What Cad Files And Data Formats Are Needed For A Successful Metal Fabrication Project?

How does Maloya ensure the success of their customer’s fabrication projects? By using a variety of tools along with our decades of expertise in the field. Take a closer look at some of the ways we bring your ideas to life.

Data Formats

Cad Files And Data Formats As a fabricator, Maloya utilizes a wide variety of CAD formats. Clients can provide a wide range of data which can include hand sketches, samples, pdf prints, 2D CAD and 3D CAD. Depending on the nature of the deliverable any of these or a combination can be suitable.

Digital Formats

A hand sketch and/or cut out template is the most basic level of data that a customer will supply to us. For some applications such as artistic and ornamental work this is perfectly suitable. Maloya can utilize this format by digitizing and or scanning the work. Scanned artwork can typically then be auto traced with programs such as Solidworks as long as the original work has good contrast.  

A few things to keep in mind for this type of programming: If the item is hand drawn there are typically some inconsistencies.  Lines are not entirely smooth, radiuses may not be uniform and the work may not be fully symmetrical.  All of these issues can be easily addressed or not depending on the deliverable. In some cases a client may be looking for an “organic” result consistent with the original artwork and/or sketch.

Supplied Samples

Maloya has various tools which enables our programmers to reverse engineer almost any required product.  ISO calibrated Micrometers and large verniers are optimal for basic parts.  For more complicated pieces needing volumetric dimensional accuracy Maloya will utilize its Sheffield CMM (Coordinate Measuring Machine).


The 2D CAD format is very ubiquitous in the metal fabrication industry. This can be output in a variety of formats typically Dxf/Dwg. These formats will be output by most CAD packages such as AutoCAD, Draftsight, Rhino, Solidworks, Catia, Sketchup, LibreCAD, etc. By providing this a a client can realize considerable cost savings as our staff will not need to replicate the CAD work. Also our laser software can bulk import individual 2d files which is also a big time saver and can optimize delivery lead times for customers. 

Our Bystronic laser software also automatically optimizes the material yield by fitting parts together.  It’s ability to “jigsaw puzzle” together parts of various sizes and shapes with one mouse click is very impressive.  For this reason it is preferred to receive files with only the individually required part geometry. Additional data such as title blocks and such will need a separate clean up process although if the part geometry is on a separate “layer” within the CAD file, this can be recognized by the laser CAD software.  Therefore there is no need to pre-nest/yield material for Maloya as it would be counterproductive. Also if supplied parts require bending it is important to verify the bend deductions which are being utilized to calculate flat profiles prior to providing 2D CAD data to us. This way we will get the most accurate possible end product depending on the bend calculations needed for our forming tools.


3D CAD models are typically supplied for more complex projects and/or integrated assemblies.  Maloya primarily uses the Dassault Solidworks platform for its 3D CAD modeling. Solidworks is a parametric modeling software with extensive capabilities for engineering far in addition to the applications that we typically use. By using this sophisticated software Maloya can succeed in developing extremely challenging projects from wrapping skyscrapers in metal to elaborate façade systems.  We are able to supply customers with full print sets which can then be verified with in field measurements as construction proceeds.  As field conditions change Maloya’s engineers can then promptly and efficiently modify the existing models to meet customer’s updated requirements.  Solidworks gives our engineers the ability to quickly determine the interactions of various assembly components and provide information for FEA (finite element analysis) as needed. 

With large scale projects Maloya employs design tables which allow the software to interact with Excel spreadsheets. This way once basic geometry is defined a multitude of variations (Solidworks Configurations) can be developed just by loading a spreadsheet.  In addition Maloya has developed a proprietary API (application program interface).  By running our macro program in Solidworks we can auto generate all of the needed 2d CAD data for any number of configurations. The  2d CAD data is then translated into the required NC  (Numerical Control) programs needed by our manufacturing machinery.


Hand Sketches

  • 3D XML Files
  • 3DPDF Export Options
  • ACIS Files (*.sat)
  • Adobe Illustrator Files (*.ai)
  • Adobe Photoshop (*.psd) Files
  • Assemblies Saved as Parts Export Options
  • Autodesk Inventor Files
  • CADKEY Files
  • CATIA Graphics Files
  • CATIA Part and Product File Import
  • DXF 3D Files
  • DXF/DWG Files (*.dxf, *.dwg Files)
  • eDrawing
  • Highly Compressed Graphics Files
  • HOOPS Files
  • IDF Files
  • IFC Files
  • IGES Files (*.igs, *.iges)
  • JPEG Files
  • Exporting SOLIDWORKS Models to *.lxo Files
  • Mechanical Desktop Files
  • Parasolid Files (*.x_t, *.x_b)
  • Adobe Portable Document Format (*.pdf) Files
  • Saving SOLIDWORKS Files as Portable Network Graphics Files
  • Pro/ENGINEER and Creo Parametric Files
  • Rhino Files
  • SMG Export Options
  • Saving Configurations to SOLIDWORKS Composer Files
  • Solid Edge Files
  • Step Files (*.step)
  • STL Files (*.stl)
  • TIFF Files (*.tif)
  • TIFF, Photoshop, and JPEG Export Options
  • Unigraphics Files
  • Viewpoint Files
  • VRML Files (*.wrl)
  • XPS (XML Paper Specification) Files
  • Import and Export File Version Information

We thank our customers for their support over the years and welcome our new customers with open arms. With your help we can get your quote - and your product - out faster.  Contact us today.