format that I can import I guess.

            I don't have Direct CAD Interface. Do I need Direct CAD Interface?

            Thanks in Advance.
            as you can see by the replies, there is no one 'correct' answer for you. For me? STEP works best. (NX4 to STEP) But it is not without it's own issues on occasion. With IGES I often get missing surfaces in the imported models. As for DCI? That is good if you want to send Hexagon the $5K or so for adding that particular module to your portlock, AND you can justify it to the company beancounters. Even Hexagon themselves have said (at least to me) DCI licences are usually sold because a few specific 'big' customers demand it be part of the PC*DMIS install if you are inspecting parts destined for them.
            Personally, I have learned through trial and error what works best for our particular systems. It's not a very specific answer, but I don't think there is a 'one-size-fits-all' answer to your query.

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            • #7
              I will occasionally have surfaces missing when importing STEP or IGES from Catia. Seems that IGES is more reliable than STEP. I can open those files back up in Catia and the surfaces are there; so I don’t know if the problem is Catia or PCDMIS.
              CAD++ 2017 R1, Catia Translator
              B&S Xcel, Renishaw PH10MQ

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              • #8
                IGES is the over-all best IMO, but, I request (DEMAND!) both IGES and STEP. Then, if any stupid little pieces are garbled in one of the (I always start with IGES), I can check the other format and see if the same thing happens. ALSO, be aware that some surface patches (both in IGES & STEP) can appear to be 'missing', when they actually are there. They 'vanish' when you turn on the SOLID view, but they are there in non-solid view and can be selected and used as normal.

                Just be glad you aren't getting your data from UG, it makes a mess out of both formats due to their crappy internal short-cuts they take. UG only plays well with UG.
                sigpic
                Originally posted by AndersI
                I've got one from September 2006 (bug ticket) which has finally been fixed in 2013.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Matthew D. Hoedeman View Post
                  IGES is the over-all best IMO, but, I request (DEMAND!) both IGES and STEP. Then, if any stupid little pieces are garbled in one of the (I always start with IGES), I can check the other format and see if the same thing happens. ALSO, be aware that some surface patches (both in IGES & STEP) can appear to be 'missing', when they actually are there. They 'vanish' when you turn on the SOLID view, but they are there in non-solid view and can be selected and used as normal.

                  Just be glad you aren't getting your data from UG, it makes a mess out of both formats due to their crappy internal short-cuts they take. UG only plays well with UG.
                  Come now, Matt.... Calling certain polygons 'stupid' will not bring them out of hiding....
                  Pass the popcorn and we shall all watch the movie 'Lost in Translation'.

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                  • #10
                    excuse me, can someone help me How to convert file CAD .x_t into file CAD .igs in PC-DMIS software

                    i need it right now, pls help me
                    Yesterday, 10:53 PM

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                    • NinjaBadger
                      NinjaBadger commented
                      Editing a comment
                      @minhcongddt98-gmail-com - You can'y within PC-Dmis, you need to get the CAD model transformed in the CAD software.

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