26 Replies Latest reply on Jun 16, 2011 3:59 AM by Deepak Gupta

    Best Converter for Catia

    Eddie Cyganik

      We will be working with a company that will be providing us data in Catia format. We will then convert to Solidworks in order to design products for them.

      Does anyone have any suggestions for software converters?

      Any and all input would be greatly appreciated.
        • Best Converter for Catia
          Check this thread...

          IGES Check
          • Best Converter for Catia
            Andy Sanders
            Elysium vs. Formatworks.

            We had Elysium a few years ago. I was the one to do the translations, and the version we had (can't remember) was worthless. I only got usable models 25 of the time. Mostly I got a collection of hundreds of surfaces.

            With Formatworks, I'm able to get usable full solid imports better than 3/4 of the time. And after that, if there's surfaces, I can use the built in Solidworks or Formatworks tools to fill the gaps and create a solid.

            My vote goes to Formatworks. I've been using it for 3 releases now. I can read V4/V5 and write V5 for much less than the price I was quoted to do the same thing in Elysium.
              • Best Converter for Catia
                Keith Clausen
                What about the Catia Graphics file (.cgr) plus there is always the RadialSoft Catia to SolidWorks converter. RadialSoft. Do you have any experience with this.
                  • Best Converter for Catia
                    Eddie Cyganik


                    Can't speak of FormatWorks but a "*.cgr" file is a Catia "grahics" file, so think bmp, tiff, png, etc., just not the right tool.
                      • Best Converter for Catia
                        Tim Roberts
                        We have used both RadialSoft and FormatWorks. For V5 translations FormatWorks is by far the best of the two. We have been using FormatWorks for 4+ years without any problems for both V4 and V5 Catia translations. A bit pricey, but if you are doing a lot of translations it is worth the cost in the end.
                          • Best Converter for Catia
                            Paul St-Jean
                            I had a very similar hurdle.
                            Big project (6 months of engineering with 3-5 engineers on this project), customer data in CATIA, and no pre-existing translation solution.
                            As with any company, convincing ownership and management to make a big spend is next to impossible, especially since we're a big job shop and we don't like to make big spends on one time projects.

                            I did some serious investigation on how we could handle the CATIA data, and my VAR recommended 2 ways. First, get Formatworks. Our VAR gave me a price which I won't post, but it was prohibitively high. Second, give Adobe 9 Pro Extended a whirl. I was seriously skeptical about this at first, but we've done half the project now, and our results are stellar. Since we already had adobe 9 basic, it was a small upgrade cost (on the order of 100-200$) which was easily justifiable. Adobe can be used to convert CATIA files into step, parasolid or iges files, or a few misc. others, then you can use your Solidworks native process to convert that result into an import block.

                            Imports won't let you work with the features, but you will get the geometry, which satisfies my department's needs nicely. Our VAR recommended some specific settings for adobe, which I'd be happy to pass on if there's any interest.

                            It's worth mentionning that there is a free 30 day trial for Adobe 9 pro extended available for download from adobe's website, so if you have a one-time need, you could probably satisfy it this way. If not, the free trial lets you at least evaluate how effective this tool is. "Try it befored you buy it"
                    • Best Converter for Catia
                      Garry Unger
                      I just tried the eval version of RadialSoft, and it failed miserably. I'm going to try the eval version of the TransMagic program, as per the previous suggestion.
                      • Best Converter for Catia
                        George Kovatchev
                        There were some rumors that SW2010 may have support for Catia built-in. The beta should be out soon so we'll know.
                        • Best Converter for Catia
                          Kevin Quigley
                          If this is true this will be worth the maintenance alone for many users.

                          In the absence of this though the Acrobat Extended route is the one I currently use and it works very well. Acrobat is a very underrated application IMHO. Another option is to buy something like Spaceclaim and get the CATIA v5 add on pack. It is not hugely expensive. The advantage of goign this route is that the translator is Spatial's own interoperability one for CATIA (and Dassault own Spatial....) and from the people I know using it it works well.
                          • Re: Best Converter for Catia
                            Charles Culp



                            Luckly, my wife, a graphic designer, has a copy of Adobe Acrobat on her computer. So I will utilize her resources, take this home with me, and convert it. Thank you Paul, for uploading that .doc file giving us baby steps.


                            I think it is time for Solidworks to step up to the plate on this one. When my wife's software has the capability to do this, and mine doesn't, then there is something very wrong.


                            See more about that here:


                            SMACK! CATIA-SolidWorks Translator. Your Move Dassault.

                            • Re: Best Converter for Catia
                              Mikael Martinsson

                              I agree with people above.

                              Adobe Acrobat Pro Extended is the best converter for Catia files so far, to a rather low price.

                              I have tried numerous files from V4 and V5, simple part and very complex parts (20000+ surfaces).

                              When exported to parasolid (x_t) 95% of the files translates to a solid when opened in SW2009.


                              This is much better than the result from other, more expensive converters that we have tested.