Exporting files out of Rhino 4 and into Pro/E Wildfire 3....

…without using IGS or other available Rhino formatting that creates a block out of the geometries. Is there a plug-in or third-party software that will convert my Rhino files (or some derivative thereof) into native PRT files for those wacky engineers? They want to be able to tweak the geometries in Pro/E by adding features like draft, bosses, internal structure and shrink for production. If all they start with is a block, they’ll have to reskin and rebuild the entire product before they can add what they need to. Which doesn’t make them happy and makes my life very difficult.

Any suggestions or guidance from in-house design monkeys that deal with internal engineers regularly?

Anyone? Bueller? Anyone?

I’m not sure what you mean by creating a “Block”.

When you import IGES surfaces into a Pro-E part you should wind up either with a solid, or with a quilt (if there are areas that haven’t stiched properly). Once you import and then heal any gaps that might have appeared you can solidify your IGES data into a solid and do anything you should need to from there on out (shell, add features, add cuts/protrusions, etc).

If you need to add draft- that should be done in Rhino beforehand. You want the engineers modifying the internal features, not altering your exterior surfaces.

Our office runs entirely on ID handing off IGES surfaces from Alias into Pro-E and it works seamlessly to take the ID from Alias and turn it straight into production ready surfaces without the need for engineering to rebuild any of the external surfaces.

Are you talking about trying to export a file that has all the parametric information stored in it like it was created natively in Pro-E? If so thats just not possible.

That’s what I meant. Importing Rhino surfaces results in a solid, and depending on the complexity of the shape, the engineers should be able to (but often times cannot) add the necessary features needed for molding and production (flash, parting lines, bosses, structure, account for shrink, etc.) without rebuilding the whole shape.

Perhaps I’m missing something in the translation…

What is the typical workflow between designers and engineers in an in-house design/product-development department or external consultancy?

depending upon the skill level of the ME… I have seen common techniques for the ME to remodel the Rhino or Alias model. If the ME level is more on the weak side… then there is a mild level of anxiety on the ID side watching the ME team loose integrity of the design when they remodel using robust modeling techniques offered by parametric modelers. Then they utilize the import geometry.

Each technique has specific techniques that offer interesting workflow possibilities that could be outlined.

3D models …developed in Rhino/Alias are surface type…
These surfaces are needed to stitch/shell before (or sometimes after) transferred to any parametric software…

Afterwards…u can add thickness to shell/stitched surfaces.
and then few addition or subtraction ( fillet, boss, shrink) can be done …(this might fail …depends upon complexity of design & suface modelling skill)

Which is why I love knowing Pro/E and having the control over the creation of the Skeleton Model.

Not to be too snide…but there is a good chance that your surface models are insufficient for the task you are commenting on.

If you’re models are tight…already have proper draft, part lines defined, etc. you could have a tolerance issue. Make sure your part tolerances are set the same in Pro/e and Rhino. Or, probably better yet, make sure they are tighter in Rhino than pro/e. It has been eons since I did this kind of translation…but I do remember back a few year the default for Rhino was 3 or 4 decimal places while Pro/e was 6 decimal places. Especially with lazy surface modelling (I know this from experience) the translation process can be UGLY.

OH…and don’t make your parts solid in Rhino. As in…don’t make them water tight. Just create the shell. Put the separate parts on different layers and then export them out to your preferred translation format. This SHOULD bring them all as surfaces on separate layers.

I would even consider exporting all of the parts as separate files and bring them into Pro/E as a skeleton model.