Overview of STEP AP 242 functionalities for « CAD 3D composite design » interoperability

The objective of this page is to provide an overview of the STEP AP 242 functionalities for “composite design” interoperability from the user's perspective. It is summarized in the following paragraphs:
            - Overview and illustration of capabilities
            - Examples of associated use cases
            - Dependencies / related standards
            - Status of availability of COTS solutions
            - Status of recommended practices / implementers forums

  • Overview and illustrations of capabilities

STEP AP242 is the convergence of STEP AP203 and STEP AP214. AP242 covers the definition of the shape and structure of composite structural materials.This subject was already covered by the STEP AP203 edition 2, however AP242 adds the new capability to represent 3D tesselated shape representation of each ply.

Another new capability for sharing composite structures information in the AP242 standard is the EXPRESS-based business object model (BO Model) and the XML schema derived from it. The illustration below presents Business Objects representing major concepts such as Plies/Ply pieces, Core, Filaments, Sequences, Material Properties and Orientation (Rosette).


 Examples of associated use cases

- Interoperability between different systems

CAD-CADCAD 3D composite design exchange with the supply chain


CAD 3D composite design to Engineering Analysis

CAD-CAMCAD 3D composite design to Manufacturing


- Long Term Archiving and retrieval (LTA&R)

LTA&R of CAD 3D composite design for certification

LTA&R of CAD 3D composite design for manufacturing and repairs

- Visualization of archived CAD 3d composite design information

Note that this list not exhaustive: for more information refer to the CAX IF use cases and the STEP AP 242 use cases described by the respective industry associations


  •  Dependencies / related standards

The data model of AP 242 for CAD 3D composite design is based on STEP AP 203 and STEP AP209.

  • Status of availability of COTS solutions

Beta version interfaces for CAD composite design are in test for different systems.

More information will be published in 2014.

  • Related recommended practices

STEP recommended practices for CAD 3D Composite design: draft available: link

Associated CAx Implementer Forum for Composite design: planned to start in 2014.