Access and Share MBD Data

Using MBDVidia, downstream users can access and share Model Based Definition (MBD) data without paying for an expensive CAD license. MBDVidia opens any 3D MBD model enabling clients and coworkers to visualize, perform detailed investigation or create quotes and reports.


MBDVidia preserves the original design intent by maintaining the structure and organization of the 3D model exactly as it was created in the originating CAD system. This includes the 3D geometry, all combination views, saved views, logical groups, notes, and metadata.

Specialized tools and reporting capabilities make it easy to view, markup, generate quotes and share so that everyone in the supply chain can easily understand the information in the model. MBDVidia unlocks your valuable CAD data, and makes it available to everyone who needs it!

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Project Tree

Project Tree – 3D CAD model - MBDVidia’s project tree shows and logically organizes the entire CAD model structure (layers, model entities, views, PMI, GD&T, etc.) and gives you direct access to each separate model entity. The original CAD model structure is preserved with original names and assembly and sub-assembly structures definition including instances. You can view both single parts as well as complex assemblies. An automatic link between the graphics window and project tree helps to identify and find specific entities in the model.

Each entity has its own property page providing access to the entity definition. You can change entity attributes such as name, color, transparency, etc.


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Project tree – Model Entities defining native CAD model in the MBDVidia


Project Tree – PMI - A separate section in the project tree covers the PMI. The PMI information is logically organized under Annotation Set and grouped into Datums, Geometrical Tolerances. Project tree gives access to each separate PMI entity, immediately showing selected entity on the 3D model and in the bill of characteristic list. Each PMI gets a unique number (ballooning). Related PMI feature frames are assigned to one group with sub-ballooning numbers. There is a full semantic link between 3D model, project tree and bill of characteristics. PMI can be assigned a priority (level of importance) or a color reflecting its importance. You can review the complete MBD data by viewing datums, dimensions, tolerances, flag notes, annotations, stored viewpoints and layers easily assessable through the project tree.


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Project tree PMI – Annotation Set - definition of native CAD model in the MBDVidia


Automatic generation of optimal drafting views and reporting – resolves visualization of complex PMI by dividing the information automatically into drafting views easy readable on the screen and ready for printing. The user can print a paper copy of the information in the graphical window with full control over the letter type and line thickness or generate automatic report of all optimal views presenting PMI in a readable way. You can print to PDF, HTML, and XML formats.

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Drafting views – minimal number of views are automatically generated to view the PMI


Optimal drafting views make the PMI easily readable




Drafting view ready to print




Drafting view with bill of characteristics ready for printing


Ballooning – helps to automatically organize the PMI information in easy readable table form. Each PMI entity is automatically assigned a number (ballooning) providing a reference.

Ballooning of the PMI



Bill of characteristics – feature frames connected with each other are automatically recognized and assigned logical sub-numbers, making the PMI information readable and easy to access by other applications over .xls format (bill of characteristics can be exported to Excel spreadsheet).

Assigning priority to a feature frame by color (red)



Criticality - the user can also change PMI priority by assigning different criticality levels. Using colors can emphasize specific PMI as critical for manufacturing or metrology process.

Assigning criticality parameter to the PMI



Maintained full semantics between 3D model and PMI - the logical links of native data definition are fully maintained between 3D model definition and the PMI annotation. The logics are checked and verified during the reading process, which can correct some definition inconsistencies. E.g. simple text definition including cylinder diameter information will be automatically converted into useful data.

Semantic link between 3D model and PMI (reference to Face 1262) easy accessible over CAP-XML format


Global characteristics – The global dimensions, bounding box, volume, surface area, center of gravity and moments of inertia are automatically calculated even if the model is not defined as a solid. If you specify material properties, the total mass will also be calculated.

Dimensioning – You can dimension and measure selected edges, arcs, and angles with the click of a mouse. Dimensioning can be applied to separate entities or the whole model. Distances between vertexes and surfaces can also be measured and annotated.  

Annotation – Text annotation can be added to each model entity. The link between the model entity and the annotation label is automatically maintained.

Collaborate – MBDVidia works with other Capvidia applications (and more) through the open Capvidia CAP XML data format.  Using CAP XML, you can repurpose and reuse CAD data without complex and expense CAD system API (application programming interface).

Easy to use – MBDVidia mimics native CAD system data structure and concepts, giving familiar feeling to experienced CAD users. But, because it's not a CAD system, it's far easier for inexperienced users to learn and to use.

Affordable – CAD system licenses, maintenance, and training are expensive. MBDVidia provides complete access to 3D CAD models + PMI far more economically. If you need to work with CAD data in a number of different formats, MBDVidia is a lifesaver.

Supported Import Formats

Format File extensions Version 3D PMI
ACIS .asc R1 - 2016 1.0 yes
CAPXML .xml yes
CATIA V4 .model, .exp 4.1.9 – 4.2.4
CATIA V5 .CATPart, .CATProduct

R6 – R26


CATIA V6 .CATPart, .CATProduct V6R2016 yes
DXF/DWG .dxf, .dwg 2.5 - 2014
IGES .igs, .iges, .ig2(catia) Up to 5.3
Inventor .ipt V6 – V2016
.iam V11 – V2016
JT .jt 6.4 – 9.5
Parasolid .x_t, .x_b 9.0 - 28.0.159
ProE / Creo .prt, .prt.*, .asm, .asm.* 16 – Creo 3.0 yes
Siemens NX .prt 11 – NX 10 yes
SolidWorks .sldprt, .sldasm 3003 – 2016
Solid Edge .par, .asm, .psm V18 – ST8
STEP .stp, .step AP203, AP214 yes
QIF .qif,.xml 1.9.3 yes
VDA-FS  1.0 - 2.0
ASC .asc
Mesh .mesh
STL .stl
VRML .vrml, .wrl 1
3DXML .3DXML  v4.3
XCGM .xcgm  R2012 - R2016 1.0
XYZ .xyz
AMF .amf

3D CAD models with complex PMI can often be challenging to visualize clearly. MBDVidia makes them easy to understand and analyze:

  • Automatic generation of optimal drafting views – resolves “spaghetti” like PMI
  • Automatic PMI ballooning with bill of characteristics
  • Prioritizing of PMI entries (colors and importance)  
  • Automatic generation of reports (.pdf, html, xml)
  • Project tree with organized and classified PMI information
  • Maintained links between 3D model and PMI objects (simultaneous highlighting)
  • Selective display of PMI entities (individual or groups)
  • Interactively rotate, zoom and pan 3D models and related PMI
  • Define dynamic cross sections and clipping planes.
  • Hide unnecessary entities using the show/hide function.
  • Expose critical information by highlighting or changing the colors of entities.
  • Open multiple models in different windows, projections and views.

MBDVidia is available as a stand-alone application and floating network version.

MBDVidia users work in the following application areas:

  • Metrology
  • Manufacturing
  • Mold & Die Design Quotation
  • Tooling & Fixture Design Quotation
  • Packaging