31 May 2008

CAD File Formats

Since there is a lot of confusion about CAD files, I thought some of this would be helpful.

Almost every CAD program has their own binary CAD format. And most CAD formats have many versions! For example, AutoCAD 12 cannot read AutoCAD 14 DWG any more than Word 97 can read Office XP docs.See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Category:CAD_file_formats

There are some "more or less generic formats" used for exchange. Here are some:
DXF (many versions over the years)
IGES (Current version 5.3 ?)
STEP (*.stp - be careful of this one - several versions called "application protocols)
STL (for polygon models)
XYZ (just coordinate data for "point cloud")
DWG (Autodesk proprietary made public by ODA see http://www.opendwg.com/)
ACIS *.sat 3D Solid ModelsParasolid x_t 3D Solid Models
HPGL - Hewlett Packard Plotting data files
SVG - A new XML vector data format, could be used in CAD

That's just the tip of the iceberg.Almost every CAD has their own format:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_CAD_companies

It is possible to convert between CAD formats. Several things are required. Both formats must support the entities (CAD object types) that are being converted. A software program is also need that can provide the actual translation. CADDIT is a regional distributor for TransMagic CAD Translation Software, as well as providing CAD conversion services themselves.


M. Sylvain Tremblay said...

I have a very good program for me, CadStd, but that save only in cad, and export in svg, dxf and hpgl extensions. I searched hard to find a converter from cad to jpg, to publish on the web, like on my blog, but I realized that it is very rare, I am asking to myself if it really exists.
Do you have an idea to help me? How can I convert my cad files that I do with CadStd to jpg files for publishing on the web?

WeBViDeOKLiP said...

how to know that whether the cad model is in ascii or binary?
for example catia and solidwork?

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