Chuck, this is a good development in the direction of openness. Many CAE vendors allow native access to many CAD formats (e.g., COMSOL and Ansys). That a CAD vendor is doing this will open up many possibilities. The cheering is understandable.
I'm glad to see this announcement, however I'm cautiously optimistic about model integrity as the designs are transfered from one CAD environment to another. I'm wondering if a part that was created in one CAD environment will have the ability to be completely and easily edited when brought into another CAD environment. On certain very complicated parts (like highly curved plastic parts with large number of radii), I'm a little skeptical that this will be a seamless process initially.
Greg, I wish I knew the answers to your questions. PTC talked very little about this development. My sense is they were mentioning it in passing, and were shocked when the hall erupted in applause. I really don't think they were prepared to talk about it. But the applause from the audience suggests that they've struck a chord with designers.
Greg, I understand your concern about accurate translation, and there may be an easy check, which would be to translate a model from one to another, and then to a third form, and the translate it from that format back to the original one, and do a comparison check. While it would not provide a cure for any problem it seems that it would at least show that the problem was present. At least, this seems like a way that could detect problems and inaccuracies. And it would be fairly quick and easy to do.
Nice way to test. Perhaps a quantitative benchmark can be created (or already has been created?) using this method. Create a benchmark 3D part using a variety of certain standard features, and after the test is complete, what percentage of these features are still correct and can be edited? It would be interesting to see the results and which CAD systems translate the best.
I really do not expect this to work well. Even the 2D environment in which I do most of my work has had great problems, I would not hold out a great deal of hope for solid modeling. Number one, I think each is convinced they have the best and they jealously guard it. Number two, it may cost them a buck or two in sales and that will not be allowed.
It is an idea worthy of applause. I certainly hope the major players will work more closely with each other. The competition in CAD systems is rich and it has benefited the state of the art. The only thing missing has been intercompatibility (and excessive price of a single license!). This openness to sharing and being able to allow people who are users of your competitors software to work with your own will only benefit these companies and the industry as a whole. It's a good trend.
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