If you’re eager to save design time and money by incorporating 3D printing into an existing production process, communication is key.
In recent years product lifecycle management (PLM) software, such as SAP Distributed Manufacturing, Siemens NX, and 3DEXPERIENCE, have adapted to include more intuitive features for remote collaboration, and the clear, effective communication of ideas.
From the start, CADEX, a Russian software start-up, has been developing the CAD Exchanger product suite with seamless co-operation in mind.
3D Printing Industry spoke to Ramil Gasanov, Senior Technical Marketing Engineer at CAD Exchanger to learn more.
3D file access without the need for software
The primary challenges that CADEX is seeking to overcome with the Exchanger suite are data conversion and visualization. Ramil explains, “Many many CAD files cannot be printed right away. In order to convert them people can either purchase a fully-featured CAD system (paying several thousands of dollars per license), or desktop converters, which are relatively cheaper.”
In addition, “Commonly, managers on the customer side do not have 3D software installed on their machines, so they cannot view 3D files.”
CAD Exchanger Cloud allows the free-viewing of 3D models without the need for CAD software. Browser-based, any user with an internet connection can view and annotate designs to a set of input-based permissions. The platform also has a number of enhanced security features, allowing for the private sharing of files and a version suitable for in-house usage that adheres to strict privacy policies.
A 3D file viewed in CAD Exchanger Cloud shows a full breakdown of all the the product’s components, making it easy to examine and identify potential changes in a design.
This interface also allows a user to easily add annotations to points on the product, creating a seamless feedback loop. As explained in CADEX documentation “When [a] user adds a note, the system will keep track of camera position, so adding a few notes will create a mini-tour, suitable for showcasing your design to a customer.”
CAD Exchanger Cloud also automatically generates a small snippet of code that can be used to embed interactive 3D models into web pages to build a portfolio of work.
For handling sensitive information, and sharing a design while protecting it’s IP, the sender can share a file privately. By default, this method shares a file as view-only. The original designer retains full control of permission shared with other team members, determining whether a file can be downloaded, annotated and redistributed.
Public is the most suitable when sharing a design portfolio. With this share mode, anyone with the 3D model’s URL can view a design. This can also be protected by a password if necessary.
According to CADEX, CAD Exchanger is already used by more than 6,000 engineers in 55+ countries around the world. Highly profile customers of the software suite include GE, Fujitsu, NOKIA and Stanley Black & Decker.
CAD Exchanger Cloud has applications available for Windows, MacOS, Linux and Android operating systems. The platform works with all common 3D file formats; STEP, IGES, ACIS, Parasolid, JT, Rhino, STL, OBJ, X3D and VRML, and also allows users to convert files to a convenient file format to download and work with offline.
As CAD Exchanger Cloud is still in the beta stage, it is currently available to download for free.
Nominate 3D software of the year now in the 2018 3D Printing Industry Awards.
Featured image shows Complex CAD file in CAD Exchange Cloud 3D viewer. Image via CADEX