April 29, 2015

How to import STEP file in SOLIDWORKS?

Importing STEP file in SOLIDWORKS

Working in industry involves communication with clients, contractors, etc.  From a computer aided design (CAD) perspective it means being able to exchange and use models from different software platforms.  A common question we receive is SolidWorks compatibility with other software packages. 

For example, assume a client uses a different CAD system and has sent us a *.step file containing the part model.  In this case the part is a base plate.  In order to open the part in SolidWorks we must import the part and use feature recognition.

Select File>Open and browse for the *.step file to open it.

A pop-up window will appear asking to create a new SolidWorks part.  Select yes to accept

import STEP file  in solidworks

A new pop-up window will appear asking whether you would like to run import diagnostics.

solidworks file imports

Import diagnostics checks the part model for errors.  By selecting OK, the Import Diagnostics ran on our part and did not detect any errors.

solidworks import

Further, you will be prompted whether you want to run Feature Recognition.  

SolidWorks Feature Recognition(FEATUREWORKS)

Feature Recognition will attempt to construct the model using Solidworks features and tools.  If you chose not to run feature recognition, the part will exist as a single solid body model.  By accepting Feature Recognition and running it, the part is now deconstructed into a sketch and an extrude boss command.


importing STEP file in solidworks

By inspecting the sketch you’ll find undefined entities used to create the solid body.

sketch model in solidworks

Please note that there are many import and export options for SolidWorks.  All import and export options are summarized in the table below:

import and export options in solidworks


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