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Guest csven

Wildfire 4 *actually* Backward Compatible?

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Guest csven

As someone who bought Wildfire 1.0 and listened to the sales pitch that Pro/E files would be natively backward compatible to version 2001 (i.e. not "dead" import features, but retaining... to some degree... the feature history tree), I'm personally aware of how that turned out. And it doesn't take much Googling to find people out there with similar stories, including sales reps who apparently admit to making such claims.

 

Now making parametric modelers backward compatible is undoubtedly a tricky operation. I'm not sophisticated enough to know all the issues, but I've read comments by those who are and they're suggesting that at the very least any new features added to application revisions (e.g. adding a kind of fillet to version 2 that isn't in version 1, for example) could be treated as imported features. From my perspective, I could never understand why a version 2 that wasn't using any of the new features couldn't offer the option of saving as a version 1-compatible file.

 

For anyone who's simply been unable to load a version 2 file into a different datecode of the version 2 application, compatibility and data portability issues are a big deal. It's why I have three different versions of Pro/E loaded on my machine. It's why I run through compatibility tests with new clients to ensure that their version (and datacode) match up with mine.

 

Okay, so earlier today I read this "GRANITE-based Cross-Release Interoperability for Pro/ENGINEER"

 

Consider interaction between Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 and 4.0 as pictured. GCRI allows the Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 user to open Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 models. The Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 user can view the full feature tree, add features and save the model. A Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 user can open the original model and graft the additional feature information created in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 to the original Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 model. The result is a fully featured model in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0. The ability to read later release models into earlier releases, add features, and then bring the added features forward to later releases is the concept behind Cross-Release Interoperability (CRI).

 

Having heard this claim before, I'm curious to know if anyone out there has actually tested this and can confirm what PTC is claiming. Would very much appreciate hearing some reports from the user base.

 

Thanks in advance.

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I too have heard some "Wow look what V4 can do" hype around the water cooler, but I don't know whether it's true or not. I just started using Pro a few months ago but already I have the same issue - we have version two but portions of the company started migrating over to version 3, so now I have 2 copies of the software installed AND I can't use Version 3 for most of my work because then others in my group wouldn't be able to use the data.

 

Kind of irritating, but I'm sure it sells more copies of the software.

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Guest csven
It will probably turn out to be a new export interface or something like that. Same story different year

 

Confess to having the same thoughts, but coming from you I'm now much less encouraged that PTC has solved the backward compatibility issues plaguing this approach.

 

I'm wondering if their (possible) ongoing problems on this front are indicative of why so many other CAD development efforts seem to be abandoning the parametric feature-based history approach and are apparently now moving to "direct" modeling.

 

Direct or, as PTC likes to call it since their acquisition of Co|Create, "explicit" modeling would seem to solve data portability/backward compatibility problems (I don't know, so if anyone has some insight on this please comment). However, if these companies are planning to go down the SaaS path, I'm not sure backward-compatibility even remains an issue. Thus why abandon parametric history? Curious.

 

Both those companies, however, seem to be pushing the virtual world/CAD integration harder than PTC and may see reasons to go with direct modeling related to that effort:

 

- Dassault just released CATIA V6 which seems very much geared toward their "3DFlickr"/MS Virtual Earth/3DVia efforts.

 

- And through my own discussion with Siemen's developers (a connection born of my interest and writing about CAD and virtual world convergence), they also seem to be moving toward this general goal with some fervor.

 

That's two big players chasing a big prize. If PTC doesn't deliver on their own front, it sure seems as if they have a lot to lose. Or maybe they just don't expect Dassault, Siemens and the rest to make any headway. That would seem to be a change in mindset considering their early interest in that field.

 

Lots to consider, and now I'm just rambling. If anyone can make sense of what's going on, please share.

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Guest csven

Was posting stuff to my twitter and thought I'd add the link to a YouTube video showing PTC's FRT in action: http://tinyurl.com/2zurax

 

Pretty impressive even if it does seem to require a fair number of steps to featurize one element of the overall geometry (can mapkey that). Guess that's how they're pulling off backward-compatibility. I'll be interested in what users have to say.

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Guest Skint

Interesting. I installed WF4.0 yesterday, and was just about to email my factory and say " Change NOW " lol... maybe they can continue using WF3 this time around. Will keep you updated.

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Guest csven

Would very much appreciate a report from the front lines.

 

As it turns out, I've been doing some research (documenting on my blog) into "direct modeling" and "feature recognition", both of which seem to play a role in this additional functionality PTC has added to WF4. I now believe that what I was hoping to see happen in years may have already arrived. And it's not just PTC, but the whole industry that seems to be going down this path.

 

Of course, how well it currently pans out in practice...

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Somewhat change of topic. Solidworks has the capability to import proE files with a certain amount of mapped features. But they refuse to provide that capability to open future versions of Solidworks. I mean really- how much change happens in the basic extrude functionality? I am glad that proE is addressing the forward compatibility issue somewhat.

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Guest csven
Somewhat change of topic. Solidworks has the capability to import proE files with a certain amount of mapped features. But they refuse to provide that capability to open future versions of Solidworks. I mean really- how much change happens in the basic extrude functionality? I am glad that proE is addressing the forward compatibility issue somewhat.

 

I wonder if Dassault is using the technology I stumbled upon last night (while browsing "Feature Recognition" patents) to effect the Pro > SW exchange, but for some reason they can't use it for their own product. Thru the patents I stumbled upon some company I'd never heard of last night. It licenses a powerful CAD file exchange system. iirc Dassault was one of their licensees. Curious.

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Guest Skint

As far as I am aware, I am still not convinced that backwards compatability is possibly with Pro-e. I posed the question to a Pro-e Guru yesterday and he was not convinced that it is possible. We await answers with baited breath !

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csven- I bet that you are right, and that Solidworks is using an external app in their code. That would make sense. Thats funny that Dassault chooses not to implement something similar in its own files.

 

Oh well.

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Guest csven

fwiw, this is the patent that got my attention: "System and method for the exchange of CAD data" (Link)

 

No. I didn't read it. But this one and a number of related patents all had the name Ari Rappoport tied to them. Note the assignee name: Proficiency Ltd. This is the page explaining what they offer: Solutions: Overview (Link). And Proficiency's alliances (Link).

 

Using patented technology, the Collaboration Gateway™ automatically extracts explicit and implicit product knowledge from a source system, such as a 3D CAD system, and converts the model to the Universal Product Representation (UPR). This extensible format represents the complete product definition including features, parameters, history, manufacturing attributes and associative properties. Once stored in the UPR format, the product knowledge can be extracted into a diverse set of other formats including major CAD systems formats:

- Dassault's CATIA® V4 and CATIA V5

- PTC's Pro/ENGINEER®

- UGS's Unigraphics® and I-DEAS®

 

Looks to me like Proficiency is a linchpin. And since Dassault owns SolidWorks, I figure they're simply ahead of the pack and we'll see some more data exchange between Dassault, PTC and Siemens/UGS applications.

 

The question I'm now asking is: how many artificial barriers are being erected by each to keep users inside their walled gardens? Meanwhile, each company has probably studied Proficiency's patents and are searching for end-arounds. And PTC may... may... have beat the rest to the punch; at least within the realm of their own data which is how they're managing their backward compatibility.

 

In the meantime, guess I'll have to wait a while to hear how Wildfire 4 actually performs.

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Guest csven
csven- I bet that you are right, and that Solidworks is using an external app in their code. That would make sense. Thats funny that Dassault chooses not to implement something similar in its own files.

 

I suspect this is about keeping their high-price CATIA customers tied to the platform. If it were me, I'd do my testing on the lower-end product to gauge the potential impact on my overall business.

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Guest Skint

GRANITE-based Cross-Release Interoperability for Pro/ENGINEERConsider interaction between Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 and 4.0 as pictured. GCRI allows the Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 user to open Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 models. The Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 user can view the full feature tree, add features and save the model. A Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 user can open the original model and graft the additional feature information created in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0 to the original Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0 model. The result is a fully featured model in Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 4.0. The ability to read later release models into earlier releases, add features, and then bring the added features forward to later releases is the concept behind Cross-Release Interoperability (CRI).

 

GRANITE Cross-Release Interoperability (GCRI) extends the original neutral file based CRI interaction, allowing earlier release users to view existing feature information in the model tree in a read-only format GCRI model. GCRI offers the ability to append features added to the GCRI model in the earlier release to the original, fully featured model in the later release model. This results in a completed, fully modifiable model consisting of features added by more than one Pro/ENGINEER version.

 

Capabilities

Read models generated in later releases into earlier releases (back to Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2.0).

Display and maintain the full feature tree in the earlier release.

Use later release models in downstream applications of earlier releases (analysis, mold design, routed systems, etc).

Add features to later release models to support downstream application use.

Appending changes back to later release models to recover full model definition with no loss of design data.

Benefits

Clean translation into earlier release eliminates need to repair neutral format translations.

More modeling information is now available to earlier release users for clearer understanding of modeling intent.

Protects existing geometry and design intent from changes in the earlier release.

Improves supply chain interoperability by reducing the cases where all participants must use the same release of Pro/ENGINEER.

GCRI is enabled using a free GRANITE plug-in available for download to maintenance customers for installation in the earlier Pro/ENGINEER release. Please note that you will need a PTC Online Account to download this file. Creating a ptc.com account is free and simple.

 

Support

To get help with GCRI, please log a technical support call. The Product is Pro/ENGINEER, the Module is 3D_INTERFACE, and the Functional Area is GCRI.

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Guest csven

@Skint - dude. I think most of us here already read that cut 'n paste stuff... since I linked to it in the opening post.

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