||This article appears to be written like an advertisement. (February 2013)|
|Stable release||V6R2012x / May 2011|
|Operating system||Windows / Unix (server)|
CATIA (Computer Aided Three-dimensional Interactive Application) (in English usually pronounced //) is a multi-platform CAD/CAM/CAE commercial software suite developed by the French company Dassault Systemes. Written in the C++ programming language, CATIA is the cornerstone of the Dassault Systemes product lifecycle management software suite.
CATIA started as an in-house development in 1977 by French aircraft manufacturer Avions Marcel Dassault, at that time customer of the CAD/CAM CAD software to develop Dassault's Mirage fighter jet, then was adopted in the aerospace, automotive, shipbuilding, and other industries.
Initially named CATI (Conception Assistée Tridimensionnelle Interactive — French for Interactive Aided Three-dimensional Design ) — it was renamed CATIA in 1981, when Dassault created a subsidiary to develop and sell the software, and signed a non-exclusive distribution agreement with IBM.
In 1984, the Boeing Company had chosen CATIA V3 as its main 3D CAD tool, becoming its largest customer.
In 1990, General Dynamics Electric Boat Corp chose CATIA as its main 3D CAD tool, to design the U.S. Navy's Virginia class submarine. Boeing had been also selling worldwide its CADAM CAD system through the channel of IBM since 1978.
In 2008, Dassault announced and released CATIA V6. While the server can run on Microsoft Windows, Linux or AIX, client support for any operating system other than Microsoft Windows is dropped.
In November 2010, Dassault launched Catia V6R2011x, the latest release of its PLM2.0 platform while still continuing to support and improve its Catia V5 software.
In June 2011, Dassault launched V6 R2012.
Scope of application 
Commonly referred to as a 3D Product Lifecycle Management software suite, CATIA supports multiple stages of product development (CAx), from conceptualization, design (CAD), manufacturing (CAM), and engineering (CAE). CATIA facilitates collaborative engineering across disciplines, including surfacing & shape design, mechanical engineering, 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 as well as distributed systems such as fluid and HVAC systems, all the way to the production of documentation for manufacturing.
Systems engineering 
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.
V5 can work with other applications, including Enovia, Smarteam, and various CAE Analysis applications.
CATIA can be applied to a wide variety of industries, from aerospace and defense, automotive, and industrial equipment, to high tech, shipbuilding, consumer goods, plant design, consumer packaged goods, life sciences, architecture and construction, process power and petroleum, and services. CATIA V4, CATIA V5, Pro/ENGINEER, NX (formerly Unigraphics), and SolidWorks are the dominant systems.
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 is the first aircraft developed by CATIA V5, when the design was completed on September 26, 2000.
The Brazilian aircraft company, EMBRAER, use Catia V4 and V5 to build all airplanes.
Vought Aircraft Industries use CATIA V4 and V5 to produce its parts.
The Anglo/Italian Helicopter company, AgustaWestland, use CATIA V4 and V5 to design their full range of aircraft.
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.
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, Canada is using this software to design its entire fleet of Train engines and coaches.
Dassault Systems has begun serving shipbuilders with CATIA V5 release 8, which includes special features useful to shipbuilders. GD Electric Boat used CATIA to design the latest fast attack submarine class for the United States Navy, the Virginia class. Newport News Shipbuilding also used CATIA to design the Gerald R. Ford class of supercarriers for the US Navy. In 2004 it has been adopted by the Beneteau Group for development of new sailing and leisure motor boats
Industrial equipment 
CATIA has a strong presence in the Industrial Equipment industry. Industrial Manufacturing machinery companies like Schuler and Metso use CATIA, as well as heavy mobile machinery and equipment companies like Claas, and also various industrial equipment product companies like Alstom Power and ABB Group.
Architect Frank Gehry has used the software, through the C-Cubed Virtual Architecture company, now Virtual Build Team, to design his award-winning curvilinear buildings. His technology arm, Gehry Technologies, has been developing software based on CATIA V5 named Digital Project. Digital Project competes for market share with Revit, Microstation and other Building Information Modelling applications.
File compatibility and CATIA V4 /V5 /V6 conversion 
Dassault Systemes provides utilities to convert CATIA V4 data files so they are accessible to CATIA V5 and CATIA V6. Still, cases show that there can be issues in the data conversion from CATIA V4 to V5, from either differences in the geometric kernel between CATIA V4 and CATIA V5, or by the modelling methods employed by end users. Experiment results show that there can be data loss during the conversion (from 0% to 90%). The percentage loss can be minimized by using the appropriate pre-conversion clean-up, choosing the appropriate conversion options, and clean-up activities after conversion. On the other hand, transition from V5 to V6 is facilitated because they are sharing the same geometric kernel. Third-party file translators also up-convert CATIA files between versions.
See also 
- A history of CATIA by former CEO of Dassault Systemes Francis Bernard
- Technological Revolution article by Dassault Aviation
- Dassault Systèmes Introduces V6 to the Market - Press release
- MCAD Online - Dassault launches Catia V6 platform
- PLM V6R2009 System requirements
- "Computing & Design/Build Processes Help Develop the 777." Boeing Commercial Airplanes.
- "PLM: Boeing's Dream, Airbus' Nightmare." Baseline.
- Latulippe, Isabelle (August 2001). "Bombardier Aerospace Virtual Product Definition: Achievements and Future Directions". COE NewsNet. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
- Heiner Philipp P.Eng.
- "Product Life cycle Management Solutions from IBM and Dassault Systems Boost Efficiency at Leading Premium Vehicle Manufacturer". COE Newsnet.
- Peugeot S.A. signs a 3-year contract for 1,300 CATIA licenses
- Southwinds Engineering Inc.
- Conklin, James. "Realizing Life Cycle Cost Savings Through Standardization". Defense Standardization Program. Department Of Defense.
- "CVN 21 Facts". Northrop Grumman.
- "Beneteau Group Selects PLM Shipbuilding Solutions From IBM and Dassault Systemes".
- Day, Martin (September/October 2003). "Gehry, Dassault and IBM Too". AEC Magazine. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
- "Digital Project". Gehry Technologies. Archived from the original on 2007-02-05. Retrieved 2007-03-07.
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