Within three days of installing CADfix, the 3D CAD inter-system interoperability software from Cambridge-based FEGS, Cosworth Technology says it solved all its CAD translation problems. The first CADfix seat was installed in June last year, and, “It was a revelation,” according to Cosworth principal CAE systems engineer Mike Robson. “Without any training at all we imported a Pro/E model into CADfix, resolved the geometry into a coherent solid and exported the data into a format that would read smoothly into the other major CAD systems.” The problem at the time was about attempting to convert a cylinder head CAD model. Robson: “We’d been working on this for a number of hours. We were able to achieve a fully surfaced model, but not what we really needed: a fully defined solid body.” Now that kind of frustration is history, says Audi-owned Cosworth. The firm now has several seats – for for use in translation between its different modellers and for CAD to downstream applications, such as FEA. Cosworth says it already had licences from every major solid modelling solution, so data import wasn’t a problem for it. That had been a prerequisite for the company to offer its consultancy services to automotive manufacturers from Aston Martin to Audi and on to Ford: it had to accept geometry from a broad spectrum of CAD/CAM systems. But data transfer hadn’t been squared away. Before CADfix, Cosworth worked with stand-alone translators, and that was where the translation errors were coming from. “We were probably able to convert 65—70% of the data sets with no errors,” says Robson. “We recognise that there are always going to be some stubborn files, but we felt that anything below 95% would not be living up to our standards and expectations.” For every new project that requires the use of multiple CAD systems – and most do – CADfix is now used as the data hub. Cosworth says it has eliminated the need for data conversions that were not only resource-intensive but would also eat into lead times. Robson says: “As well as CAD to CAD translations for our own use we were increasingly being asked by our FEA team to help with converting from CAD to mesh.” Cosworth’s role as a consultancy means it has to offer advice on everything from emissions to driveability, from fuel consumption to engine diagnostics. Many of these disciplines demand specialist FEA techniques. “Cosworth Technology’s Analysis Department has also found CADfix of great use,” says Robson. “They have found CADfix’s de-featuring capabilities particularly helpful, so helpful, in fact, that we have invested in more licences.”