drawing for patent application

Intellectual Property Rights and Patent Application

Intellectual Property Rights

The success of a company often relies on the integrity of its employees. Products are normally the result of years of research, engineering, and development. This is referred to as the intellectual property of the company. Protection of intellectual property can be critical to the success of the company in a competitive industrial economy. This is why it is very important for employees to help protect design ideas and trade secrets. Many companies manufacture their products in strict, secure, and secret environments. You will often find proprietary notes on drawings that inform employees and communicate to the outside world that the information contained in the drawing is the property of the company and is not for use by others.

Software Piracy

 Software piracy is the unauthorized copying of software. Most software licenses support use at one computer site or by one user at any time. When you buy software, you become a licensed user. You do not own the software. You are allowed to make copies of the program for backup purposes, but it is against the law to give copies to colleagues and friends. Software companies spend a lot of money creating software programs for your professional and personal applications. Each new release usually provides you with improved features and more efficient use. When you use software illegally, you hurt everyone by forcing software companies to charge more for their products. Ethically and professionally, use software legally and report illegal use when observed.

COPYRIGHTS

A copyright is the legal rights given to authors of original works of authorship. The Australian Constitution establishes copyright and patent law and empowers the federal government to promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries. Copyrights control exclusively the reproduction and distribution of the work by others. In Australia, published or unpublished works that are typically copyrightable include:

  • Literary works, including computer programs and
  • Musical works, including any accompanying
  • Dramatic works, including any accompanying
  • Pantomimes and choreographic
  • Pictorial, graphic, and sculptural
  • Motion pictures and other audiovisual
  • Sound
  • Architectural works and certain other intellectual

Copyright protection exists from the time the work is created in fixed form. The fixed form may not be directly observable; it can be communicated with the aid of a machine or device. The copyright in the work of authorship immediately becomes the property of the author who created the work. Copyright is secured automatically when the work is created, and the work is created when it is fixed in a copy or phono- recorded for the first time. Copies are material objects from which the work can be read or visually perceived directly or with the aid of a machine or device. A copyright notice can be placed on visually perceptible copies. The copyright notice should have the word Copyright, the abbreviation Copr., or the symbol © (or ® for phonorecords of sound recordings); the year of first publication; and the name of the owner of the copyright.

Patents

A patent for an invention is the grant of a property right to the inventor, issued by the IP AUSTRALIA. The term of a new patent is 20 years from the date on which the application for the patent was filed in Australia or, in special cases, from the date an earlier related application was filed, subject to the payment of maintenance fees. The IP AUSTRALIA patent grants are effective only within Australia. The patent law states, in part, that any person who "invents or discovers any new and useful process, the machine, manufacture, or composition of matter, or any new and useful improvement thereof, may obtain a patent," subject to the conditions and requirements of the law.

The patent law specifies that the subject matter must be "useful." The term useful refers to the condition that the subject matter has a useful purpose and must operate. You cannot patent laws of nature, physical phenomena, and abstract ideas. A complete description of the actual machine or other subject-matter is required to obtain a patent.

Application for a Patent

 The IP AUSTRALIA offers standard and innovation patent applications. A standard patent application is for the full patent, which lasts 20 years. The innovation patent application is for a temporary patent that lasts for one year.

Standard Application for a Patent

According to the IP AUSTRALIA, a standard application for a patent is made to the assistant commissioner for patents and includes:

  1. a written document that has a specification and an oath or declaration,
  2. a drawing in those cases in which a drawing is necessary, and
  3. the filing fee.

All application papers must be in the English language, or a translation into the English language is required. All application papers must be legibly written on only one side by either a typewriter or mechanical printer in a permanent dark ink or its equivalent in portrait orientation on flexible, strong, smooth, nonshiny, durable, white paper. Present the papers in a form having sufficient clarity and contrast between the paper and the writing to permit electronic reproduction. The application papers must all be the same size, either 21.0 cm by 29.7 cm (DIN size A4) or 21.6 cm by 27.9 cm (81¤2 3 11 in.). Application documents must have a top margin of at least 2.0 cm (3⁄4 in.), a left-side margin of at least 2.5 cm (1 in.), a right- side margin of at least 2.0 cm (3⁄4 in.), and a bottom margin of at least 2.0 cm (3⁄4 in.), with no holes made in the submit- ted papers. It is also required that the spacing on all papers be 11¤2 or double spaced, and the application papers must be numbered consecutively, centrally located above or below the text, starting with page 1. All required parts of the application must be complete before sending the application, and it is best to send all of the elements together. The IP AUSTRALIA numbers all applications received in serial order and the applicant will be informed of the application serial number and filing date by a filing receipt.

Innovation Application for a Patent

If you want protection for an invention with a short market life that might be superseded by newer innovations, such as computer-based inventions, an innovation patent is worth considering.

An innovation patent lasts up to eight years and is designed to protect inventions that do not meet the inventive threshold required for standard patents. It is a relatively quick and inexpensive way to obtain protection for your new device, substance, method or process.

The innovation patent requires an innovative step rather than an inventive step. An innovative step exists when the invention is different from what is known before, and the difference makes a substantial contribution to the working of the invention. The innovation patent protects an incremental advance on existing technology rather than being a groundbreaking invention.

An innovation patent is usually granted within a month of filing the complete application. This is because there is no examination before it is granted.

An innovation patent is only legally enforceable if it has been examined by us and found to meet the requirements of the Patents Act 1990, and has been certified. Examination of an innovation patent will only occur if requested by the patentee, a third party or if the Commissioner of Patents decides to examine the patent. The patentee will not be required to pay for examination until it is requested.

Phase-out of the innovation patent

The Australian Government has begun the process of phasing out the innovation patent with the passing of legislative amendments. This means:

  • The last day you can file a new innovation patent will be 25 August 2021.
  • Existing innovation patents that were filed on or before 25 August 2021 will continue in force until their expiry. This will ensure current rights holders are not disadvantaged.

The Government remains committed to dedicated support services to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) navigate the intellectual property (IP) system. Australian SMEs will receive further dedicated support, with an SME case management service, the SME fast track service, a dedicated outreach program and online portal, to be launched as the innovation patent is phased out over the next 18 months.

The quick guide to innovation versus standard patents

Innovation patent Standard patent
Your invention must: Be new, useful and involve an innovative step. Be new, useful and involve an inventive step.
The application should include: A title, description, up to five claims, drawings (if applicable), an abstract and forms. A title, description, any number of claims, drawings (if applicable), an abstract and forms.
A patent is granted if: The application satisfies formality requirements (note: a 'granted' innovation patent cannot be enforced unless examined). The application is examined and found to satisfy the relevant requirements of the Patents Act 1990.
Examination: Optional. The examination can be requested by you or anyone else. Mandatory. The relevant requirements of the Patents Act 1990 must be met before a patent is granted. Can only be requested by the applicant.
Certification: Is given if the innovation patent complies with the relevant requirements of the Patents Act 1990 in the examination. Only after certification can the patent be enforced. N/A
Publication in the Australian Official Journal of Patents: At grant and again at certification. Eighteen months from earliest priority date and again at acceptance.
Protection period: Up to eight years if annual fees are paid. Up to 20 years if annual fees are paid (or up to 25 years for pharmaceuticals).
How long does the process take? Approximately one month for the grant. Six months for examination if you make a request. Six months to several years depending on circumstances.

Patent Drawings

PATENT DRAWINGS REQUIREMENT

There is no requirement for a specific number of views. However, you must provide sufficient views to fully display your design, which usually requires a number of views.
We prefer traditional views (front, side and top) but will also accept perspective or isometric views. (See image).

All views must show exactly the same design. This particularly applies to colour, as colour is usually a visual feature of the design.

 

Key points for drawings

Drawings should:

  • be accurately drawn, not sketches, with well-defined line-work
  • only show the design in question and no descriptive wording or dimensions. However, labelling of views such as 'perspective view' or 'rear views' is acceptable
  • on A4 size paper if lodged by post
  • use broken or dashed lines when highlighting:
    • elements of the product other than those bearing the visual features of the design
    • parts of the design that are referred to in the statement of newness and distinctiveness
    • boundaries, such as a pattern applied to part of a surface, stitching and perforations
    • features that establish an environmental context.

Shading and cross-hatching can be used to show a visual feature of the design.

Key points for photographs or digital images

Photographs or digital images should:

  • be clear originals
  • show the product against a plain contrasting background and avoid matter not relevant to the design
  • be A4 or mounted on A4 white paper if lodged by post.

Other details

If it's a multiple design application, then each design should be clearly indicated, with each design shown on a separate sheet.

Complex products

Sometimes a design is applied to a part of a complex product, and that part can be readily assembled and disassembled from that product. If the component part qualifies as a product, then broader protection may be gained by defining this as a stand-alone part.

TRADEMARKS

According to the IP AUSTRALIA publication Basic Facts About Registering a Trademark, a trademark is a word, phrase, symbol or design, or combination of words, phrases, symbols, or designs that identifies and distinguishes the source of the goods or services of one party from those of others. A service mark is the same as a trademark except that it identifies and distinguishes the source of a service rather than a product. Normally, a mark for goods appears on the product or on its packaging, whereas a service mark appears in advertising for services. A trademark is different from a copyright or a patent. As previously explained, a copyright protects an original artistic or literary work, and a patent protects an invention.

Trademark rights start from the actual use of the mark or the filing of a proper application to register a mark in the AUSTRALIA stating that the applicant has a genuine intention to use the mark in commerce regulated by the AUSTRALIA. Federal registration is not required to establish rights in a mark, nor is it required to begin use of a mark. However, federal registration can secure benefits beyond the rights acquired by just using a mark. For example, the owner of a federal registration is presumed to be the owner of the mark for the goods and services specified in the registration and to be entitled to use the mark nationwide. Generally, the first party who either uses a mark in commerce or files an application in the AUSTRALIA has the ultimate right to register that mark. The authority of the AUSTRALIA is limited to determining the right to register. The right to use a mark can be more complicated to determine, particularly when two parties have begun use of the same or similar marks without knowledge of one another and neither has a federal registration. Only a court can make a decision about the right to use. Federal registration can provide significant advantages to a party involved in a court proceeding. The AUSTRALIA cannot provide advice concerning rights in a mark. Only a private attorney can provide such advice.

Trademark rights can last indefinitely if the owner continues to use the mark to identify its goods or services. The term of federal trademark registration is ten years, with ten-year renewal terms. However, between the fifth and sixth year after the date of initial registration, the registrant must file an official paper giving certain information to keep the registration alive. The registration is cancelled if this is not done. Please confirm specific trademark details and requirements with the AUSTRALIA.

engineering drawing history

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF ENGINEERING DRAWING

Individuals with talent, wisdom, vision, and innovative ideas have influenced the history of engineering drawing. Major changes in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport also greatly influenced the evolution of engineering drawing and had an overpowering effect on socioeconomic and cultural conditions between the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries. Recently and more rapidly, computers have become a driving force in the way people create engineering drawings.

Early Drawing Practices

hISTORY OF ENGINEERING DRAWINGS 1prehistoric humans created images on cave walls and rocks as a form of communication for hunting and gathering societies, to provide ritual or spiritual meaning, and for decoration.

Prehistoric drawings and paintings, known as pictograms, and carvings, known as petroglyphs, show a variety of animals and human shapes. Pictograms and petroglyphs are not engineering drawings, but they do represent early graphic forms of communication. For thousands of years, designers of ancient structures and machines used sketches, drawings, and documents to represent inventions and architecture and help design and distribute information to workers. However, activities such as farming, craft making, and toolmaking, and construction generally followed established standards of the time without the use of formal drawings as a guide. Production was more like a form of art than engineering, and each item was unique.
Early engineering drawings representing machines and buildings appear in the fourteenth and fifteenth centuries. These drawings were generally in the form of pictorial sketches with written descriptions that helped workers understand the intent of the drawings for fabrication or building. Early engineering drawings served as a reference for craft workers to construct a building or manufacture a product. Craft workers viewed the drawings and written descriptions and made interpretations based on their own experience and knowledge of current standard practices. Specific dimensions were not necessary, because each building or machine was different. Early engineering drawings were also an art form used during presentations to the persons who requested the designs.

Engineering Drawing Pioneers

hISTORY OF ENGINEERING DRAWINGS 2Most early creators of engineering drawings were artists and inventors. Some of the best-known early engineering drawings are the work of Italian Leonardo da Vinci. Leonardo is well known for his art, such as The Last Supper in 1498 and the Mona Lisa in 1507. He was also an inventor who designed machines such as the glider shown in Figure and military equipment such as the giant crossbow. Leonardo’s drawings were those of an artist and were not in the form of engineering drawings. Leonardo’s drawings were pictorial and generally without dimensions. No multiview drawings of Leonardo’s designs are known to exist. Multiview drawings are 2-D drawings of objects organized in views.
Skilled tradespeople worked from the pictorial sketches and representations to construct models of many of Leonardo’s designs. Each machine or device was unique, and parts were not interchangeable. Leonardo was also an early mapmaker. In 1502, Leonardo created a map containing the town plan of Imola, Italy. Authorities commissioned Leonardo as the chief military engineer and architect because of this mapmaking. Arguably, this early work was more artistic than the beginning of engineering drawing, but this work holds a special place in history.
Approximately the same time as Leonardo da Vinci created his drawings, awareness developed that drawings require greater accuracy and dimensions. An early author of architecture and engineering was an Italian man, Leon Battista Alberti. Leon’s writing covered a wide range of subjects, from architecture to town planning and from engineering to the philosophy of beauty. In 1435 and 1436, Leon also wrote two works that explored the need to incorporate more geometry in drawings. Leon also proposed drawings with multiple views rather than the commonly used pictorial drawings.
The importance of using multiview two-dimension drawings was also influenced by the development of descriptive geometry in the work of French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes (1596–1650) and the work of Frenchman Gaspard Monge (1746–1818). René was the inventor of the Cartesian coordinate system, and he founded analytic geometry, the link between algebra and geometry. The Cartesian coordinate system uses numerical coordinates to locate points in space according to distances measured in the same unit of length from three intersecting axes. The Cartesian coordinate system is the basis for establishing points when using CADD today.
hISTORY OF ENGINEERING DRAWINGS 3Gaspard Monge created a large-scale plan of a town using his own methods of observation and instruments that he designed. As a result, authorities commissioned Gaspard as a drafter and pupil in the practical school of the military institution. Given a project to design a proposed fortress, Gaspard used his geometrical method to create the design quickly. Continuing his research, Gaspard arrived at a graphic method of the application of geometry to construction, now called descriptive geometry. Descriptive geometry is the system of graphic geometry that uses plane projections to describe and analyze their properties for engineering drafting applications.

 

 

 

 

 

hISTORY OF ENGINEERING DRAWINGS 5Many early drafters had degrees in engineering and began to realize the importance of creating accurate and detailed engineering drawings. However, much of the drafting was in the form of line drawings, with watercolour paints used to high-light the drawings as shown in the architectural elevation of a home. Drawing continued to be basic line drawings with little dimensioning practice. An example is the early architectural floor plans shown in Figure used to construct a home. Craft workers also followed architectural details such as the gable design shown in Figure. There were few if any dimensions and standards, so each building was similar but different. This practice lasted until the early part of the twentieth century.

 

 

 

hISTORY OF ENGINEERING DRAWINGS 4Into the late 1800s and early 1900s, inventors, engineers, and builders worked on each product on a one-of-a-kind basis. Manufactures produced parts from hand sketches or hand drawings on blackboards. American engineer and inventor Coleman Sellers, in the manufacture of fire engines, had blackboards with full-size drawings of parts. Blacksmiths formed parts and compared them to the shapes on the blackboards. Coleman Sellers son, George Sellers, recalls lying on his belly using his arms as a radius for curves as his father stood over him direct-ing changes in the sketches until the drawings were satisfactory. Most designs used through the 1800s began as a hand sketches of the objects to be built. Workers then converted the sketches into wooden models from which patterns were constructed. Some companies followed this practice well into the twentieth century. An example is Henry Ford and his famous blackboards. What was new, though, was that the blackboards were also the Henry Ford drafting tables. Henry would sketch cars and parts three-dimensionally and have pattern makers construct full-size wooden models.

 

 

 

The Influence of Interchangeability

The Industrial Revolution was a period from the eighteenth to nineteenth centuries when major changes took place in agriculture, manufacturing, mining, and transport. The need for interchangeability in manufactured products became important during the Industrial Revolution. Interchangeability refers to parts manufactured identically within given tolerances. interchangeable parts are produced to specifications that make sure they are so nearly identical that they fit into any product for which they are designed. One part can replace another of the same part without custom fitting. Interchangeability allows easy assembly of new products and easier repair of exist- ing products while minimizing the time and skill required for assembly and repair.

The application of interchangeability started with the firearms industry. Before the eighteenth century, gunsmiths made guns one at a time, and each gun was unique. If one component of a firearm needed to be replaced, the entire weapon was sent back to the gunsmith for custom repairs or the firearm was discarded. The idea of replacing these methods with a system of interchangeable manufacture gradually developed during the eighteenth century. Interchangeability was not realized except in special examples until the development of the micrometre in the late 1800s; even then, interchangeability was not easy to achieve. Without the concept of interchangeability, accurate drawings were not necessary. After these advances, engineering drawing began to evolve more rapidly in the nineteenth century.

Drafting Practices and Equipment

Early engineering drawings were often works of art and commonly made with ink. Drafters initially drew using a pencil, T-square, triangles, scales, irregular (French) curves, and drawing instruments such as compasses and dividers. Drafting textbooks as late as the fourth edition of this textbook spent pages describing how to sharpen, hold, and properly use pencils to draw quality uniform lines. Drafters often traced original pencil drawings onto cloth using pen and ink. Drafters always paid skilled attention to lettering quality on drawings. Engineering drafters would use a specific lettering style referred to as vertical uppercase Gothic. Architectural drafters used a more artistic style of lettering that defined their drawings as uniquely related to their discipline. Over the years, various templates and other devices were introduced that allowed drafters to produce consistent quality lettering, although most professional drafters preferred to make quality freehand lettering.

hISTORY OF ENGINEERING DRAWINGS 6Drafters initially created drawings by hand on a drafting table referred to as aboard. An advance in drafting occurred with the introduction of the drafting machine, which replaced the T-square, triangles, scales and protractor for creating drawings. The drafting machine mounts to the table or board and has scales attached to an adjustable head that rotates for drawing angles. When locked in a zero position, the scales allow drawing horizontal and vertical lines and perpendicular lines at any angle orientation. There are arm and track drafting machines. The arm machine has arms attached to a mounting bracket at the top of the table. The arms control the movement of the head. The track machine has a traversing track that mounts to the table and a vertical track that moves along the horizontal track. The machine head traverses vertically on the track as shown in Figure.

 

Many architectural drafters used a device called a parallel bar, is a long horizontal drafting edge attached to each side of the table that moves up and down on the table. The parallel bar allows the drafter to draw horizontal lines, and triangles are used on the bar to draw angled lines. During the decades after World War II, drafting equipment suppliers introduced a variety of materials to improve the productivity of the drafting process.

Drawing Reproduction

About the same time as interchangeability became important and engineering drawings were evolving, preserving, and duplicating original drawings became important. There was a need to reproduce drawings easily for distribution to manufacturers or builders, so the blueprint process developed. A blueprint is a contact chemical-printing process of a drawing or other image copied on paper with white lines on a blue background. As drawing reproduction evolved, a diazo process that created blue line copies with a white background replaced the blueprint process. Until recently, all drawing reproductions were commonly referred to as blueprints. Today, offices use printers, plotters, and engineering copiers that use xerography to reproduce CADD drawings. The generic term print has replaced the term blueprint.

Computer-Aided Design and Drafting

During the 1980s and 1990s, CADD rapidly became a technology to take seriously. Companies began considering the power of CADD as computer systems and CADD software developed capabilities and features that made them useful in producing professional drawings. Drafters who had used manual drafting for their entire careers had to face the challenge of converting their artistic skill into drawings created using a computer. This was a difficult challenge for many drafters. Soon schools began teaching drafting technology using CADD. This gave the traditional manual drafters an opportunity to learn the new technology and for new trainees to develop CADD knowledge and skills at the entry-level.

hISTORY OF ENGINEERING DRAWINGS 7In the 1980s, schools started teaching CADD in their curricula by adding a few computers into the traditional manual drafting program. Eventually, half of the typical classroom was equipped with traditional drafting tables and the other half was CADD workstations, or the school would open a separate CADD lab to teach courses. This plan closely paralleled what was happening in the industry for those companies that were taking CADD seriously. By the 1990s, many schools and companies were starting to make the complete transition to CADD by replacing manual drafting tables with CADD workstations. Today, CADD accounts for almost all design and drafting. The figure shows a 3-D model of an aeroplane engine, which demonstrates the power of CADD for designing products.

 

 

 

Australian Design & Drafting Services provide excellent service for CAD Design and  Drafting. Contact Us for more info

what is engineering Drawing

WHAT IS THE ENGINEERING DRAWING

Engineering drawing is the common language of engineering and describes the process of creating drawings for any engineering or architectural application. Engineering drawings, produced according to accepted standards and format, provide an effective and efficient way to communicate specific information about design intent. Engineering drawings are typically not open to interpretation like other drawings, such as decorative drawings and artistic paintings. A successful engineering drawing describes a specific item in a way that the viewer of the drawing understands completely and without misinterpretation.

The term engineering drawing is also known as drafting, engineering drafting, mechanical drawing, mechanical drafting, technical drawing, and technical drafting. Drafting is a graphic language using lines, symbols, and notes to describe objects for manufacture or construction. Most technical disciplines use drafting, including architecture, civil and electrical engineering, electronics, piping, manufacturing, and structural engineering. The term mechanical drafting has alternate meanings. The manufacturing industry uses mechanical drafting, with its name derived from mechanisms. The construction industry also uses mechanical drafting, but the term refers to drafting heating, ventilating, and air-conditioning (HVAC) systems, which is the mechanical portion of an architectural project.

Manual drafting is a term that describes traditional drafting practice using pencil or ink on a medium such as paper or polyester film, with the support of drafting instruments and equipment. Computer-aided drafting (CAD) has taken the place of manual drafting. CAD uses computers for drafting. CAD also refers to computer-aided design when computers are used to design.

Engineering drawings communicate a variety of concepts, such as engineering requirements, instructions, and proposals, to a variety of people, such as the many different individuals often involved with a project. An engineering drawing or a complete set of engineering drawings provides all of the data required to manufacture or construct an item or product, such as a machine part, consumer product, or structure.

ENGINEERING DRAWINGStudy the drawing of the medical instrument part in Figure. The drawing completely and unmistakably describes the size and location of all geometric features, and it identifies other characteristics of the part, such as material and manufacturing precision and processes. The medical instrument company uses the drawing to share and document design intent and to manufacture the part. Consider how difficult it would be to explain the part without the engineering drawing.

 

ENGINEERING DRAWING AUSTRALIAThe figure shows another example of an engineering drawing, an architectural drawing for a home-remodelling project.

This engineering drawing is an architectural drawing for a home-remodelling project. The drawing is one sheet in a set of drawings that communicates architectural style, the size and location of building features, and construction methods and materials.

The drawing is one sheet in a set of drawings that communicates architectural style, the size and location of building features, and construction methods and materials. The set of drawings is also required to obtain a loan to pay for construction, to acquire building permits to legally begin construction, and to establish accurate building cost estimates. Usually, it is legally impossible and certainly impractical to begin construction without engineering drawings.

Computers in Design and Drafting

The use of computers has revolutionized business and industry process, including design and drafting practices. Computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) is the process of using a computer with CADD software for design and drafting applications. Software is the program or instructions that enable a computer to perform specific functions to accomplish a task. CAD is the acronym for computer-aided design, but CAD is also a common reference to computer-aided drafting. Computer-aided design and computer-aided drafting refer to specific aspects of the CADD process. The use of CADD has made the design and drafting process more accurate and faster. Several industries and most disciplines related to engineering and architecture use CADD. Most engineering firms and educational institutions that previously used manual drafting practices have evolved to CADD.

CADD allows designers and drafters to produce accurate drawings that are very neat and legible and matched to industry standards. CADD can even produce architectural drawings, which have always had an artistic flair with lettering and line styles, to match the appearance of the finest handwork available. In addition, CADD drawings are consistent from one person or company to the next. CADD enhances the ability for designers and drafters to be creative by providing many new tools such as solid modelling, animation, and virtual reality.

Australian Design & Drafting Services provide excellent service for CAD Design and  Drafting. Contact Us for more info

 

Engineering designs

WHAT IS THE ENGINEERING DESIGN APPLICATION

Engineering drawing and design is a broad subject that includes a wide range of theory and practice. Many different forms of drawing exist. Drawing occurs while at the lunch table as a basic sketch of a new product idea drawn on a napkin. Drawing also occurs in the form of a series of very complex models for a new automotive design and as hundreds of formal drawings needed for the construction of a skyscraper. You will learn the purpose and requirements to create meaningful engineering drawings as you use this textbook to study engineering drawing and design.

Engineering design applications offer an early explanation and systematic problem-solving techniques applied to specific engineering projects or general design and drafting concepts. The engineering design application in this post guides you through a basic example of an engineering design process, beginning with an idea and a basic sketch and ending with the manufacture of an actual product.

From an Idea to a Product

Design ideas and engineering projects often establish or occur in informal settings. For instance, the engineer of a hand-tool manufacturing company was using a typically adjustable wrench to complete a common home-repair task. While using the wrench, the engineers discovered that it was diffi cult to access a confined location to remove a nut on a piece of equipment. The engineer imagined how the company could design, manufacture, and market a new wrench with features that help make the tool usable in cramped locations. The next day, the engineer and a colleague from the drafting department met for coffee. The engineer sketched the idea for the new wrench on a napkin to communicate the design to the drafter.

THE ENGINEERING DESIGN APPLICATION fig1.1

The sketch shows the idea of taking the existing tool design and creating a new handle with an ogee, or S-shaped curve design. The sketch communicates the idea of taking an existing tool and creating a new handle with an ogee, or S-shaped curve design

 

 

 

 

THE ENGINEERING DESIGN APPLICATION fig1.2aLater the same day, the drafter opens the three- dimensional (3-D) solid model files of the existing wrench design on the computer-aided design and drafting (CADD) system (see Figure).

 

 

 

THE ENGINEERING DESIGN APPLICATION fig1.2bThe drafter copies and then revises the existing design according to the engineer’s sketch (see Figure). The drafter presents the new model to the engineer, who is pleased with the results and requests a rapid prototype. Rapid prototyping (RP) is the process of creating a physical and functional model from a computer-generated 3-D model, using an RP machine, also known as a 3-D  printer. RP machines are available that build prototypes from various materials such as paper and liquid polymer. The hand-tool company does not have an RP machine, so the drafter sends files of the design to a company that specializes in RP. The drafter and engineer receive a prototype two days later.

 

THE ENGINEERING DESIGN APPLICATION fig1.3The figure shows the prototype of the new wrench design. The design team tests the prototype in an application similar to what the engineer experienced at home. The prototype worked as expected.

 

 

 

 

THE ENGINEERING DESIGN APPLICATION fig1.4aBy the next afternoon, the drafter completes the set of working drawings shown in Figure and sends the drawings to the manufacturing department to manufacture and assemble the new product. The manufacturing department needs lead time to design and make the forging dies required to reproduce the parts. Lead time is the time interval between the initiation and the completion of a production process. Forging is the process of shaping malleable metals by hammering or pressing between dies that duplicate the desired shape. The hand-tool company is small, so the drafter is also responsible for creating catalogue art and copy for marketing the product.

 

 

 

detail drawingsAssembly Drawings and Parts List & Detail drawing of the new wrench body part

 

 

 

 

 

 

jaw part drawingsDetail drawing of the new wrench JAW part.

 

 

 

 

 

gear part drawingsDetail drawing of the new wrench GEAR part.

 

 

 

 

 

part drawings for pinDetail drawing of the new wrench PIN part.

 

 

 

 

 

THE ENGINEERING DESIGN APPLICATION fig1.6Less than two months after the engineer had the initial idea, the first production run of new wrenches is ready to sell. The figure shows the finished product.

 

 

 

 

Australian Design & Drafting Services provide excellent service for CAD Design and  Drafting. Contact Us for more info

 

2D Drawing

WHAT TO CHOOSE 2D DRAWING OR 3D MODEL PLATFORM FOR CAD DESIGNING

There has been a new trend in CAD designing world for a 3D modelling for complex design and CAD design platform has evolved so much that 2D drawings become the by-product of 3D modelling.

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2D drawings are easy to generate but engineers prefer 3D models for complex applications and design generation. When both are easily achievable, they also are a choice of avoiding catastrophe in the longer run. It basically demands foresight to decide and avail a smooth function of fabrication part of the engineering project and business applications on later stages. Engineering documentation is at the heart of the long, storied history of technical draftsmanship. The objective back then is no different from today's challenge: represent an engineering design in the most accurate and concise way possible. Distilling the 3D reality we live in onto sheets of paper involved a carefully considered system of dimensioning and orthographic projections. These days, they might be referred to as 2D Drawings (which is a redundant term if you think about it). The system worked then and it works now. Those who are well-trained in these classical methodologies have difficulty understanding why there should be anything else. Why fix what ain't broke?

To think that 2D drawing has been trashed out with the advent of 3D CAD modelling is far from reality. 2D drafting still has a very prominent place amongst the industrial product designers, and they have their own reasons for it.

2D is the best option when you are facing tight deadlines and the designs are to be developed for a single component or a single part. Basic geometries are easy to generate in 2D CAD sketching tools and are quick. They are intriguing when the drawings do not need any functionalities of 3D and require less space. A designer of any skill sets can easily work with 2D CAD and nearly any desktop will support 2D drafting.

For a crystal clear usage, engineers still use 2D drafts for fabrication drawings, plans, elevation, sectional drawings and shop floor drawings for fabrication. In fact, it is quite surprising that approximately 30% of engineering design firms and design engineers still use paper to design the initial concept sketched and then resort to 2D CAD for digitization.

Despite these benefits, there are a few drawbacks of using 2D. When sectional views are generated in 2D, updating them is time-consuming and also prone to errors. Also, 2D CAD software does not have rendering capabilities. This means, it involves an additional step to export and convert designs into 3D models before rendering.

So for a fact, just to save time, you are doing two more steps, exporting and converting before any other action is being taken– literally two for one. It reduces productivity and lengthens the designing cycle. For these reasons, industry-wide shift to 3D modelling is witnessed among mechanical and industrial product design engineers.

In contrast, the classic engineering drawing is fraught with limitations:

  • Interpretation Issues: A properly executed drawing shouldn't be subject to misinterpretation, but that skill is starting to become something of a lost art. Unclear depictions can be problematic (i.e. which surface did that leader line touch?). More disturbingly, errors can easily escape detection. Sure, most of that can be mitigated with carefully defined GD&T, but that too seems to be a fading skill. PMI improves upon these limitations by clearly associating surfaces and endpoints and providing validation that such dimensions do indeed make logical sense.
  • Manual Inspection: Drawings necessitate reinterpretation by humans on the other side of the manufacturing lifecycle. It's another way to introduce error: the botched inspection. PMI sets the stage for automated inspection, accelerating manufacturing processes while simultaneously improving quality.
  • Time is Money: This is where drawings go for the BRAINS... Simply put, in today's constantly accelerating demand to crank out the engineering in less time, drawings just take too long. Increased market pace demands more efficient processes. An engineer who's spent considerable time defining a model, shouldn't have to spend much longer documenting it. The days of modelling something then throwing it over a fence to lay it out are over. These two aspects of the design must occur simultaneously, and this ultimately is only possible with the model-based definition.

3D Models: Make a three-way profit

As business needs became bigger, design cycles were required to get shorter and engineering lead time needed to get easier and without errors; this is when more and more engineers started resorting to 3D CAD software. The advantage of using 3D CAD over 2D CAD is that it reduces the design cycle time to almost half and gives a competitive advantage to designers as well as fabricators by accommodating alterations, much fasters.

Another takeaway with 3D CAD is that it offers excellent workaround while generating rapid prototypes. And with additive manufacturing gaining momentum over traditional manufacturing practices, 3D CAD is the way to adapt to easily transform designs into tangible products.

Since additive manufacturing is a process that eliminates material cutting, it has a dramatic control over scrap produced. This is one among many reasons why this phenomenon has gained traction for every fabricator in any industry – be it industrial sheet metal tools, automotive, building products, furniture or any other that one can think of.

Such a paradigm shift makes it even more important than ever to adopt 3D CAD and drop 2D drafting process for saving material, directly targeting to increase their profits and connects the digital thread opportunity directly with the designs.

Other than these three major benefits, 3D CAD usually offers more functionality to the user. These functionalities encompass 3D arrays, special views, referencing and much more. But at times these are too many for generating basic part models like line-types, line-weights, and other form features are good to go. In such times, it feels that 2D drawings should be preferred instead of 3D.

Also because since 3D CAD is advanced, licensing is much expensive and renewing it each time the software company rolls-out new version, [not to mention it happens almost every year] it costs heavily to designers. Thus, it is much needed to weigh your needs of design requirements and analyze the cost you are paying for it.

By now, you must have realized that, on the contrary to popular belief, there will be times when you’ll find 2D CAD to be the need of the hour and not 3D models. While during the other times, you’ll find your designing world revolving in the three dimensions of 3D CAD models, whatever be your need – fabrication, design intent clarity or profits – to avoid catastrophe and binge working at the last moment. The hitch is that you select the one that addresses most of your needs since there isn’t any single CAD system that will address all your design and fabrication needs.

2D Drawing

How to Hire the Right Architect

When you make the decision to build a new home, there are a lot of things to consider:

  • Neighbourhood

  • Accessibility

  • Land or Area

  • Budget / Capital


No matter where you end up, perhaps the most important decision you make is that who will be the
architect. If you haven’t worked with one before, you may wonder whether your project really requires an architect, most especially if it will be your personal residence.

Hiring an architect is critical for any building project to be successful. The architect is the source of the outcome, and he or she will handle a number of duties. Among them, helping clients explore what appeals to them aesthetically and what they require functionally, coordinating teams of design, engineering and construction professionals and sorting through the maze of building codes and zoning requirements to ensure projects are built the way they were planned.

Some people thought they could design their dream home on their own. And in the end they will just find that it’s a big mistake..

The professional architect is the one who has the proper education, training, experience, and vision to guide us through the entire design and construction process;

  • help us define what we want to build,

  • help us get the most for our construction.

Should be a “Problem Solver”
That is what architects are trained to do, solving problems in creative ways. With their broad knowledge of design and construction, architects can show alternative options we might never think of on our own.

  • Professional interpreters of client’s dreams, visions, and objectives

  • Explorers of all possibilities

  • Studying and responding to the site and its environment

  • Home Design Translators that will exceed expectations

Should be a “Finance Specialist” (building construction)

An architect pays for his own way through the

  • lot selection,

  • design,

  • construction documents,

  • bidding and negotiation,

  • the construction phase of a custom residence project.

An architect’s input can save the owner’s money and/or add value to the project.

Because a well-conceived project can be built more efficiently and economically. Architects plan projects with us. As your ideas evolve, changes can be made on paper, much less expensively than when construction is going on. Though 3D Architectural Renderings also make it easier for the contractor to accurately price and build the project.

Energy-efficient buildings can save money on fuel bills down the road. An architect can design a building to maximize heating from the sun and let in natural light, thus reducing heating, cooling, and electric bills over time.

Can work with the budget and help us select the appropriate materials and workmanship at a fair price. Architects develop the drawings and specifications to help us get bids for construction that are based on our requirements.

Can help us choose materials and finishes that are durable as well as saving on frequent maintenance and replacement costs. Architects work to stay abreast of advances in roofing, brickwork, floor tiling, paint finishes, etc. Their familiarity with the full range of materials enables them to suggest the appropriate materials for the project.

Good design sells. A well-designed house has a higher resale value. A well-designed store draws customers. A well-designed work environment attracts employees and increases productivity.

Architects are like Machines = Easy Life

The building is a long process that is often messy and disruptive, particularly if you are living or working in the space under construction. They have an all the ideas that will make us contented on the design they offered. The architect looks out on our interests and they try to find ways to make that process go smoothly.

Australian Design & Drafting Services provide excellent service for CAD Design and  Drafting. Contact Us for more info

 

3d scanning future

The Future – Desktop 3D Scanning and Manufacturing

Before we finish our series “Everything you always wanted to know about 3D scanning” we wanted to take a moment to talk about what we think is the immediate future in 3D scanning and manufacturing: the technology is going Desktop.

In the last few years, companies have been creating more products with smaller footprints, at much lower price points, making the technology a viable tool for schools and medium to small businesses. In addition to these new products, students and hobbyists have been creating (and sharing) do-it-yourself versions of 3D scanning and rapid manufacturing products. Soon we could see 3D scanners and printers in home offices!

Coming in the near future – to a home workshop near you!


Commercial Desktop and Handheld Scanners:

There are a few digitizers and scanners out there that are sized and priced for the small business. The price points are not yet for your everyday consumer, but it is getting closer all of the time.

  • One of our favourite desktop digitizer/scanners is the Microscribe. It is a miniature articulating arm that is easily portable, is compatible with most popular reverse engineering and metrology packages, and offers near metrology level accuracy in a small package. Obviously you are not going to digitize an aeroplane with this – but we consider it the first major desktop digitizer (an attachable scanner is also available).
  • 3D metrology has also entered the realm of handheld and wireless. the microscope also now offer the MobiGage, the first handheld 3D metrology app. You don’t even need a computer, just a Microscribe and an iPhone or iPod Touch, to take measurements.
  • Next Engine also offers a desktop 3D laser scanner. Its compact size, ease of use, customer support and price point are quickly making it a popular choice for small businesses and individuals.

Open Source, Consumer and Up-Coming Scanning Technologies:

While they don’t come close to offering the same kind of accuracy as currently available scanning systems, there is a burgeoning community of small businesses, hobbyists and students who are working to bring 3D scanners into the home. New products are rapidly developing.

  • Qi Pan, a student at Cambridge University has created ProFORMA, which uses a webcam to collect data and create a colour 3D model.
  • David Laser Scanner offers a kit to build your own basic scanning system using everyday objects like a webcam and handheld laser pointer.
  • Perhaps the ultimate in DIY scanners, Friederich Kirschner used Legos, a webcam and some milk to create 3D models.

Desktop 3D Printers:

Like 3D scanners, 3D printers have already reached the small business market and are now just entering the individual consumer marketplace. Their build envelopes are limited but what could be cooler than printing your own action figures, robot parts, or 3D portraits?

  • The RepRap project is an open-source project aimed at creating self-replication rapid manufacturing machines. Based out of Bath University, the project shares its plans and the RepRap community can build as is or make their own improvements, which they can then share.
  • At the other end of the Desktop 3D printer spectrum comes the V Flash from 3D Systems. Rather than making your 3D printer from scratch, you can buy this smaller version of traditional additive manufacturing technology. It is priced for small businesses and schools.
  • In the same market space as the V Flash, Solido bills their SolidPro300 as the “world’s most cost-efficient and flexible 3D printer”. In the US the SolidPro300 is distributed by Enser.
  • Between RepRap, the V Flash, and SolidPro300 comes to the Makerbot Cupcake CNC. Makerbot sells a kit for the Cupcake CNC but the customer puts it together. Like RepRap, they also host a community called Thingverse. Though their community revolves more around the 3D models than the machine itself. They are also working on a 3D scanning kit.
  • HP has also recently announced that they are entering the market in an agreement with Stratysis who will produce mainstream 3D printers using Fused Deposition Modeling technology.

The above examples are just a small selection from a quickly developing marketplace, but they are a good indication of what home scanning technologies are just around the corner. Thanks for reading “Everything you always wanted to know about 3D scanning”, we hope it is has been an informative series!

Contact Australian Design & Drafting Services for more information..

rapid prototyping service brisbane

From Digital to Physical – Rapid Prototyping and Milling

Up to now, we’ve been discussing putting physical objects into the realm of the digital, but before we finish this series we need to talk about another common application for our 3D scanning and modelling processes. Chapter Nine focuses on creating physical objects from digital data.

 


Important Terminology

Additive Manufacturing – the process of making a physical object from 3D digital data by layering materials; also known as rapid prototyping and 3D printing.

Milling – a subtractive process of removing material to create a physical object directly from 3D digital data by the cutting away from existing solid material.

 


Applications

You may be asking, why do I need a physical replication of my digital model? After all, we just spent 8 months talking about turning your physical parts into various digital formats. But there are many good reasons to create new physical models of your data. Here are a few:

 

    • Scaling: Making enlargements, reductions, or even exact size replicas...we can do it all. After a Digital Model has been created, there are few boundaries as to how big or how small we can replicate your object or part.
    • Restoration: Our technology enables us to capture accurate 3D data that can be used for manufacturing to completely restore any object that has been damaged by weather, neglect, natural disasters, etc. such as historical monuments and artifacts or aged aircraft and automotive parts.

 

  • Manufacturing Prototype: With a digital model, Direct Dimensions can create a physical prototype that can be used for testing or to manufacture final pieces, such as milling a foam sculpture for a bronze casting pattern or creating a finished prototype as a concept model for a new consumer product.

And now we can talk about the best ways to create physical models.

Additive Manufacturing (AM)

There are a variety of additive manufacturing equipment manufacturers and processes on the market. Regardless of the type of AM, the various machines read the 3D data most typically in an STL file format. We discussed this format in earlier editions. The software within the machines then generates the layering instructions and directs the deposition of successive layers of material needed to build up the physical part. Essentially this part is created from cross-sectional layers. The layers are fused together automatically and ultimately create the final shape, an exact physical replica of the 3D model. Additive manufacturing is an umbrella term that covers many of the following processes.

  • One of the earliest and most common types of AM is called Stereolithography (also known as SLA). SLA builds pieces using a laser and a vat of UV-curable liquid resin. Each thin layer of resin is solidified and secured to the layer below with every pass of the UV laser. SLA is good for producing models, patterns, and prototypes. A downside to SLA is that it generally requires support structures to be included in the build, which is part of the SLA process.
  • Another AM process is Selective Laser Sintering (also known as SLS). Unlike SLA, SLS can utilize a wide variety of materials such as plastics, metals, and ceramics although post-processing may be required. SLS does not require support material while building since it is built and incased within the raw material. SLS uses these materials in a powder format and, by fusing the powder together, creates the layers needed to build the part. SLS is increasingly being used to create final parts for when mass-scale production isn’t necessary.
  • Similar to Stereolithography is Fused Deposition Modeling (also known as FDM). FDM, trademarked and marketed by Stratasys, also uses the additive platform build concept. Rather than raw liquid or powder, FDM uses thermoplastic materials which are applied through a heated nozzle that places a single thermoplastic bead at a time. These beads fuse together and harden as cooled. The plastics used in FDM are known for their strength and high heat resistance, making them good for product testing.
  • Perhaps the most similar to regular 2D printing is the concept of 3D Inkjet Printing. The only rapid prototyping technique that can print in multiple colours, 3D printing also uses a powder base material, but rather than sintering the powder, an inkjet releases a dot of adhesive mixed with colouring, allowing the layers to be built with colours. While the final model is not generally as strong as the other three techniques it is usually cheaper and faster and the coloured prints allow for a good representation of final concepts. Recently 3D printing has been used commercially to create personalized figurines from World of Warcraft and Rock Band avatar characters.

The primary advantage of additive fabrication is its ability to create almost any shape or geometric feature relatively quickly and inexpensively. We generally say that for a small part, you can’t beat the price to complexity ratio. However, the overall volume within a single build is generally limited for AM and for larger parts we recommend milling.

Milling

Milling is best described as a subtractive manufacturing technique. Most often used in the creation of metal production parts, tools, and moulds for virtually any industry, an engineer, or even an artist, counts this as a well-tested valuable method. More advanced Computer Numerical Control (CNC) milling machines, like the various additive manufacturing machines, use a 3D CAD file to create a physical reproduction of the digital model. Unlike AM, CNC milling machines can utilize an extremely diverse range of materials including:

  • Metals
  • Stones
  • Woods
  • Waxes
  • Plastics
  • Even Glasses!

Milling steel or aluminium is a common option to make durable tooling. And stone and wood are common for sculpture and historical restoration projects.

Where is this all going?

We are almost done with our “Almost Everything You Always Wanted to Know About 3D Scanning” series. Don’t be surprised if we add additional chapters now and then; the field is constantly changing and growing. We wrap up this series next post talking about the immediate future of these technologies, including desktop (or home) scanning and manufacturing.

Contact Australian Design & Drafting Services for more information..

 

3D Data for Visualization brisbane

Using 3D Data for Visualization

While we touched on visualization, one of several downstream applications in Chapter Six, the subject is so comprehensive that it deserves a chapter of its own.

As our lives become increasingly digital and interactive (via the web, video games, and even television and our cell phones), we have come to expect ever more realistic interpretations of real-world objects within this virtual realm. One of the best ways to perfect the digital form is to actually copy the shape of objects into 3D via laser scanning and digital imaging.


Visualization applications generally fall into the following categories:

  • Animations - 3D digital movies made from computer models
  • Renderings - 2D images made from computer models
  • Direct 3Dviews - real-time interactive web-based 3D visualizations
  • ShapeShot™ - real-time interactive web-based 3D facial images

Animations

When most people think of computer animation they think of the neat special effects in blockbuster movies and the animated explanations of complex events on the nightly news, such as train accidents. Yes - 3D models are frequently used for those types of animations. But often these animations are pure visualizations where the dimensional accuracy of the objects is less important – as long as it looks good.

Our brand of 3D scanning and modelling is more valuable when the quality of the models is critical, such as for museum objects, or military simulations, or for animating highly recognizable objects for tv commercials such as cars. These situations require accuracy and authenticity, which scanning provides, so the objects in the animations look as real as possible. Often real colours and textures are captured and applied to provide that much more realism.

We have created numerous 3D animations from our 3D scanned models for a wide variety of applications including illustrating complex medical procedures, forensic analysis, describing historic preservation sites, and even for Hollywood movies and commercials.

Renderings

Rendering is the process of creating a still image from a 3D model. High-quality 2D renderings are often created from an existing 3D model that was originally captured for other purposes. These renderings can be used for graphical presentations, marketing, and even websites. For instance, if a product designer has created a hand-carved physical model for reverse engineering purposes, he can also use that same digital file to create awesome 2D images of his product for marketing graphics. The great thing about a rendering created from a 3D model is that it is highly accurate and quick to render out multiple lighting and background states to create multiple renderings without staging new photography shoots.

Direct 3Dviews

A Direct 3Dview is a fully-interactive real-time 3D presentation of a digital model in a virtual environment. This 3D model visualization can be displayed via a website, a PowerPoint, or even in a stand-alone format. The Direct 3Dview of your object can be used to create an online 3D catalogue to allow web visitors to fully experience the product - virtually. Another great application is for 3D proofs of concept for a new design or invention in a collaborative viewing environment.

Features of the Direct 3Dview include:

  • The smallest viewer on the web - the one-time plug-in is only 130KB
  • Smaller digital file sizes = faster download times
  • Easily integrates into web sites
  • Viewer supported in an e-mail as well as PowerPoint
  • View file in actual 3D, not a series of images

ShapeShot™

ShapeShots™ are high-resolution 3D snapshots of faces that are incredibly life-like. ShapeShot™ enables online personal interaction with amazingly real 3D avatars of you, friends, and family for social networking, online gaming, virtual collaborative environments, and fabrication of personalized consumer products.

New advances in 3D imaging technology have made it to possible to capture faces in a split second and receive an interactive 3D model within minutes with almost no effort.

From the Virtual to the Physical

The above examples are just a drop in the bucket when it comes to visualization applications. But what happens if you want to take your 3D model and make a physical copy of it? For instance, can you take your Guitar Hero avatar and get a physical 3D copy made? You can, and that process is called Rapid Prototyping or RP. Rapid Prototyping is just one of many technologies that fall into the “3D Printing” category and we’ll be talking about that next.

Happy Very Brand New year to All of you.

Contact Australian Design & Drafting Services for more information..

 

3d cad digital model formats

Digital Model Formats - The Many Flavors of 3D CAD

We’re going to take a little pause here for a mini-chapter. We’ve talked about the many things you can do with a CAD model but that can lead to some questions. How can I use an OBJ file and how is it different from an STL? Can an IGES and a STEP file essentially be used for the same thing?

These are what we call the “Flavors” of CAD and we’re here to provide you with a shortlist to help clear up some details.


Various CAD Flavors:

  • ASCII (or ASC) – an X, Y, Z point cloud file in ASCII text format.
  • DWG - This is a native AutoCAD drawing file
  • DXF – “Drawing Interchange File” - a neutral version of a DWG file
  • IGES – “Initial Graphics Exchange Specification” - a neutral format for exchanging CAD data between many different software programs
  • OBJ – an open data format that represents the vertices of polygons
  • PRT – a native CAD format for Pro/ENGINEER and NX (Unigraphics)
  • SLDPRT – a native CAD format for SolidWorks
  • STEP – "Standard for the Exchange of Product model data," (ISO 10303) an advanced neutral format for exchanging CAD data between many different software programs.
  • STL – “Standard Tessellation Language” - a polygonal model format similar to OBJ and several others
  • WRL (VRML) – “Virtual Reality Modeling Language,” a polygonal file similar to OBJ, STL and several others and can include colour
  • X_T - a semi-neutral CAD format

Wikipedia maintains an extensive list of CAD file formats that might be of further interest at List of File Formats - Computer-aided design (CAD)

Neutral Formats:

From the list above you’ll notice that some CAD formats are considered neutral, specifically IGES and STEP formats. These two formats were specifically created to neutrally exchange 3D CAD data across different CAD packages.

IGES was created in 1979 by a group of users (including Boeing and GE) with support from the Department of Defense (DoD) and NIST to exchange data more easily. Since the late ’80s, the DoD has required that all Digital Project Manufacturing Data (PMI) be deliverable in IGES format.

STEP is an ISO standard released in 1994 to be the “successor” to IGES. While widely used it has never totally replaced the IGES format.

Extra Flavors:

While the above examples are standard across CAD packages, many industries, such as Architecture and 3D modelling for computer graphics have their own packages and files types. We like to think of these as extra flavours, like CAD dessert.

3D Graphics – 3D graphics formats are generally proprietary according to package. Some popular graphics programs are 3D Studio Max, Maya and Lightwave. Popular gaming companies such as Blizzard Entertainment and other film studios often develop their own in-house formats. However, many consumer 3D graphics packages can import OBJ files.

3D Modeling for Architecture – A new style of modelling for facilities, such as buildings and processing plants, is developing rapidly. This new CAD software contains a relational database component to store metadata for the design entities, such as the style and make of windows or doors or the schedule of the I-beams and piping. This new class of software is termed BIM for Building Information Modeling and is working to combine facilities management into the database concept as well.

The above examples are just a small taste when it comes to the “flavours” of CAD, but they are the most common files used. Hopefully, this little list has helped a bit. If you have any questions you should just ask your 3D service provider and they will be happy to help. You can always ask us questions at info@astcad.com.au.