Recommended format for CAD exchange

Based on our over 25 years experience, CAD Interop recommends below the most relevant CAD formats to convert your data between major CAD systems. To date, the most common exchange format is the STEP format, the most complete and available for the majority of CAD software. But, when possible, it is preferable to use the geometry kernel of the software (such as Parasolid for NX, SolidWorks or Solid Edge) which will allow to read the geometry without translation. If you want to provide read-only access to your CAD data for users who do not have a viewer or other CAD software, we recommend using the 3D PDF format in its faceted (lighter) version.

CAD systemKernelImport (1)Export (1)
 CADDS  Proprietary IGES*, DXF IGES*, DXF
 I-DEAS  Proprietary IGES, STEP*, Parasolid IGES, STEP*, Parasolid, JT
 Catia V4  Proprietary IGES, DXF, STEP* IGES, DXF, STEP*
 Catia V5  Proprietary IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP* IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP*
 Siemens NX  Parasolid IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP, JT*, Parasolid, STL IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP, JT*, Parasolid, STL
 Pro/Engineer Wildfire  Granite IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP, ACIS, Parasolid, Granite*, STL, VDA IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP, PDF, ACIS, Parasolid, Granite*, STL, VDA
 Pro/Engineer Creo  CreoDirect IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP*, ACIS, Parasolid, Granite, STL, VDA IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP*, PDF, ACIS, Parasolid, Granite, STL, VDA
 SolidWorks  Parasolid IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP, ACIS, STL, Parasolid*, PDF, VDA IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP, ACIS, STL, Parasolid*, PDF, VDA
 Inventor  ACIS IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP, ACIS*, STL, Parasolid, Granite, PDF, VDA IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP, ACIS*, STL, Parasolid, Granite, PDF, VDA
 Solid Edge  Parasolid IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP, JT, ACIS, Parasolid*, STL IGES, DXF, DWG, STEP, JT, ACIS, Parasolid*, STL, PDF
 AutoCAD  ACIS IGES, DXF, DWG, ACIS* IGES, DXF, DWG, ACIS*

(*) recommended neutral file format for 3D geometry interoperability
(1) Only major neutral file formats are listed. Some CAD systems may have some limitations with specific format.

CAD Interop distributes several solutions to view, translate or validate CAD files. Find below the list of our products compatible with major CAD formats.

  • 3DViewStation

    3DViewStation is a universal software to view and analyze CAD models. Besides a Desktop-version, we provide an automation server for automatic translation and customization, a WebViewer-version for cloud access, a Virtual Reality version and ActiveX-version for advanced integration. The Kisters 3DViewStation product family provides solutions for Windows desktops and notebooks, as well as for tablet-PCs and smartphones.

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  • CAD Exchanger

    CAD Exchanger CAD Exchanger is software for viewing, exploring and converting 3D CAD data. CAD Exchanger supports Windows, MacOS and Linux operating systems. The solution is available as an application with a graphical interface suitable for viewing and exploring 3D models and a dedicated command-line (batch) processing application for converting CAD files.