CAD Models Accessible to All

CAD Conversion

What is CAD Conversion from SEAL Systems?

CAD systems store data in native formats. Sometimes these are open sources, often they change and always you need the original CAD system or special viewers to view or print the contents.

Such formats are not suitable for long-term archiving. If you want to archive your documents for a long time, you need document formats that cannot be changed and can still be interpreted in a secure way even after many years. Or to put it briefly: you need, for example, PDF/A as a long-term format for drawings. This format is open, standardized by industry or standardization committees and cannot be changed. In practice, this is also referred to as digital paper. Or you need one or more standardized 3D formats for parts or assemblies, such as 3D PDF, STEP or JT.

The CAD conversion solution from SEAL Systems converts your CAD documents into neutral, non-modifiable long-term formats.

Who Needs CAD Conversion?

Many users in purchasing, manufacturing, assembly and maintenance need to be provided with 2D views and printouts of CAD models frequently. However, these users can’t and don’t need to learn to use expensive, full-feature CAD systems just to get an occasional drawing. At the same time, the question arises whether you want to leave it to chance or to the user’s own decision whether he really wants to use the right view or the actually released version of the CAD model.

CAD conversion simplifies these processes in your company!

During conversion, sophisticated approval processes are defined that generate the digital paper at the desired time. Digital paper is therefore not only good for long-term archiving, but additionally whenever a company needs a secure, unchangeable stock of documents.

By the way, you do not need to be afraid of duplicated data storage. The mentioned neutral long-term formats are very small compared to a CAD model. So there is no question of “duplication”.

Which Formats Can Be Processed?

We process the models of the most important M-CAD systems:

  • Catia
  • NX
  • Creo
  • Solid Edge
  • AutoCAD
  • Inventor

So you can use our conversion systems to convert your assemblies, parts and drawings.

Your application is not included? Contact us: we will integrate it into your processes with our DPF technology.

Which Formats Can Be Generated?

From the drawings of the above CAD systems we can generate 2D neutral files, such as PDF/A, JPEG, TIFF or DXF. You need more? No problem. Just contact us!

From the 3D models we also generate Step, JT, Stl, Iges and 3D PDF. The documents of some CAD systems can also be converted into special formats such as iDrawing and iParts.

FAQ on CAD Conversion

What about Users Who also Need 3D Files?

Purchasing agents who need to make an informed decision about which part to order. Manufacturing departments who want to take a measurement from the model. Or quality assurance, which wants to enter comments on the design of a part directly in the file at the correct position. All these users need 3D files to be able to work precisely.

There are several 3D neutral formats for this, such as 3D PDF, Step, JT, Iges,STL, 3D XML… These formats can also be generated from the CAD system.

In parallel, there is also a solution without CAD. Which format you choose depends on what is to be done with the format. Sometimes it makes sense to manage several formats in parallel – we will be happy to advise you on this!

Some Drawings Need to be Printed - in bulk - Before They are Released. How is this Handled?

Of course, we can convert the corresponding files for you immediately before printing. But then there really must be no more questions during the conversion, not even from macros in the CAD model.

It is therefore always better to provide the neutral formats in advance as a digital master copy. The generation of neutral formats then does not have to take place at the time of release, but can be carried out in parallel each time the model is saved back into the PLM system.

Is it Possible to Place Identification Information on the Approved Drawings?
Marking can be done visibly with stamps and watermarks. But it is also possible to mark files internally and invisibly using metadata.

All information known at the time of release – document designations, releasers, status – can be stamped on. This can be done at any point, but also directly in the title block. Information on the use of the document – use in an assembly, sales order, parts list – is only known later in the process and is therefore added to the print output. The same applies to information about the output itself – user, date, size, scaling.

Learn More on Our Stamp & Watermark Page.

And How Does this Release and Document Information End up back in the Original CAD Model?

To ensure that your CAD designers have the same information available at every step, information that is stamped on a long-term file during release should also be visible in the CAD model. However, this does not require you to employ an expensive CAD constructor who enters a few texts in the CAD model just before it is sent for release.

This feedback is instead handled by our Property Update, which can be activated during conversion.

How Is the Conversion Automated?

SEAL Systems’ application converters are specially designed for converting application data to digital paper. They are batch-capable products that can be integrated into any conversion workflow.

Is the Original CAD Required for the Automatic Conversion?

Yes, the CAD is automated to output the CAD model in the desired or an intermediate format. Substitute applications, such as CAD Viewer, are usually not suitable for this, since they do not always guarantee 100% identity to the CAD.

What Happens to the CAD Models When the CAD System Is Updated?

CAD systems are constantly enhanced. Often it is necessary to extend the proprietary storage format of the CAD. Sometimes this even leads to incompatible changes. Users notice this when models are no longer displayed as they used to be. The probability of this to happen increases with the number of CAD updates.

This can be avoided with our solution, which converts files into the format of the new CAD version. However, this process should be carefully planned and monitored and should always be included in a CAD version change. Otherwise, you leave the quality of each CAD model individually to the user’s “Save As” button.


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