Can’t open your 3D file?
10-20 years ago CAD design software was a relatively new technology but today there are so many different 3D CAD software packages out there it’s sometimes difficult to go from one to the other hence the need for file conversion. There are literally 100’s of different file extensions. Some of the basic file types that can be opened in virtually any 3D CAD package are STEP, STP, STL & IGES files. These can include a range of design types from basic 3 d renderings to patent drawings. The unfortunate thing is that these files have no intelligence and cannot be manipulated in the software it is opened in. With these types of files it is necessary to re-draw them in the native software or convert them to another software file extension.
Why is File Conversion of CAD Files Important?
A STEP, STP, STL or IGES file is no different than a word document being saved as a PDF. The PDF cannot be changed and has no intelligence in it. It is a READ-ONLY file and if you want to manipulate it, it must be converted back to a word document. The same thing applies to a STEP, STP, STL & IGES file. A CAD designer must convert the file back to a 3D software file. Only then can the part be changed and re-designed.
When you’re dealing with file types in the design/creative/inventor career you’re bound to share it with several colleagues who may not share the same programs as you.
So, for the sake of being able to share the files effortlessly, and with as few downloaded programs as possible, people use a converting system to make it possible.
For example, converting DWG to DXF and vice versa.
The DXF format is commonly used for sharing your drawing data between several CAD programs.
Usually, a DXF file will load with no problems in any CAD program. Unless the program doesn’t support a DWG, then you’ll need to convert it before you can view or use it.