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Software Add-On Reads CAD Files to Speed Cost Estimation

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MTI Systems offers its Costimator cost estimation software with 3DFX, an automated feature recognition (AFR) add-on that recognizes CAD features and their parameters from solid models. The add-on provides complete control over features that the user “extracts” and imports into Costimator for estimation. The software package is said to increase cost estimation speed and quoting throughput by as much as 90 percent while improving accuracy and consistency from part to part and estimator to estimator. According to the company, the AFR technology is a critical timesaver for estimators, since a quote that would typically take hours to develop can now be done accurately in minutes.

The add-on’s CAD viewer supports over 30 file formats from developers such as AutoCAD, STEP, IGES, NX and SolidWorks. With the software, estimators can collect accurate measurements, cut dynamic sections, play animations and more. AFR functionality automatically recognizes 3D CAD features such as holes, slots, pockets, bends and forms from solid models, along with their parameters. The user selects and sends these features and parameters to Costimator, where they are automatically estimated via industry-validated cost models.

In addition, a model editor for customizable templates enables estimators to develop their own defined parameters. Any unrecognizable features and their associated dimensions can be quickly identified and entered during the process.

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