STEP File Extension

STEP file icon
STEP 3D Model

What is STEP file?

File with STEP extension contains 3D CAD object data saved in text format that conforms to ISO 10303-21 standard, also know as Standard for The Exchange of Product Data - STEP. The format was developed as a standardized data sharing format for CAD and CAM applications and platforms. STEP file is divided into parts or section, such as:

  • HEADER – file’s header that contains file metadata organized into 3-6 groups:
    • FILE_DESCRIPTION
    • FILE_NAME
    • FILE_SCHEMA
    • FILE_POPULATION
    • SECTION_LANGUAGE
    • SECTION_CONTEXT
  • DATA – application data stored in format that follows EXPRESS data modeling standard; data must follow rules for describing object instances and data mapping.

STEP standard was developed in 1994 roku by ISO, and the latest version is designated as version 3. Third version supports references to external resources, data sharing using compressed archives based on ZIP algorithm, UTF-8 encoding, and use of digital signatures. STEP files can be opened using a text editor as its syntax is to a certain extent human-readable. STEP files also use extensions such as STP and P21.

Programs which support STEP file extension

The list that follows enumerates programs compatible with STEP files, divided into 7 categories based on operating system on which they are available. Files with STEP suffix can be copied to any mobile device or system platform, but it may not be possible to open them properly on target system.

Updated: 11/02/2019

How to open file with STEP extension?

Being unable to open files with STEP extension can be have various origins. On the bright side, the most encountered issues pertaining to STEP 3D Model files aren’t complex. In most cases they can be addressed swiftly and effectively without assistance from a specialist. We have prepared a listing of which will help you resolve your problems with STEP files.

Step 1. Get the SolidWorks

The most common reason for such problems is the lack of proper applications that supports STEP files installed on the system. The most obvious solution is to download and install SolidWorks or one to the listed programs: TurboCAD, Fusion 360. The full list of programs grouped by operating systems can be found above. The safest method of downloading SolidWorks installed is by going to developer’s website (SolidWorks Corporation) and downloading the software using provided links.

Step 2. Update SolidWorks to the latest version

If you already have SolidWorks installed on your systems and STEP files are still not opened properly, check if you have the latest version of the software. It may also happen that software creators by updating their applications add compatibility with other, newer file formats. The reason that SolidWorks cannot handle files with STEP may be that the software is outdated. The most recent version of SolidWorks is backward compatible and can handle file formats supported by older versions of the software.

Step 3. Set the default application to open STEP files to SolidWorks

If you have the latest version of SolidWorks installed and the problem persists, select it as the default program to be used to manage STEP on your device. The method is quite simple and varies little across operating systems.

Change the default application in Windows

  • Right-click the STEP file and choose Open with option
  • Next, select the Choose another app option and then using More apps open the list of available applications
  • The last step is to select Look for another app on this PC option supply the directory path to the folder where SolidWorks is installed. Now all that is left is to confirm your choice by selecting Always use this app to open STEP files and clicking OK.

Change the default application in Mac OS

  • Right-click the STEP file and select Information
  • Proceed to the Open with section. If its closed, click the title to access available options
  • From the list choose the appropriate program and confirm by clicking Change for all....
  • If you followed the previous steps a message should appear: This change will be applied to all files with STEP extension. Next, click the Continue button to finalize the process.

Step 4. Check the STEP for errors

If you followed the instructions form the previous steps yet the issue is still not solved, you should verify the STEP file in question. It is probable that the file is corrupted and thus cannot be accessed.

1. Check the STEP file for viruses or malware

If the STEP is indeed infected, it is possible that the malware is blocking it from opening. It is advised to scan the system for viruses and malware as soon as possible or use an online antivirus scanner. STEP file is infected with malware? Follow the steps suggested by your antivirus software.

2. Check whether the file is corrupted or damaged

If the STEP file was sent to you by someone else, ask this person to resend the file to you. The file might have been copied erroneously and the data lost integrity, which precludes from accessing the file. If the STEP file has been downloaded from the internet only partially, try to redownload it.

3. Check if the user that you are logged as has administrative privileges.

Some files require elevated access rights to open them. Switch to an account that has required privileges and try opening the STEP 3D Model file again.

4. Check whether your system can handle SolidWorks

If the systems has insufficient resources to open STEP files, try closing all currently running applications and try again.

5. Verify that your operating system and drivers are up to date

Regularly updated system, drivers, and programs keep your computer secure. This may also prevent problems with STEP 3D Model files. Outdated drivers or software may have caused the inability to use a peripheral device needed to handle STEP files.

Conversion of a STEP file

File Conversions from STEP extension to a different format
File conversions from other format to STEP file
Do you want to help?

If you have additional information about the STEP file, we will be grateful if you share it with our users. To do this, use the form here and send us your information on STEP file.

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