If you’re a user of multiple CAD platforms and 3D creation apps, you’ve probably got jars of data translation tears stashed away to… I dunno, sprinkle your computer with from time to time? Frankly, I don’t know why you would bottle up those tears. LET THEM OUT.
There are, however, tools that make data translation, conversion, and viewing easier. CAD Exchanger just released its latest version and it’s one you’ll want to check out. On top of installation support for Windows, Mac, and Linux and the expected 3D CAD file format viewing and conversion capability, they also have an SDK for custom app development and a command-line interface (CLI) for batch conversion. It’s also one of the best-priced viewers/converters out there with single license pricing at $225/year or $499 perpetual ($124/yr maintenance optional).
The latest release comes with support for CATIA V5 import, DWG import, and B-rep simplification and polygonal geometry decimation to lighten up those models and reduce mesh complexity.
Additionally, they’ve also added U3D import support. Primarily used to embed 3D model in a PDF, the support allows you open and view those 3D models and convert them to another format.
For those who need to take their CAD files into Unity, along with direct integration via CAD Exchanger Unity plugin, they’ve also added FBX support, all of which includes:
- Assigning custom shader to the imported model
- Scaling the model during the import process
- Sharing of materials and textures, instead of duplicating them
- Reduced memory footprint of Unity’s GameObject creation
- Enhanced conversion of materials’ appearances
They’ve included other improvements to Linux and macOS usability, and improved data validation on conversion to be more precise in calculating the B-Rep bounding boxes.
Let us know what your preferred converter is in the comments!