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The irony is that all too often, PLM selections are made in the shadow of a CAD selection, being viewed only as a means to handle CAD vaulting. This is a waste and will result in less than optimal use of the PLM system.
Laila Hirr, President

Technology |


The ability to see and interact with product content is critical across the entire PLM process. Most companies rely on visualization tools from their CAD providers to make this content available, but in reality this typically applies to only the most technical users, leaving non-technical, downstream and periodic users shut out and frustrated.

Why Visualization tools don’t measure up

  • CAD providers are all about 3D. 3D CAD viewers are great, but... What about 2D drawings? Electronics? Documentation, scans, images and other file types?
  • Existing solutions rely on proprietary formats. How can your people easily reuse or repurpose content when it's locked-up in a dead-end?
  • You've got to buy expensive converters & viewers. How do you give access to users throughout the product lifecycle and across the extended enterprise without spending a fortune?
  • It only works on certain stuff. Why are you limited to only a few formats? And why spend a ton of money on a tool that only applies to a handful of file types?
  • Designed for uber specialists. What good is it if no one can do anything with it?

With Aras, you have options

  • You can continue to use whatever existing viewing technologies you already have, and
  • With visual collaboration we're giving you the option to use a single, powerful, open format: PDF

We believe in an open approach

  • An approach that's an open standard in which one format supports 3D models, 2D drawings, Microsoft Office files, images & scans and other data types.
  • An approach that eliminates lock-in and dead-ends, and provides actionable content that can be reused in work instructions, tech pubs, marketing documents and more.
  • An approach that makes viewing a CAD model or drawing as easy and natural as viewing a Word file for everyone throughout the enterprise and across the supply chain.
  • An approach that doesn't require you to buy a bunch of separate viewers and converters.

At Aras we based our approach on PDF because we believe it's the most capable, comprehensive and easy to use format for product data.

  • PDF offers the best support for ALL the critical product data types, including 3D.
  • PDF is highly accurate and compressed.
  • PDF is familiar, widely used and accepted across industries.
  • PDF is already installed on most desktops and devices - no additional software costs.
  • PDF is an ISO certified standard and a widely accepted format for LOTAR or long-term archiving.

Free to Aras Subscribers, Aras utilizes the HOOPS technology from Tech Soft 3D for the conversion of all the major 3D formats including CATIA, Creo, NX, Pro/Engineer, SolidWorks, Solid Edge, Inventor, JT and STEP. Full list of formats available here.