The objective of PRODEX is to demonstrate the exchange of mechanical design data between heterogeneous systems in the areas of conceptual and detail design, finite element analysis, product visualisation using holographic images, and robotics simulation using virtual reality techniques. The project will include the exchange of solid model geometry with related product information such as material, surface finish, product appearance, kinematic and analysis data.
The objective will be achieved by using the emerging Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data (STEP). The project aims to fill out the specifications needed for a Mechanical Design Application Protocol for STEP, and to specify access interfaces which facilitate the close integration of applications in the design to manufacture process.
Work will include:
- implementation of several STEP applications and validation of their interoperability
- extension of the STEP toolkit to cover data structure generation and data access interfaces (both based on the EXPRESS language which forms part of the STEP standard) and also geometry and topology conversion and file handling
- specification of the Mechanical Design Application Protocol and its submission to ISO
- implementation of STEP-based pre- and post-processors for product data exchange
- definition of a standardised STEP data access interface.
Advanced technologies will be used throughout to produce portable software.
Pilot demonstrations are planned based on implementations by CAD and finite element system vendors and also by robot simulation system developers. These implementations will be evaluated in a user environment. The results of the project will be exploited by vendor consortium members to develop STEP pre-and post processors; systems integrator members will use the conversion tools developed to apply the results in other areas.
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