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Measurements alone do not provide value, key dimensional characteristics and analysis are what is key, as shown in this example from Metrolog X4 from Metrologic Group.


“MBD hasn’t quite caught on yet at the job-shop level; in auto and aero manufacturing you have this potentially huge econ- omy of Tier Two and Tier Three suppliers,” he said. Geomagic Control X, his company’s software for metrology planning, includes many native CAD importers, including those which contain model-based GD&T defi nition. One of the reasons he thinks this is true is that these


smaller Tier Two and Tier Three shops are forced to deal with many different fl avors of CAD. “More historically, the kind of predominant versions of MBD were attached to the major CAD packages, such as NX, CATIA, and CREO, each of which have their own nuances and downstream usability, because of their format as well as magnitude of seats in the fi eld. And recently SolidWorks, with a huge installed base, enters the scene with MBD that’s avail- able through third-party translators,” he said, noting that Control X recently added a SolidWorks translator. It is very hard for a smaller job shop to only accept work in a single native CAD format of their choosing, and because of that neutral CAD defi nition becomes the popular choice for design transfer, thereby historically losing all intelligence and nativity.


So, he sees the adoption of future neutral formats, such as STEP 3.0 in conjunction with AP242 for GD&T, as the next step. “Though GD&T itself is a standard, each CAD system has its own native fi le format description and MBD is written in that format. Because of this the success of MBD downstream then becomes the problem of the CAD translator. The cool thing for the future is having an open, neutral standard for MBD, that is a good step. That means more people will accept it,” he said.


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3D Systems Inc. 844-643-1001 / www.3dsystems.com/


Autodesk Inc. 415-507-5000 / www.autodesk.com/


Hexagon Manufacturing Intelligence 800-274-9433 / www.HexagonMetrology.us


InnovMetric Software 418-688-2061 / www.innovmetric.com/


Metrologic Group 248-504-6200 / www.metrologic.fr/


Siemens PLM Software 800-498-5351 / www.plm.automation.siemens.com


Verisurf Software Inc. 888-713-7201 / www.verisurf.com/software


August 2017 | AdvancedManufacturing.org 81


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