Formtek CAD T-Engine

The EDM Module uses the FTKCAD T-Engine to perform Custom Transformation of AutoCAD DWG, DWT, DXF, DWF formats, as well as MicroStation DGN, IFC 2×3 and IFC 4 files, into thumbnail and high-fidelity vector PDF preview formats for viewing in Alfresco.

The rendition created for drawing previews includes all models, layouts, and views in the form of a multi-page PDF. When you click the Toggle Sidebar icon, a thumbnail for each page is displayed, and each available drawing view can be previewed as a separate page in the preview pane. For example, the drawing shown to the left is displayed as a 5-page PDF preview with the thumbnails visible in the sidebar.

By default, the preview rendition is generated based on the original colors saved in the drawing. However, additional options are provided to preview the drawing in grayscale, black and white, or based on a stored CTB/STB plot style file.

Both extraction and embedding of CAD attributes, including title block attributes, are supported. 

The FTKCAD T-Engine performs extraction of block attributes from AutoCAD files, as well as extraction of both tags and Item Types from MicroStation files, and stores these attribute values in corresponding properties in the Alfresco repository.

The reverse process can also be configured to occur when a change to a property value is made within Alfresco. When embedding is enabled, property changes are automatically embedded into the corresponding AutoCAD attribute of an AutoCAD file, resulting in an updated DWG file.

The configurable mapping identifies the exact name of the CAD attribute and the corresponding Alfresco property where the extracted value is saved.

Extracted AutoCAD and MicroStation file properties can be used for metadata searching in Alfresco, or to trigger the use of Alfresco rules or behavior policies.

In addition to performing extraction of CAD file attributes, the FTKCAD T-Engine also extracts text from AutoCAD DWG, DWT, and DXF files, as well as from MicroStation DGN files.

The extracted text, for example, the Parts List information in the figure below, is then used for Solr indexing within Alfresco, allowing users to perform content-based searches to find drawings in the repository.