Glossary

Glossary

Wondering What a Term Means? We've Got You Covered.

3D Toolkit

A 3D toolkit -- or 3D software development kit -- is a set of software components you can use to develop 3D visualization and design applications.

3D ACIS Modeler

ACIS is a 3D geometric modeling kernel developed in-house by Spatial. It’s used by several software developers in industries such as CAD, CAE, engineering and construction, 3D animation, and shipbuilding.

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BS 1192

BS 1192 is a method to manage the production, distribution, and quality of construction information. It deploys a template for common naming conventions and a collaborative approach for use in architecture, engineering, and construction.

B-Rep

BREP Model example-1

B-Rep, an abbreviation for boundary representation, is a concept in solid modeling and computer-aided design for representing shapes within specific limits. A solid is, therefore, represented as an entire collection of surface elements within the boundary of solid and non-solid objects.

Boundary representation consists of two parts: topology and geometry.

3DM File

3DM-file-explained

A 3DM file is an open source file format which is used for 3D graphics software. Developed by the openNURBS initiative, 3DM files are inherently classified as computer-aided design (CAD) files as they can be processed by several CAD applications.

3DM files contain graphics, metadata details, and other formatting attributes such as surface, points, and curve information. Some of the software that will open, convert, or process 3DM files include Rhinoceros, SAP VEViewer, Moment of Inspiration, and Right Hemisphere Deep View.

CAD

computer-aided-design-at-work

CAD, also known as computer aided design, is the process of using computers to create, modify, and optimize product design.

This helps facilitate the manufacturing process as it builds detailed diagrams of a product’s materials, tolerances, and dimensions which can then be used in a practical context.

CAD reduces both product development costs and time to market.

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CAD Associativity

CAD associativity is the ability to maintain links to the original CAD model such that any design updates can be automatically merged in.

 

CAD Import

Import CAD designed in any of the popular systems like CATIA, SolidWorks, Creo etc. without the need to license any of these software.

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CAD File Format

File-formats-used-in-CAD

Computer-aided design (CAD) files contain both 2D or 3D designs. They’re used to create models or architecture plans. 2D CAD files are referred to as drawings, while 3D files are often called parts or assemblies.

CAD file formats include but are not limited to the following:

  • .123 - PCB 123 circuit board design
  • .123C - Autodesk 123C drawing
  • .123D - Autodesk 123D drawing
  • .2D - VersaCAD 2D drawing file
  • .3DC - RoboCell Cell Setup File

CAD Morphing

The ability to morph BRep models, given a vector field of deformation. Based on the Smooth Displacement Adjustment method (SDA).

CAE

computer-aided-engineering

CAE, or computer-aided engineering, refers to the entire product engineering process from design to planning the eventual manufacturing.

CAE allows designers and engineers perform tests and simulate the physical properties of the eventual product without needing an actual, real-world prototype.

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COBie BIM Files

COBie -- short for Construction Operations Building Information Exchange -- is a widely used information exchange standard. It is used to provide facility managers with information about equipment and materials on-site.

For example, if used for a building project, COBie BIM includes information about the construction materials of the building, its internal structures, and its systems (e.g. HVAC). Facility managers can use that information to know when and how to maintain the building and its components.

Direct Editing

One-step transformations of CAD faces as well that eliminates the complexity of dealing with intricate sequence of design features.

DWG File

Native to AutoCAD, Autodesk’s computer-aided design (CAD) suite, DWG is both a file format and a CAD operating environment. Released in 1982, DWG files are among the most popular and widely utilized CAD file formats among engineers and designers in almost every industry.

DWG files can store 2D and 3D design data and metadata. Besides AutoCAD, DWG files can also be opened in IntelliCAD, Open Design Alliance applications, and Caddie.

Extrusion

extrusion fabrication process

Extrusion is used to fabricate parts from fluoropolymers. This process usually results in a product that’s semi-finished and requires additional work before it’s ready.

The main advantages of extrusion are that it’s able to create complex cross-sections and form parts that have an excellent surface finish.

Clash Detection

A ‘clash’ is the result of two elements in your design taking up the same space. In Building Information Modeling (BIM), Clash Detection is the technique of identifying if -- and where or how -- two parts of the building (e.g., plumbing, walls, etc) are interfering with one another.

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Faceting

Faceting is the process of removing parts of a polygon, but without resulting in new vertices.

Finite Element Method

The Finite Element Method (FEM) is a method of conducting a Finite Element Analysis (FEA) of a physical phenomenon. FEM can be used for studying heat transfer, mass transport, fluid flow, electromagnetic potential, and structural integrity. It works by breaking up a model into smaller bits and, in turn, running an algorithm for strength, stretch, and other attributes.

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Geometric Modeling Kernel

A geometric modeling kernel is a 3D modeling component found in modeling software, such as computer-aided design (CAD). 

You can think of a geometric kernel, or “solid modeling kernel,” as the core of a CAD system. Without the kernel, it would not be possible to produce the images you see on the screen. 

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Hybrid Modeling

In computer-aided design (CAD), hybrid modelling is a method of using different modeling techniques (with different rulesets) in the same workflow.

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IFC

IFC-3D-file

IFC is short for International Foundation Class and files using the IFC file format are Building Information Modelling (BIM) files.

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IGES

Initial-graphics-exchange-specification

IGES, or the Initial Graphics Exchange Specification, is a vendor-agnostic file format which facilitates the digital exchange and transfer of information among computer-aided design (CAD) systems.

CAD users can leverage IGES to exchange product data models with one another. These can be viewed in the form of circuit diagrams, wireframes, freeform surfaces, or solid modeling representations. The specification was first developed by the U.S. National Bureau of Standards in January 1980.

JT File

JT-Jupiter-Tessellation-data-format

The Jupiter Tessellation (JT) is a 3D data format which corresponds to an ISO standard. It is used for product visualization, collaboration, CAD data exchange, and for long-term data retention. It contains a combination of approximate data, boundary representation surfaces, product and manufacturing information, and metadata which is extrapolated from a native CAD system or inserted by a product data management system.

Lofting

3d-lofting-cad-command

Lofting is a command in CAD software that makes complex and organic shaped geometries. It’s developed from planar sections spaced alongside an approximate path.

Meshing

Meshing -- or mesh generation -- is the process of generating polygonal or polyhedral mesh (i.e., the shape of the polygon/polyhedral is made up of multiple edges, faces and vertices).

Meshing is often used in software-based simulation for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD).

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NWT

NWD is a computer-aided design (CAD) file developed by Navisworks. Files saved in the NWD file format are used to view 3D models, such as a building or structural designs. Like BIM suites, NWD files can also be used for analysis, such as clash detection and others.

Parasolid

Parasolid-3d-software

Parasolid is a type of geometric modeling kernel that allows users to create and edit models. These kernels can be licensed by other companies to use in their 3D computer graphics software products.

The capabilities of Parasolid include advanced surfacing, thickening and hollowing, blending and filleting and sheet modeling. It also provides wireframe and drafting, tessellation and model data inquiries. Parasolid files cannot communicate and migrate 2D data such as lines and arcs and therefore only work with 3D solids and surface data.

Part File Format

part-file-format

The Part file format is a file created as a result of a partial download i.e. where the download hasn’t finished completely. It’s created so that the file-sharing program can store incoming data. It’s possible to restart the download at a later time using the same program which initially sent the request. Some Part files, particularly audio or video files, can be renamed and used by specific media players to only play the part that has been downloaded.

Product Structure Modeling

product structure modeling in manufacturing

Product structure modeling lists all the components needed to develop or manufacture a certain product, also known as a bill of materials.

This is a critical record that lists all the raw materials, components, parts, and specific quantities of each to manufacture a product.

Product structure modeling works well with configurable products where changing one part can have an impact on other models.

Revit File Format

What-is-a-revit-file

‘Revit’ is the name of Autodesk’s Building Information Modeling (BIM) software and its file format (rvt). Revit is a popular BIM file format in the Architecture, Engineering, and Construction (AEC) industry for designing and constructing buildings and other structures.

Besides native Revit file formats, the Revit software also supports common computer-aided design (CAD) formats as well, such as DGN, SAT, DXF, DWF, and others.

In addition to modeling and designing buildings, Revit can also be used to analyze its meta-data for analysis, clash coordination, and other tasks.

Rhino File Format

Rhino-3d-file-type

Rhino, or Rhino3D, is a 3D computer graphics and computer-aided design (CAD) application software that was originally developed by Robert McNeel & Associates in 1980. It is based on the NURBS mathematical model which aims to produce mathematically precise representations of curves and freeform surfaces in computer graphics.

Rhino is compatible with the following files:

  • 3DM save
  • 3DS import
  • DWG/DXF import
  • DWG/DXF export
  • FBX export
  • IGES export
  • KML export

SAT File Format

SAT-file-type

The SAT file extension stores three-dimensional geometry information within a standard text file format. It’s used to exchange 3D data between multiple systems and is saved in Spatial’s ACIS solid modeling format.

SAT files are used in the computer-aided design industries, as well as shipbuilding, 3D animation, computer-aided engineering, and more.

Semantic PMI Import

Extraction of semantic information from PMI (product manufacturing information) or manufacturing annotations like geometric dimensions, tolerances, symbolic thread features etc.

Simulation Modeling Process

simulation modeling process

Simulation is a type of modeling process and helps you create and analyze a digital prototype to figure out how a physical model would operate in the real world. Simulation modeling helps both designers and engineers understand how a part could potentially fail, the conditions that might make this a reality, and the maximum load it can withstand.

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Solid Modeling

Solid Modeling is the computer modeling of 3D solid objects. The objective of Solid Modeling is to ensure that every surface is geometrically correct.

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SOLIDWORKS Model Based Definition 

solidworks-model-based-definition

The Solidworks Model Based Definition is used with 3D design software to communicate product and manufacturing information in 3D without the need for clunky and time-consuming 2D manual drawing processes. It’s designed to reduce manufacturing errors, eliminate potential design problems, and lower procurement costs. Solidworks Model Based Definition is designed to comply with industry standards such as ASME Y 14.41, ISO 16792, DIN ISO 16792, and GB/T 24734.

SOLIDWORKS File Format

Solidworks-files

Developed by Dassault Systèmes, SolidWorks is a solid modeling computer-aided design (CAD) and computer-aided engineering (CAE) program that primarily runs on Windows.

In 2013, more than two million engineers and designers spanning 165,000 companies used SolidWorks.

The software is able to import the following types of files:

  • Drawing Exchange Format (.dxf)
  • Drawing (.dwg)
  • Adobe Photoshop (.psd)
  • Adobe Illustrator (.ai)
  • Parasolid (.x_t)
  • STEP (.stp)
  • ACIS (.sat)
  • IGES (.igs, .iges)

Subtract

SUBTRACT-function-CAD

With the SUBTRACT function in CAD software, it’s possible to create a 2D region object by subtracting one set of existing ones from another, overlapping set.

Surface Modeling

Surface Modeling is the method of showing or presenting solid objects. The process requires you to convert between different 3D modeling types, such as converting the 3D object to show procedural surfaces, validate imperfections, and apply smoothness. While more complex than Wireframe Modeling, Surface Modeling is easier to achieve than Solid Modeling.

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Sweep

CAD-sweep-command

Sweep is a command in CAD software that allows you to create a 3D solid or 3D surface by ‘sweeping’ a 2D object along an open or closed path.

Wireframe Modeling

wireframe-modeling-in-computer-aided-design

Wireframe modeling is the least complicated method for rendering objects in computer-aided design.

In this particular technique, all surfaces are visibly outlined including internal components that might have otherwise been hidden from view.

Like surface and solid modeling, wireframe modeling allows users to visualize the underlying design structure of 3D models.

WRL File Format

wrl-file-1

WRL files are an extension of the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) format . VRML file types enable browser plugins to display virtual reality environments. The term VRML is often referred to as “worlds” or vrml world file - which is also what WRL actually stands for.

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X_T File Format

X_T-File-Type

X_T file extensions are referred to as both Parasolid Model Part files or modeller transmit files. They’re essentially text-based and used with different CAD programs that read them to identify the geometry, color, and other details of 3D models.

It’s possible to open X_T files with free text editors like Windows Notepad, but this will only give you header data such as the date the file was created and other information about the model. You won’t be able to extract specific information the way CAD software does.