By Anthony J. Lockwood
Dear Desktop Engineering Reader:
If this were the best of all possible worlds, data exchange from one CAD or design system to another would be matter that you just did not have to fuss with. But not all systems are alike, so you have to go out and get the data exchange converter you need, install it, and then hope that the exported file actually does import into your target platform with the fewest of all possible headaches. And since this is the real world, you know what happens next. Once you get that converter working, your colleague gets a new application and you have to go through the “find a data converter and install it” process all over again. Well, Datakit has streamlined all of that with its new data exchange module for Rhino 4.0.
The neat thing about Datakit’s data import module is that it offers nine CAD converters in one Rhino 4.0 plug-in. Not only does this give you a wide choice of CAD file exchange solutions available on your desktop, it means one installation and you’re ready to rock. For each translator, you have the same menu inside the main Datakit menu, so your learning curve is minimal even if you have to load a converter that you’ve never used before.
By the by, the converters for reading native or neutral files in Datakit’s import bundle are ACIS, CATIA V4, CATIA V5, Inventor, JT, NX, Parasolid, Pro/Engineer and Solid Edge. You might have missed that: native or neutral files. That means you can do quick-and-dirty neutral data transfers or you can convert files that import more in line with your more exacting needs.
Datakit’s converters support part and assembly files, geometry, wireframe, meshes, and topology. Neat thing number two: Before you load an assembly into Rhino, you can single-click an individual part that interests you and import just it into Rhino rather than the entire assembly. From its Option menu, you can select/deselect entities, attributes, and so forth. The Batch Manager lets you set the behavior of multiple file translations, such as where the translated file gets stored and how extensions are treated.
All of Datakit’s data exchange converters are fully endorsed by McNeel, which is also a point in their favor. Another thing worth mentioning is that Datakit has earned a good reputation in the business, so you know that you will be getting good software that does the critical job of data exchange as well as it can be done. The price seems right, but you can be the judge of that.
You can read all the details about Datakit’s new Rhino Plug In from today’s Pick of the Week write-up. You will also find a link to register to download a short-term demo of the all-in-one import and export bundle. Check out the evaluation yourself. A good data exchange application will not make the world run as one, but it is the best of all possible worlds when you really have to get a file from one system to another as painlessly as possible. Datakit does that for you.
Thanks, Pal — Lockwood
Anthony J. Lockwood
Editor at Large, Desktop Engineering Magazine