There is very little in the way of prescriptive procedures to guide designers in tolerance specification. This shortcoming motivated the group at Design Automation Lab to automate tolerancing of mechanical assemblies. GD&T data generated by the Auto-Tolerancing software is semantically represented using a neutral Constraint Tolerance Feature (CTF) graph file format that is consistent with the ASME Y14.5 standard and the ISO STEP Part 21 file. The primary objective of this research is to communicate GD&T information from the CTF file to a neutral machine readable format. The latest STEP AP 242 (ISO 10303-242) “Managed model based 3D engineering“ aims to support smart manufacturing by capturing semantic Product Manufacturing Information (PMI) within the 3D model and also helping with long-term archiving of the product information. In line with the recommended practices published by CAx Implementor Forum, this research discusses the implementation of CTF to AP 242 translator. The input geometry available in STEP AP 203 format is pre-processed using STEP-NC DLL and 3D InterOp. While the former is initially used to attach persistent IDs to the topological entities in STEP, the latter retains the IDs during translation to ACIS entities for consumption by other modules in the Auto-tolerancing module. The associativity of GD&T available in CTF file to the input geometry is through persistent IDs. C++ libraries used for the translation to STEP AP 242 is provided by StepTools Inc through the STEP-NC DLL. Finally, the output STEP file is tested using available AP 242 readers and shows full conformance with the STEP standard. Using the output AP 242 file, semantic GDT data can now be automatically consumed by downstream applications such as Computer Aided Process Planning (CAPP), Computer Aided Inspection (CAI), Computer Aided Tolerance Systems (CATS) and Coordinate Measuring Machines (CMM).
- Interoperability of geometric dimension & tolerance data between CAD systems through ISO STEP AP 242
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Statement of Responsibility
by Adarsh Venkiteswaran