Support and use of STEP

Here we mostly focus on mechanical CAD (3D models and assemblies, and associated data). In that scope, use of STEP concerns primarily a common sub-set of AP203 and AP214.

Nowadays, STEP is more and more a basis for CAD data exchanges that can't be ignored anymore. Support of STEP is now part of most of CAD offers available on the market. This has leaded users and vendors of CAD softwares and solutions to join their efforts to reach the needs of the industry.

In regards of what STEP allows to describe and exchange CAD data and how, the need has soon appeared to make easier and quicker the implementation and use of STEP, and to ensure that user's requirement are satisfied. This has motivated industrial users and software vendors to join their efforts and experience in dedicated work groups, in particular :

  • CAx-IF forum for common test activity in the CAD area, it is jointly organized by ProSTEP in Germany and PDES.Inc in the USA,
  • PDM-IF forum which is dedicated to PDM data,
  • other groups work on specific domains, like computation and analysis, electro-mechanics ..
  • Also the LOTAR group which is involved in the matter of long term archiving of CAD data, considers STEP as a suitable approach and works in conjunction with implementor forums.

These work groups are aimed to identify the real needs of industrial users regarding STEP, help the use of the standard by establishing commonly agreed recommended practices and use guides, organize interoperability testings. This is completed by efforts to enlarge the real scope of using STEP in the industry : pilot projects, prototype implementations, prove-out activities.

As a specialist in solutions for CAD data exchanges, including the use of STEP, DATAKIT in involved in works in charge of STEP : by actively participating in the CAx-IF forum, as member of ProSTEP, also participating in the works of the LOTAR group by providing its expertise.

This helps DATAKIT providing exchange tools for CAD data based on STEP to be in phase with the actual practices and tools in use in the industrial world.
DATAKIT is at the cutting edge of the state-of-the-art and coming evolutions of the standard and its real uses, testing and improving our solutions for interoperability.
In the workshops organized by the LOTAR group, in which DATAKIT acts as expert in data exchanges, we keep in touch with the industrial needs, the capabilities and limits of STEP to address them and how to improve the situation.

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