.STEP File Extension
What is an STEP file?
A STEP file is a 3D model file formatted in STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product Data), an ISO standard exchange format. It contains three-dimensional model data saved in a text format that is recognized by multiple computer-assisted design (CAD) programs.
In the CAD industry, it can be difficult to share models between users with different CAD systems. The STEP format was developed to solve that problem. It is a standardized, widely-supported format that CAD users can use to save and transfer models between users and programs. This allows CAD users to share models easily.
While STEP files appear as 3D models in CAD programs, they actually consist of plain text that describes a model's structure. The text that STEP files contain is written in an ASCII format that conforms to the STEP Application Protocols ISO 10303-2xx. If you open a STEP file in a text editor (such as Microsoft Notepad or Apple TextEdit), you can view the file's metadata, including its original file name, creation date, and the application that created the file.
NOTE: STEP model files often use the .STP file extension.
How do I open an STEP file?
You can open a STEP file in a variety of CAD programs, including Autodesk Fusion 360 (cross-platform), IMSI TurboCAD (Windows, Mac), FreeCAD (cross-platform), and Dassault Systemes CATIA (Windows, Linux).
For example, to open a STEP file in Autodesk Fusion 360:
- Select File → Open... from the program's menu bar.
- When the Open window appears, select Open from my computer....
- Navigate to and open your STEP file.