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Commonly referred to as a 3D Product Lifecycle Management software suite, CATIA supports multiple stages of product development (CAx), including conceptualization, design (CAD), manufacturing (CAM), and engineering (CAE). CATIA facilitates collaborative engineering across disciplines, including surfacing & shape design, mechanical engineering, and equipment and systems engineering.
CATIA provides a suite of surfacing, reverse engineering, and visualization solutions to create, modify, and validate complex innovative shapes, from subdivision, styling, and Class A surfaces to mechanical functional surfaces.
CATIA enables the creation of 3D parts, from 3D sketches, sheetmetal, composites, molded, forged or tooling parts up to the definition of mechanical assemblies. It provides tools to complete product definition, including functional tolerances as well as kinematics definition.
CATIA facilitates the design of electronic, electrical, and distributed systems such as fluid and HVAC systems, all the way to the production of documentation for manufacturing.
CATIA offers a solution to model complex and intelligent products through the systems engineering approach. It covers the requirements definition, the systems architecture, the behavior modeling and the virtual product or embedded software generation. CATIA can be customized via application programming interfaces (API). CATIA V5 & V6 can be adapted using Visual Basic and C++ programming languages via CAA (Component Application Architecture), a component object model (COM)-like interface.
Although later versions of CATIA V4 implemented NURBS, V4 principally used piecewise polynomial surfaces. CATIA V4 uses a non-manifold solid engine.
Catia V5 features a parametric solid/surface-based package that uses NURBS as the core surface representation and has several workbenches that provide KBE support.
V5 can work with other applications, including Enovia, Smarteam, and various CAE Analysis applications.
The Boeing Company used CATIA V3 to develop its 777 airliner and used CATIA V5 for the 787 series aircraft. They have employed the full range of Dassault Systemes' 3D PLM products — CATIA, DELMIA, and ENOVIA LCA — supplemented by Boeing-developed applications.
The development of the Indian Light Combat Aircraft has been using CATIA V5.
Chinese Xian JH-7A was the first aircraft developed by CATIA V5 when the design was completed on September 26, 2000.
European aerospace giant Airbus has been using CATIA since 2001.
Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier Aerospace has done all of its aircraft design on CATIA.
The Brazilian aircraft company EMBRAER uses Catia V4 and V5 to build all airplanes.
Vought Aircraft Industries uses CATIA V4 and V5 to produce its parts.
The Anglo/Italian Helicopter company AgustaWestland uses CATIA V4 and V5 to design their full range of aircraft.
All daughter companies of the French comapny Safran use Catia for a full range of aerospace, defence and security products.
The Eurofighter Typhoon has been designed using both CATIA V4 and V5.
The main supplier of helicopters to the U.S Military forces, Sikorsky Aircraft Corp., uses CATIA as well.
Bell Helicopter,Bell Boeing V-22 Osprey,CATIA V4, V5, and now V6.
Many automotive companies use CATIA to varying degrees, including BMW, Porsche, Daimler AG Chrysler, Honda,Audi,Jaguar Land Rover, Volkswagen, SEAT, Škoda, Bentley Motors Limited, Volvo, Fiat Benteler International, PSA Peugeot Citroën,Renault,Toyota,Ford, Scania, Hyundai, Škoda Auto, Tesla Motors, Valmet Automotive, Proton, Elba, Tata motors and Mahindra & Mahindra Limited.Goodyear uses it in making tires for automotive and aerospace and also uses a customized CATIA for its design and development. Many automotive companies use CATIA for car structures — door beams, IP supports, bumper beams, roof rails, side rails, body components because CATIA is very good in surface creation and Computer representation of surfaces. Bombardier Transportation of Canada is using this software to design its entire fleet of Train engines and coaches.
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