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CAx Interoperability Forum (CAx IF)


since 1999


The CAx Interoperability Forum (CAx IF) is part of the Model-Based Interoperability Forum (MBx IF), which is a joint effort between AFNeT, PDES, Inc. and prostep ivip. The objectives of the MBx IF concentrate on testing the interoperability and compliance of STEP processors based on STEP AP242 Eds. 1& 2 as well as AP209 Ed 2. Its user groups document and prioritize use cases, requirements and develop best practices to ensure the completeness and consistency of the STEP standard and its implementations. The implementor groups implement new functionalities based on users’ requirements, avoiding obstacles by establishing agreed-upon approaches and increasing user confidence in STEP by providing interoperable commercial software products.

Milestones 2019

In 2019, the CAx IF celebrated 20 years of providing a network of trust for STEP software vendors. Two rounds of CAx testing were completed, and recommended practices were updated for PMI, composites and kinematics. The CAx IF user group for Design, Manufacturing and Inspection was launched in October. The CAE IF successfully conducted two test rounds based on AP209, supporting the ongoing development of the recommended practices for FEA validation properties, and showcased its capabilities with a live demo at the NAFEMS World Congress. The EWIS IF for Electrical Wiring Interconnection Systems has been added to the MBx IF to speed up the development of STEP AP242 Ed. 2 XML interfaces. The first round of testing was launched in September 2019 with the participation of 3 vendors.

Outlook 2020

The CAx IF user group will deliver the first prioritized industry user stories and associated test cases (geometry, PMI, composite, assemblies and installation). The implementor group will review these and integrate them in the testing schedule, starting with support for persis-tent element IDs to bridge the gap from design to manufacturing and inspection. The CAE IF will extend and improve the manuals to provide easy entry for new AP209 implementors and continue to define and test FEA validation properties. Emphasis will be placed on attracting new participants to the forum. The EWIS IF will evaluate the results of its first round of testing. The second round will continue to expand the exchange capability of wiring harness design data on the basis of use cases.


Jean-Yves Delaunay (Airbus, for prostep ivip)
Ian Parent (Pratt & Whitney Canada, for PDES, Inc.)
Pierre Duchier (Airbus, for AFneT)




Jochen Boy
E-Mail: jochen.boy(at)
Tel.: +49 6151 9287-382
Fax: +49 6151 9287-326

Phil Rosché
PDES, Inc.
E-Mail: phil.rosche(at)
Tel.: +01 843 847 9807

Jean-Marc Crepel
E-Mail: jean-marc.crepel(at)
Tel.: +33 (6) 86 26 38 28

Project Partner

CT CoreTechnologie
Dassault Systèmes
International TechneGroup
Jotne IT
Open Design Alliance
Techsoft 3D
Theorem Solutions



We are eager to help you with any questions concerning your project or selection of publications

+49 6151 9287-336


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