Rhino (.3dm) to Alphacam (.stp)

We are modelling in Rhinoceros 3d version 7.29 (mac version) and we would like to get parts for a cabinet milled by our supplier. They are using Alphacam 2021.0 SU2022 but we are having trouble exporting and importing files. In Rhino I export to STEP format but our supplier says the files are empty. Even importing .3dm Rhino files doesn’t seem to work. Can somebody help us out?

much appreciated!
Best Regards, Dirk

p.s. how to change my username on this forum?

1 Like

Can you post a sample .3dm file that is not working for you?

What would you like your username to be?

1 Like

230628 MCH TO kastenwand ARA.1.85 BLOK TEST 1 STUDIOSINGA.3dm (16.0 MB)
Hi Japhy,

Thanks fo replying! Here is the Rhino file. I can also upload the stp file I created.

I did a search on the internet and found following options which I sent to our supplier:

  1. Rhino To Alphacam AAA on Vimeo

Export to ACIS format Version 4.0

Save as Rhino 4.0 model

  1. RHINO to alphacam - WOODWEB's CAD Forum
    Export to STL format

  2. 3DM to STP - Convert 3DM file to STP online

I sent those options to our supplier. As soon as I get an answer I will post an update.

It would be nice to change my username to dirk_osinga or if that doesn’t work STUDIOSINGA is my company name. Thanks!

Hi Dirk - can you also post a step file that is turning up ‘empty’? Here is my export of your file -

parts.stp (6.6 MB)


1 Like

230627 MCH TO kastenwand ARA.1.85 BLOK TEST 1 STUDIOSINGA.stp (4.4 MB)
Yes sure, thank you. I will download your step file and send it to our supplier.

1 Like

Definitely not empty… I don’t expect my version to fare any better in your downstream app…


1 Like

I have a friend who uses Rhino and AlphaCAM extensively. I can ask him how he gets his Rhino files into AlphaCAM for milling - he’s away on vacation this week unfortunately.


Hi Pascal,

Your file parts.stp works. The supplier can read the file. That is very good news. But how did you do that?

best regards, Dirk

1 Like

Thank you Helvetosaur for you offer. Curious to read later.

Hi Dirk -
Hm… not what I expected! I simply ran Export on everything - (or, SaveAs, tbh, I don’t actually remember for sure but it should nbot matter) I got the expected message that some stuff not supported will be skipped. I used the ‘AP 214 Automotive’ schema.

Ah - I exported from Windows - I will try Mac, you never know.
230628 MCH TO kastenwand_from Mac.stp (6.4 MB)

@dirk_osinga - try that one - exported from Mac - our latest builds here - you should update to the current service release, just in case it matters-


1 Like

Hi Pascal,

Thank You! I sent the latest .stp file to our supplier and let’s see how that one fares. I also updated my Rhino to the latest version. I will keep you posted on the latest.

Best Regards, Dirk

The file worked too! So hopefully the update is the solution. I will make some adjustments to the design and sent my files to them using the latest version and the AP 214 Automotive schema.

cheers, Dirk

So I heard back from my friend about how he transfers his files to AlphaCAM, but I think it’s not going to help much. As he is an architectural modelmaker, anything flat/planar (terrain models composed of contour line curves/surfaces, basic building volumes) he exports as .stl and machines on the meshes.

For curvier stuff he exports as a Rhino V5 file and opens that directly in AlphaCAM (doesn’t apparently support later versions of Rhino). But he says there are sometimes missing surfaces, etc.

So if you can get STEP to work, that’s still the best bet.

1 Like

Thank you Helvetosaur for asking your friend and posting the information. I will keep you updated.

Unfortunately it still doesn’t work exporting to STEP… I include another test file here and a screen shot with configuration and my version of Rhino 7.
230706 MCH TO cabinets TEST STUDIOSINGA.stp (1.8 MB)
Schermafbeelding 2023-07-06 om 14.26.11
Would really appreciate your help.
Schermafbeelding 2023-07-06 om 14.45.21

These objects are far from the origin and its possible they are beyond the usable area allowed in some applications. I suggest you move them closer to 0,0,0 and try again.

1 Like

Thank you Cdordoni. I will try that and sent the file to the supplier.

I also moved the CP plane to view so that the origin is now closer to my objects. However that doesn’t seem to work so I moved all the objects closer to w0,0,0.

No, that doesn’t move the objects. You need to actually have them near World 0. Rhino uses world coordinates for exports.

1 Like

Are you exporting ‘selected’ objects? Cause exporting nothing will probably make an empty file.

Also, the method by which the ‘alpha cam’ user is importing or merging the data, can have the most impact on success or lack thereof.

Indeed, the geometry dictates the format. I wonder how well ‘alpha cam’ interprets .3dm though.

With ‘mastercam’ I mostly use .stp, .igs, .stl, and somtimes .3dm.

This was the solution! Thank you sometimes it can be very simple! Thank you very much for your idea!