Standard bodies with special relevance for CAxMan

Digitalization and data interoperability are major conditions of the industrial success of the CAxMan infrastructure platform. Data interoperability allows replacing existing applications with only little effort and plugging new applications into the CAxMan platform more easily. Standardized data formats are the key to data interoperability. For engineering data, the project identified the following standardization communities to be instrumental:

ISO/TC 184/SC 4 with their series of ISO 10303 standards, also called STEP

 ISO 10303 can represent the majority of the required CAxMan data for exchange. Due to the project scope of design and simulation, specifically ISO 10303-209, “Multidisciplinary analysis and design”, also called AP209 is of interest; see . AP209 includes ISO 10303-242, “Managed model based 3D engineering”, AP242; see .

ISO 10303 is currently being updated with capabilities of isogeometric analysis (IGA), which are of special interest to CAxMan.

ISO/TC 261 that states basic additive manufacturing (AM) requirements and maintains the specification for the additive manufacturing file format (AMF) in ISO/ASTM52915

Additive manufacturing has been added to STEP by edition 2 of AP242, which is just about to be completed. ISO/TC 261, the technical committee that is called “Additive manufacturing”, focuses on the other hand on user guidance how to apply additive manufacturing.

ANSI Quality Information Framework (QIF)

ANSI QIF specifies a data model for metrology; see . This is an American national standard for dimensional control and is managed by the Dimensional Metrology Standards Consortium (DMSC, Inc.), an ANSI accredited standards developing organization.


The roles of standards in CAxMan

Data interoperability in CAxMan is measured in readiness to exchange, share and archive the product data delivered by the CAxMan tools. The project has defined an iterative process of design, simulation, manufacturing and dimensional control, see the scheme below, to optimize additively manufactured products.


The process in in the scheme involves various software and hardware tools. Data are moved in files between the tools; they are also collected and stored in a single repository to document the process for short and longterm. The repository is part of the CAxMan Product Lifecycle Management (PLM) service. Standardized data models and formats are applied to facilitate this data exchange, sharing and archival. The following standards from the above mentioned standardization communities are applied:

AP242 (ISO/TC 184/SC 4)

AP242, “Managed Model Based 3D Engineering”, is one of the commercially mostly applied STEP standards. It covers the following engineering domains:

AP242 is currently being revised into edition 2: the last two items in the list above will only be available in edition 2.

For details, see

AP242 data are mostly represented in ASCII files of type ISO 10303-21 (“Clear text encoding of the exchange structure”), also referred to as Part 21 files. PDM data sets may also be exchanged as XML-files.

Use in CAxMan:

AP242 is used to exchange and store boundary representation shape models and tessellated volume models. PDM information is shared especially in respect to product structure and version and configuration control. The new AP242 feature to share additive manufacturing specific data is also applied.

AP209 (ISO/TC 184/SC 4)

AP209, “Multidisciplinary analysis and design”, includes AP242 edition 1 and adds the following scope:

For details, see

AP209 data are mostly represented in ASCII files of type ISO 10303-21 (“Clear text encoding of the exchange structure”), also referred to as Part 21 files.

Use in CAxMan:

AP209 is used to exchange and store linear static finite element analysis, that is, mesh and other simulation input data and result data. Related PDM data are included, too.


Starting-point for QIF was the need for a common communication language between automated inspection systems. Today’s QIF scope is depicted in the scheme below from the QIF web-site, which also indicates the need of integration into the greater context of a product model like AP242. This integration is not yet done.


Use in CAxMan:

QIF is used to exchange measurement plans and geometric dimensioning and tolerancing GD&T measurement results in an XML format between manufacturing planning applications and inspection applications.

CAxMan contributions to standardization


The CAxMan development teams apply the suitable parts of the above identified standards. The project seeks interaction with standards bodies especially

The project is actively involved in ISO/TC 184/SC 4 and in ISO/TC 261 to work with the following standardization issues:

Monitoring of activities of ISO/TC 261, “Additive manufacturing”.

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Project Coordinator

SINTEF Digital
Dr. Tor Dokken


Forskningsveien 1
0314 Oslo Norwegen
P.O.Box 124 Blindern