Step and iges files exporting to solidworks

Hi Forum, I send step and iges files to colleagues from Rhino V6 or V7. What they are getting is a file that is unusable to them ( such as making holes or fitting parts ). Is there a setting or something I am unaware of to make the file more user friendly? Thank you ,Mark
They are using Solidworks 2019 and going to 2021 soon.

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make sure they have their import settings correct first.

Can you be more specific in terms of what it is that is happening on their side that is making it not usable?

They say it is a big blob that they can’t do much with unless they rebuild the area they want to work on.—-Mark

I don’t use Solidworks. What would the import setting be? Thank you,Mark

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Hello - Rhino does not save any construction history and SW expects that - depending on what is in the file, SW feature recognition can work variably well to reconstruct a construction tree that is editable in SW - I would have them at least try that. A more useful workflow might be to build the more mecahnical bits in SW and use the Replace Face function to bring in particular free-form surfaces to the construction tree. i.e. not working under the assumption that the entire part should be made in Rhino and then transferred over, but rather built from both and assembled in SW.


Also see:


So here’s what would be helpful…at least providing screen shots of what the model looks like in Rhino and how it looks in Solidworks. What you’re describing doesn’t make a whole lot of sense. They could be seeing surfaces and/or solids when brought into Solidworks. If you can’t share the screen shots or model then make sure that all of your geometry is closed polysurfaces. This will ensure that all models are closed solids when imported. Only use (.STEP) file format not (.IGES).

You are right. It is a boat deck( which can’t be shown) , but from what I gather what they get is an object that nothing can be done with, such as making holes ( Where needed) or putting anything in added, requires a construction plane to build it in.
I will quiz them more on it. Thank you for the help—Mark

Read it thank you. -Mark

I will give them the info.-Mark

Hi @markintheozarks
I move files from Rhino 6 and 7 to SWX frequently, and hardly ever experience major problems, that are not easily solvable on either the Rhino or the SWX side. You need to provide an example of a file that doesn’t work and specify what goes wrong. A couple of things worth mentioning:
Make sure that your colleagues have their SWX set up to import multiple bodies as parts - otherwise seperate geometries will come in as one (this is done under File>Import>Select Stp as filetype in the dropdown>Import Options (or something like that). Another thing that’s sometimes an issue, is if you have surfaces with giant trims (eg. a 5000x5000mm surface that’s trimmed to to a 5x5mm surface). Use ShrinkTrimmedSrf if specific surfaces cause trouble. Also, use SWX’s Import Diagnostics for naked edges and similar - it works quite well.
HTH, Jakob


Hi Jakob, I am going to pass this info to the guys that use Solidworks.
Do you work for Mcneel? What I work with , the public can’t see.
What I worked on here recently had over 2000 surfaces . These are joined into a single poly surface. From that I export it to usually a step file.
I will see if there is something that can be setup to use as an example.thanks for the help.—-Mark

One other thing , how much does file tolerance come into play in importing files between softwares , I wonder?

It happens with me when exporting IGES to Maya, spheres and surfaces become trimmed surfaced with holes😶

Hi Mark - it matters a lot - but that is a different issue than the ‘dumb’ uneditable files thing, which is what I understood was the problem.


Your right! One thing at a time. Got it. —-Mark

By no means, no - I’m just a simple user. But @pascal does, and I’m sure he’d tell you to upload an example file here and reference this thread for them to look at. But I think it would be a great help if you get some more specific input from the SWX guys on exactly what their issues are. As previously mentioned, the geometry coming from Rhino will be non-parametric, but they should still be able to do all the usual operations without problems.

Yes Solidworks has construction planes that are needed in order to start sketches on with which to make the 3D Geometry on. So am not quite sure where the issue is…

Have you testet the following: First select the relevant surfaces and join them into a “Closed Polysurface”=No Naked Edges. Then choose File > Export Selected… and either STEP or SAT as your fileformat. This is better than saving or exporting everything, if you need to troubleshoot and you don’t have SW yourself. You could also consider downloading either OnShape or Fusion360 to get a better idea about how things look and behave in “the other end”. Kind regards Tim/Erazmataz