BRL-CAD export plugin for Pro/E

BRL-CAD export plugin for Pro/E

A developer version of BRL-CAD's geometry converter plugin for Pro/ENGINEER is now available. The ProE-BRL plugin is a production exporter that has been developed over the years as a means to import geometry into BRL-CAD from Pro/ENGINEER (aka Pro/E).

Please note that this is a developer version of ProE-BRL. While the converter has been in production use for some time, this is a developer compilation that is being provided "as-is" without any release testing. Also noted in the posted README.txt file, there is no guarantee that the plugin will work within your environment. The installation and setup require familiarity with Pro/E and Pro/E plugins that are beyond our support scope, but there are some installation notes provided. The included INSTALL.txt file may be of assistance.

This binary release is being provided with the hopes that it will work and be useful to those exporting geometry from Pro/E into BRL-CAD. You are, however, strongly encouraged to make backups of your data before using the exporter within a production environment. Particularly for users that have been unable to compile from source code, there are 32-bit and 64-bit Windows versions of the plugin available for Pro/E Wildfire 3.0, 4.0, and 5.0 in our Sourceforge repository.

The plugin runs within Pro/E and exports geometry in polygonal format for use with BRL-CAD. Geometry is written into our ".asc" ASCII format which can be converted to our ".g" binary format with asc2g or or by sourcing the file into mged with the source command.

Note that the prescribed workflow with the ProE-BRL converter is a fundamentally lossy process that changes the representation format of the original geometry. The conversion to polygonal mesh geometry can introduce new overlaps on valid geometry or even fail outright (within Pro/E) if there are modeling errors. This time-intensive process is being deprecated by our active BREP/NURBS development effort.

We are in the process of developing and validating a new method using the ISO STEP format and BREP/NURBS geometry as a replacement workflow. This new process faithfully preserves geometry in native CAD format so no new overlaps, topology changes, or modeling errors are introduced. Initial results are looking great with substantial time savings being observed (both during conversion and analysis). More details about this improved workflow will be announced as development progresses and our validation process is completed.