Many companies who jumped on the CADCAM bandwagon early, now have to decide what to do with files stored in CAD systems which are no longer `active’. A company with a very neat solution is Performance Graphics, combining two software products: Archive Alive and Data Migrator. Using STEP standard rules, Archive Alive allows legacy CAD data to be extracted from the old and transferred to a new system, typically a server for the new CAD workstations.

This data could be standard DXF or IGES files or extracted direct from AutoCAD, CADS3, CADDS4X, CADDS5, CADAM, CATIA, I-DEAS, Intergraph EMS, Medusa, Microstation, PDGS and Personal Designer. Model data can also be extracted from any ACIS-based modeller.

Once on the server, the data can be accessed from any PC or workstation, viewed, rotated, measured and plotted.

Data Migrator allows highly accurate import of CAD data from the old into the new system. The engineer can create parts with the new system for future engineering data re-use, but instead of modelling them in isolation from drawings, they can be designed within the existing (released) assembly models.

The model can be automatically verified with respect to function or fit, by taking advantage of clearance checking in the new system. It also speeds up the adoption of the new CAD system by allowing access to previously designed models but without the ability to save them back into the old CAD system. Platforms currently supported include Windows NT or Windows `95 and most UNIX workstations.

Figure 1: Archive Alive allows designers to transfer legacy data to new CAD systems