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Software Enhanced with STEP AP 242 Support and More

Kubotek3D, a supply chain software provider, offers the 3.0 release of the Kubotek K-Compare and K-Display software products. This release provides updates to STEP and CAD file readers, user interface improvements and several new functions for each product.

STEP File Enhancements

Kubotek proprietary readers for STEP (ISO 10303) files have been expanded in two ways. The first covers complete reading of AP 242 Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) to support customers practicing model-based definition (MBD). STEP AP 242 defines critical manufacturing annotations including geometric dimensioning and tolerancing (GD&T) and their unambiguous relationship to the faces of the 3D model. MBD can provide process efficiency by eliminating the need to translate the design into detail drawings and better support automation of downstream activities such as NC machining and inspection.

The second STEP enhancement is added support for opening compressed ASCII STEP files that use the .stpZ extension. Compressing STEP files into the stpZ format improves transfer of large data sets and has been gaining in popularity since originally released in 2013, especially in the aerospace and automotive industries. This feature is included in all K-Display and K-Compare product levels. For engineers receiving compressed stpZ files, K-Display Convert can uncompress stpZ files to standard stp files, which can be read by most CAD programs.

Updated CAD Readers

Reading of 3D CAD files across all 3.0 Kubotek software programs has been updated to support new versions of four major CAD file formats:

  • Siemens NX 1919, 1915, and 1911 (1899 Series)
  • Dassault CATIA V6/3DExperience R2020x
  • PTC Creo 7.0
  • Autodesk Inventor 2021.

K-Compare Enhancements

Comparison of two sets of hierarchical assembly CAD files has been enhanced to support quick side-by-side 3D graphical viewing of the entire assembly or just a set of paired parts. In the graphical view, users can immediately browse the difference results tree details and see face highlighting on the impacted parts.

The automatic Locator View option in the report creation mode of K-Compare Revision saves users the time of creating and annotating extra explanatory views. The Locator View provides the reader a quick frame of reference for views that are zoomed up on a part detail. The Locator View appears in the corner of the view, always stays at full scale (Zoom Fit) and maintains the same 3D orientation as the view. A dynamically linked rectangle over the locator view indicates where on the part the main view window is displaying.

K-Display Enhancements

The 3.0 release introduces basic feature recognition capabilities to help users quickly evaluate part details based on geometry from any supported CAD format. During file read, K-Display scans the face geometry and topology to build lists of all machined holes, constant radius fillets and general chamfers and includes a folder for each in the part tree. Data under each feature folder list relevant sizes such as diameter and depth for a blind hole. Hovering the cursor over the faces of these geometric features also provides a ToolTip that displays size information. This information aids in process planning and selection of tools for NC programming.

A user option has been added to K-Display programs to support reading all non-primary variants of the 3D data in the CAD file. For a SolidWorks file, variants might be additional part configurations, or for a CATIA 5 file it may be scenes saved in the file. "Having an option to decide to read variants or not is important because for many user applications this data is unnecessary, slows down file read and may even lead to confusion. In other cases, having access to this variant data can be crucial to fully understanding the design," said a company spokesperson.

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