cad-file-formats tagged posts

Seemage your iPod #45: “Cloning geometry”


Seemage podcast for CAD and PLM users, episode 45, Cloning geometry

This week Jonathan Riondet elaborates on one of the features that users consistently tell us makes Seemage so useful: the ability to substantially reduce the size of files. In this example, Jonathan shows how to take an already-small Seemage file and by cloning geometry in the file, reduce the size of the Seemage file even more.

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Unexpected modernity for CAD and PLM


Technical illustrators will be happier using Seemage

Whenever we get a chance, we take the opportunity to share our product information everyware vision with industry analysts and journalists. Having been part of those meetings for a year now, there’s a consistent reaction when the product architecture behind our vision becomes clear to the analyst or journalist: they have an epiphany.

Last week, an analyst we were briefing had the classic full-body reaction and, suddenly, he grokked Seemage. Then he said, “But unless you explain this more, you won’t ever become famous for your architecture.”

Our response? People don’t (or shouldn’t) buy IT architectures. They do (and should) buy products...

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Dassault Systèmes and Seemage announce strategic partnership


Today, Seemage and Dassault Systèmes announced that Seemage has become a CAA V5 partner, ensuring tighter integration between Seemage and Dassault technologies. Download the complete press release using the link below.

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Are you still in the “darkroom” about CAD file formats?


Using drawings to create product documentation is like using chemistry for photos instead of a digital camera

We’re back from a long holiday weekend here in the US, and I wanted to pick up the discussion thread started last week when we posted our assertion that the file translation problem has been solved.

Articulating that fact resulted in this comment from Deelip Menezes:

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?

With apologies to Deelip, I don’t want to get pulled into the sub-topic of file-format conversion accuracy, because that is, ahem, a religious war without solution.

Suffice it to say that I am happy to use a digital came...

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CAD file conversion misses the bus


Thinking about CAD file format conversion without content creation is like missing the bus

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.

We think the real issue isn’t about conversion…it’s about content creation. Customers tell us they need technology to allow departments outside engineering and design to create useful, accurate product deliverables. Our customers’ real challenge is to make it possible for end-users to achieve this in a compatible, secure way. (Naturally, we think Seemage matches this customer need perfectly.)

So, it never ceases to amaze me when I read a review of a product whose entire purpose…its complete market aspiration…its raison d’être is ...

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Machine Design’s new blog


collision between trade press and bloggers

I can only imagine what it’s like to be in the publishing industry today, especially the trade publishing business. Costs are up, advertising is (probably) down and other voices are being listened to. Worse, the Internet has disintermediated content distribution. Today, some would argue you don’t even need a printed magazine…Google’ll get you there quicker. (For my part, I still think reading a printed book or publication is most emphatically not the same thing as searching for and reading information online).

I’ll bet some of these publications feel like bowling pins: whacked, then set up again to be whacked all over again.

So it must be with some trepidation that these traditional, printed-magazine businesses dip their toes into the Internet world, especially with respect to...

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Seemage Integrates with SolidWorks, becomes SolidWorks Solution Partner


Today, Seemage announced that it has integrated with SolidWorks and has become a SolidWorks Solution Partner.

Read the press release by clicking the links below.

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PLM’s silent majority


PLM just isn’t connecting with the business

I was reading the PLM-oriented blog at (it’s not really a .org) and ran across this post about a CIMdata PLM survey.

Both the blogger (hey, you should sign your posts with a real name) and CIMdata miss what I think is the most imporant point.

Simply: over 60% of respondents did not say that “PLM was enabling business processes” (see CIMdata’s written analysis of the poll at the newsletter archive here). Instead, CIMdata adds together two minorities that answered different, unrelated questions to reach the conclusion that “This combined 60% reflect that PLM has become more than just an engineering solution – it is important to the entire business.”

The blogger at plmsavvy...

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Seemage your iPod #39: “Seemage BOM″


Seemage podcast for CAD and PLM users, episode 39, Seemage BOM

This week’s podcast shows in less than four minutes several amazing features of Seemage that we talk about all the time. Watch closely as Jonathan shows you how to combine BOM information with CAD models to produce very flexible documentation, including — and this always impresses me — technical illustrations directly from 3D CAD data.

This short podcast episode clearly shows why we believe there’s nothing else available that unites CAD, PLM, ERP and other enterprise systems as quickly, compatibly and easily as Seemage. In short, you can see major proof of our product information everware slogan right in this short video snippet.

If you’d like to see more, please register for a webinar replay here. Thanks for taking a look and donwloading this podcast.

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Watch the Seemage webinar replay at your convenience


Watch the Seemage webinar

On July 19, we held a live webinar session that was very well-received. I sent a link to watch the Flash recording of the webinar to those who’d signed up for the live presentation but who weren’t able to attend.

And an amazing thing happened: in addition to the people who got a chance to watch the webinar they’d missed, we noticed that people to whom we had not sent the invite were watching the replay — and forwarding the link along to others to watch it .

So, we’re going to do the obvious: put the link up here in our blog. Please consider this an invitation to register for the replay, even if you didn’t previously sign up to watch the live presentation...

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Seemage your iPod #38: “Seemage Update″


Seemage podcast for CAD and PLM users, episode 37, Seemage Update 

This week, Jonathan shows us one of the more astonishing capabilities of Seemage: the ability to update content with revised or changed geometry.

Because Seemage can quickly and easily integrate change into content, you never have to wait for the CAD changes or for a PLM system update to prepare product content. Instead of documenting the product when it’s “done” (if it ever really is), you can create content at any stage. Then, when the PLM and/or CAD system information is updated, simply update your Seemage content.

Consider the case where you are writing a service procedure in which a part has to be removed. Seemage makes it clear there a clash or other problem. You can easily make engineering aware of the service impact, then integrate the change as soon as it’s ready.

To see a...

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Seemage your iPod #34: “Seemage filtering on keys”


Filtering on keys in Seemage for CAD and PLM users

This week’s podcast episode features Jonathan Riondet showing some very important, but subtle, capabilities in Seemage that make creating service assembly and disassembly procedures a snap by reusing data already in your CAD and PLM systems.

I want to add an additional idea to what Jonathan is showing here: flexible animation creation as a source of additional deliverables. One of the things that makes Seemage so easy to use is that what you produce in the animation time line can also be the source of many other deliverables, for example line art and saved views can be created right from the animation time line.

What’s amazing about this is that the more you learn about creating animations in Seemage, the more powerful the other 2D and 3D deliverables become because they can be derived di...

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The not-so-secret sauce for collaboration in CAD and PLM


Office is the secret sauce for PLM and CAD users who want to collaborate

So, now that Acrobat 3D has shipped and everyone is thinking about how they might use it, let’s separate the obvious uses from the not-as-clear applications.

It’s clear that Acrobat 3D offers great file translation capabilities. But we’ve consistently argued that this is, essentially, a utility function. As such, it’s not a strategic application. The addition of a new utility to the utility drawer, like the choice between WinRAR and WinZip, is always a good thing.

But file utilities are not the basis of entererprise collaboration infrastructures. Thinking about PDF (3D or not) as the ultimate collaboration unit-of-work misses the basic requirement for improving the use of 3D information throughout the enterprise: the ability to add value to that 3D design data.

I’m not talking about simpl...

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Seemage in “Managing Automation”


Seemage in Managing Automation

Managing Automation writes about Seemage 4.2 here. AMR Research analyst Jeff Holjo notes that Seemage is in a “…burgeoning market that is gaining traction as a middle layer between the design engineering desktop and the shop floor…”.

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A big surprise in your ISO standard



We’re back fresh from a long Memorial Day holiday weekend and rarin’ to take on another controversial topic: ISO standards versus open source.

I’ll bet a lot of people have never considered the difference between the two and assign very similar benefits to being an ISO standard as being open or open source. But there’s a world of difference. And CAD and PLM users, in particular, should pay attention to the very different qualities of the two classifications. In particular, CAD and PLM users should make sure not to assume that an ISO standard gives them the opportunities or protections that real open source products offer.

Recently, we attended a competitive vendor’s presentation which made a big deal of the fact that they’d submitted their proprietary file format definition to the ISO...

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Eureka Magazine discovers Seemage


The online edition of the UK’s Eureka Magazine covers Seemage and talks with Stuart Totterdell of Xype, Seemage’s master UK reseller. Read the story here.

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‘Scuse us, but when it comes to PLM, Seemage told you so


When it comes to PLM, Seemage told you so

At the risk of sounding a little like your “CAD Mom,” (with Mother’s Day coming up this weekend in the US, how’s that for a double entendre AND a mixed metaphor…all in one?) and after reading the results of this Capgemini “PLM World Pulse Survey,” we just can’t help ourselves.

Forgive us for saying “we told you so” about this survey that confirms that PLM’s raison d’être is innovation (55% of respondants), not cost savings (30%). Interestingly, 35% cite reduced time-to-market as the most important PLM benefit. And tied at 40% each, processes and organization top the list of what manufacturers think needs the most attention in optimizing PLM.

In a nutshell, customers aren’t saying PLM is about heavy-duty infrastructures, servers and IT technologies...

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What’s on our competitive radar?



To answer my own question: everyone else with whom we compete. This radar chart documents the results of our internal tests of the new Seemage 4.0 against our major competitors on 36 different functional areas. In short, it’s a rout.

It would be easy to be cynical and dismiss these results as pure propaganda, the results of rigged tests or biased assumptions.

But it just ain’t so. Quite the opposite in fact. The tests were done as a way to ensure that the newest release of Seemage remains competitive and maintains its lead. It might be hard to believe at first, but our guys were actually looking for issues in performance or functionality compared to the competition.

Why even show this on our blog? We believe these results make it clear that the architectural foundation of Seemage — it’s X...

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Seemage your iPod #24: “Vista roller coaster game”


This week we’re taking a small brake (pun intended) from the automotive animations for something from the Seemage animation vault. Speaking of automotive, be sure to look for an important announcement from Seemage on April 17 about our work with a very famous automotive icon.

Back to this week’s animation. I think this was done as part of the Vista launch in France back in January. What I find so amazing about this animation is that it started as a CAD model. While we don’t recommend that game developers do this for their games, it would sure make them a lot more geometrically accurate, don’t you think? (-:

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The wisdom of non-CAD, non-PLM crowds



Chris Williams, our CEO, and I were looking at a competitor’s website today, comparing their capabilities to ours. This is something everyone does…checking each other out is normal. (You should see the domain names that Google Analytics records as having visited both and

So, there we were…looking at that claim, evaluating that feature…when the real difference between Seemage and this other product leaped off the page into clear view: this competitor has designed its product for CAD-literate people. Seemage is all about enabling non-CAD, non-[tag]PLM[/tag] content creators outside the engineering group.

Chris picked up on this immediately, describing the competitor’s approach as flawed both technically and in its business-model...

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Tone deafness in the (Acrobat) blogosphere



Allow me to detour for a moment from our usual fare of Seemage-focused commentary to lend the support and encouragement of all of us at Seemage and 3DMojo for our fellow blogger Franco Folini.

In a recent post, Franco details how his efforts to engage in open, direct communication with a blogger at Adobe was met with corporate stonewalling.

Reading Franco’s post reminded me of the most important lesson companies need to learn when they start reaching out to online communities: be authentic. If you want to give your point of view, you have to take the commentary of the community. And rule one: the community will tell you lots of things you might not want to hear.

As Franco points out, there’s a tradition of allowing voices to be heard...

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Finally, are we on the file format down slope?



When no less an authority than Martyn Day begins talking about the problem of CAD file formats going away, it makes my day. Check out the last paragraph of Martyn’s report on SpaceClaim, where he says, in part:

“My last thought goes to formats….It strikes me that we are at a juncture where the problem of CAD file formats may well be consigned to history.”

We’ve posted pretty regular rants here trying to get the MCAD world focused on using 3D design information instead of worrying about converting it from one form to another. (Clearly, we know that one has to convert it as part of any application that isn’t the originator of the data.)

But the CAD world has been focused on conversion for so long that file format wars and discussion of how to get from one to the other have crowded out discu...

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