STEP to BLEND how to import?

Hello community!!

I’m working on an animation of a mechanical keyboard and I’m having trouble to have a file that’s not huge in size but doesn’t loose quality.

The problem is that the file is a STEP file and as far as I know I only have two options.

  1. I import the file directly into Blender either in STL or STEP (with the addon) which would give me the file with all the details and respecting the hierarchy of the original file, but at the same time would be a massive size (1Gb at least) thus being too much for me to actually work with it.

  2. I used MOI3D to reduce the file and convert it to OBJ but with the standard options I lose the folders and the hierarchy of the original file (file is a mess, I can’t use it because there are too many elements that don’t belong to a folder, see the image). I’ve tried to change a little bit the export options in MOI3D but the app crashes everytime.

I don’t know if you guys know of any other tool/procedure to actually used a file like these one. I’m pretty sure there has to be a way cause I’ve seen animations done with Blender of way more complex things.


IDK the workflow, but no possibility the get smaller files in the first place? AFAIK freecad and meshlab can handle STL /STEP but i don’t use them for this… (but i heard moi3D can do some neat things)… :frowning:
Edit: both free

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Never use the stl format if you want to do visualisation of CAD. It does only support tris and no materials or vertex normals, use it for 3d prints nothing else. Obj is good for single objects or when the hierarchy is not important otherwise fbx is the best format.

At work we use Pixyz for reducing CAD data to mesh, but its quite expensive… You can do mesh reduction in Blender as well, but you will have to work more manually.

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@Ztreem @Okidoki

Thanks a lot guys!! The problem is almost solved. After a few trials (the program was crashing everytime) I exported to FBX and now everything seems to work properly. I do not have the folders and the hierarchy (maybe is because it’s the free trial version of MOI3d) but since now all the objects are correctly separated it’s been easier to create my own folders and organize them properly.

Thank you so much for your quick responses and I’ll be sure to check out those programs in the future.

Following up with this thread, just in case anyone has a similar problem.

  • One thing I did to solve it, whenever you have huge geometry on your STEP file, remember always exporting OBJ or FBX (fbx worked better for me but I guess it depends on the file and what you are going to do with it).

  • If MOI3d crashes whenever you are trying to export it, just separate the file within MOi3d (delete some elements) and export them separately, because what crashes Moi3d is trying to recalculate different groups of geometry, if you separate them in groups by deleting and exporting independently it won’t crash and you will have perfect geo (it’s not perfect really, but the geometry is so small that you can’t notice).

Again, this is what worked for me, I’m pretty sure there are some other ways but the Keyboard now is looking beatiful.

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Have you tried the stepper addon for Blender? It imports step files into Blender and you can set the tessellation.

I was just trying to figure out Moi3D cause I’ve heard from it many times so I haven’t, but I’ll try next time for sure.Thanks!!!