CAD 3D Composite interoperability CAD 3D Composite interoperability
Last update: April 2023

The objective of the “CAD 3D composite interoperability” working group is to ensure the coordination and the consistency of all ASD standardization activities related to “CAD 3D composite” information interoperability. This working group is part of the ASD SSG “PLM interoperability” domain.

The recommendations of the working group cover product information interoperability for the full life cycle of the CAD 3D composite structure development, from specifications to maintenance. It covers all the interoperability functions based on open standards, such as:

  • integration between heterogeneous authoring applications (upstream, downstream, ...)
  • communication with the extended enterprise or with the customers,
  • visualization,
  • long term archiving and retrieval,
  • data quality,
  • and migration.

The first version of this web page has a limited scope, and will be regularly updated.


Based on a generic product life cycle stage of Aerospace and Defence CAD 3D composite structures, the following figure describes the different Composite models with associated information characteristics.

Nota: Same figure than for the AIA – ASD Stan LOTAR “Electrical Harness” working group

List of use cases

The following table list the European A&D use cases to be supported by the international standards for CAD 3D composite interoperability.

Exchange and migration
Exchange of CAD 3D Composite design information for collaborative work on design from OEM to supplier
Exchange of CAD 3D Composite design information for collaborative work on design from supplier to OEM
Migration of CAD 3D composite data from a CAD tool to another one
LT Archiving and Retrieval
L-T Archiving and Retrieval of CAD 3D Composite design for certification and partial re-use
L-T Archiving and Retrieval of CAD 3D composite design for internal use
L-T Archiving and Retrieval of CAD 3D composite design for external support
L-T Archiving and Retrieval of CAD 3D composite design for consumable MBD (Model Based Definition)

Nota: for access to use cases for Long Term Archiving and retrieval, refer to the LOTAR “Composite” WG web page.

ASD SSG 5 years vision

The 5 years vision of the ASD SSG “CAD 3D composite interoperability” working group is set up on three principles:

1) CAD 3D composite interoperability ensured by the availability of use cases, ISO information model, recommended practices and CAD vendors testing.

The operational use of Composite interoperability standards by the A&D industries requires the availability of:

  • Use cases for Composite interoperability, supporting A&D business needs and priorities,
  • International standards for Composite Information models (Cf. principle 2)
  • International and/or European recommended practices based on use cases, detailing the implementation of the ISO Composite information model,
  • Interoperability testing of the standardized Composite interfaces and services of the different PLM vendors, through the participation in the CAX Implementer Forum.


2) Reliable ISO Information models for CAD 3D Composite interoperability.

The ASD SSG recommends the choice of a limited number of core harmonized ISO 10303 Application Protocols, having interdependencies properly specified and managed through the time. As a result:

  • STEP AP 203 “Configuration-controlled design”
  • STEP AP 209 ” Composite & metal structural analysis & related design”,
  • The ASD SSG has supported the convergence of STEP AP 203 and AP 214 in AP 242.

Planned operational use of ISO standards for Composite interoperability and long term archiving:

Status : April 2023Short termMid termLong Term
Exchange - migration STEP AP 242 ed3STEP AP 242 ed4STEP AP 242 ed5
LT Archiving & RetrievalSTEP AP 242 ed3STEP AP 242 ed4STEP AP 242 ed5

NB: the data model for composite design is consistent between AP203 Ed2, AP209 Ed2 and AP242 Ed1. 

3) Contribution to the development and use of the NAS / EN 9300 3XX family, for Long Term Archiving and Retrieval of CAD 3D composite information.

The ASD SSG strategy relies on the joint AIA – ASD Stan LOTAR international project to develop the NAS / EN 9300-3XX standards for composite structures.

The LOTAR standard will define Process, use cases, validation and verification rules for long term archiving and retrieval of composite information.

 Related recommended practices