Providing innovative solutions since 1994



Frequently Asked Questions


1. What is CCAD?

Conceptual Computer Aided Design. This is an emerging software sector for an established but neglected design community. CCAD precedes and augments Mechanical Computer Aided Design (MCAD) and Enterprise solutions. Example MCAD applications include Inventor, SolidWorks, SolidEdge, Think3, IronCAD, and VX. Example Enterprise solutions include CATIA, UG, and PTC.

2. We already use a modeling tool. What is different about Concepts?

Concepts is different than facet based modelers because it uses a precise modeling kernel that utilizes NURBS and analytic shapes for all geometry definitions. As a result, your data integrity is preserved when passed to other engineering or manufacturing solutions.

Concepts is also different from MCAD or Enterprise solutions in that our R&D efforts are 100% focused on precise conceptual design. Our R&D efforts are typically involved improving ease of use, flexibility, and tasks specific to conceptual design. Our focus does not include sheet metal, cable routing, piping, or dimensional constraints.

3. Our designers prefer to work in 2D. Why do I need 3D?

Concepts does not force you into a specific modeling practice. You may create your entire concept in 2D, 3D wireframe, surfaces, or solids. Or combinations of the above are very typical.

However there advantages to 3D that designers can take advantage of when needed. For example mass properties, interference checks for form and fit studies, automatic drawing generation with precise hidden line removal, photo realistic rendering, and sterolithography prototypes.

4. How do I get my data into CATIA?

Concepts supports a native CATIA file translator that reads and writes version CATIA V4. V4 files read directly into V4 or V5. The translator supports curves, surfaces, solids, color, layers, and part names. If you are using CATIA V5, export as a CATIA V4 file.

5. How do I get my data into PRO-E?

Export your data as a SAT file. ProE supports reading SAT file directly. SAT is a precise curve, surface, solid format developed by Spatial.

6. How do I get my data into AutoCAD?

Concepts supports a very good DXF/DWG translator based upon libraries provided by the OpenDWG alliance. This translator not only includes reads and writes embedded ACIS SAT data for precise curves, surfaces, and solids, but also includes handing of annotation and drawing data.

7. How do I get my data into UG?

You can export your precise data to UG or SolidEdge using IGES or STEP. Step is preferred since it does a better job supporting solid modeling data.

8. How do I purchase Concepts?

Concepts is sold through a value added distributor channel. For a listing of distributors visit our web site at www.concepts3d.com.

9. How does Concepts compare with SolidWorks and Inventor?

Concepts caters to a different design community generally labeled as Conceptual Computer Aided Design (CCAD) for creative designers whereas Solidworks, Inventor, Solid Edge and others focus on Mechanical Computer Aided Design (MCAD) for engineers.

The MCAD and CCAD design sectors target different users and thus focus their application and R&D on these different aspects. For example, the MCAD community is rapidly adding functionality associated with web enabled engineering solutions, sheet metal, PDM, 2D sketch constraints, 3D assembly constraints, and integrated analysis functions. In addition, the user interface for MCAD applications is geared towards engineers who know in advance where they are going with their design. As a result, MCAD user interfaces reflect a more rigid approach to design including specific user modes for 2D sketches, parts, and drawings. Try to sketch a 3D idea in a typical MCAD application!

Concepts is 100 percent focused on conceptual and preliminary design tasks where ease of use, speed, and versatile modeling tools are our primary R&D concerns.

Ease of Use

Concepts supports one integrated design environment that allows 2D curves, 3D wireframe, surfaces, and solids to be intermixed without the requirement of learning different user modes. If your already familiar with working in 2D, Concepts is the natural next step. In addition, the Snap Tool guides the designer with intuitive snaps that facilitate designing in 2D or 3D.


Conceptual and preliminary designers need to rapidly explore design changes. Traditional MCAD applications deal with this through combinations of a rigorous 2D and3D constraint system. Typically this requires the user to learn additional design methods that include understanding over and under constrained behavior rules.

Concepts deals with smart changes through design relations automatically created when the geometry is constructed. These relations include relations between curves, surfaces, and solids. Move a curve and everything dependent on the curve will update. If you need to examine or change a relation, use our innovative Concept Explorer.

Versatile Modeling Tools

Concepts supports an integrated collection of 2D, 3D, surface, and solid modeling tools. You choose the tools or combination of tools you need for the task on hand. Some of the tools available in Concepts include:

--Numerous spline creation and modification tools including through pt splines, vector splines, Bezier splines, add/remove point, sketch spline, spline on surface, and match tangent.

--Seventeen surface modeling creation tools.

--Feature based solid modeling.

--Local face operations for feature independent face modifications such remove, replace, offset, match, and move.

10. Who is CSi?

CSi stands for CADDSoft Solutions Inc. CSi was founded in 1994 by a team of former aerospace CAD veterans. Over the past years we have developed numerous products that include CADD-Pro, AeroCADD, and AeroPack.

11. Where is CSI located?

CSi is headquartered in Pewaukee Wisconsin and Fort Worth, Texas.


Concepts v4 (Universal Binary) Released

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