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.

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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.

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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.

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3DM File


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.

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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.

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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.


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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


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.

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CAD Morphing

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

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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.

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Convert CATPART to 3D-XML

Spatial’s 3D InterOp tool can automatically convert CATPART files to 3D-XML files, offering comprehensive 3D-XML repair and healing, and reducing errors in translation.

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Spatial’s 3D InterOp tool is used by major industry players, seamlessly translating a range of file types used by different CAD applications.

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Convert CATPART to STL

Spatial’s 3D InterOp tool can convert CATPART files to STL files, enabling comprehensive STL repair and healing, and reducing translation errors.

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Convert CATPART to STP

Spatial’s 3D InterOp tool can convert CATPART files to STP files, offering high-quality STEP data conversion, comprehensive STEP repair and healing, preserving design intent with fewer errors.

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Convert IGES to 3D-XML

Spatial’s 3D InterOp tool converts IGES files to 3D-XML files automatically, reducing errors in translation, and providing comprehensive 3D-XML repair and healing.

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Convert IGES to CAD

Spatial’s 3D InterOp tool converts IGES to various CAD format files, providing a high-quality image robust for modeling operations and queries, with automatic geometry and topology healing.

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Convert IGES to STL

Spatial’s 3D InterOp tool is used by major industry players to translate files used by a wide range of CAD applications while reducing errors and accelerating the design process.

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Convert IGES to STP

Spatial’s 3D InterOp’s native APIs allow users to translate a wide range of CAD file formats for your applications, offering exceptional quality and reducing licensing costs.

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Direct Editing

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

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DWG File

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

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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.

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

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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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How to Open IGES File in AutoCAD

If you’re having difficulties opening an IGES file in AutoCAD, follow these 5 simple steps:

- Select the “Insert” tab, followed by the “Import” panel
- Then select “Import.”
- Then select “IGES” (or .igs, .iges)
- You can then enter in the name of the .iges file in “File Name”, or you can find and select the one you want to import manually.
- Open the file

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How to Open STP File in AutoCAD

Importing or “opening” STP files in AutoCAD is a straightforward process that can be accomplished in a few steps. You’ll be able to use one of two methods to open STP files.More Info

How to Repair STL Files

When .stl files are imported into a 3D application it can result in errors such as misaligned edges, holes in the model, and floating parts which do not properly align with what the original model looked like. These errors can be avoided by using a 3D translation tool like Spatial’s 3D Interop.

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How to View 3D XML File Format

The .3dxml zipped file type can be viewed using Dassault Systemes proprietary software 3D XML viewer. You can visit the developers website in order to download the 3DXML player.

You can download the free online 3dxml viewer, which is a standalone application, from their website - the 3D XML viewer is available for Windows platform only, as OSX is no longer supported. .3dxml file formats can be viewed using your web browser, both online and offline."

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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 is short for International Foundation Class and files using the IFC file format are Building Information Modelling (BIM) files. However, unlike other BIM file formats, IFC files are platform neutral and can be read and edited by any BIM software.

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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.

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JT File


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.

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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.

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Meshing is often used in software-based simulation for Finite Element Analysis (FEA) and Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). It can significantly impact the accuracy of the simulation and the resources required to perform the simulation.

For the definition of meshing, types of meshing, and how to optimize meshes, keep reading.

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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 building or structural designs. Like BIM suites, NWD files can also be used for analysis, such as clash detection and others.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Revit File Format


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

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Rhino File Format


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.

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SAT File Format


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.

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Semantic PMI Import

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

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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.

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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 


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.

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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.

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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.

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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 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.

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What is a 3D XML File Format Used For?

3D XML format is a proprietary zip archive file developed and supported by Dassault Systemes - it contains 3D representation files (like surface data, or a mesh) and a BOM file that can be viewed using a 3D XML player from 3DVIA.

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What is a Catpart File Extension?

The .catpart file extension was created by the 3D CAD manufacturing application called CATIA V5 - catpart (or “CATPart”) is used to store part models and includes 3D geometrical and structural data. These catpart files can also be combined with additional parts and info in order to create a catproduct assembly file.

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What is an IGES File?

A .iges file format is used to transfer two-dimensional or three-dimensional data for a design between CAD software, and can be saved as IGES or a .IGS file. This file type most commonly contains information about a model's surface - but may also house data such as the wireframe and/or solid model, as well as circuit information. Like other file types, IGES files are in ASCII format on the Initial Graphics Exchange Specification standard.

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What is an STL File?

The .stl is a file extension that is usually created within a CAD environment and is designed to store information for 3D models. It is a simple collection of triangles representing the end product of the modeling process and is designed to show only surface attributes of the object without color, texture and other elements.

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What is an STP File?

STEP (or STP) is a popular file format used to store and transfer 3D and 2D geometry models, parts, and design data.

It is a widely-used file format, supported by popular computer-aided manufacturing (CAM) and computer-aided design (CAD) software. STP files offer high fidelity and interoperability, potentially easing design workflows.

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Wireframe Modeling


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.

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WRL File Format


WRL files are an extension of the Virtual Reality Modeling Language (VRML) format . VRML file types enable browser plugins to display virtual reality environments.

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X_T File Format


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.

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