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Digital Model Formats - The Many Flavors of 3D CAD

We would like to take a little pause here and discuss things you can do with a  CAD  model. It led to questions like how to use the OBJ file and how it's different from an STL? Can an  IGES  and a STEP file be used for the same thing? We call the "Flavours" of CAD that provide the shortlist to help clear some details.

VARIOUS CAD FLAVORS:

  • OB体育ob体育官网 - This is a native AutoCAD drawing file
  • ASCII (or ASC) – an X, Y, Z point cloud file in ASCII text format.
  • IGES – "Initial Graphics Exchange Specification" - a neutral format for exchanging CAD data between many different software programs
  • DXF – "Drawing Interchange File" - a neutral version of a OB体育ob体育官网 file
  • OBJ – an open data format that represents the vertices of polygons
  • SLDPRT – a native CAD format for SolidWorks
  • PRT – a native  CAD format for Pro/ ENGINEER  and NX
  • STEP – "Standard for the Exchange of Product model data" (ISO 10303), an advanced neutral format for exchanging CAD data between many software programs.
  • STL – "Standard Tessellation Language" - a polygonal model format similar to OBJ and several others
  • WRL (VRML) – "Virtual Reality Modelling Language," a polygonal file similar to OBJ, STL and several others and can include colour
  • X_T - a semi-neutral CAD format
  • Wikipedia maintains a list of CAD file formats that interest List of File Formats adding Computer-aided design.

NEUTRAL FORMATS:

  • From the above 0..list, one can notice neutral CAD formats that come with specifically IGES and STEP formats. The two formats create a neutral exchange of 3D CAD data across different CAD packages.
  • IGES created in 1979 along with the group of users, and it supports the Department of Defence (DoD) and NIST with exchanging data with ease. Since the late '80s'80s, the DoD has offered Digital Project Manufacturing Data (PMI) with deliverables in IGES format.
  • STEP offer ISO standard released in 1994 with becoming a "successor" to IGES. At the same time, using it with not replace the IGES format.

EXTRA FLAVORS:

While the above examples, it comes with the standard across CAD packages. It uses industries like Architecture. 3D modelling mainly uses computer graphics with their packages and file types. We like to think of these as extra flavours, like CAD dessert.

3D Graphics – 3D graphics formats generally work based on the package. Few popular graphics programs come with 3D +Studio Max, Lightwave and Maya. Few popular gaming companies, including Blizzard Entertainment and other film studios, often develop their in-house formats. However, many consumer 3D graphics packages can import OBJ files.

3D Modelling for Architecture: It comes with a new modelling style for facilities, such as buildings and processing plants, which are developing rapidly. The CAD software contains a relational database component to store metadata for the design entities, such as the style and make of windows or doors or the schedule of the I-beams and piping. The new class of software called BIM mainly uses building information modelling to combine facilities management into the database concept.

By checking the above examples, it's just a tiny taste that comes with the "flavours" of CAD. But they are the most common files used. Hopefully, this will help to get a better understanding. If you have any queries, ask for a 3D  service  provider and contact us at info@astcad.com.au.

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