Manufacturing that Stays Connected

The digital thread is a simple idea - keep your product design, manufacturing, and inspection connected around a digital twin of the product. Everyone in your enterprise can see in real-time how they affect each other, can make better decisions, operate more efficiently, and maintain high quality.

Each digital twin reflects the unique, dynamic state of a physical part during manufacturing. The digital thread connects the twin back to as-designed shape and tolerances, as-planned manufacturing process and tolerances, and the as-executed process. A twin can exist for as long as it is useful, and can incorporate data, models, and information from authoritative sources across the physical part's entire life.


The heart of our digital thread solutions is a new STEP Tools® 3D model-based machining simulator, which fuses STEP models from any CAD system, MTConnect status from any machine tool, and QIF metrology feedback, The simulator builds a digital twin with integrated machining and measurement while a part is being cut.

The digital thread is hosted by our server, which contains our simulator and a live 3D model, broadcasts the 3D model to web viewing clients on the desktop or shop floor, and provides a rich REST API for process and models. The simulation calculates engagement between cutter and workpiece which opens new avenues for optimization in tool wear management or real time adaptive programming. These components are the base on which many digital thread applications can be built.


A digital thread solution is generally licensed at the enterprise level. Terms are yearly and include the necessary server and desktop software components from our technology stack, license for use within your extended enterprise, and any STEP Tools® consulting work necessary to adapt it to your specific needs.

Sample Solutions

Case Study: Drive a CNC Machine from the Digital Thread

Case Study: Add CAM process to the Digital Thread

Automated Metrology

Automated Metrology in real time from anywhere to your Smart Phone. Monitor, measure and manipulate your machining operations while your parts are being machined or during planning. Check the results by sending a virtual model for measurement against the GD&T.

Collaborative Manufacturing

Create interactive web sites to share your machining programs within your organization to get feedback. Collaborate with your customers and vendors using Smart Phones and other mobile devices on any type of web browser. Live Demos

Real Time Optimization

Real time optimization to make your machining 15% more efficient. When the schedule is flexible use the real time information in the digital thread to reduce your feeds and speeds and save on tool wear. When the schedule is tight accelerate the machining to the maximum that can be supported while still meeting the design requirements.