What’s new with STEP

STEP Tools has recently announced a new STEP (STandard Exchange of Product data) to VRML (Virtual Reality Modeling Language) translator. The translator can convert solids models into VRML files that can then be incorporated into HTML documents and viewed by others across the Internet using VRML browsers, such as Netscape’s Live 3D.

STEP itself is a set of ISO standards that grew from the need to represent and exchange digital product information for design and manufacturing. Using STEP, information pertaining to initial design, revisions and bill of materials, can be centrally stored and electronically shared through computer networks such as the Internet.

The STEP standards comprise a number of different components, including a modelling language, a data exchange file specification, an application programming interface and a conformance testing framework. A library of general purpose models is also provided for geometry, topology and product identification. From this library, a set of industry specific protocols have been built to address the needs of specific industries, such as drafting and automotive design. One such application protocol is the AP 203 for Configuration Controlled 3D design. Last year, General Motors in the US announced that its new STEP translation centre in Troy, MIchigan was using this very STEP standard to transfer 3D design data from an EDS Unigraphics CAD system to an IBM/Dassault CATIA system.

For more information on the STEP standards, designers are referred to the STEP Tools Web Site on http://www.steptools.com, or to PDES, a joint industry/government consortium of 25 industrial companies and US Government agencies that have been specifically formed to accelerate the development and implementation of the STEP standard.

The STEP AP203 to VRML translator converts solid models into VRML files that can be incorporated into HTML documents and viewed using VRML browsers, such as Netscape’s Live 3D

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{{PDESTel: US +1 803 760 3342Enter 479}}