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STEP and IGES file import
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* April 24, 2013, 02:06:25 AM
Hi all

I am getting increasing numbers of 3D STEP files from collaborators. Annoyingly they always look perplexed that I can't read them.

Those who can supply STEP can easily provide IGES. However any attempt to import IGES into DCAD 3D Max V20.1 ends up with a seriously messed up model.  IGES has been around since 1979 and STEP since 1994, I know DXF import took a long while for DCAD to get right.  Is this the killer problem that prompts me to migrate to v22?

Or a reliable STEP to 3D DXF converter would do.

I have been off the grid for a while and searches have not shown up much chat on the is subject.

Any Comments?


As I understand STEP is an ISO (international standard) version of IGES. This may not be true.

I have 3 licenses of v20.1


April 24, 2013, 12:55:54 PM
I am no expert in this area at all, but considering the effort that is put into the DWF/DXF import function I believe your best bet is to try STEP to DWG/DXF conversion and then import those into DesignCAD.


April 24, 2013, 08:41:16 PM
DesignCAD's IGES import/export routines are old and extremely limited -- to the point that they will be dropped completely any version now. We haven't advertised them for several versions, and they're not likely to get upgraded.
TurboCAD Pro uses the ACIS libraries to translate to/from IGES; unfortunately due to licensing costs, that's outside of DesignCAD's price range.

25 years with DesignCAD

* April 25, 2013, 09:25:54 AM
Hi Dempsey

'no expert' me neither.  Your suggestion is what I spent all yesterday perusing.

I found ref to thee:-

Quickstep published by CadFaster and FreeCAD. These simply don't work. show a tool called step2dxf and define its use but I can't find the .exe

I think this is the way to go but I am still looking.


Hi DrollTrill

I thought it was going to be the case.
I teamed up with an other user who had v22 and not surprisingly it didn't work.
However it is the case that I am seeing much more use of STEP.  So although DCAD does not have a solution I need one.



April 25, 2013, 10:17:45 AM
A search for "DXF" on the site yields this:


* April 26, 2013, 06:01:35 AM
Hi Bob P

Yep thats what I found

But what next?
I looks like a SDK site for developers of software.  But no use-now .exe



* April 27, 2013, 07:27:53 AM
I hate to suggest other software here, but as long as you promise ONLY to use it for file conversion... ;)
I've recently read that (the free) Autodesk123 can import STEP and export 3d DWG....If true, that might be worth a try. I made a brief attempt to find a feature list for the products but all I could find was a download screen and I was not committed enough to go through that.

On a broader view of this topic, STEP files have become the most generic format in industry by which manufacturers distribute 3D models of their product. If you do 3D mechanical design, it will be a great handicap NOT to  be able to be able to bring in 3d Models from component suppliers. (Unless most of your product is internnaly generated & stays in-house).
It was this need that drove me to add a solid modeler to my CAD arsenal.
I dont expect to see much development work in this area either. There just isnt much demand for it.
There is a demand for 3d DWG/DXF to STEP translations, as mfrs have legacy models that would otherwise be wasted....just not the other way round.

This is unfortunate, there are still things I can do with DCAD that I struggle to accomplish with other tools.


* April 29, 2013, 01:54:36 AM
Hi Impulse

I have tried the Autodesk123D Design.

After a very bad start, mostly down to my hatred of login-join-share-facebook crap.  I have loaded a STEP file and the model looks complete. However when I opt to save it, it disappears into the ether.  Saved on some server no doubt.  (which brings into play a whole raft of privacy design issues).

Autodesk123D result 'half a solution'



* April 29, 2013, 09:27:46 AM
THanks for reporting your results, Clive.
I doubt I would have made it as far as you did had I encounterd the same road blocks.


* June 21, 2013, 06:23:25 PM
i went through this process many years back and found a work round, but as the files have (step/iges) have been updated, the conversion has got worse where I no longer even attempt with DC. I also hate to say it, you will be best to try TurboCAD as it does bring the files in really nicely.

BETA man and proud Kiwi. aka Steve The Kiwi
Supreme writer of DesignCAD Tutorials
Toshiba L50 Laptop - It is OK.
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Desktop AMD A8 R7 64 bit Win 10 with Quadro K620

March 05, 2014, 04:37:10 AM
In the FWIW department...

ViaCad 2D/3D (Punchcad) will import SAT, IGES, Sketchup, Step, STL and several other modern formats.  It can export to DXF/DWG.  If you look around, you can get V8 for $40, V7 for less.  I have V8.  If, for no other reason, it's worth its conversion power.  More useful than Accutrans, since it can deal with modern 3D formats.


March 05, 2014, 04:47:36 AM
In the FWIW department... ViaCad 2D/3D (Punchcad) will import SAT, IGES, Sketchup, Step, STL and several other modern formats.

Thanks Bob.  I also see a DesignCAD modeling challenge (for me), maybe later.  The below chair on the Punchcad website

Edit:  Darn, thinking about the chair already.   Hmmm,  a series of curves using segit.d3m and then surface connect.  Maybe in two thickness offsets resulting in two surface grids then stitch up with planes around the edges and solid define . . . . .
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 05:08:12 AM by prl »