SOLIDWORKS, 3D CAD, Tech Tips

Converting a Step File to a Part File with FeatureWorks

By Mike Souders on June 20, 2019

We all know SOLIDWORKS is the most common choice for creating CAD models. Unfortunately, it’s not the only choice. The design ecosystem is full of different CAD software. Which is not a problem until you need to communicate with someone who is not on your version of SOLIDWORKS. This is a problem because when you can’t share a native SOLIDWORKS file with someone you’re forced to work with what we call an agnostic file format like a Step file. In this week’s Video Tech Tip we share with you how to leverage FeatureWorks to help make this process as streamlined as possible. 

Opening a Step File

When you have to open a Step file, the problem is never opening the model and working with the geometry. The model will be there, no problem. The challenge comes with the lack of a feature structure. During the export/import process all of the parametric history is lost. This is what we call a “dumb solid.” With these, edits are difficult if not impossible.

FeatureWorks is one tool that can be used to help add some features to the dumb solid. It is extremely powerful and robust with options for identifying features manually or automatically. To see all of the options in action, check out the video below, where Application Engineer Mike Souders shows off the power of the FeatureWorks tool and shares some of his insight into how to make this tool work. Because, as we all know, one of the most frustrating things when it comes to modeling is working with imported parts. FeatureWorks, and its feature recognition technology can help make this process a little easier.

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