A program called "readstep" enables the I-DEAS computer- aided-design (CAD) software to automatically read Standard for the Exchange of Product Model Data (STEP) files. (The STEP format is one of several used to transfer data between dissimilar CAD programs.) Prior to the development of "readstep," it was necessary to read STEP files into I-DEAS™ one at a time in a slow process that required repeated intervention by the user. In operation, "readstep" prompts the user for the location of the desired STEP files and the names of the I-DEASproject and model file, then generates an I-DEASprogram file called "readstep.prg" and two Unix shell programs called "runner" and "controller." The program "runner" runs I-DEAS sessions that execute readstep.prg, while "controller" controls the execution of "runner" and edits readstep.prg if necessary. The user sets "runner" and "controller" into execution simultaneously, and then no further intervention by the user is required. When "runner" has finished, the user should see only parts from successfully read STEP files present in the model file. STEP files that could not be read successfully (e.g., because of format errors) should be regenerated before attempting to read them again.

This program was written by John Pinedo of Lockheed Martin for Johnson Space Center. For further information, access the Technical Support Package (TSP) free on-line at www.techbriefs.com/tsp under the Software category. MSC-23192.

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the March, 2003 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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