MCAD Tech News #163

11 Jan, 2006 By: Jeffrey Rowe

Cadalyst MCAD Tech NewsHow Open are Open 3D Data Formats?

Examining the pros and cons of each option,
Part 1: JT

Amidst all the hubbub, hoopla and hype surrounding so-called open data formats, I've wondered just how open are these formats, really? In the next few installments of MCAD Tech News, I'll take a closer look at this issue. This time around, I'll examine UGS' JT format. Next time I'll cover Dassault Systemes' 3D XML. And in the third installment, I'll report the results of testing to determine which really is the most open.

The JT Initiative
It's no secret that interoperability issues within and between organizations using different software applications to conceive, develop, engineer, manufacture and maintain products cost tens of billions of dollars annually. Initiatives to improve interoperability in these heterogeneous application environments have been bandied about for years. Although it is very doubtful we'll see a universal solution, groups have tried to tackle this huge problem, and JT is but one attempt. Supporters describe JT as the world's most widely used format for sharing lightweight 3D product images and manufacturing information.

In the wake of the seemingly endless stream of big and small so-called open 3D data formats, the JT format has enjoyed surprisingly wide acceptance. That's not to say that JT doesn't have its detractors, but that's a topic for another column.

For those not familiar with it, JT is an extension of JT Open, a group of software vendors, users, universities and other parties spanning the PLM chain. Any interested individual or organization can join JT Open. Software developers in the group want to develop JT-enabled applications for sale to other member companies; other companies want to make JT a standard part of their business processes. These various entities, through an "open distribution" of technology and business model on a relatively level playing field, are able to share 3D data through the medium of the JT file format for visualization and collaboration throughout the product lifecycle. Read more >>

Solid Thinking (SolidWorks Tutorial): More Functional Features to Build Plastic Parts

by Greg Jankowski

SolidWorks 2006 introduced a number of features designed to assist in quickly building plastic part features. Like the fastening features, you can use the vent and fill pattern features to create a functional feature to a design with one step.

Unlike the fastening features, these features are built at the part level and not within the content of the assembly.

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

2006 PLM Vendor Forums
March 30, 2006
(Detroit, Michigan)
April 11, 2006
(Stuttgart, Germany)
April 19, 2006
(Tokyo, Japan)
Consulting and research firm CIMdata presents one-day events providing a focused review of challenges that PLM strategy expansion creates for PLM suppliers, along with a discussion on effective strategies to address these challenges. Event include the first public exposure to CIMdata's 2005 PLM Market Analysis.

Developing a Design/Simulation Framework Workshop
March 15, 2006
Georgia Tech Hotel & Conference Center, Atlanta, Georgia
Join industry analysts from CPDA, members of CPDA's Design/Simulation Council, leading-edge colleagues and practitioners for a one-day workshop that explores the latest thinking on the critical issues facing design and simulation.

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here