Kubotek USA Study Finds CAD Interoperability Issues Continue Throughout Product Lifecycle

Newly Released 2006 CAD Survey of More Than 2,800 Designers and Engineers Highlights Challenges Faced by Users of History-Based CAD Tools

MARLBOROUGH, Mass., Oct. 18 /PRNewswire/ -- The 2006 Kubotek USA Interoperability Survey finds continued and growing challenges for manufacturers working to get products to market quickly due to problems in the design-to-manufacturing processes, including the use of legacy data and disparate CAD systems.

The 2006 CAD Interoperability Survey is Kubotek's latest installment in an ongoing study of key issues that hamper productivity and therefore reduce efficiency in the design and manufacturing workplace. More than 2,800 CAD managers and users responded to the survey.

Kubotek has long known that interoperability issues have historically reduced the effectiveness with which designers and engineers can create, edit and import/export their models. The 2006 CAD Interoperability Survey Results shed light on the actual process employed by different CAD users and on the factors that hinder their productivity.

Kubotek found that fully 43 percent of those using history-based CAD systems need to rebuild 3D models from scratch more than 50 percent of the time in order to complete a design task because it cannot be done using the original 3D model file. A growing number, 19 percent of those surveyed, are employing alternative direct modeling tools to avoid costly and time-consuming rebuilding of models.

    The following are some highlights of the survey's findings:

    * 50 percent of all respondents indicated that they had to redesign a new
      part or tool from existing or received 3D CAD models on a weekly or even
      more frequent basis.

    * 84 percent of the more than 1000 respondents using a history-based CAD
      system to open a file and complete a redesign indicated that they need
      to rework original feature trees.  Of that group, 66 percent indicate
      that they do so at least 50 percent of the time.

    * 43 percent of all respondents indicated that they use the originating 3D
      CAD system (the system the model was generated in) less than half the
      time to make subsequent edits to the model.

    * 44 percent of respondents indicated that they receive or send two or
      more CAD files on a monthly basis which were different than their
      preferred CAD file type.

    * 37 percent of the respondents replied that they receive or send files
      created from four or more non-preferred CAD file types on a monthly

"As global competition heats up and manufacturing timeframes get squeezed it's no surprise that the vast majority of designers are reusing pre-existing models," notes Bob Bean, chief operating officer of Kubotek USA. "That in turn creates challenges for downstream manufacturers to get critical information needed to build parts. It is common to receive a model from a customer, supplier, or even a fellow employee that was created using a CAD tool that differs from the user's preferred tool. Unfortunately, the imported model frequently has problems that must be worked around."

In addition to providing a general overview of the industry, the survey also provides interesting vertical segment data and gives CAD/CAM users a deeper understanding of the issues which may limit their performance. The complete survey results are available at http://www.kubotekusa.com/company/interopsurvey/index.asp.

Kubotek Mission: Advancing the Promise of Data Exchange

Kubotek is a pioneer in the area of CAD interoperability. The annual survey continues to shed light on the complex issues of the design-to-manufacture process. With that critical information, Kubotek continually refines its products and services to assist all phases of product development in order to overcome interoperability problems. For example, Kubotek recently announced advancements in model simplification technology which can be used to produce compact, precise and high-fidelity design models using either legacy or imported CAD model data (for full details, see http://www.kubotekusa.com/news_events/press_releases/pr_10_16_2006.html). The company also sponsors events where the industry can explore, understand and resolve these issues.

This year's survey results are just one way CAD design professionals can understand how to reduce the inefficiency resulting from interoperability issues and curtail the need to rebuild imported CAD models from scratch.

About Kubotek USA

Kubotek USA, Inc., headquartered in Marlborough, MA, is a wholly owned subsidiary of Kubotek Corporation. Kubotek USA develops and manufactures KeyCreator software (formerly CADKEY) and is also responsible for sales, marketing, distribution and support for the Americas.

Visit Kubotek at: http://www.kubotekusa.com

Kubotek, KeyCreator, and CADKEY are registered trademarks or trademarks of Kubotek Corporation. All other brand and product names are trademarks or registered trademarks of their respective owners.

    Gloria Martel                       Joseph Rigoli
    Kubotek USA                         Davies Murphy Group
    (508) 229-2020                      781-418-2400 x423
Email Contact              
Email Contact

Web site: http://www.kubotekusa.com/

Review Article
  • October 09, 2008
    Reviewed by 'Mike LaCroix'
    While the article was short and concise it did not provide any new information. I was expecting to read about specific issues and insight on how these issues might be handled. It would appear that I would have had to sign up for the full study to hopefully get that type of information. It would seem that this article is just a stepping stone to gather personal information for Kubotek's information data base of potential customers.
    Just a not on my part, there will ALWAYS be interoperability issues between CAD systems as each company that produces CAD software will want their product to be better than the competitions product and that is maintained in the objects attributes and file format. While transfering files store in Parasolid or ACIS "transport" files is done routinely, all of the attributes are stripped away which is what customers don't want. Also, there is the issue of cost. Most smaller companies buy mid-priced CAD software (Solidworks, etc.) as they can justify that cost, NOT the cost of systems like CATIA and NX but companies like UGS need to have features and capabilities to justify the high cost of their product and it is these features that prevent interoperability between CAD systems. Until such time, that there is a single file format (and possibly a single universal 3D kernel) and the difference in one CAD system versus another is the interface to the user and how models are created, there will ALWAYS be interoperability issues.
    Mike LaCroix

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