CAD Exchanger 3.1.2 Available

Homegrown converter handles solid to mesh conversion and vice versa.

(Image courtesy of CADEX.)

(Image courtesy of CADEX.)

CADEX is a Russian company founded in 2014 by Roman Lygin as a side hobby. Its main product for end-users is CAD Exchanger, which enables data exchange and visualization in the multi-CAD world. It makes a set of tools for end-users and development kits for developers for sharing and visualization of 3D CAD data. CAD Exchanger allows users to work with more than 30 3D formats. Its tools are used by many industry leaders from around the world.

CAD Exchanger for end-users has two products. One is a locally installed viewer/converter, and the other is cloud-based. The functionality is the same between the two. There is a 3D viewer with part rotation, section view capability, exploded assemblies, measure/dimensions and show PMI. It will also show the structure of an assembly with a parts list and metadata properties. CAD Exchanger will also work with both B-rep and mesh data and switch between B-rep and mesh.

CAD Exchanger 3.10 was released in July 2021. Several key enhancements make this the best version yet for end-users:

  • 3D XML (CATIA V6/3DEXPERIENCE) import schema version 4.0-4.3, part/assembly structure, polygonal geometry, names and colors
  • Solid Edge versions 17 – 2021 import part, sheet metal and assemblies. Mesh and textures will be available in a future release.
  • Mesh colors imported to recent SOLIDWORKS versions help where missing assembly components are replaced by mesh data.
  • Covers more versions of CATIA V5R18, 19, V6, SOLIDWORKS 2021, JT 10.5 and Parasolid 33.0, 33.1
  • Read and write PMI options for both STEP and JT formats

For developers:

  • Universal reader and writer API
  • Unity integration enhancement

CADEX also uses its tools to deliver custom development services for clients who need development assistance. It offers several examples of projects it has completed for customers. These projects include a range of applications from 3D printing to web viewers and building lumber estimation apps.

CAD Exchanger will also convert data between mesh and B-rep. Going from B-rep to mesh is relatively easy because the user is decreasing the amount of accuracy in the model—going from mathematically perfect curves to shapes estimated by straight lines and flat surfaces. But going the other direction is trickier. The way CAD Exchanger handles going from mesh data to B-rep is to first warn the user that the conversion in that direction is problematic. The file may be too big, the accuracy too low, or it could be hard to get back the real shape of the model before it was saved as a tessellated format. If the user persists in the request for a mesh-to-B-rep conversion, the software just converts all of the facets to small planar surfaces. It’s not efficient or ideal, but the user has been warned. Conversions from point data to B-rep data are possible, but the point density needs to be in the range of what is seen from a high-density 3D scan and not from a low-density subdivision model.