Best Practices For Sharing Rhino Files With ProE/CREO Users In Manufacturing

Hello to All.

I am involved in a project where I create design files in Rhino 5 and then send the files to an eyewear manufacturer in Italy. The manufacturer uses ProE (now CREO) as their manufacturing software. Sending my files to them requires that I export the files as either .stp (their preference) or .igs files.

I recently sent them a file where I had carefully rounded edges where “perpendicular” surfaces met. I rounded the edges by using the “pipe” command, splitting the surfaces using the pipes, drawing arcs perpendicular to the remaining surface edges, and creating the rounded surfaces using the curve network command (curve network allowed greater control of the surface than the sweep two rails command, IIRC).

Before I exported my files as both .stp and .igs files I carefully analyzed them for bad objects/surfaces and naked edges. The analyses indicated the models were good.

Yesterday I was told that the rounded edges (the “rounds” as they are called in ProE/CREO) were unusable when the files were opened in ProE. I was asked to rebuild the designs with square edges so the rounding could be done by the manufacturer.

Is their a “general set” of “best practices” that will ensure success when Rhino-developed files are exported as .stp/.igs files and then opened in ProE/CREO? I want to be able to send the manufacturer “good files” that they can use immediately. I am aware that this may simply be a problem encountered when exporting files as .stp/.igs file types. If there is a way to eliminate these difficulties I would like to know how to do it.

Thank you in advance for your courtesy!



Unless I’m confused. ProE will read Rhino 3DM files directly. No export needed.

Thanks for the reply, Bob. That was my understanding, too. But when they opened one of my Rhino files they reported “the rounds did not work.” I have been concerned that what they meant is joined edges came apart when the file was opened, leaving the manufacturer with naked edges. I then sent the .stp and .igs files with no success.

I will explore the problem with them a little more.

Thanks, again.


It sounds to me, that you are misinterpreting what you are being told.

It sounds like the part is not manufacturable the way you. created it. They have
to remodel the part to make it manufacturable. The rounded edges as you made them make it a lot more work than if you gave them a version of the part without rounded edges.

If you gave them the part without rounding they would make changes and then add the rounding after.

Thanks, JIm. I think you are right.

Hi Bill,

Back in my days when I worked with people using Pro-E I used to give them 2 files, one with sharp edges (without rounds/fillets) and one with my desired final geometry. They would use the sharp one if they wanted to rebuild anything, add draft, etc. And they would use my fully finish file (with rounds/fillets) for reference of final geometry.

It’s also important that you model with tight tolerances BEFORE you start modeling, for something like sunglasses I’d recommend the tolerances that I use for products. see attached:

I have never tried the direct importer of Rhino files into ProE, but honestly I would not trust it blindly based on my experience with the Soliworks one. Unless others using it in production can confirm it’s as bulletproof as Step (not just Bob ;-).

I also never ever ever use .igs it only creates crappy geometry. Step is a great exportformat from Rhino. Parasolid is also great, but you DO NOT want to export a parasolid from Rhino, it’s been badly broken for years, I’m surprised it’s still there as an available export option.

So in summary:

  • tight tolerances
  • 2 files (sharp and filleted)
  • step export

…then go home early :smile:


Thank you, Gustojunk. Your thoughts are appreciated. In the future I will follow the practices you described.

As it turns out, heavy sigh, my factory rep in Italy sent me “proofs” of my designs that were developed by someone in the manufacturer’s CAD department (what?!!). They popped into my email about two hours ago. I don’t know what got lost in translation but, whatever the case, the models are perfect and don’t show any evidence of a “re-work.” I just don’t know what to think now. But I am glad to have the “proofs.”

I’m sure the manufacturer and I will get a routine worked out that is pretty foolproof. And, Gustojunk, I plan to use your recommendations as the basic “template” of what I do.

Thanks to all! Now maybe I can stop sweating bullets.