3D Mojo Misses The Point

In a post titled “CAD file conversion misses the bus“, Alex Neihaus says, “Here at Seemage, we marvel at the amount of time and energy people spend thinking about file format conversions. In a nutshell, we believe this is a solved problem…that people who want or need to convert file formats can and do, easily and accurately.

Alex seems to be living in a world wherein there is only one CAD software and that software can do everything: 2d drafting, 3d modeling, rendering, animation, FEA analysis, CAM, mould design, reverse engineering… I think you get the picture. Everyone in his world use that software only and they live happily ever after because their CAD file conversion problem has been solved.

However, in the world that we live in there are many CAD programs each designed to do a specific task. They come with proprietary file formats designed to store their application specific data. When users use neutral file formats to exchange data between these programs a lot of data is “lost in translation” which can include even geometric data. This is the CAD file conversion problem and in our world it is far from solved.

In the response to Scott Shepard, Alex says, “the manic focus on converting things obscures the need to do something with the info“. I could not agree more. I have a small question though. How the hell are you going to do something worthwhile with the info if you do not have the correct info to begin with?