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FlashInPan
A Regular

USA
189 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2006 :  01:08:46  Show Profile  Visit FlashInPan's Homepage  Send FlashInPan an AOL message
Anybody ever try to bring a ProE file into Strata?

ProE is a format a lot of Industrial 3D designers use for creating actual machined parts and such. It would save a lot of time for me to be able to import those files into Strata for rendering and or animation. Even if I have to use a Windows machine to do it.

I found this program : http://www.okino.com/conv/filefrmt.htm that seems to convert everything, but it also seems a little confusing. I'm wonering if anybody else out there has tried to do this? Can it be done

Thanks,
AL

Al Luckow | New Media Architect | www.luckow.com
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Brian Lawson
A Fountain of Information

USA
5217 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2006 :  01:36:58  Show Profile  Visit Brian Lawson's Homepage  Send Brian Lawson an AOL message
The most common problem ProE users have bringing their files into Strata is using the IGES file format. ProE is a solid modeler and we are a surface modeler. Solid modelers use some geometry types which we do not support. Operations like Trims and Melds in ProE will generate this type of geometry. When you try to open an IGES file with that kind of geometry CX will give you an error dialog telling you that there is unsupported geometry in the file. It will open what it can and ignore the rest.

Your best bet is to use OBJ or VRML file types if your version of ProE supports either of them.

I don't have any experience with the conversion program from Okino.

Brian Lawson
Strata technical support
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Hopper2
Regularly Helpful

USA
750 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2006 :  07:10:16  Show Profile
After reading this thread I needed to refresh my thinking on this subject from a basic level. For those of you who are interested here is a nice link that does a pretty good job of explaining the differences between solid and surface modelers: http://www.xmlcreate.com/NCGuide/Workshop/solids.html

Hopper
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jpro
A Fountain of Information

USA
4991 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2006 :  10:08:02  Show Profile  Visit jpro's Homepage
IGES files can be defined as all surfeces from a solids modeler. The problem is not simply that strata is not a solids modeler, but more importantly that Strata doesn't support trims that solids and nurbs modelers use to make solids *and* complex surfaces.

Al, PolyTrans should work, but you need to be sure it doesn't require Pro/E to work. some of the polytrans modules are run from the host app, in this case, Pro/E. I don't know about this one in particular.

Jean
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FlashInPan
A Regular

USA
189 Posts

Posted - 10/11/2006 :  11:51:47  Show Profile  Visit FlashInPan's Homepage  Send FlashInPan an AOL message
As always, I feel like I have been to the mountaintop and visited the gurus. Thanks you for your wisdom. I shall continue with my quest and report my findings.

AL


Al Luckow | New Media Architect | www.luckow.com
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herold
Infrequent Poster

Denmark
2 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2006 :  10:14:04  Show Profile
Give the (Wavefront) .obj format a try!

Experiment with export settings in Pro/E, adjusting the deviation controls for the right balance of filesize and tesselation mesh detail.
(You can even export entire assemblies of parts, and bring them into Strata...)

When importing/opening in CX5, you may need to scale the model to retain correct size.
And most IMPORTANT; make sure you switch OFF the 'Auto smooth' setting for imported objects. You'll find it in the Object Tab of the Properties palette.
This way the normal vectors included in the .obj file will do the best job at smoothing what's smooth, and keep sharp edges sharp.

If you have access to the Pro/E software, I see no need to go through Okinos PolyTrans (PT) software. If however, you only have the native Pro/E .prt files, PT will open them through the optional 'PTC Granite' plug-in. PT will also open IGES files and many more. PolyTrans .obj output is fine though...

Actually, some .obj export implementations output real parametric curve- and surface data (e.g. Rhino - not Pro/E or Polytrans).
If CX5 could read in these data and keep them natively as Bezier curves and surfaces, we would be in for very compact files and very precise smoothing of imported objects. Please Brian Lawson, give us that feature..!

(As an industrial designer, I use Pro/E, Unigraphics and Rhino for modeling - never Strata (sorry). However for rendering, I find Strata hard to beat.
Importing models to Strata efficiently and without smoothing problems, has always been a challenge. Over the years I have preferred .dxf, later on .3ds when importing. Now with CX5, .obj imports are the best I've seen so far...
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Brian Lawson
A Fountain of Information

USA
5217 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2006 :  10:23:22  Show Profile  Visit Brian Lawson's Homepage  Send Brian Lawson an AOL message
Thank you for the info Herold. I get a lot of questions from ProE users wanting to bring files into Strata. This will be an excellent reference for me to give to them.

I will pass along to the engineers your suggestion about using the parametric curve and surface data in .obj files.

Brian Lawson
Strata technical support
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FlashInPan
A Regular

USA
189 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2006 :  10:56:29  Show Profile  Visit FlashInPan's Homepage  Send FlashInPan an AOL message
Some level of compatibility with ProE and/or Rhino (and the like) would really make Strata the Killer App!

Al Luckow | New Media Architect | www.luckow.com
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Brian Lawson
A Fountain of Information

USA
5217 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2006 :  11:02:12  Show Profile  Visit Brian Lawson's Homepage  Send Brian Lawson an AOL message
It sounds to me like Herold has found that level of compatibility with ProE.

Brian Lawson
Strata technical support
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jpro
A Fountain of Information

USA
4991 Posts

Posted - 10/12/2006 :  13:59:41  Show Profile  Visit jpro's Homepage
I agree. OBJ is a very good format for meshes converted from solids or NURBs surfaces.

A little more background: Rhino is a surface modeler, but it can do the sort of NURBS surface trims that Strata cannot handle.

Jean
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