Exporting models from RHINO WIP MAC to SolidWorks

I am desperate to export either igs or stp from Rhino WIP MAC to a manufacturer. Is this functionality already up? I have tried every possible combination of file type and option with no Luck. The manufacturers are running AutoCad 14 and SolidWorks…any advice greatly appreciated.

The current Mac version is able to export both IGES and STEP as well as SAT and Parasolid…

What is the exact problem? Can you post the object you are having problems with?


It is a huge model made from many hundreds of parts. However, I sent them literally a simple few parts to try and still no luck.Do I have to do anything to the model first to make it work
rollers and pins.3dm (130.4 KB)

Here are a couple of small components. I don’t know the rules to be honest, I have never used SolidWorks so have no idea whatsoever.

STEP seems to be working OK here on my Mac… However, your model units are in cm, for manufacturing often mm is the standard, so maybe you want to convert your file to mm before exporting…

Also, for example with your drum shape, you have simply drawn separate parts with overlapping volumes and grouped them. This isn’t a good thing to do if it’s one part. First, the grouping doesn’t export (it will arrive as separate parts), and second, if it’s really one part you need to actually unify them - by using BooleanUnion in this case.

HTH, --Mitch

Thanks Mitch,

I actually just copy and pasted that into a new default model. My main model is mm.
Yes I often get torn between surfaces and solids…Is SolidWorks all solids?
As there are so many components in my model, I have many many layers, 100’s and many groupings, again 100’s. Does this effect the export?
thanks mate.


SolidWorks allows one solid in a part file and uses an assembly file to build assemblies. They don’t have a concept similar to Rhino’s “Groups” so I would avoid using those.
I know individual closed, solid, polysurfaces can be saved as V4 Rhino files and SolidWorks can open them. Open polysurfaces are interpreted as imported surfaces in SW, not as base features.
I haven’t tried this, but I suspect if you have a file consisting of individual closed solid, polysurfaces, without any open surfaces, polysurfaces, or curves, then save the file as V4, it should open in SW as an assembly file and will make the component individual part files. I’m no SW expert and it’s been quite a while since I messed with it.

Perhaps one of the more experienced SW users can chime in with their recommendations.

The bottom line is you will need to feed SW the kinds of files it knows how to handle. Rhino and SW are very different but complimentary applications.

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Dear John,

thank you also for your assistance. I will go through the model and check all components and also ungroup all. Are there any parameters I should use when exporting, such as SW solids or surfaces, there are several options.

Can you enlighten me on the use of layers and how they would effect SW? Does SW have layers? cheers

you can have multiple solid and surface bodies in one part, no need to ungroup for exporting to SW.

I suppose SW assembly files are the equivilant to Rhino’s groups & layers. Its just a way of organising.