I wanted to make knex models in Solid Edge, so I started to make the parts myself, but this proved to be a real pain. It is at this point that I started looking for libraries on the internet. I found a knex parts library that seems pretty good. The problem with it is that the files are .dat format, which Solid Edge cannot read.
So my question is: Does anyone know how to make the conversion to a filetype Solid Edge can read.
.dat file is kinda genering and probably proprietary with the software that uses it, if there isn't any export to a common format would be difficult to import them.
My suggest is to start looking at cad community like GrabCad:
First, are you sure ".dat" is a CAD format? ".dat" is usually an extension used for general data storage. I personally have never seen it used as a CAD format, although anything is possible. It could be a point cloud format, which is what a lot of graphic arts library sites deal with. You can get that type of data into CAD, but it's not as useful as NURBS data (no flat or cylindrical surfaces).
Yeah, this is for a program called LDraw, which is just for Lego type systems. It's just graphic arts, not CAD. Big format difference. You don't save anything even if you could translate this into something Edge could read. It's just a subd variant. He even says on the site that it's not that hard to create the Knex library, as it's only a couple dozen parts. You could work really hard and maybe get crappy data at best or you could work less hard and get perfect data.
If you really want to do this in Edge, these parts are simple. I'm not too familiar with the parts, but I assume you could use FOP to great advantage, or even just "save as".
Or of course the alternative would be to just go get LDraw. Sounds like its free.
This page is a complete cookbook to convert lego .LDR and .DAT files to several 3D formats including .IGES and .STL which Solid Edge can import.
Alternatively, this page has a LDR-2-DXF converter which Solid Edge can import directly and also a LDR-2-OBJ converter which you can import into Blender which again is a free software and then export from Blender to many 3D formats that Solid Edge can import.