CATIA V5: Exporting STEP & IGES files

June 12, 2024 Scott Henderson

Do you need to translate your CATIA files to another program? STEP and IGES are two neutral file formats commonly supported by many CAD and CAD-related programs. IGES (Initial Graphics Exchange Specification) was originally developed by the US Air Force and was first published in 1980. STEP (Standard for the Exchange of Product model data) is a newer format and was originally released in the mid-1990s. While IGES files typically only contain surface data, STEP files can also include solids and even 3D annotation data, too.

 IGES Export


CATIA natively supports the IGES file format – no extra licenses are needed. In general, to save a file as an IGES, it’s as easy as going to File > Save As… and selecting igs (*.igs) from the list.

Of course, the translation isn’t always perfect. Here’s a common scenario: A part is made up of a mix of solids, surfaces, and other wireframe elements. Unfortunately, when exporting, the surfaces don’t show up.


A possible fix here is to modify the export options. Head to Tools > Options > General > Compatibility > IGES and set the Representation Mode to “Surface.”


Now, surface elements will be created and exported for the IGES format.


STEP Export

Unlike IGES files, an add-on license is required to export STEP files. The license: ST1. To access this license, you may need to go to Tools > Options > General > Shareable Products and select it from the list.

Once you’ve got the license, head to File > Save As… and choose the stp (*.stp) option.