Here are some questions for the community about the use of PCF files from Dan Vinson, the product planner for the parts area. You can have direct input into the development process.
We are working on improving collaboration tools and workflows. We have a useful tool for this already and we were wondering about the incidence of use. Packaged Collaboration Files (pcf.) are neat zip files created and used in View and Markup. They hold a lot of potential and we would like to know how and how much they are used. So, it boils down to a couple of questions with limited responses.
.pcf files are not a universal standard. I don't know of any downstream application that can utilize them. I don't know of any industry standard that refers to them. I don't know how long they'll be supported to use them for tasks like LOTAR.
If the .pcf file was more universally accepted, used in other software applications, and had an ISO standard backing it up, then maybe I would find a use for them because they can be quite convenient. But, as things stand today, I'm better off packaging my assemblies into a single STEP file and exporting my drawings as PDF. Better yet, migrate to 3D PDF for everything.
1) B: 1%-33% of the time - We’ve use them for some projects (in the single digits 1-3%)
2) B: Communication with teams outside my organization
3) B: No, I don’t need this file type supported
Like Scott pcf isn't really recognized. Personally, I'd like to SE utilize the assests they (SPLM) already own and have developed- JT and the JT view and markup tools. To me this is a no brainer as it ties to Teamcenter, multi-CAD environments, etc. JT is an ISO standard (ISO 14306:2012) for 3d visualization and even support MBD/PMI.
3dpdf is an option but that would rely on licensing Adobe Acrobat Extend Pro (as I recall) to create the outputs and I'm not sure what you would need for the markup side.
@RyanM PCF is not a viewable format like JT. It is a container format which holds viewables for several models/drawings, not just one and I believe it can include other formats as well, even Office documents. I also believe PCF's are able to be generated via NX also... It is meant to be a routable "packet" of design data.
3. possibly if it was useful
At the minute we use JT for lightweight visualisation, but I'd like these tools to be much better. In my opinion JT2Go and TC Visualisation are pretty poor applications with things like changing views (showing/hiding etc) and measuring really not very good or user friendly. I'd prefer it if these we're invested in over PCF.