For those involved in system design and development, CAD migration tools are a necessity. CAD migration refers to the way in which data is exchanged between electrical or mechanical CAD systems running on different formats. Because the data must be translated from one format to another, it is also called CAD translation.
CAD translation is needed for many reasons. It allows collaboration between OEMs and their suppliers, and communication between electrical and mechanical design engineers working in parallel on the same projects. Systems with long product lifecycles, such as military hardware, may have been engineered using CAD design tools which are now out-of-date and no longer supported by the vendors. In order to avoid the costs and problems of accessing this data, it needs to be migrated into modern systems, for which CAD translation tools are needed.
There are many CAD migration packages on the market, but few support all platforms. Interoperability between ECAD and MCAD systems is a major challenge in the engineering industry, especially now so many mechanically engineered products have factory-fitted embedded firmware.
Back in 1999, a NIST (National Institute of Standards and Technology) study reported CAD translation costs were $1 billion per annum for the automotive industry alone. Today, the costs are even higher. Much of this is down to incompatibility of CAD design formats between engineers and OEMs. In 2007, a survey revealed that when OEMs exchanged 3D rendering and modeling data with engineers, what they received back was in its correct format less than 35% of the time.
At Enventure Technologies, we offer a wide range of CAD, CAM and CAE services. Our CAD translation solutions support most platforms.