Wildfire Questions

Hi,
We are a small company that has been doing work for one company that uses Wildfire. Since we do not have Wildfire or any system that can read
the files in native, we have been getting IGES files from them. Recently, this company has made a new policy that they will only send us native files. Since we still want to work with them we are looking at software that would allow us to translate these files. Since I don't have any experience with Wildfire, I was hoping someone here could answer a few questions. First, when you make drawing files are these files "imbedded" into the part file, or are they saved as a different file. We need to be able to convert the solid model into something our shop can use, and view and print any drawings files. And if there are assembly files, we need to be able to work with them also. Does anybody know of any software that can do this short of purchasing a seat of Wildfire? Thanks for any and all help you can provide.
Mike Lambert MPM
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Among other things, you might consider Pro/Desktop? ------------------------

*.prt = part, *.asm = assembly, *.drw = drawing ------------------------

Wonder if Product View Express will do what you need? It's free.

What's "work with"? I don't know exactly what the specifics are, but Pro/Desktop (at about a grand) offers at least some level of (bi-directional?) interoperability with Pro/E. You might post to pro-desktop.net (I think it is) and ask for opinions to go along with what you get here. ------------------------
Just as a matter of curiosity, why were you using IGES vs. STEP? Was a lack of translation reliability a factor in their decision to only send out native files?
==========================
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I'd doubt it... you can't even measure anything! Anyone know how much a real version of Product View costs? Anyone got the fly-through to work?
Pretty nasty policy if you ask me ... we only ship native files. I'd say someone rather clueless just took over. IGES has been a way of life for building things for YEARS!
-meld
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files.
would
drawings
provide.
Mike, I don't think you'll like the answers to your questions, but here they are, anyway.
1. Wildfire, like all releases of Pro/E prior to it and like most other popular solid modeling CAD packages, stores design information in 3 major file types. The basis of everything is the model file (extension .prt). It contains the information about the solid model of the part. If your customer builds assemblies out of the individual parts, they will also have assembly files (extension .asm). To open the assembly file you need to also have files for all the parts the assembly consists of. The assembly file itself contains only information about what parts have been assembled, how they have been mated together, and what features were created in the assembly (such as cuts going through multiple assembly members at once). Lastly, there is a drawing file (extension .drw). It can be a drawing of an individual part or assembly. It contains a reference to the model (or assembly) file, information about the views of this model (or assembly) - in what orientation have they been placed on the drawing sheet, at what scale, etc., and auxiliary drawing information - title block, drawing symbols (like revision symbols and any custom symbols that your customer might be using). There are numerous other files in which Wildfire stores certain data, but these three should be your primary concern. The IGES (or STEP) 3D data used for NC programming is derived from the model file, or, when some features have been made inside the assembly, from the assembly file. The drawing file is useless without the model or assembly files it represents.
2. Now to your second question. First of all, are you sure you want to read your customer files with something other than Wildfire? The basic Wildfire configuration can be had from some PTC VARs for about $3,500 (1 year maintenance included). If you are interested I can give you a lead to one we bought our licenses from for this exact amount. Just don't tell them where you got the information and be prepared to haggle. Regardless of how expensive the Wildfire configuration at your customer's site is, you still will be able to open any file created by any commercial configuration of Wildfire with the basic package. You will also be able to open drawings, and to export IGES or STEP data from the models. If your customer does some extremely complex surfacing using Wildfire's 'Style' module you will not be able to modify them, but you will still be able to open, view, measure them and print their drawings. Now, if $3,500 is too expensive there are several options. First, there is PTC's ProductView (I believe they now call it Windchill ProductView). In its free incarnation, ProductView Express, it is a plugin for Microsoft Internet Explorer that allows you to view part, assembly, and drawing files. No measuring, no printing, no exporting to IGES or STEP. The free version is also extremely buggy. I have no idea what the price of the commercial version is, but it allows you to view, measure, print and mark up part, assembly and drawing files. I don't know if it does STEP and/or IGES export, but it might be worth investigating. The Pro/Desktop mentioned by Jeff Howard is a partial solution. For about $1,000 you get a very capable solid modeler that can read Wildfire part and (I think) assembly files. As far as I know, it will not read the Wildfire drawing files. It will, however, export the solids to STEP or IGES for NC programming. One more thing you might investigate is Wildfire 'rentals'. If you only need to work with this customer's files several hours per month, PTC will rent you a license of Wildfire on a pay-per-hour basis: You will have the program installed on one of your computers, but it will only be functional for the duration of time you have paid for. And lastly, there are pay-per-file conversion services around that will convert Wildfire parts into STEP, IGES, or some popular 3D CAD formats. However, as far as I know they do not convert the drawings.
If you want to investigate some of these options, a good place to start is www.ptc.com, the website of the company that makes and markets Wildfire. However, if you decide to buy some of their products, make sure to talk to their resellers, because you can usually get a better deal from them than from PTC directly.
Good luck.
Alex Shishkin
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Alex,
Thanks a lot for your help. I will take a look at your suggestions. My feeling is that I would prefer to buy the basic Wildfire. First, I don't have to worry about some parts not coming thru clean in some other system and so that I can do everything that I need in one package instead of having part files converted by one system and drawing files from another. I also like to keep my eye open for design packages. We currently use Solidworks and Mastercam for design but I have been pushing management to step up and go to Pro-e or UG. This would give me a chance to learn more about PTC and there products. Thanks again!!
Mike

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For real? Foundation Advantage? That's a good deal.

They don't waste their time scanning news groups? 8~)
Seriously, thanks for the info. It's a very good overview of available options. If you don't mind, would you email me the VAR's contact info (ignore the spam trap reply, I'll fish it out)?
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Regarding Pro/DESKTOP, it will work if the files are from Wildfire 1 but not from Wildfire 2.0. PTC has not yet released a compatible version of ProD for that version of Granite.
Also, Desktop will be able to open part and assembly files, but not drawing files - though it can create its own.
It also only reads the generic of family table parts.
Regards.
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Mike- Did you check this out yet? free GraniteT HOOPS 3D Part Viewers Users of Granite based applications such as Pro/ENGINEER, Pro/DESKTOP, and IronCAD may now freely view and navigate their models and assemblies as well as publish them in the popular HSF streaming format and thereby exchange visual models with the many other applications supporting the OpenHSF Initiative. these viewers are intended for private, non-commercial use. http://hoops3d.com/downloads/part_viewers.htmlGood luck!PS"Mike Lambert"

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Mike- Did you check this out yet? free GraniteT HOOPS 3D Part Viewers Users of Granite based applications such as Pro/ENGINEER, Pro/DESKTOP, and IronCAD may now freely view and navigate their models and assemblies as well as publish them in the popular HSF streaming format and thereby exchange visual models with the many other applications supporting the OpenHSF Initiative. these viewers are intended for private, non-commercial use.
http://hoops3d.com/downloads/part_viewers.html
Good luck!PS
"Mike Lambert"

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