STEP Files for engineering

Hi All,

Is there still no plugin to Export solid model as STEP files?

Seems crazy to me, then sketchup can be used for Engineering design…

Grateful to know if anyone knows different :slight_smile:


Seems like a great opportunity for you to write one. Or maybe the reason one hasn’t been written is due to practical reasons like the proprietary nature of the step files or something. I expect if it was an option, someone would have written an exporter by now.

Hi, yup you are probably right, but there is a STEP importer so seemed weird not to have an Export option. It would help me greatly, but then it might put solidworks out of business LOL :slight_smile: Unless there is a true gap in the market!! :0 would be huge!

I have tried converting through FreeCAD, and it appears to work but is not a true solid when viewed with solidworks…

Lets see if anyone else has any ideas…


Maybe you could hire someone to write an exporter for you.

Well lets see whats out there first… :slight_smile: I wont put the downpayment on the yacht just yet…:slight_smile:

That’s probably a good idea.

Don’t hold your breath either. There are a lot of other exporter extensions for other file types. I expect if it was possible to do it, it would have been done long ago.

In the meantime I would use the DWG format. Components and groups that register as “solid” in SketchUp export as AutoCad solids to DWG.

Thanks. I just tried that. The files seem strangely large. 30mb for an extruded square. My models would be galactic… ?

Huh!? Are you mixing kilobytes and megabytes? A 1 m cube I export becomes 23 KB.test.dwg (23.2 KB)
Note that if you have a lot of component definitions in your model they might get exported too.

It’s just easier to calculate a face from an equation than vice versa. (Tesselation)
STEP files are mathematical representations of surfaces (NURBS), to get a formula out of a range of faces involves many algorithms.

There are some plugins in Rhino and ‘Powerpack’ tools in Punch CAD’s ViaCad, for instance, but they do need some human intervention (eg. selecting parts of surfaces that need to be ‘nurbyfied’ )