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A “STEP” Forward for Product Lifecycle Management

  • Magazine Article
  • 19AERP10_02
Published 2019-10-01 by SAE International in United States
Annotation ability available
  • English

The existence of countless proprietary file formats and the exchange of 3D CAD data has been a significant problem since the beginning of 3D CAD modeling. CAD applications and methods using digital data are constantly changing, which predicates the need for a solution to share validated and accurately translated data. Thus the birth of STEP242.

Companies who are adopting model-based processes and tools within their organizations are using ISO 10303 STEP Application Protocols AP242 and AP239 for both exchanging data as well as maintaining data for archival and retrieval. Long Term Data Archival and Retrieval (LOTAR) ( is an International project sponsored by multiple consortiums for the standardization of the archival and retrieval of digital product and technical data. This project is ISO compliant and works across multi-CAD environments enabling stake holders to share 3D data within a Model-Based Environment (MBE) or a digital enterprise. To ensure the preservation of design intent, validation properties that include geometric shape representation, assembly features, saved views, user-defined attributes, color, visibility, and Product & Manufacturing Information (PMI) 3D data need to be verified and validated for compliance. The culmination of these standards is allowing companies around the globe to manage interoperability with fewer challenges.