IGES, STEP, parasolid(x_t), or PRT import

I have looked around a bit, this forum and Google and been trying to determine if or not there is a translator for any of the formats I referenced. Some would be a luxury x_t, and prt(Unigraphics file formats). But iges almost seems impossible that it does not exist. I do a lot of 3d cad work with Unigraphics and Mechanical Desktop and would love to be able to incorporate Blender with them. If any of these formats were supported I would be very happy as would many others. If someone is working on something let me know. I have access to many files for each and am willing to help in whatever way I can. I don’t want to duplicate efforts. I have a scant amount of python programming skills, but have never done a converter to speak of. If maybe someone has a link to a tutorial for other python scripts that do translations or conversions would be helpful and maybe I can benchmark and learn from that. Thanx!

IGES file specs cost cash, looked into it a while back- And they define (nurbs?) surfaces etc- that Blender/Python may not be able to represent. - Its not just a basic mesh format, so blender would need to translate the cad data into a mesh which is not simple.

Your best bet is to export somthing like dxf, obj or 3ds from whatever application your using.

3dsMax7 has a good IGES importer, doubtless its a proprietry DLL they shelled out some cash for also.

I can’t believe iges costs money as this is a dead standard essentially replaced by STEP. The NIST website on IGES shows the last activity to updating it as 2003. On the NIST site there are many “public domain” viewers that use the IGES standard. I guess you could say I am confused. Hmmm. If you are talking about a hard copy of the standard in written form, you may be right that that will cost some money. But that is something I may already have somewhere that I used for work some time ago. That all being said my situation is that currently I cannot export from Unigraphics a obj or 3ds file, and dxf is poor quality. I guess I’ll have to export iges from Unigraphics, import into Mechanical Desktop, then export again to 3ds to get it to Blender. It should work but it’s very cumbersome and glitchy. It would be nice if IGES worked.

Broken record- but whenever people ask for a importer- I always ask for the specs, In this case I have alredy looked, maybe I didnt look hard enough.

Even so- to hear its a dead format makes it less attractive to write an importer.

Dead yes, but every CAD shop in business uses it and it doesn’t appear that anyone is migrating to STEP at all. All the suppliers I deal with(20+) all use IGES. I have maybe had 1 request a STEP translation in the 8 years I have been at this job. I guess if it ain’t broke don’t fix it.

IGES is still pretty much the standard in the CAD field. However, the problem is that there are a lot of IGES types, (say type 144 (Bounded) and 143 (Trimmed)) and every CAD program outputs it’s own flavour. Of course all these are not really THAT different from eachother, but still it’s not that easy.

Apart from that, I think you mulciber and cambo are talking about different things. I guess you would like to keep the IGES as nurbs, but as long as Nurbana is not merged properly and extended with more functionality, you’re always gonna get polygon output from cambo.

What exactly would you like to do with the imported IGS if I may ask?

I mainly want to pretty up the file by adding some scenery and other objects and then render for some presentations, and then potentially progress toward some rudimentary animation.

BRL CAD is open source, and it has IGES in and export, so you could use that to convert your models to something Blender can import.

Well, BRL CAD appears to be only Linux and unfortunately I am using a windows box at work. What about the other formats I mentioned. I guess particularly parasolid (*x_t) which I understand is used on many other platforms with slightly different seasonings. It is very readable in any text file editor and it is basically a stripped down dummy model stripped of all parametric features from the native cad system. I hate to be a pest. If I’m asking annoying questions tell me so. If this format looks promising, I may be able to front a bit of $, If anyone is interested. I can send a couple files and we can discuss after review of them.

Again, show me the specs, (parasolid)

you should contact them for the file format specification

I found this old thread searching for the possibility to import STEP files into blender.
And there is a solution: http://www.gcad3d.org/
It’s freeware and you can import STEP, IGES, DXF and export the 3D objects as .obj, DXF or VRML.
gcad ist available for linux and windows.

March 2020: Anyone know a good, safe, and free Parasolid “x_t” file converter?

^ Anyone?.. Anyone?..

Tried FreeCAD? Also, there’s the option of uploading it to Grabcad and download it as another format.

If you need it from time to time or in batches, I have a license for a software that can do it and can do it for you.

Absolute best STEP converter I know of is MoI3D. Does a super job with STEP giving you WYSIWYG control over all aspects of meshing and exports OBJ. Free trial and great value.

1 Like

CAD assistant is free and very good too :


Thanks, but I installed this 500MB behemoth and sadly it does not open or support Parasolid x_t files…

Mr Rattle-Snake, can you confirm that it does indeed open Parasolid x_t files?.. Unlike FreeCAD (which absolutely doesn’t), I would have to set up an account before even trying Cad Assistant… pretty please can you try it?

And guys, I did end up using ConvertCADfiles.com, which is pretty nice in a pinch (is only 1 euro per conversion), but if I could find something free that works great for simply converting client’s x_t files from time to time, that would rock for sure…