CAD 3D Mechanical Interoperability WG CAD 3D Mechanical Interoperability WG
Last update: February 2013

The objective of the “CAD 3D Mechanical interoperability” working group is to ensure the coordination and the consistency of all standardisation activities related to “CAD 3D Mechanical” interoperability, including Product Manufacturing Information (PMI).

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 mechanical part development, from specifications to maintenance and dismantlement. 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,
  • visualisation,
  • 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.



 The following picture describes a generic process of development of mechanical part.

Nota: Same figure than for the AIA – ASD Stan LOTAR “3D PMI” working group

List of use cases

The following table list the use cases to be supported by the international standards for interoperability.

CAD 3D PMI "graphic"


CAD 3D PMI "graphic" exchange for visualisation


CAD 3D  PMI "graphic" Long Term Archiving &Retrieval  for certification


3D PMI Interface Control Model  (ICM) exchange


CAD 3D with PMI "semantic"


CAD 3D with PMI "semantic" exchange for down stream reuse


CAD 3D PMI "semantic" migration


CAD 3D PMI "semantic" Long Term Archiving &Retrieval  for manufacturing and repairs


CAD 3D tolerance stack up


CAD assemblies and 3D simplified


CAD assemblies and 3D simplified geometry with PMI models exchange for bid


CAD 3D exchange for DMU review/clash detection


CAD 3D PMI "parametric"


CAD 3D PMI "parametric" exchange for upstream reuse (CAD <=> CAE)


CAD 3D PMI "parametric" exchange for down stream reuse (CAD-CAM)


CAD 3D PMI "parametric" Long Term Archiving &Retrieval  (for reuse)


         (*) LOTAR stands for Term Archiving and retrieval

Nota: for access to use cases for Long Term Archiving and retrieval, refer to the LOTAR “3D CAD with PMI” WG web page:

ASD SSG 5 years vision

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


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

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

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


2)      Reliable ISO Information models for Mechanical interoperability.

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

The target of the ASD SSG is to prepare the extension of the AP 242 edition 2 to additional capabilities for mechanical data interoperability, taken into account the harmonisation / complementarities with the ISO 10303 STEP standards:

  • STEP AP 224 “Mechanical product definition for process planning using machining features”
  • STEP AP 238 “Application interpreted model for computerised numerical controllers”,
  • STEP AP 209 “Composite and metallic structural analysis and related design”


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


Planned operational use

Status : March 2012

Short term 2013-2014

Midterm 2015-2016

Long Term +2017

Exchange - migration

STEP AP 214,

STEP AP 242 ed.1

STEP AP 242 ed. 2

ISO JT ed.1 (N1)

ISO JT ed.1 (N1)

ISO JT ed.2 (N2)

LT Archiving and Retrieval

STEP AP 214,

STEP AP 242 ed.1

STEP AP 242 ed. 2


STEP AP 214 (N3)

STEP AP 242 ed.1

STEPAP 242 ed. 2

ISO 14306 JT ed.1 (N1)

ISO 14306 JT ed.1 (N1)

ISO 14306 JT ed.2 (N2)



(N1) ASD SSG recommends the use of ISO 14306 JT Ed1 for exchange of 3D tessellated geometry and 3D "JT BREP" representations. See related blip.

(N2) ASD SSG recommendation related to ISO 14306 JT Ed2 will be defined according to the final scope of the standard.

(N3) STEP AP214 recommended for exact geometry visualization only.

(N4) ASD SSG recommendations for these 3D visualisation formats in progress

3)      Contribution to the development and use of the NAS / EN 9300 1xx family, for Long Term Archiving and Retrieval of Mechanical information.
The ASD SSG strategy relies on the joint AIA – ASD Stan LOTAR international project to develop the NAS / EN 9300-1XX standards for mechanical.
The LOTAR standard will define Process, use cases, validation and verification rules for long term archiving and retrieval of mechanical information.  
NAS / EN 9300-100
Common concepts for L-T Archiving and retrieval of CAD 3D mechanical information
Rel 2012
NAS / EN 9300-110
L-T Archiving and Retrieval of CAD mechanical 3D Explicit geometry information
Rel 2012
NAS / EN 9300-115
L-T Archiving and Retrieval of Explicit CAD assembly structure
Rel 2012
NAS / EN 9300-120e1
Long Term Archiving & Retrieval of CAD 3D Explicit Geometry with PMI
Rel 2013
NAS / EN 9300-120e2
Long Term Archiving & Retrieval of CAD 3D Explicit Geometry with PMI
NAS / EN 9300-120e3
Long Term Archiving & Retrieval of CAD 3D with Machining Form Features
NAS / EN 9300-125
Long Term Archiving & Retrieval of CAD 3D Assembly with PMI

Related standardization projects 



SSG blip

ISO 10303-203 edition 2 "Configuration controlled 3D design of mechanical parts and assemblies"



ISO 10303-214 edition 3 "Core data for automotive mechanical design processes"



ISO 10303-242 edition 1 "Managed Model-based 3D Engineering"



ISO 10303-242 edition 2 "Managed Model-based 3D Engineering"


ISO 14306 JT edition 1 "file format specification for 3D visualization"



ISO 14739 "3D use of Product Representation Compact (PRC) format"



Related recommended practices