In digital factory environments, engineers often face the challenge of CAD models that are too detailed, generating heavy data and preventing smooth handling in factory planning software tools. A new 3D_Evolution simplifier function now automatically generates envelope geometry for all major visualisation tools. Due to a reduction in the number of elements, the simplifier enables smooth and fast processing of large CAD models.

CoreTechnologie’s 3D_Evolution software reads 3D formats such as CATIA, JT, CREO, NX, SolidWorks and STEP without a CAD licence, and automatically generates envelope geometries based on the exact, original model. The technology extracts the inner geometry of models and creates an outer shell as a closed volume for conversion into CAD, or factory planning systems such as Microstation, Process Simulate or PDMS.

In addition to deleting the internal geometry, holes, fonts and radii, other details that are unnecessary for the planning process are also removed. Subsequently, the internal bodies can be identified and automatically deleted by a so called ‘shrink wrap’ tool. As a result, only bodies that are visible from the outside and relevant for the planning process, are retained. In all stages of simplification and conversion, healing functions ensure that geometry errors in CAD models are analysed and cleaned up in order to generate volume bodies (closed solid geometry).

The latest version enables further simplification by creating minimal envelope bodies. Details such as energy chains or special section tubes are replaced by envelopes, which after simplification only contain a fraction of the original data. This automatic process, which is said to be very quick (even when simplifying large quantities of data), reduces the elements of typical assemblies by up to 95%. Formats like DGN for Microstation or JT and STEP allow the transfer to common visualisation systems.

Simplification enables impressive compression of CAD models, says CoreTechnologie. In this way, large CAD assemblies, such as robot cells or conveying systems, are simplified in a very short time and can be handled after conversion in the factory planning software.

With 3D_Evolution CAD, assembly structures can easily be converted into a functional product structure, which is necessary for the simulation. With just a few clicks, the user disassembles or ‘flattens’ the original assembly structure in order to merge the parts of the simplified model in such a way that sub-assemblies and bodies that belong together in terms of the simulation are restructured in a new and now functional orientated assembly structure.