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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 focus on testing the interoperability and compliance of STEP processors based on STEP AP242 Eds. 1 and 2. The user groups document and prioritize use cases and requirements and develop best practices to ensure completeness and consistency of the STEP standard and its implementations. The implementor groups develop new functionalities based on user requirements, avoid roadblocks by establishing agreed-upon approaches, and increasing user confidence in STEP by providing interoperable commercial software products.

Milestones 2021

The Memorandum of Understanding for the MBx IF signed by the three hosting organizations in the middle of the year formalized the successful collaboration and thus paving the way for future extensions for other domains. Improvements were made to semantic PMI, including Saved View Viewpoints, supported by NIST’s STEP File Analyzer and Viewer. Recommended practices were updated and technical issues resolved, especially with regard to composites. In cooperation with the JT IF, significant progress was made on the exchange of kinematics using AP242 XML, which is now supported by five vendors. The User Group developed user stories for composites, PMI and assemblies with fasteners. The EWIS IF conducted its third round of testing, based on AP242 Edition 2.

Outlook 2022

Creating broad support for AP242 Ed.2 Minor Revision will be a core focus; this will include interoperability testing of the AP242 XML assembly structure with the PDM IF and ongoing kinematics-related activities with the JT IF. Graphical representation of PMI at assembly level, previously tested in a LOTAR pilot, will be a challenging expansion of the scope. The User Group will continue developing its backlog, which covers parametric collaboration, administrative data and visualization, and will initiate user best practices. The EWIS IF will expand its wire harness tutorial for AP242 into a full Recommended Practices document and continue to pursue its testing activities. All MBx IF user groups will collaborate on describing use cases and ensuring the consistency of recommended practices across domains.


Bernd Feldvoss (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

Jacques Heinisch
E-Mail: jacques.heinisch(at)

Project Partner

CT CoreTechnologie
Dassault Systèmes
International TechneGroup
Jotne IT
Open Design Alliance
Tech Soft 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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