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A Guide to Implementation Techniques

The need for data transfer of product models between different areas of manufacturing has long been realised in industry.  The need comes from two main motivators:

  • Efficiency
  • Quality Assurance

The generation of a product model is a time consuming process.  If different applications can utilise some or all of the generated information, the generating process can be minimised, the product model can be maintained and updated across a wide range of applications through a product’s life-cycle most efficiently and the archiving of information can be minimised.  The generation of product models is a process which is subject to human error.  By centralising the source model and ensuring automatic transfer to the various applications, the verification of the model is a simpler process.



  • Data Exchange Scenarios
  • History of Data Exchange Standards
    • IGES
    • SET
    • VDA/IS and VDA/FS
    • CAD*I
    • PDES


  • Express
  • Clear text encoding of the exchange structure
  • Standard Data Access Interface - SDAI
  • NIAM
  • STEP Parts
  • Shape Classification
    • Constructive Solid Geometry
    • Boundary Representation
    • Geometric Models

Research in Implementation Techniques

  • The Maritime AP Factory
  • Using EXPRESS database technology for accessing NCBI Genomic Data
  • Modelling of Association in Express-R
  • Express-M - a schema mapping language
  • Express now models the world in data,relations and rules
  • The Mapping between Express and traditional DBMS Models
  • Semantic modelling in CIM using Express and Conceptual Graphs
  • Express driven data translation
  • Checking Express constraints in a heterogeneous database environment
  • The semantics of Subtypes and Supertypes
  • Parallel Validation of STEP Files
  • Exime, an Express-oriented information management system
  • Shared editing of information models
  • Object-oriented approaches to the implementation of Express based systems
  • Using Express, Cobra and ODL to create Open Engineering Databases 

Other Related STEP design analysis and projects

  • Esprit project 322 CAD*I
  • Esprit project 1062  Accord
  • Esprit project 2165 Immpact
  • Esprit project 2195 Cadex
  • Esprit project 2486 Dynamo
  • Esprit project 2614 Niro 
  • Esprit project 2626 Autocode
  • Esprit project 5172 Idam
  • Esprit project 5524 MDS
  • Esprit project 5606 Pro-Datis
  • Esprit project 5620 Adonis
  • Esprit project 6040 Prodex
  • Esprit project 6041 Maritime
  • Esprit project 6212 Process Base
  • Esprit project 6874 Mass
  • Esprit project 6876 Pisa
  • Esprit project 6911 3D-Scan
  • Esprit project 7280 Atlas
  • Esprit project 7294 Midas
  • Epistle
  • POSC

STEP Toolkits

  • ProSTEP toolkit
  • NICOGRAPH toolkit
  • Prodex toolkit
  • International TechneGroup Incorporated toolkit
  • Epee toolkit
  • Step tools toolkit 
  • NIST toolkit
  • PMshell toolkit
  • Express Data Manager

Data transfer between dissimilar systems

  • Shape based transfer
  • Topological conversion
  • Downward conversions
  • Upward conversions
  • Step to Step Geometric Conversion
  • Step to Local Geometric Conversion
  • Step to Local Topological Conversion

STEP Data transfer between design and analysis 

  • The information content of the design model
  • The information content of the analysis input model
  • The information content of the analysis results model
  • The information sent back to Design
  • Compound boundary representation
  • Model Abstraction
  • Abstractions for Analysis Models
  • Change of dimensionality
  • Depletion of Unwanted Geometry and topology
  • Topology Building
  • Conversion to a meshable topology
  • Sending Data Back to the Computer Aided Design department after abstraction
    • Manually maintaining a dual representation
    • Automatically maintaining a dual representation
    • Automatically Building Topology

General requirements for toolkits

  • Questionnaire
  • GfS Requirements
  • Framasoft+CSI Requirements
  • FEGS Requirements
  • Cisigraph Requirements
  • GEM specific requirements

Survey of toolkits

  • Prodex toolkit
  • PMshell toolkit
  • Prostep toolkit
  • Step tools toolkit
  • ITI toolkit
  • Nicograph toolkit
  • Epee toolkit
  • Express Data Manager
  • Conclusion


Purchasing Details

Members Price
£25 | $32 | €29

Non-Members Price
£250 | $319 | €285
Order Ref: R0045


G. Miles

First Published September 1995