MCAD Tech News #194

6 Dec, 2006 By: Jeffrey Rowe

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The Interoperability Challenge

The data import process in Inventor's Construction Environment requires a closer look

I just returned from Autodesk University 2006 in Las Vegas, after spending some quality time with well over 7,000 fellow attendees. Although Las Vegas is not my favorite city to visit, it's always great getting reacquainted with my peers, Autodesk employees and end users of the various Autodesk mechanical products.

This time around, I did something I had never done before at AU: I taught a class. My topic was IGES and STEP data translation in the Construction Environment in Autodesk Inventor 11. It was, in other words, an attempt to address and resolve interoperability issues with Inventor.

I explained to the class that although I don't do much design work these days, I do have occasion to transfer IGES and STEP data between Inventor, SolidWorks and Pro/ENGINEER. This is done mostly for benchmarking and comparative analysis, but I do a fair amount of it (with varying degrees of success). I have to say that the data import process in Inventor's Construction Environment — while not perfect — is well implemented, so let's take a peek at it. Read more>>

What Grounded the Airbus A380?

By Kenneth Wong

Why isn't the Airbus A380 taking off on time? According to a variety of media, it's tangled in a bunch of electrical wire harnesses -- 530km of cables, 100,000 wires and 40,300 connectors, to be exact. According to, "[Airbus] engineers in Germany and Spain stuck with an earlier version of Paris-based Dassault Systemes' CATIA design software, even though the French and British offices had upgraded to CATIA 5. That meant the German teams couldn't add their design changes for the electrical wiring back into the common three-dimensional digital mockup being produced in Toulouse. ..." ("Airbus Vows Computers Will Speak Same Language After A380 Delay").

In blogs, aerospace insiders and CAD users picked up the topic where the press left off. Whether puzzled, outraged or bemused, most bloggers eventually get drawn into the same debate: Is the root cause the CAD modeling system or management oversight? (See "A380 Delay-Is It Really CATIA" at, "Disaster Stories" at WorldCAD Access, and "Lessons for All CAD Users" at According to some experts, it's both -- and it'll take both to prevent such debacles in the future.
Read more

Mark Your Calendar: MCAD Events

Business Process Modeling Workshop
January 18, 2007
Troy, Michigan
Vasco Drecun's one-day workshop provides an opportunity for attendees to learn more about a hands-on methodology for modeling and analyzing process using standardized reference models. The workshop will be supported with hands-on modeling of real-life examples. Read more

January 29-31, 2007
Houston, Texas
DaratechPLANT2007 brings together experts in the areas of business development, asset creation, lifecycle management, instrumentation, real-time operations and plant maintenance. Read more

For Cadalyst's full calendar of events, click here>>

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