Z 'isn't up' Solidworks .Step export to R3D

Hi All,

OK so hears the thing: obviously Solidworks operates on Y is up (boooo). I’ve worked with rhino & 3ds max for years and also use Spaceclaim. All of the programs use Z up (yay). I’ve set up my Solidworks templates (Part and Assembly) with a reference coordinate systems (Z up!) to utilise when i need to export to Rhino and other solid formats / programs.

Unfortunately it seems when I export a .Step from SW using this, the model is in the incorrect orientation (still orientated to Y in R3D) however when open up a file exported from an assembly this is correctly orientated to Z (despite identical reference coordinate system). I thought this could be a SW fault but when i open both parts and assembly exports in 3ds max and Spaceclaim they are correctly orientated to Z. They are also correctly orientated to Z when imported back into SW so the fault seems to lay outside of these programs.

The simple workaround is to put any single part into an assembly, then export but this is a bit of a pain - I think rhino is misinterpretation the ordinates system I’ve set the file to export / re-orientate with somehow.

Anyhow, I’m unaware of any settings and will dig a bit deeper but really appreciate any other input that may solve the issue.



Hi Will - can you export something dead simple like a box that has some feature in Z so we can recognize the desired orientation, and export to Step, and post it here?


Is it orientated or oriented?

oriented is correct.

orientated is very little used and is considered as confusing and only ‘accepted’ word, because many people reverse the noun verb from orientation, which has been wrong in fact. It’s finally been accepted, but is used very little. However, it’s like people would think “#” is called “hashtag”, but it’s called “hash”.

the important thing is that everyone understands, so finally both are usable.

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Hi Everyone as per mail - ive attached the two step files, you will see the ‘part’ .Step ‘oriented’ incorrectly (in rhino) where as the ‘assy’ .Step is correct (in rhino)

let me know what you think, hope this helps.

Up 01_PART.STEP (20.9 KB)
Up 02 ASSY.STEP (24.0 KB)

Thanks - I’ll see if we can do anything about this.
RH-66597 File IO: SW Step file and Y-Up


Thanks Pascal - its an odd one. Let me know if you need any other sample files. W.

@Dottedline - the developer has had a look at this and as far as we can tell, Rhino is reading in the file correctly - the step developer tools we use agree with that. The orientation of the objects in the two files is just different and we read in exactly what is in the files…