[Lab] Solidworks import/export/edit capabilities across multiple file formats?

Andrew Plumb andrew at plumb.org
Thu Nov 24 12:28:32 EST 2011

Hey Everyone,

I'm helping out with a super-secret project that requires interacting with Rhino3D (.3dm), Maya, iGES and STEP inputs from other people and sources.

- Rhino3D beta for Mac can handle the native files but doesn't support importing iGES and STEP because of 3rd party library licensing issues they're not ready to address yet.

- AutoCAD 2012 for Mac doesn't "do" any of these more exotic mesh formats.

- Maya 2012 for Mac is busted w.r.t importing iGES and STEP and exporting something as simple as STL in Mac OS X Lion, and doesn't seem to be a high priority for them according to the last year's worth of their own forum posts.

- FreeCAD handles some of the iGES and STEP files, but seems to be picky about some that Maya on Windows is fine with.

…It's a mess.   I think I've run out of Mac (and Linux) options and it's time for me to bite the bullet and get a Windows machine for this stuff. <insert sad panda face here>

I'm considering buying a Lenovo W520 because it's on the official "Certified Computer System" list at http://www.solidworks.com/sw/support/videocardtesting.html

Have any of you Solidworks 2012 (ab)users had any insurmountable issues importing and/or editing at least .3dm, .stp and .igs files from other sources?

My expectations are that the documented matrix of import/export capabilities are real and fully met on a Win 7 x64 "out of the box".
   - see http://help.solidworks.com/2012/English/SolidWorks/sldworks/Importing_Exporting_SolidWorks_Documents.htm




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