CAD Exchanger addon

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yorik
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CAD Exchanger addon

Postby yorik » Thu May 04, 2017 4:57 pm

I recently coded a new addon that uses CAD Exchanger to add several new file format import/export options to FreeCAD:

https://github.com/yorikvanhavre/CADExchanger

CAD Exchanger is a paid application (you can download a 30-day trial for free). So far the price is not informed on their website, you must send them an email to ask, but they told me they are working on something easier *EDIT* There is now a link to the pricing page inside the CAD Exchanger application.

When the addon is installed (via the addon manager), you get a new "CAD Exchanger" preferences page in Edit -> Preferences -> Import / Export. From there, you can enable any of the file formats supported by CAD Exchanger. You must also specify the path to your CAD Exchanger Converter executable. Then, by using any of the file formats from standard FreeCAD import/export (FreeCAD must be restarted before), the converter will be ran under the hood and will convert to/from the given format to Brep, which is OCC's native file format, which always gives an impeccable import in FreeCAD.

There are two things that are pretty interesting:
  • CAD Exchanger does a pretty fast mesh-to-shape conversion, so you can use this to import, for example, an OBJ file directly as a Shape. So far everything gets triangulated, though.
  • The biggest interest is the support for additional file formats not available in FreeCAD, for ex. Parasolid XT, Rhino 3DM or ACIS/SAT files.
The ACIS/SAT format, for example, allows to beautifully import Autodesk Revit families into FreeCAD:
Screenshot showing the import of Revit families into FreeCAD through the ACIS SAT format.png
Screenshot showing the import of Revit families into FreeCAD through the ACIS SAT format.png (265.66 KiB) Viewed 5658 times
The CEO of CAD Exchanger is Roman Lygin, one of the former core programmers of OCC and a famous figure of the OCC world. I really hope we can achieve some good synergy here between a free software project and a commercial app, which can reach goals that are beyond our reach as an open-source project. They are hungry for feedback and feature requests on this, so don't hesitate to bury them under requests (DWG support anyone? :mrgreen: )!

I'll notify them about this thread so they'll hopefully see any feedback or comments posted here.
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Roman Lygin
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Re: CAD Exchanger addon

Postby Roman Lygin » Fri May 05, 2017 1:01 pm

Hi Yorik,

Thank you for this featured post and for the opportunity !

Our team has been honored to support this initiative and be certain part of your community effort. We will be happy to follow up with any inquiry the community might have. Just drop us an email at info@cadexchanger.com.

On a technical side, using a .brep format was a low hanging fruit to enable quick connection of FreeCAD with other formats we support. This comes with obvious limitations that only geometry is currently being transferred, with all meta data (colors, names, etc) being lost. We will be happy to enhance interoperability to retain all supported data items once we have critical mass of prospective users.

Thanks again for your initiative and this opportunity.

Take care,
Roman
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bernd
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Re: CAD Exchanger addon

Postby bernd » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:37 pm

Mhh sounds very good. Nemetschek Allplans own geometry engine only supports flat faces. They licensed Parasolid to not step back in the battle of CAD software far behind some others. That would mean we may could import curved geometry from Allplan into FreeCAD similar way Yorik did with Revit data.

I may get in touch with the Allplan Support, but what kind of file format do I need ? Is there a native Parasolid file format ?

Bernd
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Re: CAD Exchanger addon

Postby bernd » Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:40 pm

@roman:
I assume CAD Exchanger supports step, but does it support IFC as well ? I could not found anything on the web page.

Bernd
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NormandC
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Re: CAD Exchanger addon

Postby NormandC » Sat Jul 01, 2017 3:47 pm

bernd wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:37 pm
Is there a native Parasolid file format ?
Yes, in two forms: text (*.x_t) or binary (*.x_b).
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yorik
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Re: CAD Exchanger addon

Postby yorik » Sat Jul 01, 2017 5:04 pm

bernd wrote:
Sat Jul 01, 2017 1:40 pm
does it support IFC as well ? I could not found anything on the web page.
Not yet I think, but they told me it's in their plans.
jhk1968
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Re: CAD Exchanger addon

Postby jhk1968 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:39 am

Hello all,
a question to this topic.
In the past, in the moment and in the next 2 months I have inventor available.
For the future I want to work with freecad. I make parts, assmblys and drawings of both for electrical machines. I think the availabilities of part and assembly wb meets my requirements (1000x thanks for this !!), but not the drawing and the techdraw wb.
In the last weeks I test to export via step to inventor and make the drawing there. But If a change is done, relating not only the dimensions but relating the number of lines and surfaces, all dimension in the inventor draw are gone and I start from zero making the dimensions and tolerances and so on.
On this way I looked some youtube tutorials, in one of them a symmetry line was made in the 3D model to make it visible in the drawing. This is not the way I want to work.
Is there a tool like cadexchange and a drawing tool (opensource ore professional) which can be used to make views, intersections, detailed views, applying dimensions, tolerances, comentars,..., keeping the relationchip to the freecad model in case of changes.
Or what is the timeline plan in the investigation of techdraw wb ? And might this timeline be compressed by donating ? And: is this is a dishonest offer ?
Thanks in before and
Kind regards
Jörg
jhk1968
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Re: CAD Exchanger addon

Postby jhk1968 » Sun Aug 19, 2018 9:47 am

sorry, I am working with

OS: Windows 7
Word size of OS: 64-bit
Word size of FreeCAD: 64-bit
Version: 0.17.13519 (Git)
Build type: Release
Branch: releases/FreeCAD-0-17
Hash: 1a8b868018f45ea486c0023fdbfeb06febc1fb89
Python version: 2.7.14
Qt version: 4.8.7
Coin version: 4.0.0a
OCC version: 7.2.0
Locale: German/Germany (de_DE)

regards
jörg