How to Choose a CAD System

How to Choose a CAD System

Engineering.com recently circulated the article ‘How to choose a CAD system’, penned by L. Stephen Wolfe, who was the primary force behind The CAD Report for over 20 years (The CAD Report was ‘the’ CAD resource during the 90’s that commented on the state of the MCAD industry and pulled no punches). This article offers advice for buying a CAD system. You can access a version of this article via Engineering.com, and you can also find a copy at solidworks.com here. Stephen’s advice is definitely sound, but since it appears to be a dated article (the paper refers to Stephen’s ‘new’ venture, CADCAMNET.com, which was sold in 2004...
Missing CAD Data

Missing CAD Data

‘Missing CAD Data’ summarizes the many reasons you may not be able to find your CAD data. If you need more information on any of these areas, see the links and embedded videos at the end of each section. Empty Assemblies – CAD assemblies typically need parts in order to have any real CAD content. If your customer sends you a folder full of assembly files, and no part files, you probably have an empty assembly on your hands. Contact your customer and ask for the missing parts. Missing PMI – Sometimes there is no PMI (Product Manufacturing Information), sometimes the user just forgot to attach it, and sometimes it just needs to be turned...
Optimizing STL Output

Optimizing STL Output

30 Years of STL From a humble beginning in 1987, when STL was developed by the Albert Consulting Group for 3D Systems, the format has been become a mainstay for 3D printing and has remained virtually unchanged over all these years. The name STL was derived from STereoLithography; STL uses a series of linked triangles to roughly define the surface geometry of a 3D CAD model. General STL Optimization Guidelines Whether you’re using the STL file for 3D printing, machining, or other purposes, you’ll want to set the resolution or mesh density to meet your product or prototype requirements. If your resolution is too rough, you’ll end up losing or...
Protected: Can CAD File Formats Impact Job Quality?

Protected: Can CAD File Formats Impact Job Quality?

Can CAD file formats impact job quality? Does it really matter which CAD formats you use internally, or with customers and suppliers? With seven major manufacturing CAD systems, as well as various geometric modeling kernels and neutral CAD files, we’re certainly living in a multicad world. How do you make sense of all the different CAD file formats available, and how do you decide which CAD format is best for different tasks? Depending on how you break it down, TransMagic can currently read or write 29 different major CAD or polygonal file formats (To download the main image on this page as a PDF, click here). This article will look at the costs of using...
AS9100

AS9100

Aerospace Standard AS9100 is a standard for quality management systems (QMS) for the aerospace sector. This standard is based on ISO 9001, but with additional aerospace-specific requirements added; it is a global standard, and is published by different countries separately. The AS9100 standard was first released in October 1999 by the Society of Automotive Engineers and the European Association of Aerospace Industries, but it continues to evolve; AS9100-C was released in 2009, and AS9100-D was released in September of this year (2016). AS9100 is Concerned with Processes How do the all the processes in the company interact and integrate? Organizations keeping...
Three Alternatives to IGES

Three Alternatives to IGES

In Six Reasons to Avoid IGES Files, we made the case that IGES, at 20 years old, is no longer an optimal format for manufacturing. In this article we’ll look at three categories of format that have proven success in manufacturing. The best alternatives to IGES, in order of preference: #1 – Go Native There is often a reasonable bridge to be found between the format you’ve been given and the CAD system you need to bring it into. The best possible workflow is to get the native file from your customer or supplier, open it in your CAD system and make the necessary edits, and then give it back to the customer or supplier in their native format again. For...