CAD conversion and editing

Claus Christmann hcc at
Wed Sep 24 20:46:04 CEST 2008

Please see inline and below:

On Wednesday 24 September 2008 10:09:10 am Claus Christmann wrote:
> Please see inline and below...
> On Wednesday 24 September 2008 08:59:12 am Breakable wrote:
> > Hi,
> > Anybody got any success for editing CAD files for the phone case?
> > Basically I am trying to get them open in brlcad (which seems to be the
> > best free CAD software ever),
> > without any success yet.
> > I had some success in VariCad demo (proprietary) where parts of the
> > design are imported using STEP format, but it does not seem good enough,
> > as I see about 50% of the shapes usually.
> > IGES on the other hand seems like a total dissaster.
> The IGES files I created seemed to work in Pro/E and CATIA V5. Can you
> figure out if the files are corrupted or if it is a non-working import
> filter in brlcad that does not work?
> Have you tried opening a single file and not the complete assembly?
> > The only solution I currently see is buying or pirating the Pro/ENGINEER
> > to edit or convert them  to brlcad .g format using the Pro/E to BRLCAD
> > converter plugin for Pro/ENGINEER from the brlcad suite. Buying or
> > pirating for this task is not the option I like.
> > Anybody that has a  Pro/ENGINEER license can assist with that?
> > There is a nice description how to do it in
> >
> > in section 4.9 page 27 of pdf.
> I have access to a Pro/E licencense and can look into that. However, it
> won't happen till the weekend...

Hurray to procrastination...
Well, I downloaded brlcad and briefly looked into that conversion thing.
However, I could not figure out how to do it (again, I neither am a a regular 
Pro/E user nor have I ever heard of brlcad before).

> > After this is done properly, maybe the BRLCAD to DXF converter can be
> > used to
> > improve accessibility of design files for those that have AutoCad.
> DXF is essentially a 2D format. Since there is no conversion from 3D to 2D
> that does not lose information, a "usefull" conversion heavily depends on
> the need of the user of those 2D DXF files.
> IF the list could agree on a limited number of planes/slices through the 3D
> model I might be willing to put the time into creating them.
> > If this issue wont be resolved I don't believe a community effort to
> > build on the openness
> > of the device will ever succeed.
> >
> > Regards,
> > Ignas
> As said above, I will look into this brlcad over the weekend and look into
> the conversion of the files into the appropriate format. However, I can't
> promise anything... (BTW, I have never heard of brlcad, but I also hardly
> use anything else than CATIA these days...)
> Regards,
> Claus

It seems that I can't  (for the lag of a better word) "load" the brlcad 
converter in Pro/E. The rather vague PDF calls for a file labeled *protk.dat* 
that shoul reside inside a /pro_engineer/ directory in the brlcad branch. I 
neither could find the file nor the directory. (I only tried the Windows 
binary download of brlcad since I only have a Windows Pro/E license.)

So if anybody has a source to a step-by-step instruction on how to do the 
export from Pro/E, please let me know. Otherwise I will drop this conversion 
(as Andreas pointed out the IGES conversion seems to work after all).



Claus Christmann
Graduate Research Assistant

Georgia Institute of Technology
270 Ferst Drive
Atlanta, GA 30332-0150, USA

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