Journey to the Neutral Formats: Parasolid

By | 08/23/2016

    Parasolid is a commercial geometric kernel by Siemens PLM Software. Parasolid is a successor of ROMULUS geometric kernel developed by Shape Data Ltd. in 1978.

    parasolidThe first Parasolid version was released in 1988. Shortly after Shape Data Ltd. was overtaken by McDonnell Douglas Automation. Nowadays Parasolid belongs to Siemens PLM Software, Siemens NX is also using Parasolid as a geometric kernel.

    Parasolid considers as one of the most powerful and flexible geometric kernels. Such a big companies like Boeing, General Electric, Israel Aircraft Industries, Mitsubishi Motors utilize Parasolid.  The Parasolid exchange idea is called “Parasolid Pipeline” and means the exchange of CAD data via X_T file format.

    Basic Parasolid Features

  • Creating new primitives (cube, cone, sphere etc…);
  • Creating solid bodies using kinematic features, such as extrude and revolution;
  • Full-integrated NURBS curves and surfaces;
  • Boolean features support;
  • Complex blends and chamfers;
  • Draft a solid body;
  • Feature-based modeling;
  • Neutral formats support;

    ParasolidWhen exported from the parent software package, a Parasolid commonly has the file extension .x_t. Another format is .x_b, which is in binary format so it is more machine independent and not subject to binary-to-text conversion errors. Most Parasolid files can communicate and migrate only 3D solids and/or surface data – Parasolid files currently cannot communicate and migrate 2D data such as lines and arcs.


    It is used in many Computer-aided design (CAD), Computer-aided manufacturing (CAM), Computer-aided engineering (CAE), Product visualization, and CAD data exchange packages, users include:

  • Abaqus
  • Delcam
  • DesignFlow
  • Siemens NX
  • SolidWorks
  • TopSolid
  • MCS
  • Medusa
  • Femap
  • Edgecam
  • Solid Edge

…and others.

    Parasolid would be the best choice if you need to share your engineering data (solids or surfaces) with those who uses a CAD system with same geometric kernel (Parasolid). For instance: if you are the NX user and want to share your model with one who uses SolidWorks, then the X_T format would serve your needs at the most.

by the materials of Wikipedia.

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