Datakit Offers Nine CAD Converters in One Rhino Plug-in

Two bundles, one installation; endorsed by McNeel.

Two bundles, one installation; endorsed by McNeel.

By Margaret S. Gurney

Datakit (Santa Barbara, CA), which specializes in CAD data exchange solutions and services, offers stand-alone converters, plug-ins,  and tools that analyze, heal, and export models. The company now offers designers who use Rhino 4.0 an import and/or export “all-in-one” bundle of CAD data-exchange solutions. Because they make Datakit’s data exchange more accessible,  these bundles are fully endorsed by McNeel.

Two Bundles Dedicated to Rhino 4.0
The import bundle includes nine solutions for reading native or neutral files (from ACIS, CATIA V4, CATIA V5, Inventor, JT, NX,  Parasolid, Pro/ENGINEER, or Solid Edge) into Rhino 4.0. The tenth is CGR, but the company says it seldom gets requests for this, even though it is available — Rhino users do not need to import CGR files as they prefer to use native CATIA V5 files, according to Datakit.

“One of the things that we took away from our recent meeting with Bob McNeel and his team in Barcelona, was the need to streamline our offering and present it as the Rhinoceros ‘data exchange’ module. To make things easier for users, we decided to implement a single installation procedure for the two bundles.”
— Remy Ratanat, Datakit, account manager

The export bundle enables Rhino 4.0 to write CATIA V4 and/or CATIA V5 files. These converters are perfect complements to the standard Rhino 4.0 functionalities. They support part and assembly files (including instances), geometry, wireframe, and meshes, and also topology.

A few of the benefits enjoyed by designers are a large choice of CAD file exchange solutions available on the their PCs, a simple “all-in-one” installation, more competitive pricing, and a clearer presentation of Datakit’s offer for the Rhino community.


The Datakit bundle for Rhino 4.0 comes with 9 CAD data exchange converters.Image courtesy of Datakit.

Datakit works closely with the software companies that integrate its CAD data exchange solutions as components into their own software. One such example is McNeel North America, the developer of Rhinoceros (Rhino).

“One of the things that we took away from our recent meeting with Bob McNeel and his team in Barcelona,” explained Remy Ratanat, account manager at Datakit, “was the need to streamline our offering and present it as the Rhinoceros ‘data exchange’ module. To make things easier for users, we decided to implement a single installation procedure for the two bundles.”


These screenshots of CATIA V5 and of Rhino 4.0 show the capabilities of one of the converters included into the bundle for CATIA V5 to Rhino 4.0.

Datakit is as comfortable with 3D data as it is with 2D data. It is providing services that aid in the migration of CAD databases and help customers choose the best data-transfer solutions.

“Our converters enable stylists, creators,  architects, designers ... who use Rhino 4.0 to reread and export files without having to have the same software as the design office, because these tools are not what they need to express their ideas,” said Olivier Rigollet, who is in charge of the management of the network of resellers and current contact of Datakit’s partners.

“However,” Rigollet adds, “they may have to get a part from an assembly. Our functions let them view an assembly before they load it, and, with just one click, select a part that is of particular interest to them — and import it. This enables them to focus on their core job without having to worry about how they are going to get hold of the models.”


On the right side of these two CATIA V5 screenshots, you will notice the logos of other different software solutions. Click the images to see larger versions.

Free Evaluation and Pricing
To benefit from a three-day demo license, the company suggests that you download the bundle(s) from its website. Then, sign in — in the left menu of Datakit’s website with your data connection — or register if you still do not have an account.

The company says pricing is comparable to that of converters purchased on a per-unit basis. Fees are about 20 percent of the prices.

New customers in North America can buy the import or export bundle for $1,500; maintenance is an additional $300. Both bundles go for $2,500, with $600 for maintenance. The company says, “Maintenance is obligatory to guarantee flawless compatibility with all CAD software upgrades that are brought to the market.”

Current users in North America enjoy a different scenario, says the company. The import or export bundle is $1,500 with free maintenance to the end of December 2009. Both bundles are $2,500, again with free maintenance to December 2009.

Located in southern California, Datakit has headquarters in Lyon, France, and has offices in Kunming, Yunnan, China. It has been providing specialized and conversion solutions (CrossCAD/STA — standalone;  CrossCAD/PLG — plug-in; CrossCAD/WARE — module; CrossCAD/Pro — interoperability conversions) and updating products (CrossCad, a CAD conversion engine) such as CATIA V5 3D to SolidWorks; Pro/ENGINEER 3D to Rhino V4; and Pro/ENGINEER 3D to Rhino V3.

To access more information, please visit Datakit.

Read why DE‘s editors chose this as a Pick of the Week.

Please visit Datakit to download the Import and Export bundles for Rhino 4.0.

For more details on the two bundles dedicated to Rhino 4.0, including evaluation and download, go to the CrossCAD/PLG page on Datakit.

Please contact your Rhino reseller to consult Datakit’s list of international resellers.

Official resellers or nonofficial representatives of Datakit may find detailed information about Datakit’s Rhino bundles by e-mailing Olivier Rigollet.

Read up on frequently asked questions (FAQs) answered by Datakit.

To read the original release, please go to Datakit’s website.

To make inquiries of McNeel North America, please visit McNeel directly.

Margaret S. Gurney is the editor for new products at Desktop Engineering magazine.

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