The following information is provided by JAMES FORTEN INDUSTRIAL LTD a user of CAD International software and an expert design company with many years experience in a wide variety of industrial and product design disciplines.
DESIGN SOFTWARE – IRONCAD (*.ics)
Versatility in collaborating with various CAD systems is important to James Forten Industrial in NZ, and can include using the preferred CAD software of their clients, however, since 2011 their own preferred software for 3D modelling and 2D drafting has been IRONCAD. Previous to that it was SOLIDWORKS.
Unlike other CAD systems, IRONCAD uses dual ACIS and PARASOLID geometric modelling kernels. This can be advantageous when creating, importing and exporting geometry (as each kernel has strengths and weaknesses). For example, the ACIS kernel is better when importing faceted geometry (including faceted 3D DXFs). Whereas the PARASOLID kernel is better at preserving the assembly structure of exported assemblies. For clients using PARASOLID based software, they use the PARASOLID kernel and file format (*.x_t). For clients using ACIS based software they use the ACIS kernel and file format (*.sat).
Software using ACIS
Software using PARASOLID
GEOMAGIC DESIGN X
AUTODESK products AUTOCAD and INVENTOR and FUSION360 use SHAPEMANAGER. This was forked from ACIS 7.0 in 2001. As a result, when exchanging models with AUTODESK software ACIS 7.0 is typically used (along with DWG for AUTOCAD).
DESIGN SOFTWARE – IRONCAD DRAFT (*.exb and *.dwg)
IRONCAD DRAFT is a genuine 2D DWG editor for creating 2D drawings; whether they be from Generated Views of IRONCAD 3D models or from 2D models (in Model Space). It can also make use of 2D Blocks and Styles from other DWG files. While the native file format is EXB, all drawings can be saved as DWG on request (without any loss in functionality).
DESIGN SOFTWARE – BRICSCAD (*.dwg)
BRICSCAD is a product of BRICSYS, which is a founding member of the OPEN DESIGN ALLIANCE (ODA). This organisation provides standard interoperability solutions for AUTOCAD, NAVISWORKS, REVIT and MICROSTATION files. The native file format of BRICSCAD is DWG. This is the primary software that they use when collaborating with AUTOCAD (DWG) and MICROSTATION (DGN), whether in 2D or 3D. BRICSCAD BIM includes “Building Information Modelling” functionality; where the BIM data is stored in IFC format within the DWG file. The key and fundamental difference with BRICSCAD BIM is that it starts with creating the “Geometry”, and then adds the “BIM data” afterwards (with both automatic and manual BIMIFY tools). As a result, the geometry can be created by BRICSCAD or IRONCAD (or other). The BIM model can then be exported as an IFC file for exchange with other BIM software such as REVIT, ARCHICAD, TEKLA, etc.