GRANITE Interoperability Kernel
Introducing Granite gPlugs for better interoperability
- How to Use gPlugs with Pro/ENGINEER
- How to Use gPlugs with Other Granite Based Applications
- Download the Available gPlugs
- gPlug Developer Notes
- White Paper on Interoperability Between StudioTools and Pro/ENGINEER (pdf, 488 KB)
The gPlug is a simple plug-in (.dll) supplied by the Granite licensed software vendor of an application that creates CAD model's. The gPlug facilitates model-based communication between heterogeneous Granite applications. Useful in any CAD environment, gPlugs allow diverse applications to recognize other CAD files in their native format and often with associative benefits. Granite eliminates the need to translate to/from neutral files (as well as manage those neutral files) by directing the target application to the location of the geometry, topology and relevant metadata in a model file. If this data was authored with the Granite kernel it will stream directly into the target application. If the model is not stored as Granite, the .dll will convert the data on the fly (the non-native gPlug). Granite reduces the time, energy and data required to move models between the various applications in any product development process.
These two approaches reference two types of gPlugs, the native gPlug and the non-native gPlug. The native gPlugs are used to open files that already have embedded Granite data and always consist of a single .dll file. The non-native gPlugs are used to open files that contain other proprietary model definition. The non-native gPlugs often are made up of more than one .dll and are much bigger in size than the native gPlugs.
Among the currently available native gPlugs are Pro/DESKTOP 7.0 or greater (.des), and Raindrop Geomagic Shape version 5 or greater (.wrp). The non-native gPlugs capable of reading files directly from their own proprietary formats are Alias|Wavefront StudioTools v.10.1 or greater (.wire) and IronCAD (.ics, see the included readme.txt file in the gPlug package for support versions and other details).
How to Use gPlugs with Pro/ENGINEERPro/ENGINEER Wildfire supports gPlugs. The native gPlugs work with all versions of Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire. The currently available non-native gPlugs work only with Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire release datecode 2003210 or later.
Granite applications have their own ways of designating gPlugs to open the supported files. Pro/ENGINEER uses a configuration option "pro_gplug_dir" to specify a directory (folder) it will use to look for available gPlugs. Pro/ENGINEER supports Pro/DESKTOP gPlug by default so a user does not need to do anything to open Pro/DESKTOP (.des) files. To further enable Pro/ENGINEER with additional gPlugs, a user needs to create the following setting in the config.pro file BEFORE starting a Pro/ENGINEER session, put up to two gPlugs in a single directory (folder) and add an entry "pro_gplug_dir" and designate the variable 'path_to_the_gplugs_folder' as valid in your environment (for example "c:/gplug_folder" Unlike many other Pro/ENGINEER configuration options, adding this entry in the middle of a Pro/ENGINEER session will not work. Currently Pro/ENGINEER can only host two gPlugs (in addition to Pro/DESKTOP) at any one point in time, although, the gPlugs are interchangeable as long as the user starts a new Pro/ENGINEER session after changing the gPlugs in that directory.
In summary here are the steps to use gPlugs with Pro/ENGINEER:
- Download the desired gPlugs (ses below)
- Install them together with other required files and libraries (for non-native gPlugs) to a folder (directory) on the local machine or supporting network.
- Edit the Pro/ENGINEER config.pro, add/set the configuration option 'pro_gplug_dir' to the name of folder (with the full path) containing the desired gPlug(s)
- Review the gPlug readme files and make the necessary changes (i.e. modifying the path variable for the Alias gPlug or registering certain .dlls for the IronCAD gPlug).
- Start the Pro/ENGINEER session. Use File>Open to view the Granite Application File listing inclusive of the gPlug interoperability.
TroubleshootingIf the file types from the gPlug(s) do not appear in the File>Open list?
- Check that the configuration option 'pro_gplug_dir' includes the correct location of the gPlug
- Make sure you start Pro/ENGINEER session after setting/changing the above configuration option
- Check that the gPlug folder has no more than two gPlug .dlls
Can't open a specific file?
- Check that the file is of a version supported by the gPlug
- Check that the required changes by certain gPlugs have been made
- Pro/ENGINEER 2001 can only open files with Granite V1 data through native gPlugs
- The Alias and IronCAD gPlugs are only compatible with Pro/ENGINEER Wildfire 2003210 or later.
If you have any questions about using gPlugs with Pro/ENGINEER please log a call online (make sure to select Granite for Product), or contact Granite technical support.
How to Use gPlugs with Other Granite Based ApplicationsGranite applications can have their own ways of hosting gPlugs to open the supported files, yet they must follow a set of protocols when hosting gPlugs. The only substantial variation is how and where each application looks for the gPlugs. Please note that when using non-native gPlugs, one must make sure that the hosting application uses Granite .dlls that are compatible with those required by the gPlugs .(refer to individual gPlug readme.txt files).
The following are the general steps one should use to open the supported files using gPlugs:
- Download the desired gPlugs
- Install them together with other required files and libraries to a place as specified by the hosting application
- Run the required setup if any as required by the gPlugs
- Start the hosting application and look for supported files
Download the Available gPlugs
- Raindrop Geomagic gPlug (zip, 24 KB)
Read (.wrp) files from Studio and Qualify version 5 or greater
- Pro/DESKTOP gPlug (zip, 148 KB)
Read (.des) files from Pro/DESKTOP V7 or greater
- IronCAD gPlug (zip, 351 KB)
Read (.ics) files. See readme.txt for version details
- Alias gPlug for reading .wire files up to Alias 2011 (Built on GRANITE 6.0)
Windows 32-bit (zip, 11MB)
Windows 64-bit (zip, 14MB)
- Alias gPlug for reading .wire files up to Alias 2013 (Built on GRANITE 7.0)
Windows 32-bit (zip, 11.6MB)
Windows 64-bit (zip, 14MB)