IGES
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The Initial Graphics Exchange Specification (IGES) is a vendor-neutral
file format A file format is a standard Standard may refer to: Flags * Colours, standards and guidons * Standard (flag), a type of flag used for personal identification Norm, convention or requirement * Standard (metrology), an object that bears ...
that allows the digital exchange of information among
computer-aided design Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computers (or ) to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. This software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve com ...
(CAD) systems. The official title of IGES is ''Digital Representation for Communication of Product Definition Data'', first published in March, 1980 by the U.S.
National Bureau of Standards The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a physical sciences Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies abiotic component, non-living systems, in contrast to life science. It in turn has many branches, e ...
as NBSIR 80-1978. Many documents (like early versions of the
Defense Standard A United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a W ...
s MIL-PRF-28000 and MIL-STD-1840) referred to it as
ASME#REDIRECT American Society of Mechanical Engineers#REDIRECT American Society of Mechanical Engineers {{rcat shell, {{R from other capitalisation ...
{{rcat shell, {{R from other capitalisation ...
Y14.26M, the designation of the
ANSI The American National Standards Institute (ANSI ) is a private non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organiz ...
committee that approved IGES Version 1.0. Using IGES, a CAD user can exchange product data models in the form of
circuit diagram A circuit diagram (wiring diagram, electrical diagram, elementary diagram, electronic schematic) is a graphical representation of an electrical circuit An electrical network is an interconnection of electrical component An electroni ...

circuit diagram
s, wireframe,
freeform surface Freeform surface modelling is a technique for engineering freeform surfaces with a CAD or CAID system. The technology has encompassed two main fields. Either creating aesthetic surfaces (class A surfacesIn automotive design, a class A surface is ...
or
solid modeling Solid modeling (or modelling) is a consistent set of principles for mathematical and computer modeling of three-dimensional solids. Solid modeling is distinguished from related areas of geometric modeling and computer graphics by its emphasis o ...
representations ''Representations'' is an interdisciplinary journal in the humanities published quarterly by the University of California Press. The journal was established in 1983 and is the founding publication of the New Historicism movement of the 1980s. It co ...
. Applications supported by IGES include traditional
engineering drawing An engineering drawing is a type of technical drawing Technical drawing, drafting or drawing, is the act and discipline Discipline is action ACTION is a bus operator in Canberra Canberra ( ) is the capital city of Austra ...
s, models for analysis, and other
manufacturing Manufacturing is the creation or Production (economics), production of goods with the help of equipment, Work (human activity), labor, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector ...
functions.


History

IGES was an initiative of the
United States Air Force The United States Air Force (USAF) is the air File:Atmosphere gas proportions.svg, Composition of Earth's atmosphere by volume, excluding water vapor. Lower pie represents trace gases that together compose about 0.043391% of the atmosph ...

United States Air Force
(USAF)
Integrated Computer Aided Manufacturing
Integrated Computer Aided Manufacturing
(ICAM) project (1976-1984). ICAM sought to develop procedures (
IDEF IDEF, initially an abbreviation of ICAM Definition and renamed in 1999 as Integration Definition,IEEE Standard for Functional Modeling Language—Syntax and Semantics for IDEF0, Software Engineering Standards Committee of the IEEE Computer Socie ...
) processes ( Group Technology) and software (
CAD/CAM CAD/CAM refers to the integration of Computer-aided design (CAD) and Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). Both of these require powerful computers. ''CAD'' software helps designers and draftsmen; ''CAM'' "reduces manpower costs" in the manufacturin ...
) that would integrate all operations in Aerospace manufacturing and thus greatly reduce costs. Earlier the USAF Manufacturing Technology Program had funded the Automatically Programmed Tools (APT) language for programming Numerically Controlled (NC) machine tools. To close the data gap between parts design and manufacturing, one of the ICAM goals was to develop CAD software that would automatically generate numerical control programs for the very complex Computer Numerically Controlled (CNC) machine tools used throughout the
Aerospace Aerospace is a term used to collectively refer to the atmosphere and outer space. Aerospace activity is very diverse, with a multitude of commercial, industrial and military applications. Aerospace engineering consists of aeronautics and astronau ...

Aerospace
industry. A serious issue was the incompatibility of data produced by the many
CAD Computer-aided design (CAD) is the use of computers (or ) to aid in the creation, modification, analysis, or optimization of a design. This software is used to increase the productivity of the designer, improve the quality of design, improve comm ...
systems in use at the time. USAF/ICAM called a meeting at the
National Bureau of Standards The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a physical sciences Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies abiotic component, non-living systems, in contrast to life science. It in turn has many branches, e ...
(now known as
National Institute of Standards and Technology The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a physical sciences Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies abiotic component, non-living systems, in contrast to life science. It in turn has many branches, e ...
or
NIST The National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) is a physical sciences Physical science is a branch of natural science that studies abiotic component, non-living systems, in contrast to life science. It in turn has many branches, e ...

NIST
) in 1978 to address this issue.
Boeing The Boeing Company () is an American multinational corporation A multinational company (MNC) is a corporate A corporation is an organization—usually a group of people or a company A company, abbreviated as co., is a Legal personal ...

Boeing
offered to sell its CAD translation software to USAF for one United States dollar.
USAF The United States Air Force (USAF) is the Aerial warfare, air military branch, service branch of the United States Armed Forces, and is one of the eight uniformed services of the United States, U.S. uniformed services. Initially formed as a ...
accepted this offer and contracted NIST to bring together a group of users and vendors, including Boeing,
General Electric General Electric Company (GE) is an American Multinational corporation, multinational Conglomerate (company), conglomerate incorporated in New York State and headquartered in Boston. Until 2021, the company operated through GE Aviation, aviat ...
,
Xerox Xerox Holdings Corporation (; also known simply as Xerox) is an American corporation that sells print and digital document An electronic document is any electronic media content (other than computer program A computer program is a collectio ...
,
Computervision Computervision, Inc. (CV) was an early pioneer in Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing ( CAD/ CAM). Computervision was founded in 1969 by Marty Allen and Philippe Villers, and headquartered in Bedford, Massachusetts, United States. Its early ...
,
Applicon Applicon, Incorporated was one of the first manufacturers of Computer Aided Design and Manufacturing (CAD/CAM CAD/CAM refers to the integration of Computer-aided design (CAD) and Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM). Both of these require powerful ...
and others to further develop and test this software. Though it was the practice to begin the name of ICAM developments with the word integrated (for example the IDEFs) believing that there would be rapid development of graphical exchange software, USAF decided that the IGES would be the Initial Graphics Exchange Specification not the Integrated Graphics Exchange Specification. Since 1988, the
DoD The United States Department of Defense (DoD, USDOD or DOD) is an executive branch department of the federal government A federation (also known as a federal state) is a political entity characterized by a union of partially self-go ...
has required that all
digital Digital usually refers to something using discrete digits, often binary digits. Technology and computing Hardware *Digital electronics Digital electronics is a field of electronics The field of electronics is a branch of physics and electr ...
product and manufacturing information Product and manufacturing information, also abbreviated PMI, conveys non-geometric attributes in 3D computer-aided design (CAD) and Collaborative Product Development systems necessary for manufacturing product components and assemblies. PMI may incl ...
(PMI) for weapons systems contracts (the engineering drawings, circuit diagrams, ''etc''.) be delivered in computer file, electronic form such as IGES format. As a consequence, CAx software vendors who want to market their products to DoD subcontractors and their partners needed to support the import (reading) and export (writing) of IGES format files. An ANSI standard since 1980, IGES has been used in the automotive industry, automotive, aerospace, and shipbuilding industries. It has been used for weapons systems from Trident (missile), Trident missile guidance systems to entire aircraft carriers. These part models may have to be used years after the vendor of the original design system has gone out of business. IGES files provide a way to access this data decades from now. Today, plugin viewers for Web browsers allow IGES files created 20 years ago to be viewed from anywhere in the world. After the initial release of ISO 10303, STEP (ISO 10303) in 1994, interest in further development of IGES declined, and Version 5.3 (1996) was the last published standard.


File format

An IGES file is composed of 80-character ASCII records, a record length derived from the punched card era. Text strings are represented in "Hollerith constant, Hollerith" format, the number of characters in the string, followed by the letter "H", followed by the text string, ''e.g.'', "4HSLOT" (this is the text string format used in early versions of the Fortran language). Early IGES translators had problems with IBM mainframe computers because the mainframes used EBCDIC encoding for text, and some EBCDIC-ASCII translators would either substitute the wrong character, or improperly set the parity bit, causing a misread. Here is a very small IGES file from 1987, containing only two POINT (Type 116), two CIRCULAR ARC (Type 100), and two LINE (Type 110) entities. It represents a slot, with the points at the centers of the two half-circles that form the ends of the slot, and the two lines that form the sides.
                                                                        S      1
1H,,1H;,4HSLOT,37H$1$DUA2:[IGESLIB.BDRAFT.B2I]SLOT.IGS;,                G      1
17HBravo3 BravoDRAFT,31HBravo3->IGES V3.002 (02-Oct-87),32,38,6,38,15,  G      2
4HSLOT,1.,1,4HINCH,8,0.08,13H871006.192927,1.E-06,6.,                   G      3
31HD. A. Harrod, Tel. 313/995-6333,24HAPPLICON - Ann Arbor, MI,4,0;     G      4
     116       1       0       1       0       0       0       0       1D      1
     116       1       5       1       0                               0D      2
     116       2       0       1       0       0       0       0       1D      3
     116       1       5       1       0                               0D      4
     100       3       0       1       0       0       0       0       1D      5
     100       1       2       1       0                               0D      6
     100       4       0       1       0       0       0       0       1D      7
     100       1       2       1       0                               0D      8
     110       5       0       1       0       0       0       0       1D      9
     110       1       3       1       0                               0D     10
     110       6       0       1       0       0       0       0       1D     11
     110       1       3       1       0                               0D     12
116,0.,0.,0.,0,0,0;                                                    1P      1
116,5.,0.,0.,0,0,0;                                                    3P      2
100,0.,0.,0.,0.,1.,0.,-1.,0,0;                                         5P      3
100,0.,5.,0.,5.,-1.,5.,1.,0,0;                                         7P      4
110,0.,-1.,0.,5.,-1.,0.,0,0;                                           9P      5
110,0.,1.,0.,5.,1.,0.,0,0;                                            11P      6
S      1G      4D     12P      6                                        T      1
The file is divided into 5 sections: Start, Global, Directory Entry, Parameter Data, and Terminate indicated by the characters S, G, D, P, or T in column 73. The characteristics and geometric information for an entity is split between two sections; one in a two record, fixed-length format (the Directory Entry, or DE Section), the other in a multiple record, comma delimited format (the Parameter Data, or PD Section), as can be seen in a more human-readable representation of the file. When displayed, the user should see two yellow points (hard to see on a white background, but most CAD systems use a black background), one located at the Origin (mathematics), origin of model space [0,0,0], two red circular arcs, and two green lines.


Foreign-language support

Due to its growing international popularity (several countries, including Australia and the UK, adopted IGES as their own National Standards for PMI interoperability), support was added to the TEXT (Type 212) entity to support the ISO/IEC 8859-1, ISO 8859 (Latin-1) alphabet for European characters. In the 1990s, IGES added support for the JIS encoding for Kanji (wikt:漢字, 漢字) as double-byte characters (JIS X 0208, JIS-6226), allowing members of the Japan Automobile Manufacturers Association (JAMA) to exchange part models with their American and European partners without loss of the Kanji text. The current version of IGES does not support Unicode 16- or 32-bit character encoding, so Arabic and other scripts (like Thai) cannot be represented.


A recursive standard

One of the unique features of the IGES standard is that it was the first
ANSI The American National Standards Institute (ANSI ) is a private non-profit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonprofit institution, is a legal entity organiz ...
standard to be documented using itself. Since Version 4.0, all of the technical illustrations for the printed version of the standard have been generated from IGES files. The electronic publishing system (LaTeX) integrates Raster graphics, raster images generated from IGES files into the PostScript sent to the laser printer, so text and images are printed on the same page for subsequent use as camera-ready copy for commercial publication. Beginning with IGES Version 5.2, this is how the standard was generated, and Version 5.3 (the most recent ANSI-approved version) is available as a PDF document. Many of the illustrations (all of which conform to the Defense Department's MIL-D-28000 Engineering Drawings Subset of IGES) use the entities that they describe, e.g., the illustration of the LEADER (ARROW) ENTITY (Type 214) can be used as a test case for translator implementers, because it contains all 12 arrow head styles defined by the standard. These WYSIWYG example files can be distinguished by a leading "F" and trailing "X" in the file name (like f214x.igs), and this library is called the IGES X-files by members of the IGES community. Here is one of the example figures, Figure 2 from Appendix A (fmeparte.igs), that has appeared in every version of IGES since Version 3.0. It uses linear, angular, and ordinate dimension entities, as well as examples of both Conic section, circular and conic arcs. It is usually the first part used when testing an IGES translator, because the standard has a picture of what it should look like.


See also


References

;Notes * * 1982 https://books.google.com/books/about/Digital_representation_for_communication.html?id=5LDgAAAAMAAJ * 1990 https://books.google.com/books/about/Digital_representation_for_communication.html?id=tyFZAAAAYAAJ * * *. Baseline version was January 12, 1999. *. Baseline version was January 5, 1998.


External links

* {{DEFAULTSORT:Iges CAD file formats Computer file formats Computer-aided design software Graphics file formats