Step-Files with Lines

I did not find any information online, so that’s why I open this topic now.

When I try to export a lasertag (lines/curves) in a step-file so that our manufacturing partner will be able to engrave that text on tubes.
But it is not included in the export. I am not able to find any option to include curves, but I know that my colleauges are able to in inventor and creo.
I also tried to create a block including the cures, so that it’s recognized in some way.

Does anyone have a solution?

Thanks for your help!


In testing here, exporting curves via STEP in Rhino seems to work OK… Can you post an example that isn’t working for you?

Hi Helvetosaur.
I can. What you might need to consider and clearly I forgot to mention is:
Once I reopen that step in Rhino again I can see the lines.
If my colleauges open that in Inventor they cannot.

So the Question is: is there any setting that will do the job?
Find enclosed a sample file.
T08-15M.stp (608.8 KB)


Ah, OK, so the curves are there, but Inventor is not able to read them… And you say that Inventor is able to read step files with curves coming from other software? I’m not sure I can help with that then - don’t know what Inventor might need in that case…

Have you tried some other format like IGES?

According to my knowledge, the Inventor or Solidworks have problems with imported 2D geometry coming at least from Catia or Rhino, becuase I tried to repair the curves coming from Catia in Rhino and import them to Inventor or Solidworks.
I tried to import 2D curves in three different formats - catpart (original file), step and iges into the mentioned CAD programs and the results were strange - e.g. the curves were not visible or were broken, points on lines didn’t lie on the curves…

edited: typo

We did try iges now, inventor has no issues with that, but now the manufacturer has issues.
They are using “ARTube”. I also tried to read a file they created for us and we could not see their lines.

So, Nosorozec… no chance then?

Is there a way to really “engrave” a line (=extrusion of that line) in a brep?
I am sure that is not working as well, as it’s not brep, but only surface then and that will not be engraved.

thanks s so far.

I wrote my post as the end user. Our situation is a little bit different, because we are supplier.
We have two different workflows:

  • We use Inventor + HSM if we start from the scratch (like some automatization tool for automotive) or we receive drawings or solids from our customers
  • We use Rhino + Surfcam for curves sent by our customers to us (it doesn’t matter if 2D or 3D), because Rhino handles curves much better.

Do you have a STEP file with curves that do show up in Inventor? If so, either post it here or send it directly to me, There are many ways to put curves into a STEP file. We have to find one that Inventor likes.

Hi Chuck.
It’s acutually not Inventor that will process the file, but ARTube.
So far we just tested it with Inventor internally.

Find attached the file.Testrohr-1-Nullpunkt.stp (478.2 KB)

Thanks. I don’t see anything obvious. The two files look pretty much the same. Both have the curves in a geometric_curve_set entity which is referred to by a geometrically_bounded_wireframe_shape_representation. I thought maybe the files would be different in that respect. I’ll dig deeper shortly.

OK, I think I misread your earlier posts. Do you have a file with curves that does read correctly into ARTtube?

Have you tried good old dwg or dxf? Both file types will handle 3D curves fine.

Hi Chuck.
There is none that worked so far.
Right now I guess it’s an ARTube bug…
Or the guy is simply not able to handle his software.

They say they only can read igs or stp.

OK. Thanks for letting me know.

The one thing that “bothers” me is, that besides the ARTube-issue Inventor is not able to read the lines.

Strange thing: once I open the step again in Rhino they are there.
So this is basically an issue that would be interesting besides the ARTube-issue.

Are you saying that the curves in T08-15M.stp do not show up in Inventor but the ones in Testrohr-1-Nullpunkt.stp do show up in Inventor?

Sorry for not being not specific enough.

None of the files was read with lines by Inventor.
None of the files was read with lines by ARTube.
An igs-Version of both files was read wiht lines by Inventor.
An igs-Version of both files was NOT read with lines in ARTube.

Both step-files were successfully read with lines in Rhino again.

Thanks for the clarification. What I’ll need is a step file from anywhere that contains curves which show up when read into Inventor. A good source would be if you could read the Igs file into Inventor and write the result out as step. I don’t have access to inventor.

Hi Chuck.
This is the file I was able to read in Inventor.
The tube consists of two parts, which is okay (if you might ask yourself why that modelling is so poor. :wink: )

Cheers!ConversionFromInventor.stp (513.2 KB)