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CAD Xpansion Viewer – Introduction

CAD Xpansion Viewer: Functionality and User Interface

CAD Xpansion ViewerIntroduction

The CAD Xpansion Viewer is an example application for the CAD Xpansion SDK. The program offers the possibility to export prefabricated 3D models into the standardised exchange formats STEP, IGES and STL as well as to import and display existing 3D models out of the normed formats. Moreover, a geometry recognition of 3D shafts (mechanical engineering) can be performed. The collected geometrical data can be saved as an XML file for further use. To get a review of the functionality of the CAD Xpansion SDK, visit the corresponding pages.

A little extra feature is included – the software can be used to exchange data between different formats. The CAD Xpansion Viewer is completely free of charge and is freely distributable.


Please launch setup.exe and follow the installation instructions. If the folder “soft Xpansion” in “Program files” is already existing, the CAD Xpansion Viewer will be installed in this folder automatically. Besides the installation of the Viewer, the installation of the CAD Xpansion SDK will be performed.

If you need further information on the CAD Xpansion SDK, the recent guideline is available in the installed folder “CAD Xpansion SDK\Doc”. Do you want to try out the application? Contact us and we will create a non-binding trial license for you.

The Main Functions of the CAD Xpansion Viewer


Open an XML file
The existing XML files, located in the folder “Examples”, contain the internal description of different 3D models. By importing data from XML files in the CAD Xpansion Viewer a 3D model is obtained in next to no time. The 3D model can be examined from any perspective.
Files, with the common formats STEP, IGES or STL can be imported directly into the program. After the performed import of the data, the file will be displayed graphically. Next to the representation, on the left side, a list of data of the element is located. The structure of the model is visible.
Geometry recognition
The software recognises the different geometrical values und creates a detailed reflection of the element from the left half. The model structure list is advanced and the exact integers are shown in the different parts of “Model Geometry and Properties”. Recognised faces are displayed in green, while not recognised faces are demonstrated in red. There are two possibilities to perform the recognition: Use the menu point or the button in the middle of the toolbar (folder/magnifier).
Recognise selected item
This function gives the possibility to recognise one item of the model. This method is very useful for complex elements in which only some parts and data need to be analysed.
Two tasks area differentiated here. The export function of the left and of the right window. Models can be exported in STEP, IGES and STL.
Export as an XML
The shaft geometry of the right image is exported as an XML file. The structure of the resulting XML file describes only the geometrical parameters and differs from the XML input file.
Model Geometry and Properties
The display “Model Geometry and Properties” allows to read the measurements, e.g. of the cross bore or the section of the shaft. Every single, recognised value of the component is displayed here. Furthermore, a modification of the recognised model can be performed. Every element can be coloured to create a clearly structured surface or to visualise component parts. The displayed geometrical values can be edited and the result can be viewed directly in the program. The software implements the modification exactly and immediately.

The image beneath shows an imported adjustment gear system. On the left side, the components of the adjustment gear system are listed. The field on the right side is empty because no geometry recognition was performed.

This reflection displays a wind turbine. On the left side the imported model is available and on the right side the recognised one with the geometrical data.

In this case, a modification was performed after recognition of the geometrical parameters. The wind turbine was enlarged and coloured in blue.

CAD Xpansion Viewer imported adjustment gear system
CAD Xpansion Viewer Screenshot - Recognised
CAD Xpansion Viewer - Modified

User interface

After launching the program, the user interface (visible in the screenshots above) is displayed. In the menu bar the following items are available: “File”, “View”, “Languages” and “Help”. Below the menu bar buttons are located with which you can perform the following steps:

  • Import and display a 3D model from STEP, IGES, STL
  • Open an existing example model from an XML file and display it as an 3D model
  • Recognition of the selected element or of the entire model of the imported STEP file
    (only the geometry of shaft models can be recognised at the moment)
  • Export the model from the left window into STEP, IGES, STL
  • Export the model from the right window into STEP, IGES, STL
  • Export shaft geometry from the right window into XML

The surface of the CAD Xpansion Viewer is divided in two parts: On the left half, the model structure is dumbed down and the imported element is visualised. The recognised, detailed structure and the corresponding graphical presentation of the model is located on the right side. Below the structure of the model, the Model Geometry and Properties can be found.

If desired, the display settings can be adapted to your needs to gain an optimised work interface: show/hide grid, show/hide model structure etc. The operation is mainly done by the mouse. By using the mouse wheel, the graphic can be resized, using the left mouse key will change the perspective of the model and using the right mouse key allows to relocate the element.

Keyboard shortcuts, as “Geometry Recognition” (Ctrl + R) or “Import” (Ctrl + I), are directly visible in the program. To display the model clearly, it is possible to delete single elements in the model (Click on the element and press “DEL”).

A language switching (German-English) is also included in the menu.

The “Help” Menu

The program help includes 4 items:

  • CAD Xpansion Viewer Guide
  • CAD Xpansion Guideline – Contains all important information and details of the functionality of the CAD Xpansion SDK
  • CAD Xpansion Technology – With the help of the developer libraries, 3D models can be exported in STEP, IGES or STL
  • About CAD Xpansion Viewer – Actual Version Number/Copyright/Software Developer

Information & Details on CAD Xpansion SDK

You will find a short review of our CAD Xpansion SDK in our development tools in the corresponding section. If there are any questions or queries, do not hesitate to contact us.With pleasure, we create a trial license for you for the provided CAD Xpansion SDK.