With more entities being represented in a 3D CAD model, the file size is evermore increasing. This article will highlight the importance of creating lightweight CAD models and how technologies today can help make your processes flow smoother.
Large data size leads to performance issues, and long importing times in CAD systems, CAE tools and other systems used in the downstream processes. Unfortunately, sharing and opening files can be a challenge due to the large data size and there is also a consistent need to protect design intent and intellectual property when sharing detailed 3D models beyond boundaries.
Lightweight simplified CAD models can help solve these problems. There are multiple simplification technologies which make your data more accessible and shareable.
Removal of Technical Design Details (Defeaturing)
Removal of technical design details or defeaturing refers to the removal of features such as holes, fillets, grooves, etc. that is ideal for optimizing the preparation of CAE models for quicker and higher quality meshing. Please read “How Optimization of Geometry Aids Streamlining of CAD Data Preparation” to find out more about this technology.
Replacing by Simple Shapes
Replacing by simple shapes refers to a geometry replacement of a 3D model by primitives such as cuboids, cylinders, or extruded shapes. If detailed geometry is unnecessary and performance counts more in use cases such as viewing and digital mock-up, this can be one method.
Enveloping is merging complex parts or large assemblies into single solid models and deleting internal parts. Gaps are filled and small volumes are united. The outer geometry is retained being a perfect way to reduce your data size and protect IP.
These simplification technologies are just a glimpse of what is possible.
CADdoctor, which is available through the Altair Partner Alliance is a tool that can solve your data issues.
Check out this on-demand webinar Optimizing Your CAD Geometry with CADdoctor’s Various Enveloping Functionalities to learn more about CADdoctor and its applications and use cases using the enveloping technology that the software provides.
 Christ, A.; Horlbeck, I. (2018): Simplify Your 3D Models: Collaborative Engineering Based on Lightweight CAD Data, ProductDataJournal 2 2018.